This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
For menus: "When you talk of Ceylon and the picturesque city of Colombo and the ancient city of Kandy, your thoughts naturally revert to curry. The prawn curry of the Grand Oriental Hotel in the old Dutch port at Colombo is renowned throughout the East; and they give you with it - in addition to Bombay ducks - 'poppedoms,' if that be the right way of spelling the articles in question, something like passover-cakes fried in ghee or liquefied butter." - " Many of the London clubs have their culinary specialties. Thus, the Oriental, in Hanover Square, has long been celebrated for its curried prawns; the Garrick for its porter-house steaks and marrow-bones; the Junior Garrick for its mutton broth; the Windham for a dish known as 'all sorts,' named after the 17th Lancers; another club for its tripe and onions; while the grill at the little Beefsteak, over Toole's Theatre, is unique." - "The secret of making curried prawns in perfection is to flavor them with tamarinds." - " A little tamarind, scraped apple, or lemon juice may now be added to impart the much-desired sub-acid flavoring, and lastly, a cupful of cocoanut-milk about three minutes previously to dishing up." "Colonel Yule, in his 'Glossary of Anglo-Indian Terms,' cites a passage, quoted by Athenaius from Megathenes, which is said to be the oldest indication of the use of curry in India. The earliest unequivocal mention of it is in the Mahavauso, the earlier chapters of which date from the fifth century, A.D. But it is as precisely referred to in another of the ancient books of Ceylon, the Rajavali, which is, I believe, held to belong, at least in its original form, to the second century, A.D." - "Boiled rice should always be served with every kind of curry, and, as rule, it should be served separate and handed before the curry.
The orthodox fashion of helping one's self to curry, is to take a spoonful of rice and place it on a plate, making a well in the center. The curry itself should then be placed in the middle, and the whole eaten with a fork. The rice should be so boiled that every grain is not only tender, but separated from every other gram." - "A spoonful of the cocoanut kernel, pounded, gives a very delicate flavor to a curry of chicken." - "All curries are the better for a suspicion of a sweet acid taste. The juice of a lime, with moist sugar dissolved in it, answers very well, or a tablespoonful of red-currant jelly and one of chutney, or a tablespoonful of sweet chutney and the juice of a lime or lemon; any of these combinations will give the desired sub-acid flavoring".
"Serve the curry by itself in a side dish, separate from the rice. One tablespoonful of curry ought to suffice for six table-spoonfuls of rice, and should be partaken of with a dessert-spoon and fork, and not with a knife ahd fork. A teaspoonful of Burmese Afango Chutney, taken with a plateful of rice and curry as above, will be found very acceptable by most persons. Rice and curry should not be made a principal dish at dinner: its true place on the menu is, without doubt, a final entree".
Consists of small pieces of minced meat, which are rolled into balls about the size of a marble. These marbles are then floured and fried (if possible in the curry fat) and sent to table with the curry sauce poured round them.
Consists of slices of meat, potato, onion and green ginger, stuck on a skewer. These are served up in the curry, thus skewered together. One of the most delicious curries known is the Cingalese Prawn Curry. This dish can be made either from fresh prawns or from canned or potted ones, which are cheaper, but not so good. The Barataria prawns are the best kind canned. In making curry from fresh prawns, the white meat of the prawn is served up in the curry sauce, but be sure and take all the heads off the prawns and pound them in the curry sauce, so as to extract what may be called the goodness out of the head - the little lumps which correspond to the green part of a lobster.
Is exceedingly nice, and is not so often met with in this country as it deserves. Every kind of vegetable can be used mixed together, and a very nice simple dish can be made by merely opening a tin of macedoins.
Form a very nice breakfast dish, which simply consists in pouring curry sauce over some fried sausages.
Form an excellent breakfast dish.