English Cuisine, Part 1

You may have wondered where my entries have been, and whether I have “given up” on the blogging all together. Let me assure you that I have never been more inspired, but that this inspiration needed to come from a trip to two countries, who are not conventionally known as culinary giants, namely England and Germany. Let me also assure you that this is hardly the case. Great food can be found anywhere, as long as we keep our standards in check and not settle for food as a mere act of picking up something that we consider edible and putting it in our mouths. Rather, let us take some time to browse and consider our options with a critical yet open-minded perspective, before we reach a point where we let our ravenous hunger conquer our sense of reason!

On that note, I begin my culinary journey with British fast food. You might be thinking of something classic like fish and chips or bangers and mash, but I am talking about Pakistani kabab! Although Middle-Eastern culture tends to consider kabab  as its national cuisine, each country also exhibits definitive renditions of the delicacy, adding their own flavors, seasonings, and side dishes for variety. The term “kabab” simply means “grilled” and that is exactly what is done: either beef, chicken or lamb are first marinated in exotic seasonings, as well as yogurt, lemon or another acid to help tenderize by breaking down the protein bonds, then grilled to perfection, often on a charcoal grill. The product is absolutely delicious, but not complete without the naan (or bread). Again, bread is as varied as the quality and type of grain that is used, the altitude at which it is baked, the leavening agent used to pump it up, or the pH of the water that is incorporated. The bread that accompanied my chicken kabab on this fateful day in May, on the dinner table of my Nottingham family, was similar to a pancake, but salty in taste, and gummier in texture. It held the kabab and accompanying sweet onion relish in it perfectly, without becoming crumbly or soggy. Apparently, fights have been known to break out at the little counter where these kababs are sold, where men yell at each other in urdu over who the rightful owner of the last batch of bread would be that day. If that is not passion, I don’t know what is! Stay tuned for more culinary surprises!


About danirenouf

I have been a registered dietitian since 2003, and very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in industry, clinical nutrition, public health, and private practice. Currently, I am extremely excited about pursuing entrepreneurial ventures which start with my private consulting practice and branch out into the food and culinary industry. I am busy every day developing my own food products and recipes, adapting traditional cooking techniques and incorporating new and innovative ways to prepare nutritious, delicious food. I am passionate about everything food-related, and aspire to engage others in "getting to know their food" - not all of us are cooks, or need to be, but all of us need to eat.
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3 Responses to English Cuisine, Part 1

  1. Mouth-watering description and photo . . . the Lamb Boti is to die for as well! Desi Express, Radford Road, Nottingham

  2. Loretta says:

    Hi Dani
    could I have your comments on the primal diet. John has lost 45 pounds -and has not missed sugar or flour

    • danirenouf says:

      Hi Loretta,

      Thanks for your excellent question about the paleolithic diet, which is meant to mimic the manner in which humans ate in the prehistoric era, where hunting and gathering was the sole method for food procurement. In other words, when there was success in hunting, humans ate meat, but this occurrence happened rarely, as you can imagine. Therefore, there was a heavy reliance on gathering fruits, like berries as well as nuts and vegetables to supplement the diet for the majority of the time. As there was no agriculture at the time, grains and milk products were not included in the diet. As it is believed that this form of eating is the most “natural”, scientists decided to explore if such a diet in the modern world would lead to weight loss and potentially a reduction in chronic disease risk, such as diabetes. The original study results can be found at: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v62/n5/pdf/1602790a.pdf and indicate that some favourable outcomes on cardiovascular risk factors can be observed on a small group of healthy adults when following this diet. As with most scientific endeavours, it is too early to conclude that this diet is a sure-fire way to go, and without comparing this group to one that is not on the diet (a control group), we cannot make major recommendations.

      If you plan to follow this diet, I would recommend that you make sure you are meeting your calcium, vitamin D, B vitamin, and fibre needs.

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