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Mojo Collections: Spring 2001
Ian Anderson loves a curry. But wash your hands, he tells Mark Paytress, or else you might end up with a case of 'Jethro tool'.
"My passion for curry started in 1967 when Jethro Tull was still The John Evan Band. It was our drummer Richie Dharma who introduced me to Indian food. We went to his mum's for lunch and experienced a kaleidoscope of sensations, most of which were marginally unpleasant because it was my first time. I didn't understand why I liked it but I soon became hooked on hot spicy food.
"My computer is programmed to show me where every Indian restaurant is in North America. The band accuse me of picking hotels that happen to be next to one of them. But they're not spoilt for curry houses over there, which is why I wrote that guide for our website (www.j-tull.com); I was trying to help the Americans find their way through an Indian menu.
"I had my worst curry in Sydney, Australia. I had my doubts because there was nothing Indian about the owner and the place was empty. We played safe, ordered Tandoori Chicken, and sure enough it looked just how Tandoori Chicken should look. Next thing I knew my wife was going purple. It turned out that the chef was sick, and the owner had cooked it himself using neat chilli powder instead of Tandoori marinade.
"People always recommend me hot chillies, but you have to be careful. I had a very nasty accident in Sri Lanka when I picked some wild chillies I found growing in the grounds of the hotel. I knew they were hot, so I scraped out the seeds to bring them back home to grow. But I forgot to wash my hands afterwards. On my way to dinner, I went to the loo, and when I came out the pain was unbelievable. It felt like sulphuric acid on the gonads. The only solution was to smother my private parts in foaming anti-acid stomach stuff. I was late for dinner, but even that's not put me off curry ..."
Thanks to David Le Hunte for this article