I’m not a fan of daytime TV which seems generally superficial in its approach to topics but I was tipped off by my daughter that a ‘Balti’ was going to be cooked on ‘This Morning‘. It didn’t put me in the best of moods when Alison Hammond, the sometimes over cheery Brummie said that she liked her food but had never had a balti … her accent may be showbiz Brummie but one wonders if she is a plastic one if she’s never had Birmingham’s most famous culinary invention!
To make matters worse the chef cooking it was Mowgli’s Nisha Katona whose culinary style is described as ‘Indian’ which maybe says a lot about her knowledge a dish which came out of Birmingham’s Pakistani community.
Firstly she described the typical but common spices used as ‘special’ (wrong!) and then she then used the over distinctive olive oil as the medium for cooking up the onions, ginger and garlic (wrong !). She even added sugar which would be superfluous if the dish was fast cooked because of the natural caramelisation that occurs. Worst of all she used a thick black wok so no wonder it took more than twenty minutes to prepare although the presenters tucked into the ubiquitous ‘one that was made earlier’. Of course, criminally their portions were then shown in shiny black serving bowls. To round things off she then said that it should be served with rice and not naan perhaps betraying an Indian rather than Pakistani background. In Balti terms, she undoubtedly committed culinary treason but why should I be surprised by the outside media’s ignorance of Birmingham’s signature dish.