Good curry and spice listens

Good curry and spice listens

Here are few curry and spice related radio programmes we've enjoyed so we though't we'd share them with you all. 

Birmingham's Beloved Balti

Birmingham Balti

Image credit

Where we heard it: BBC Food Programme
Presented by:  Yasmin Khan, produced in Bristol by Clare Salisbury.
How to listen: Birmingham's Beloved Balti

For food writer Yasmin Khan, the Balti conjures up family meals out in her childhood home of Birmingham where she would regularly tuck into deep bowls of the city's most iconic dish - richly spiced chicken or lamb, that she scooped up with freshly made warm naan breads. In it's heyday, the Sparkhill area of Birmingham was saturated with Balti restaurants, so much so that it became known as the "Balti Triangle", a place which defined Birmingham's food scene and became one of the few parts of the UK where working class, immigrant, food was celebrated. Since then, the Balti has grown in reputation as one of Britain's truly regional dishes, so much so that a bid was made, albeit unsuccessfully, to give it protected EU status. Now, Yasmin heads back to Birmingham to explore what this uniquely British-Pakistani dish means to a new generation of people growing up in the so-called 'Balti Triangle'. What she finds is a community with strong bonds and deep pride, that continues to come together around a deep love of food.

The East India Company

Madras Army East India Company

Image credit: Royal Munster Fusiliers 

Where we heard it: BBC In Our Time 
Presented by:  Melvyn Bragg
How to listen: The East India Company

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the private trading company that helped forge the British Empire. At its peak, its influence stretched from western India to eastern China via the farthest reaches of the Indonesian archipelago. It had a fleet of 130 twelve hundred tonne ships and commanded an army of 200,000 troops that came to dominate the Indian subcontinent. It funded governments, toppled princes and generated spectacular amounts of money from trading textiles and spices. But this wasn’t an empire, it wasn’t even a state, it was a company. The East India Company, founded in 1600, lasted for 258 years before the British state gained full control of its activities. In that time it had redrawn the map of India, built an empire and reinvented the fashions and the foodstuffs of Britain. But how did the East India Company become so powerful? How did it change both India and Britain and how was the idea of a company running a country ever accepted by the British Crown?With Huw Bowen, Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University of Leicester; Linda Colley, School Professor of History at the London School of Economics; Maria Misra, Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Keble College, Oxford. 

Our Wild Spice Rack

Mark William's Wild Spice Rack

Image credit: BBC Food Programme 

Where we heard it: BBC Food Programme
Presented by:  Sheila Dillon, produced by Rich Ward
How to listen: Our Wild Spice Rack

Sheila Dillon heads to Galloway, Scotland, to meet forager and wild food teacher Mark Williams - who claims to be able to match anything in our spice racks with flavours found in the wild, in the UK. Can he assemble a 'native spice rack'? What might a 'wild Scottish curry' taste like? 

Picture of Asma Khan featured in the radio programme Curry house crisis... where are all the women

Where we heard it: BBC Food Programme
Presented by:  Presented by Sheila Dillon Produced by Clare Salisbury
How to listen: Curry house crisis... where are the women?

The British Asian restaurant sector says it's suffering the consequence of major staff shortages. Many high street takeaways and curry houses are facing closure. While restaurants search for a solution, some are questioning whether enough is being done to encourage women into traditionally male dominated kitchens. And whether if they could, this might be part of the solution. In this programme Sheila Dillon meets pioneers of British Asian cooking. Chef Romy Gill MBE, one of the first Indian women to own and run her restaurant 'Romy's Kitchen' near Bristol. Winner of BBC One's Masterchef Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, whose multi-faceted career takes in cheffing, food writing, raising children and working as a doctor. Asma Khan, soon to be the first British restauranteur on the Emmy nominated Netflix series 'Chef's Table'. Takeaway chef Salina Ahmed, finalist in the British Takeaway awards for her cooking at 'Sizzlers' in Winchester. And Rakesh Ravindran Nair, Group Development and Training Chef at the Cinnamon Club in London.