Let me just start by telling you how much of a wimp I am when it comes to food. If it comes from water, I won’t eat it. If I can’t pronounce it, I won’t eat it. If it starts with the letter Z, there’s a good chance I won’t eat it. I can’t physically swallow a mushroom and tomatoes make my eyes water. I think you get the idea. When someone asks what I won’t eat, the shorter and better answer is usually listing what I will eat. I’m 38 years into this journey and I’m way past making excuses: I’m just not a food lover. Food is fuel and I’m okay with that.
On a recent trip to Glasgow, I filmed a Pakora Masterclass at Mister Singh’s India restaurant with our good friends A Cook Not Mad. I would be the invisible cameraman floating around in the background, I thought (prayed). After all, my job description was simple: show up, shut up, and shoot.
I admit, the instructor chef was captivating as he talked about the different spices that make up his Pakora. His hands expertly gathering just the right amount of spice from each small dish as he spoke about blending Indian recipes with Scottish delights. Mixing the ingredients together the same as he’s done a thousand times before, all the while describing his process and providing instruction at each step. As I listened, I realized there was nothing in his mixture that I wouldn’t eat. It all seemed familiar, pronounceable and nothing started with the letter Z, so, I thought, if I have to try it I’m in the clear – then he reached for the Haggis. He had prepared the restaurant’s famous Indian fusion creation: Haggis Pakora! Intrigued? Maybe. About to try it? Not a chance. The small chunks of Haggis Pakora were pulled from the oil and served with a creamy yogurt sauce.
I could hear the words ‘delicious’ and ‘amazing’ being uttered from the others between chews. In a moment of silence, I looked up from the camera and found all eyes were on me, I froze in fear. I could hear horror movie music in my head as I stared at the chef holding out a plate just for me. I swallowed dryly as I thanked him and accepted the dish of doom. There was no way I could put it down and hope they’d forget about me. Nope, this was eating time.
Please keep in mind that this is a big step for me. I’m coming out publicly at 38 years old as a foodiphobe. I am describing what should amount to a pleasurable experience as an epic adventure, I agree, but I grabbed that Haggis Pakora by the by the heart and lungs and dug in! The chicken and vegetable pakora that followed were also devoured.
As you must know by now, if I’m writing about it, I obviously enjoyed it, and I did. I can now scratch haggis, or at least Haggis Pakora, off my ‘do not eat’ list, or, better still, add it to the ‘safe’ list.
Glasgow’s dining scene is full of culinary treats and Mister Singh’s India restaurant really is a treat for the senses, even for those who live in ‘food fear’ like me. If you are looking for something unique in Glasgow, their Scottish/Indian cuisine definitely nails it.
For more information about visiting Glasgow, please visit www.peoplemakeglasgow.ca.