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I can honestly say Alan that I took all curries on offer and would love to be able to do so again!

However, nostalgia such as this is rapidly suppressed by the fact that it is and will remain a culinary memory, where I enjoyed them all.
I never got sick as a result and today shudder when offered the second rate rubbish our Indian immigrant restaurateurs serve up as authentic curry!

Give me a good old Bank Line curry anyday, any where that served chips for breakfast and curry at least once a day was heaven to me then and would be toady if the food & drink police ever relaxed it's vigilance.

Happy days mate, I probably ate your share!

(Thumb)
 

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My only regret is not being 10 years older then I could have experienced the tail end of the glory days rather than the tale end of the company.

Regret leaving the lifestyle but it was a career decision - in respect the correct one.

Would I go back to what it was? no doubts on that one, bags packed tomorrow
 

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Curry and Rice.....

One of the first things I did when I married my Brooklyn-Irish wife was to get her aboard a couple of Bank Boats to check out the lunch-time curries so that she could duplicate them for ourselves. She eventually became a very accomplished curry maker haunting all the Asian markets in Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn for the proper and authentic ingredients. When we came to Houston, she quickly discovered the "Indian " section of this international city and would arrive triumphantly home with a rare special curry ingredient that she had learned from Mahadur Jaffrey's cook books. As a result of all this effort, we now have three adult children who are avid curry hounds in Los Angeles and Washington DC! Never did grow out of the taste myself and my cast-iron stomach seems none the worse for this indulgence even after nearly sixty years of curry and rice!
 

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Let's see if anyone can come up with a definative list of the common ones found on a Bank line menu.ie:

Calcutta - mutton and cabbage. (I'm guessing there.)
Malay - mutton, coconut and fruit.
Boiled egg.
Tinned salmon
Madras
Cochin
Chicken (Sundays)
Bombay
etc, etc.
 

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Let's see if anyone can come up with a definative list of the common ones found on a Bank line menu.ie:

Calcutta - mutton and cabbage. (I'm guessing there.)
Malay - mutton, coconut and fruit.
Boiled egg.
Tinned salmon
Madras
Cochin
Chicken (Sundays)
Bombay
etc, etc.
Always remember a fish curry was always very popular and a veg one.
Still maintain my love of currys,and dont forget the chinese crews ,always lots of imaginative oriental dishes.

jim
 

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I liked the curry and here are more of them taken from1970’s Bankline menus

Poona
Ceylon
Hindustan
Kashmir
Omelette (that’s what it says)

Just noticed ‘Mince Scallops’ for breakfast, and you could have ‘snow potatoes’ with that.
 

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I liked the curry and here are more of them taken from1970’s Bankline menus

Poona
Ceylon
Hindustan
Kashmir
Omelette (that’s what it says)

Just noticed ‘Mince Scallops’ for breakfast, and you could have ‘snow potatoes’ with that.
Have made Omelette Curry myself very sucessfully (even if I do say so Myself) It really does bring the memories flooding back......................pete
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Imaginative curries

Always remember a fish curry was always very popular and a veg one.
Still maintain my love of currys,and dont forget the chinese crews ,always lots of imaginative oriental dishes.

jim
Hi Jim,

You triggered a memory mentioning imaginative chinese food! I had a love of Dim Sum ( little sealed pastry bites) when living in HK until picking up the paper one day and reading about missing cats and dogs that had been used and the owner prosecuted.

Reverting back to curry names, anyone remember the name of the picturesque one with shimmering rainbow hues - usually with eggs floating in it? Was it just egg curry or something more exotic? It had vivid hues of yellow and purple and all shades inbetween.

P.S. I loved that minced scallop and snow potatoes for breakfast - would set you up for a mornings work.
 

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I liked the curry and here are more of them taken from1970’s Bankline menus

Poona
Ceylon
Hindustan
Kashmir
Omelette (that’s what it says)

Just noticed ‘Mince Scallops’ for breakfast, and you could have ‘snow potatoes’ with that.
You had menus?

Kofta curry was always a bit suss, but on one ship I sailed on, the cook did a magnificent cabbage curry; I can still taste it...

Who remembers Kromeskies?
 

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My favourite curry was Jalfrezi, always tried to get second helpings. Also never missed my morning Chapati from the crews Bhandari when doing my pre- breakfast check of all the electrical equipment.

My only regret, is not keeping a diary of all the exotic ports visited, all the crews sailed with and all the great times enjoyed during twenty years with the Bank Line.
 

