Wow, this post is late. Sorry, I guess it’s been kind of a busy few weeks. Anyway, way back on 8th June, it was my penultimate day of work as a postdoctoral researcher at Glasgow University. In my research group there, the Institute for Gravitational Research (or IGR) it’s kind of a tradition that when people move on to other jobs they celebrate with a curry, quite often at the nearby Indian restaurant, Balbir’s.
So, off we went, after a quick stop at Gallus next door for a pint, and to collect everyone, we arrived and took up two of Balbir’s longest tables, with our group of 20. Not a bad effort, right? Normally, with a group this size, they suggest one of their banquet options, but honestly, having been before, I’m not a fan of this system. Maybe I just go seated in an unlucky spot, but I felt like I couldn’t try the things I wanted to, and that there was a lot of stuff I wouldn’t have ordered. I insisted that people be allowed to choose what they actually wanted to eat, and ordered some rice and naan for everyone to share.
Which meant I got a portion of mushroom pakora! Whoop! If I seem irrationally excited by this it’s because I love mushroom pakora (well, mushroom anything really) but usually I get curry with P and we share a starter and he isn’t a fan, so we end up getting chicken pakora or chicken chat or something and I miss out on my mushroomy goodness. Balbir’s does a pretty damn fine version and the portion was just enough to get my appetite going without spoiling it for my main.
For which I ordered a chicken tikka karahi. Always a fan of this curry. I think it’s technically a Pakistani dish rather than an Indian dish but I’m not exactly about to complain. The “karahi” par refers to the dish it’s prepared in (as pictured). It’s packed with ginger, tomatoes and peppers and is spiced with chili, coriander and fenugreek. Yum! Balbir’s version could probably be spicier, but it was super tasty nonetheless.
Our meal worked out at about £30 per head including drinks, which made it a little cheaper than it would have been if we’d gone for the banquet (bonus!) and I think everyone was pretty happy with their choices. I really enjoyed my meal but had definite food envy from those who ordered the salmon dishes. There I was thinking curried salmon would be weird but it actually looked amazing, so I’m definitely getting it next time.
All in all this was a brilliant way of seeing a whole bunch of my closest friends, some of whom I’ve been studying with for 10 years and many of whom I’ve been working with for more than 5. While I guess this counts as a goodbye meal, I know I’ve not seen the last of any of them.