My ten-boy curry was a huge success.  Lindsey said: “This is practically the best meal I have ever had” and she christened the sideboard that was heaving with condiments The Buffeteria.  Genius.

I made most of this dinner for the ladies of the book group the night before with the assistance of my trusty new sidekick Tontomongo.  He  made the Masala, which I have made once before, deciding to halve the amount of cloves.  ¼ cup of cloves  just seems a lot and I’m not mad on the taste of cloves – reminds me of toothache.  I should know by now to trust Vincent though.  When I smelt it, I was still bothered about it and said, “I’m worried that this is still too clove-y” Tontomongo said, “Vincent must know something” and indeed he does, because when cooked, the curry wasn’t clove-y at all IT WAS DIVINE!  A korma-ish curry.  Yum yum.

Poaching the chicken.

This is one of the dinner parties from Vincent’s International Cooking Course LP records, which were later issued on cassette tape which of course I WANT even though I have no device on which to play them…

I have part 2 of the series on CD (never seen part 1, ever, anywhere) and I followed Vincent’s guidance regarding decorating the dining area with twinkling candles and burning some incense for atmosphere.  However, much to my horror next morning, I forgot all about the Sitar music specially selected by Mr R from his extensive record collection.  I was just too busy doing all the last minute faffing around and cooking the beans, which were a very nice side dish.  I didn’t get a photo of those… But here is the curry with a little bit of everything…

The best thing about following one of Vincent’s party plans is that all the elements really complement each other.  He really knows how to put a menu together.  I didn’t make the Pooris or the Fruit Dessert, mostly as Cathy was bringing pudding.  In an outrageous display of how pissed we get at our book group meetings we forgot all about her gorgeous little mini cheesecakes so I get them ALL!

Vincent suggested serving the curry with a variety of condiments and by coincidence my commuter read “Cooking for Company” by Ruth Mills Teague contained directions for making a ten-boy curry.

Both Ruth and Vincent loved the tradition of a procession of uniformed boys bringing each of the condiments that are to accompany a curry to the table. I did a mixture of the things Vincent and Ruth suggested with an addition of my own.  I have very fond memories of Douglas making a 1970s curry like his mum used to make with lots of bits and pieces to go with it.  I met my darling Gaby and Lucy for lunch on the day of my party and we reminisced about Dougal’s curry.  BANANAS!  Peanuts!  Coconut! Sultanas! I had all of these plus, yoghurt, cucumber, slivered almonds, mango chutney and lime pickle.

My tenth condiment was more or less scoffed in the kitchen beforehand.  Some Sainsbury’s “chip shop curry coated peanuts”.  These are completely new to me but in my “night before tasting” experience, if you eat just ONE of these you will immediately want to drink a whole pint of lager.  They are the Pavlov’s Dog of peanuts.

Bonkers but the ladies loved ‘em.  See what happened?

Excuse the fingermarks but here are the recipes…

This really was a fab dinner party so I heartily recommend it – but only if you are doing it at the weekend or can do most of the work the night before.  Also, there were five of us and everyone went back for seconds, so there isn’t much of the curry left!  Therefore I’d say this serves 6 people with healthy appetites rather than 8.  Perhaps people were more refined in the 70s?!

I have strong memories of Vesta Curry from my childhood.  I remember it as being something we had as a BIG TREAT when my parents were going out and we kids (I’m from a family of 5 kids) had to look after ourselves.  From memory you added water to the dehydrated Vesta curry mix and boiled it?  I seem to remember loving it.  Can you still get it?!

You have to be careful what you wish for I guess because seconds after writing that and going to investigate via the internet I found this…

I think I’d better stop now and go to bed!

Thank you Vincent once again for making a dinner party such a pleasure to prepare and devour!

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