Indian food is rated one of Britain’s favourite takeaways, with Korma being one of our all time favourite foods. We’re a nation that has adopted curry as a national dish, but do we actually know where curry came from or why we love it so much?
According to a little bit of research we carries out, it was the Portuguese who discovered India, with Britain following. But it was actually Britain that brought spice to the rest of the world as they took spices all over the globe and started growing them in different countries.
The first ever curry recipe in English was published by Hannah Glasse in 1747. However, as expected, since then curries have changed – it was the Portuguese who introduced chilli seeds into curries, and us Brits who changed curry from being an Indian sauce with rice, to more of a stew like sauce with little rice in it (what we know curry as today).
The first curry house in the UK is thought to have opened around 200 years ago by Sake Dean Mahomed. Since then, the number of Indian restaurants has soared. The growth is thought to be due to the partition of Indian in 1947, where Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs migrated to the UK following the turbulent creation of Pakistan.
Since 1947, curry has been adapted in the UK to suit our western tastes and preferences. In the late 70’s for example, the Birmingham Baltic was born. Bengali Curry Chefs started to make their dishes lighter, healthier and served to suit Western tastes Before this curries in Britain were not cooked fresh - chefs would put curry in a big pot and simply serve it up on a plate after microwaving. Bengali Chefs, also introduced the metal Balti dishes to keep curries sizzling, and so that curry could be eaten as tradition with a naan bread instead of with cutlery.
Indian food may not be the oldest cuisine known to human history, but it’s clear that it’s here to stay in Britain! If you fancy having a go at making your own curry, why not buy one of our Spice Pots or follow one of our quick and easy recipes.