Nadiya opens two tins and a jar… now that’s my kind of cooking! ROLAND WHITE reviews last night’s TV
Nadiya’s Simple Spices
Badgers: Their Secret World
When he is burning up the tarmac in a Bugatti, Jeremy Clarkson rarely seems to mention that, say, his grandfather preferred the Austin Allegro. If Monty Don has ever revealed that his great-uncle grew dahlias, I must have missed it.
So why do television chefs feel the need to share so much about their loved ones? Jamie Oliver features his family so much that his son Buddy has landed his own spin-off series.
And Nadiya Hussain talked about the cooking of her mother and grandmother so many times in Nadiya’s Simple Spices (BBC2) that viewers could have enjoyed a makeshift drinking game: one glug per mention. We were even treated to family snaps.
Nadiya Hussain talked about the cooking of her mother and grandmother so many times in Nadiya’s Simple Spices (BBC2) that viewers could have enjoyed a makeshift drinking game
Apart from that, Nadiya is my kind of cook. To make daal — inspired by her mother, of course — she opened two tins of lentils. As she pointed out: ‘That’s going to save you 12 hours. You don’t have to soak them.’ Some lime pickle came straight from the jar.
Moulin Rouge: Yes We Can-Can! (BBC2) identified an unusual British export to France — can-can dancers for the famous Paris nightspot.
Not only are most of the Moulin Rouge dancers British, but the director of the troupe is Janet Pharaoh, from Yorkshire.
They’ll be telling us next that President Macron is actually from Ilkley.
At one point the camera lingered on a bay leaf covered in turmeric, colours that matched Nadiya’s orange top and green headscarf. The food was so vividly coloured throughout the show that it was like watching a glossy magazine.
Another recipe was a comforting fish broth, but we’ll skip over that. Watching somebody make soup on television is nobody’s idea of a wild night in.
The bread and the cheesecake, though, were an entirely different matter. The bread was a nutty loaf baked with paneer cheese and chilli. You could almost smell the result. ‘Is there anything more joyous than a loaf of bread?’ the former Bake Off winner gushed.
As it happens, there is. Her final dish was a cheesecake, infused with cinnamon and pistachio nuts. There was the usual biscuity base, but it was laid on a bed of filo pastry. The final result looked like a mouth-watering cross between a cheesecake and a pie.
Badgers are shy, nocturnal creatures, said the naturalist Steve Backshall in Badgers: Their Secret World (Ch5). Tell that to the ones who used to strut arrogantly around my Exmoor garden in the late afternoons, on their way to dig up the lawn or attack the chickens. They were about as shy as RuPaul.
Badgers are shy, nocturnal creatures, said the naturalist Steve Backshall in Badgers: Their Secret World (Ch5)
Britain is very big on badgers. We have more than 400,000 here, which is a quarter of the global population. Wytham Woods near Oxford has the highest density of badgers in the world.
This was essentially a list of fascinating facts. Their sight is poor, but their sense of smell is 800 times stronger than ours. And it seems they’re very houseproud. They change their bedding — hay, moss, and decaying vegetation — frequently. There was footage of a badger family doing just that.
The males seemed to be pitching in with the chores, which is only fair because lady badgers otherwise get the rough end of the gender divide. Not only do they do all of the childcare, but they have to defend their cubs from male predators. There was footage of a particularly vicious scrap.
The females do mate with a string of different males, and can give birth to cubs from different fathers, but it didn’t look much fun. During a mating of about 20 seconds, the female badger’s expression suggested she was wondering what the kids might like for tea.
Christopher Stevens is away.
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