Back in action

Mallika Basu - Back in action

Posted 16th February 2007


I’ve arrived back in the UK from Peru. While I’ve been gone, Shilpa Shetty has published her very own chicken curry recipe featuring tomato ketchup and a gunman’s been loose in South London, near where I live.

On the bright side, it’s not snowing and I haven’t lost my job… yet! My colleagues have clearly missed me, which is both endearing and sinister at the same time.

One of my favourite colleagues found a really interesting article that combined South America with India’s revered cooking ingredient – the chilli.

It turns out that archaeologists in Ecuador have found that chillies were used in their cooking more than 6,000 years ago, way before inhabitants of Peru and Mexico.

What’s particularly interesting is that chillies were introduced to places like India and Thailand only after Europeans explored the New World in the 15th Century.

And I thought India was the mother of spicy cuisine! Looks like it’s only a little cousin to South America.

I guess you learn something new every day…

9 responses to “Back in action”

  1. Nandita says:

    Hi Mallika, Back here after a long time. This time bookmarking you (thats not as worrisome as getting tagged-so worry not:P) Been reading around your blog for a while and enjoying myself. I love your humourous style. Pardon me if I;ve said that before. But I guess its ok to repeat compliments. Cya around!

  2. Meena says:

    Welcome back Mallika! Missed ya, now head to that kitchen of yours and give us some magic! 😉

  3. shilpa says:

    what?! i think my namesake has copied my trademark chicken curry recipe… see here

  4. asha says:

    Mallika, Mallika, Mallika!!!! You didn’t know chillies came from South America until now!! Man!!You are new to cooking!! 😀 Chillies are very new to India and not introduced until know it now.
    Welcome back and blog on!:)

  5. Mangs says:


    welcome back

    in your absence i have discovered that the paneer recipe behind the sainsburys paneer for “crumbled” paneer isnt too bad after all!!

  6. Shohini says:

    Recipe request? Mallika: can you post a recipe for humble but tasty aloo kopi thorkari (potatoe cauliflower curry)? Not sure if you take requests, but I’ve found all your recipes turn out so well and hesitate to pull one off of just any recipe site. In particular, how do you cook potatoes and cauliflower so that niether gets overcooked or undercooked?

    Thanks for your help. Shohini

  7. Mallika says:

    Thanks so much Nandita, all compliments hugely appreciated!

    Asha – I am an embarrassment to myself… ha ha!!

    Mangs – back of a pack? I knew three weeks away was too much. Hang in there buddy. More recipes on their way…

    Shohini, I will post a recipe for aloo kopi’r thorkari soon. As a precursor, add the cauliflower when the aloo is almost done. And only cover the cauliflower for two minutes or it becomes a ghaunto (mash).

    Shilpi – Good grief girl! I thought you knew better than tomato ketchup in chicken curry!!

  8. CookingChat says:

    interesting how some foods you associate so intrinsically with a cuisine are not native to the country–as with your chilis & India example. Pasta & Italian food are similar–what did they eat their pre-Marco Polo???

  9. Tom Nutt says:

    What’s sinister about missing you?

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