Anglo Indian Tongue Curry | Bangalore Special

I guarantee you with an inordinate degree of surety that there are some Indian dishes, you will likely never find on a menu at any Indian restaurant. An Anglo Indian Tongue Curry is one of those hidden gems. For that, you'd need to visit an old Bangalorean's kitchen for a taste of an authentic ox tongue vindaloo curry.

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My family's Beef Tongue Curry

While Bangalore may have evolved through the years from  'Retiree's Paradise' and 'Garden City' to 'IT City', some parts of old Bangalore still exist... that is, if you peer through the smog and squint hard enough through the crowds, yes, you will be able to catch a glimpse of it. 

Beautiful buildings, gracious people and old world recipes, are still around. Perhaps slowly vanishing... but not just yet.

My family recipe for tongue curry is at the bottom of this post.

But first, a quick pass down memory lane, interspersed with beautiful watercolor illustrations by renowned Bangalore artist, Paul Fernandes, who captures Bangalore's good old days in his light hearted yet poignant illustrations.

To see more of the Bangalore that once was and to purchase Paul Fernandes' artwork, visit his .

Old Bangalore and Good Ol' Tongue Curry

Paul Fernandes cartoonist- Bangalore illustration
Illustration by Paul Fernandes

She manifested in front me out of nowhere, beaming and holding her overflowing marketing bag. She didn't think twice about bursting my menagerie reverie.  I'd finished my preliminary examinations of the mewling kittens, baby parakeets and colourful budgerigars and had just turned my attention to the sage camels calmly looking down on me through their enviably long eye lashes. A camel might be just the pet I was looking for. Small mercies for the innocence of a 10 year old, for if I only knew what lay ahead for these poor dromedaries, I'd probably never venture near again. 

You see, I was whiling away my time at my favourite hang out place while accompanying my mother to market; the Russell Market Pet Market in Bangalore, an extension from the main Russell Market set of buildings, originally built in 1929 by the British.

Paul Fernandes cartoonist- Bangalore illustration of Russell Market
Bangalore's Russell Market
Illustration by Paul Fernandes

"Let's go, dear," Mother exclaimed with a mixture of excitement and jittery anticipation. I sighed. Today might not be the best day to broach the subject about a pet camel. She seemed a little too preoccupied with her own plans to entertain any of mine.

"I've just done the most marvelous marketing," she trilled as she opened up her bulging striped marketing bag to show me her spoils. Despite the rather intense odours in the pet market, I knew in an instant she had been to the fish shop, beef market and the fresh greens stalls as the scent of prawns mixed with fresh coriander and mint wafted out to greet my nostrils. 

"The butchers had some very nice tongues. I just couldn't resist," she continued like an excited school girl.

"We'll have Beef Tongue curry for lunch today."

Parakeets, puppies, kittens and camels be damned. You don't have to tell me twice. Tongue curry was my favourite. Perhaps we could stop at Koshy's and pick up some appams that would go so nicely with the tongue curry. 

Sunday lunch would be just wonderful, I envisioned, as we lazily made our way around the large roundabouts in our old Fiat, puttering down an almost empty Cubbon Road and waving out to our milk man and baker as we made our way home. Some things would just never change. Tongue-in-cheek?

Paul Fernandes cartoonist- Bangalore illustration of Koshy's Parade Cafe
Illustration by Paul Fernandes

For a trip down memory lane and to purchase artist Paul Fernandes' illustrations of the Bangalore that once was, visit his .

Anglo Indian Tongue Curry Recipe

This tongue curry is a vindaloo preparation.


☐ 1 small beef tongue
☐ 2 teaspoons Cumin/ jeera seeds (ground)
☐ 1/4 teaspoon Mustard powder
☐ 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
☐ 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
☐ 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
☐ 2 tomatoes
☐ 1 marble-sized piece of tamarind, soaked in water
☐ 1 onion, chopped
☐ Oil
☐ Salt to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prep the tongue

  • Soak tongue in cold water for half an hour.
  • To clean the tongue, first wash it well under running water.
  • Then immerse it in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. Remove from water and peel off the skin all around the tongue.
  • Next, cut the raw tongue into slices starting from the tip of the tongue.

Step 2: Fry the masala

  • In a pressure cooker, add oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and fry.
  • Then add the masala powder (cumin, mustard, chili, cinnamon and clove powders) and the tomatoes and fry well.
  • Add the tamarind water and continue to fry well until the oil begins to come out  (the masala will glisten slightly).

Step 3: Cook the tongue

  • Add the tongue and fry for a few minutes on high flame.
  • Add water and salt. Close the pressure cooker continue to cook on high flame. Once the steam exits the valve, add the pressure cooker weight.
  • After 1 whistle, reduce the flame to low. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

Related Recipes

For more of my Anglo Indian Recipes, try:
  • Roast ChickenIt's No Christmas Without the Chicken
  • Salt Beef I Say, How About Some Salt Beef Sandwiches, Ol' Chap?

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