Indian Food and England – Its popularity

A country that has ruled in India for more than 200 years must have also been influenced from the local cultures and traditions. May be that has been one of the major reasons for Chicken Tikka Masala to get crowned as the national dish of the UK. Moreover, during a session on recycling and disposal at House of Commons, the speaker alluded that Englishmen have all the right to enjoy Chicken Tikka, without worrying about disposing its remains. This further proved the popularity of Indian cuisines in England. It has been found that preference of Indian food has even surpassed the traditional fish and chips and taken over the American palate as well.

Though the first curry shop was opened by an Indian immigrant, Dean Mahomed, in London, but many Brits have already been aware of its taste because of their association with the land of its origin. However, thanks to these restaurants, the natives have now developed an appetite for spicy food. Hence, if you are travelling to UK, don’t be surprised to see more Indian restaurants than fast food establishments throughout the England. It wouldn’t be wrong to say, Indian cuisines is now a part of English culture for its flavours and variety of mouth watering dishes. Back in mid-19th century, there are accounts of Indian restaurants running in Bristol. Even Queen Victoria, who was considered as a connoisseur of curry, had appointed Indian staff at her personal kitchen for cooking curry every single day.

Since 1809, Indian food has a presence in England. To be more precise, it was in the Victorian Era and the time of British rule over the Indian subcontinent, which has actually brought Indian preparations to the English soil. This was a new wave on British culinary cuisine and known as Anglo-Indian cuisines. As per the latest survey, there are nearly 10,000 restaurants serving Indian food in Britain and nearly 2.5 million customers are served every week. Moreover, the total numbers of Indian restaurants in London are more than in Mumbai and Delhi combined. By 2013, in Wales and England the Indian food industry accounts for two-thirds of the restaurants.

It is a fact that Indian preparations has also been through the impact of globalization. If you really want to taste Indian flavours, you have to be in this country. However that becomes difficult and that is why Indian restaurants are found in every country to bring that specialty to your plate. The recipes followed in England doesn’t entirely adhere to the traditional norm but the preparations continues to hold the cultural touch. Here are some of the most popular Indian dishes in England.

  • Chicken Tikka Masala will always be featured in top list. It comprises roasted chunks of chicken dipped spicy sauce.
  • Next is the Butter Chicken, which is cooked in ‘tandoor’ style with spices, milk products and chilli.
  • If you want to try out Indian snacks, there are a number of restaurants in London offering you variety of Chaats like Dahi Vada, Pakora, Panipuri, Papri Chaat and so on.

Apart from these, prawn, lamb, meat preparations are also in the menu chart. Vegetarian dishes are widely available in the Indian restaurants. You can have any form of food you prefer made with special ingredients, customised as per your preferences. The typical notion of Indian food to be spicy is not correct; if you want to avoid chilli or other tangy elements then Malai Kofta or Palank Paneer can be your pick. If you want to try out some desserts, Indian sweetmeat can give you the ultimate heavenly feel.

One cannot doubt the fact that when one thinks of posh palate, it is always the French cuisine and culinary culture that remains the choice. But with time, Indian and Chinese has also made its way to the fine dining notion. Moreover, one would be amazed to know, even 2 years back Indian meal is the most preferred take-aways among British population overtaking Chinese and pizzas.

All these points out one factor and that it is about the increasing demand of Indian cuisines in England. Whether it is a post-conference meal, a party or a small gathering, curry dishes is dominant in a land that had once ruled India for decades.