My British Curry Experiences

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As part of India Week,'s very own David describes his experiences of eating Indian food in Britain and how the curry has become one of Britain's national dishes. 

I have been eating Indian food for as long as I can remember. A weekly 'curry' was common place in our household, my father having discovered the joys of eating the spiced cuisine at London's Durbar restaurant- one of London's oldest and finest Indian restaurants- when he came to London as a student in the 1950s. The restaurant is still run by the same family!

Today, there are around 9000 curry restaurants in the UK. In London, Brick Lane is synonymous with Indian cuisine. For those of you studying in Manchester, it's the 'Curry Mile' in Rusholme, which has the largest concentration of Asian restaurants in the UK, with over 65,000 diners eating weekly at one of the Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan or Bangladeshi restaurants.

"A True British Dish"

Chicken Tikka Masala (small pieces of chicken marinated in spices and yoghurt served in a sauce of mixed spices) is the most popular dish in British restaurants and is classified as a "True British Dish"! Curry or 'Ruby Murray' (cockney slang for curry) grew increasingly popular in Britain as a result of importation from the British Raj and the increased immigration which began in the 1950s.

Because of India's religious and geographical disposition, Indian food served there is very varied and different to the Indian food served in UK restaurants. In India, there is more use of vegetables in its local cuisine, than meat, chicken or fish. The majority of India's population is Hindu, traditionally vegetarian.

Interesting Fact: The word 'curry' is an anglicised version of the Tamil word "Kari" meaning ‘sauce' which is understood to mean meat/vegetables cooked together with spices, either with or without gravy.

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