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Haggis Pakora: A Fusion of Fear and Food in Glasgow!

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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.

The great staff at Mister Singh's India in Glasgow with our good friends Nat and Tim from A Cook Not Mad.
The great staff at Mister Singh’s India in Glasgow with our good friends Nat and Tim from A Cook Not Mad.

24 thoughts on “Haggis Pakora: A Fusion of Fear and Food in Glasgow!”

    1. Ha ha! I know haggis seems like a bit of an “adventure” food, but it’s seriously deeee-lish! And I absolutely love seeing different cultures mix foods together….so cool!

  1. glad to hear you got out of your culinary comfort zone and found it rewarding. If you come to Medellin let me know and maybe we can go for some morcilla (blood sausage). Cheers!

    1. Ooooo…blood sausage will gain be testing Geoff’s limits, Donny. I think it’d be easier to sell if we just call it “Morcilla” :)

  2. Congrats! Seriously I’m very impressed, lol I’m an adventure traveler but I’m not so adventurous when it comes to my food and I long since swore off Haggis ever since finding out what was in it – but so cool to hear about two cuisines being mixed together like that!

    1. It was obviously a hit, because Geoff came home from Glasgow and decided we should make pakora for dinner one night…although we used chicken :). I agree though – it’s really cool to see different cultures mixing together with the fusion food. I’m from Vancouver and there is a tonne of Asian/Pacific fusion, but Scottish-Indian is never something I’d considered as a combo and I absolutely love the idea!

  3. We try a lot of different local cuisine while we travel and I must say a lot of it taste pretty amazing. But some things I don’t think we will try. So I kind of understand your fear. Indian food scene in Scotland…hmm, interesting.

    1. It’s such a great way to discover new foods, isn’t it? I especially love trying new fruit and veg that are unique to an area :)

  4. I tried haggis for the first time last November when we were in Edinburgh. It wasn’t my favorite, but it definitely wasn’t bad. I’d be interested in trying the haggis pakora though…

    1. Awesome! That’s cool to hear that you tried haggis, even if it wasn’t your favourite! Definitely check out Mister Singh’s if you find yourself in Glasgow, and you can give the pakora a try :)

  5. Hahaha! I’m on the opposite spectrum, I’ll try anything. Haggis, however, has been a line of mine. But if you can try it, I guess I’ll have to buck up. I’ve never heard of an Indian/Haggis fusion, sounds epic!

    1. Ha ha…buck up: totally! It’s funny how we can build certain things up in our mind to be a “line in the sand,” but then find them completely awesome when we end up doing it!

  6. I’m a very adventurous eater so haggis is something I’ve always wanted to try. I’m very impressed that you tried it, happy that you enjoyed it. Now, I can’t wait to try it for myself!

    1. Yes! You should give it a try…Glasgow has a lot of hipness and energy these days when it comes to music, art, and food. I think this is a really good example of that creativity in action.

  7. Though I’m not usually an adventurous eater at home, the moment I step out of my shell while travelling, I’m game for anything! And yes, that includes Haggis! I love the way you describe the chef’s passion and skill, I think that makes the meal more memorable and engaging!

    1. That’s awesome, Andrea. Most people I know are either adventurous eaters, or not. It’s cool that you put on your “travel hat” when you’re on the road, and really push yourself beyond your comfort zone!

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