When Harry met Citi

The secret fifth ingredient of the British bank bailout was Balti curry.

Mark has missed the secret fifth ingredient in the British bank bailout: Balti curry. On the critical Friday night the Treasury negotiators fortified themselves with £245 worth of takeaways from Gandhi’s restaurant in Kennington (a fairly downmarket area south of the Thames).


The bank negotiators only got tea and biscuits. Probably by accident, this was good psychology: the days of expense-account bubbly are over.

Curry is now a first-resort comfort food for Brits.

Balti is half-indigenous: it’s a fusion cuisine developed in Birmingham by Kashmiri immigrants. It has nothing whatever to do with the real Baltis, ethnic Tibetans tucked away in remote valleys of the Karakoram, whose meagre diet is based on millet porridge and yak butter.

Whatever, Balti is a good style and easy to do. It’s basically a mild curry made by stir-frying. The essential ingredient and flavour is fresh coriander. Here’s a recipe for chicken, another for vegetables.

US Treasury please copy: “I’ll have whatever she’s having.”

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web