There is a legend that the owner of the Irish Thoroughbred St. Paddy (winner of this year's Epsom Derby and St. Leger) was once in love with a girl named Eve, that she was very beautiful, that she died suddenly and mysteriously and that in memory of her the stable where St. Paddy was reared is known as Eves.
According to Sir Victor Sassoon, the gentleman in question, the truth (though he did in time marry a girl named Evelyn) is far less romantic. His initials are E.V.E.S. (for Elice Victor Elias Sassoon) and he began racing in India under the name of Mr. Eves because his father thought it improper for a banker to own horses. Later his stables at Newmarket, in Yorkshire and in Ireland and his estate at Nassau in The Bahamas all became known as Eves. Now the curry sauce that Sir Victor learned to mix in his days as a pukka sahib goes by the same name.
"I was a bachelor so long," says the sportsman who has sent four English Derby winners and a host of lesser champions to the post, "that I was always looking for things I could cook in a hurry or things that could be kept over. The fact is, this curry sauce actually improves if kept in the icebox."
After a first sample in company with Sir Victor and Lady Sassoon in Nassau (opposite), SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S food expert, Mary Frost Mabon, can attest to the fact that there is nothing legendary about the staying power of Eves curry. "On that day," she writes, "the curry sauce—thick, spicy and relatively mild—was one of many accompaniments the Sassoons provided for a delicious Persian concoction of chicken, served with three kinds of rice. Since then, I have served Eves curry in various ways, and I find that it actually is the better for being put aside and left to stand in the icebox. It can be reheated, adding water if necessary, either to serve as a meatless meal over rice or mixed with cooked shrimp or leftover chicken pieces or, indeed, any cubed meat.
"As for other uses, this same sauce served cold and thick is an excellent relish for cold meats or, heated and thinned, becomes a fine savory sauce for broiled fish.
"Sir Victor's curry is on the mild side, but for those who prefer a more fiery variety the Sassoons always have on hand a hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco, along with a choice of hot or mild Indian chutneys and, as a texture contrast, those East Indian wafers known as popadams, crisped by frying.
"To cool the curried throat, Sir Victor recommends a half-and-half mixture of Tuborg beer and Bass ale taken ice-cold."
1½ pounds yellow onions
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
Handful fresh parsley leaves
1 pound raw potatoes, pared and cubed
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
½ cup curry powder
½ cup vinegar
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ packages frozen green beans, cooked
½ cup chutney
½ cup piccalilli (or chowchow or pickle relish)
½ cup tomato ketchup
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
Dashes of garlic powder and paprika
Start by chopping onions medium coarse and parsley medium fine. Place oil in large heavy stew pan or iron skillet, mix with onion, turmeric and parsley. Cover and cook extremely slowly for about 25 minutes, stirring often, till onions are soft. Then stir, uncovered, on medium heat until onions are nicely browned (10 to 15 minutes). Mix in½ teaspoon salt.
Place shortening in cold heavy iron fry pan, add cut raw potato, cook gently for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring often; turn up heat for 5 to 10 minutes more to brown and crust cubes.
Meanwhile, moisten curry powder with vinegar in small bowl, stirring to make a smooth paste. Add this to the cooked onions in fry pan. Mix and toss with drained beans over mild heat for five minutes. Add potatoes and previously prepared mixture of remaining ingredients: chutney, piccalilli, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings and½ cup water. Also add 1 teaspoon salt. Boil and stir 6 minutes, or till nicely blended.