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A selection of news articles by Andy about the Balti and the Balti Triangle ...

Andy Munro



TRUE MAHARAH CARDAMOM BEER PDF Print E-mail

Beer seems to be the 'new wine' these days with talk of flavours, aromas etc etc but, in fairness, a proper ale has a lot going for it as an accompaniment to spicy food. Consequently, I was keen to see how the new 'True Maharajah Cardamom Beer' stood the test of 'going for a balti'.

My days of drinking beer with a balti are more sporadic as I often find a robust red wine is a good match. However, I still like a decent beer and it so happens that Cardamom is one of my favourite spices.

Testing it out with a spicy Balti Chicken Jalfrizies, the beer certainly held its own. It's edgy without being bitter and the Cardamom taste is distinctive but subtle. Light and lively on the palate, it was a refreshing drink without having the overpowering gassiness of lager. Definitely a welcome addition to the 'beer with balti' ranks. Brewed by Leicester based Modha Ales, it should soon be available in the Birmingham area.

 
BALTI AND THE BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW PDF Print E-mail

Thanks to an invite from Birmingham City Council Markets Dept, Al Frash represented the Birmingham Balti with cookery demos on the Bull Ring Market stand. Dishes cooked (and eagerly sampled!) included Balti Garlic Chilli Chicken, Balti Chicken Achari and the restaurant's signature dish, Balti Aphrodisia. A range of pakoras also tempted the audience including mushroom, chicken and the world's first (??) sweet potato pakora. It was significant that a vast proportion of the audience had never had a genuine balti before.

Good Food Show

Good Food Show

 

 
DANISH DELIGHT PDF Print E-mail

Shabab recently hosted a visit from Kim Wiesener, a Danish journalist charged with writing the 21st edition of Denmark's definitive tourism guide to England and Wales. Stopping off in the Balti Triangle, after a short tour, he polished off a Balti Chicken and Mushroom and declared it 'delicious'.

He reckoned his starter of Sheehk Kebab was nine out of ten and the Chicken Tikka got the 'Perfect Ten'! With an estimated 15,000 Danes visiting our City, this could represent some serious Balti business.

 
BALTI, THE GREAT BRITISH FOOD PDF Print E-mail

Shabab hosted a visit of the Great British Food magazine who couldn't resist a balti when they came to enjoy the increasing delights of Brummie cuisine.

 
BALTI BLARNEY PDF Print E-mail

Sir Terry Wogan recently paid a visit to top baltihouse Al Frash and used a shamrock shaped nan to mop up his Irish themed Balti!

 

 

 
BALTI AND THE BROADSHEET PDF Print E-mail

Good to see a chef of Glynn Purnell's talent keeping to his roots by highlighting Balti Godfather 'Adil' as his favourite restaurant 'pick'. He was one of forty top chefs choosing their favourite restaurant for the Observer Food monthly.

 
Going for a Balti The Story of Birmingham’s Signature Dish PDF Print E-mail

The Story of Birmingham’s Signature Dish is a new book by Andy Munro

The Birmingham Balti has received world wide recognition and acclaim from the New York Times to the travellers’ bible, The Rough Guide, but more than anything else, it holds a place in the hearts and minds (and stomachs) of avid baltigoers everywhere. Going For A Balti traces back the story of this unique dish from its birth, through its boom years to the present day.

This is the inside track on Birmingham’s signature dish, as never told before, through the eyes of ‘Baltiholic’ and Champion of all things uniquely Birmingham, Andy Munro.

AUTHOR NOTE Andy Munro was born and bred in the Balti Triangle and, as a passionate Brummie, has championed the Birmingham Balti to the extent of working with the restaurants to apply for a European Food Trademark of Authenticity. Recently semi-retired after ten years leading the regeneration of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, he continues to be involved in championing his home city.

Details of how to get a signed copy from this site:

'Just out, the Definite History of Birmingham's iconic dish!

Going for a Balti

A great present for Balti Lovers everywhere! (Published by Brewin Books)

Order your signed copy of this definitive history of the Birmingham Balti by sending a cheque for £7- 50p (inc postage and packing) made out to Andy Munro and send to 11 Orchard Way, Hollywood, Birmingham, B47 5NH.'

Or you can get your copy online by clicking this link or on Amazon.

 
CURRY ON CHEFFING PDF Print E-mail

There's a great opportunity for those who can cook a mean curry and fancy themselves in the Master Chef category for South Asian cuisine.

A TV Company is looking for nine chef contestants to compete for a head chef position at an Indian restaurant in Chiswick, London. This is part of a BBC Primetime series entitled, 'Alex Polizzi: For Hire' and those interested should contact the Production Company,' TwoFour Broadcasting' through Holly Wicks ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; tel 01752 727 485).

 
SALUTE TO SALEEM'S PDF Print E-mail

It is with collective sadness that balti afficionados note the closure of Saleem's. Known for it's balti at the hotter end of the spectrum, fiery dips and some mean kebabs, this baltihouse was well loved. Its signature framed picture of their family's Pakistani wrestling 'tag team' will also live long in the memory. With its neighbours, Imran, having a full makeover, it's likely trade suffered to the extent that it was no longer viable.

Thank you Saleem Waheed for the years of great service you gave to the Balti Triangle and, of course, Birmingham's famous dish.

 
MADHUR OR JUST MAD? PDF Print E-mail

The Daily Mail, reporting on the Cheltenham Literature Festival (surprise surprise!), quoted Madhur Jaffray as saying, 'balti is a craze that will die out as diners move on to more authentic Indian cuisine' .... she dismissed balti, thought to have been invented in a Birmingham curry house in 1977 as 'having origins in no place we would want to visit.' It's a shame that a culinary icon like Madhur has to stoop to these levels, coincidentally when she's bringing a new book out. Eitherway she's got her culinary knickers in a twist on this one for the following reasons...

  • Balti is Pakistani Brummie, it's NOT Indian.
  • it is a 'craze' that's lasted nigh on 40 years and the word 'craze' aptly describes its popularity which is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • authenticity is about the development and/or invention of food not dates... one wonders if all Madhur's recipes were being prepared and cooked in exactly the same way in India 300 years ago.
  • her insult to Birmingham re the origins might have amused Cheltenham's retired colonels as they enjoyed their 'authentic' kedgeree but it was a cheap shot by somebody who should know better.

Regards

Andy

 
STONEY LANE TO WELCOME BACK THE GODFATHER OF BALTI PDF Print E-mail

After an absence of almost seven years, Adil is moving back to its old premises on Stoney Lane where it all began, almost 40 years ago. The restaurant will have an upstairs room for parties and is aiming to be open for business in early October.

 
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