The UK’s Favourite Curry

BY STAFF WRITER

British cuisine has never made it to the top ranking on a global scale and it is not surprising that the Indian Chicken tikka masala has been voted the most popular UK dish. Nevertheless, London happens to be the 6th most Michelin starred city. Other than Paris, there’s no European city with nearly as many Michelin starred meals, nor the diversity in cuisine. There’s sensational Indian food, elevated British gastropubs, Italian food of the very highest Italian standards and everything in between.

An increasing number of Westerners are preferring to binge on the spicy Indian platter. That Indian food items are getting global is evident because the number of Indian restaurants in European and American countries has increased significantly.

A survey showed that in the United Kingdom the most popular dish is ’Chicken tikka masala’ which has been popularly referred to as ‘Britain’s true national dish’. One in seven curries sold in the UK is chicken tikka masala.

The cross-cultural popularity of the dish in the UK led former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to proclaim it “a true British national dish”.

In an ironic inversion of history, British companies now export chicken tikka masala to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Lancashire-based Indian food major Pataks has been shipping vast quantities of the dish that was first exported to India to cater to British tourists there who are more familiar with the dish back home.

But now reports say that Indians who love to experiment with a wide variety of global cuisine have taken to the dish with a Brit twist in a big way.

The dish was created when a Bangladeshi chef produced a dish of traditional chicken tikka only to be asked, “Where’s my gravy?” The response was, supposedly, a can of cream of tomato soup and a few spices and the masala element was born. Several chefs have laid claim to the invention of CTM. It caught on at once and swept so rapidly around the restaurant circuit that it was a standard item at all curry houses in Britain within a couple of years.

Industry figures show that 23 million portions of the dish a year are sold in Indian restaurants. As many as 10 tonnes of chicken tikka masala are produced by Noon Products every day for sale in supermarkets.