There aren’t too many tales back in the 19th century that revolve around a man taking on a woman’s last name — more so when it has to do with an Indian legacy. Yet, London’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant Veeraswamy’s history can all be traced back to one Edward Palmer in 1926, who used his grandmother’s family name for the restaurant as well as one of the oldest cookbooks around town! Well, not to the T though. Originally known as Veerasawmy, a printer’s error resulted in the rebranding of the budding enterprise.
Besides boasting of a Michelin star, the restaurant was also said to have pioneered the love for washing down a curry with beer! In fact, the Daily Mail reported that one of the restaurant’s many famous customers, Prince Axel of Denmark would bring an entire keg of Carlsberg just to cool off after their famed duck vindaloo which is still a popular dish on their menu today! While it’s obvious that a majority of us can’t book the next flight to London for some curry and beer; you can always do the next best thing — get your hands on his book of recipes.
Indian Cookery by E.P. Veeraswamy is a book filled with recipes written by E. P. Veeraswamy himself. Quoted to be ‘an important part of any cook/proud housewife’s library’, the book has been around since the 1930’s when it was first published. Today, one of the current owners of Veeraswamy, Camellia Panjabi is famed for her own book as well, titled 50 Great Curries of India. Camellia, her sister Namita and Namita’s husband Ranjit Mathrani collectively run Veeraswamy, along with a few other restaurants.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of E.P. Veeraswamy’s book, click here. For a look at a first edition copy of his book, click here.
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