What curry is right for me
Indian food may be the food of choice for many Britons when it comes to grabbing a takeaway or eating out, but we often come across people who claim not to like curry. The thing is, we don’t believe them – we just think they haven’t found the right dish for them.
The reality is that there are, literally, hundreds of Indian dishes from which to choose and the cuisine is now such an art form that it’s evolving all the time, with swanky London restaurants that offer ‘fusion’ menus (where two types of cuisine collide to create brand new tastes) and traditional restaurants experimenting with ingredients and cooking styles to bring a more diverse range of meals to their restaurants.
Whereas in the 1970s, many restaurants simply offered a standard menu of curries that ranged from the very mild, like biryani or korma, through to the blow-the-roof-of-your-mouth-off hot, such as vindaloo (we won’t talk at length here about the mercifully short-lived popularity of the legendary phaal - often also spelled phall - which achieved brief notoriety as the hottest curry every devised).
The secret to a great home-made curry
Much as we’d all love to be able to replicate our favourite restaurant curry in our own kitchens, the simple fact is that few of us have the tools needed to be able to pull it off. Yes, we can make a curry, but the chances are we’ll never be able to truly make the curry.
Fantastic Indian food is only possible when you combine several key things: experience, the right equipment and the right ingredients.
That doesn’t mean you need to become a chef to make a great home-made curry, or spend a small fortune on pots, pans or utensils. But the quality of the ingredients you use will always have an impact on the flavours and depth of the food you cook.
The history of our obsession with Indian curry
We Brits do love our curry – so much that the Indian restaurant trade is now worth a staggering £5 billion to the UK economy. It’s a love affair that has been around for years and grows stronger with each passing day.
So where did it all begin – and why has it become so popular?
There’s a misconception that the rise of the Indian restaurant in Britain began in Birmingham during the 1970s.