I have been having the most incredibly spicy times with the Happy Farmer recently.
His favourite national dish is curry. He was the first person to introduce me to the delights of a Glasgow curry, many years ago. Such was his love of a good Indian meal, when visiting the city, he could quite easily consume them morning, noon and night. Apparently, a breakfast of cold curry after a night out was quite a treat, not one I was ever convinced to try.
After a city visit we always headed home to Islay with copious amounts of Indian take-aways. The first time I found myself at Glasgow airport security, with a bag laden with curries, I was completely mortified. I stood watching as our curry carry outs went on the conveyor belt, through the large x-ray scanner, where the staff appeared to think nothing of it. They assured me they were used to Hebrideans stocking up on curry carry outs then flying home with them as hand luggage.
Today unfortunately, given the large volume of liquid in a curry, a ‘curry carry out’ would still make it through the scanner, but swiftly get diverted to the ‘yellow hazardous bin’ once it’d passed through scanning. Carry out curries pose a potential security threat to our airlines these days. Given the possibility of severe leakage if a curry travels in a suitcase in the hold, the only way to get them home is via the ferry. Thankfully the days of ‘smuggling’ curries onto the island are no longer necessary as we are now lucky enough to have excellent Indian food on our doorstep.
Ballygrant Inn is our ‘local’. Close to Persabus, food at the Inn is freshly prepared from the finest local ingredients. Alongside the more traditional dishes of lamb shank, steak and venison, they cook a range of delicious spicy curries. Thursdays are ‘curry and a pint’ night. Every couple of months or so there is also an Indian buffet night where a huge feast of various Indian dishes is laid on. Diners can help themselves to as much and as many dishes as they like. It is well worth booking in.
However, when the farmer phoned the other week for a carry out, their ‘curry night’ had been so busy and successful there was not a drop of curry left. We headed to the Taj Mahal restaurant in Bowmore. We hadn’t been to the Taj Mahal in ages, and with new chefs since our last visit, the curries were an absolute treat. They were delicious. Last week we even managed to have two Indian take away nights.
After a delicious curry on Friday night we went to ‘The Ditch’ (Also known as ‘The Lochindaal Hotel’, for those unfamiliar with the local lingo) with friends for a bar supper on Saturday night, only to find it was a ‘Tulsi’ curry night. Tulsi has lived on Islay for quite a few years with his family and every few weeks Tulsi takes over the kitchen at the ‘Ditch’ and cooks an amazing array of authentic Indian dishes. We were faced with a bit of a dilemma; the ‘Ditch’ is also our favourite place for seafood banquets on the island. The Happy Farmer found a compromise, we ate our way through three courses of Tulsi’s amazing cuisine, and the Happy Farmer also managed to sneak in an order for a platter of fresh clams and a bucket of chips as our side dish.
Until next time…