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Bankline regrets –

Should have taken more care in choice of camera and film, the camera I had worked fine but there was room for a massive improvement and used whatever film was available, black and white, colour and big mistake was film for slides as all the slides have disappeared over the years. The projector was as cheap as the camera and was not replaced so the slides became useless and were thrown out during a house move.
I kept some of the menus, telegrams Bankline sent etc but threw out the slides, that is definitely one big regret as they can be brought back to life now with the aid of a scanner, which I have.
 

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Alas, three years + of Bankline curries finished me for years. It was not the taste of the curry itself, it was the way it was so often used to disguise the gristle and fat in the meat of the curry, unsuccessfully. My recollection is of good meals for the first couple of days out of Calcutta as the Butler tried to impress, followed by a descent into indifference before perking up on arrival at B.A where the Old Man had so many German friends, and then perking up again just before returning to Calcutta (on the gunny run to S. America)

The result was that I went off curries for years before coming back to them and have been making them for many years, but to this day, a meat (other than chicken) curry is never my choice in a restaurant and rarely made at home, except an occasional lamb curry.
 

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You had menus?

Kofta curry was always a bit suss, but on one ship I sailed on, the cook did a magnificent cabbage curry; I can still taste it...

Who remembers Kromeskies?
Kromeskie a la Russe being the correct name but yes I loved them. You can find a basic recipe for them on the web taken from the MN cooks course book published many years ago.

What about Boulli Hash? Anyone remember that yellowish stew?

Memorable quote by one steward on Moraybank circa late 70s when asked what the curry was that day: "same curry different name"! If it had pineapple in it it became Singapore curry; dessicated coconut it became Ceylon curry. Great currys all in all although crew curry by the bhandary was best. Fresh parahta on the brdige at 0600 was always a treat.
 

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Curry and Rice....

What about the greatest curry of them all? Remember the magnificent giant prawns we used to get at Chalna either from the Agent or the Stevedore and sometimes direct from the river fishermen? Made the best curries I have ever tasted! The particular prawns' diet of you know what in the Pussur River must have given then that special taste!
 

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I spent four weeks in Colombo (Jan 1958) transferring from the Fleetbank to the Ivybank on my way home and this became my" ultimate curry experience "
The hotel was not even half a star rated and if I had'nt kicked up a fuss I would probably have died from blood loss from all the beasties that feasted on me every night. Even the chairs were infested!
The food was inedible until I tried the curry and I ate nothing else for four weeks,it was as good as the English style food was bad,and the condiments served in a round segmented plate were amazing.
The Indian food served in the U K doesnt appeal( Except my wifes curries of course,she might read this)But when working in the East End in the seventies we found a Bangladeshi place where they cooked for their people and it was real!I was back on the Irisbank!
 

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Alistair, if I remember right, in Chalna, we got those big King Prawns in exchange for old runner wires. Yes, we had to haggle a lot, but were always convinced we come out on top. As you say, they were yummy prawns.(Eat) Regrets, let me see, yes one would have to be, drinking too much of that local beer etc in Calcutta. Cor what a hangover, spent most of the next morning down a hold sitting on a gunny bale with my head in my hands. ( Hoping the Mate would'nt find me ) (Cloud)
 

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Kofta curry was always a bit suss said:
I always enjoyed the kofta (meat ball ) curry the meat probably was suss, but the flavour was all there, served with alloo paratha if I remember right. Tried it at home but have not quite got it right.
 

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What about the greatest curry of them all? Remember the magnificent giant prawns we used to get at Chalna either from the Agent or the Stevedore and sometimes direct from the river fishermen? Made the best curries I have ever tasted! The particular prawns' diet of you know what in the Pussur River must have given then that special taste!
Alistair,
you will probably have the answer to this,slightly off thread, "when did Bank line finally get rid of their Chinese crews??

jim
 

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Chinese Crews in Bank Line.....

Bank Line always had one or two Chinese crewed ships going back to the "Tinhow" on the Oriental African run. I sailed on two Chinese crewed ships, the "Ettrickbank" and the "Carronbank" also on the O/A Line and both changed over in Hong Kong from Indian crews whilst I was on both of them. The "Ettrickbank" had been on the run for years yet only became Chinese crew in 1956. As for the "Carronbank" she became a captive Oriental-Africa ship in 1961 and the Indian crew was changed to Hong Kong Chinese towards the end of that year.
John Penn told me that our Bank Line crewing master was Chung Wah, the same fellow that was used in Calcutta for the Chinese carpenters. There seemed to be a connection going back over many years.
I don't think there was ever more than a handfull of Chinese crewed ships and I have no idea when this ceased but possibly when the Bank Line (China) Ltd. was closed down and Penn moved to Sydney which I think was in 1976 or thereabouts.
 
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