Great Britain’s passion for curry has grown and grown ever since the first curry house was opened by Shaykh Din Mahomet in 1810. There are now more than 10,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, that’s more than in Mumbai! So with just one month to go until the 18th annual National Curry Week, things are hotting up in curry-cooking kitchens across the Capital.
With big names including Andy Varma’s Chakra in Notting Hill, landmark Indian restaurant Cafe Spice Namaste, and Southall’s long-standing Brillant taking part, Londoners will be spoilt for choice when choosing their curries in October.
As part of the celebration there will be a Curry Capital of Britain contest, with kitchens from across the country competing to win the title and raise money for a charity of their choosing. Fundraising team Curry For Crows has joined the initiative to raise funds for the Jungle Crows Foundation in India, and continuing the rugby theme are the RFU Injured Players Foundation who will be running #CurryYouHome themed nights for supporters to enjoy.
If popping poppadoms ten-to-the-dozen is your thing (well, it must be someone’s), then The National Association of Round Tables will be hosting nights to challenge the World Poppadom Speed Eating Record (see – it is a thing!) and all over the capital restaurants, pubs and clubs will be putting their stamp on the week with events ranging from recipe competitions and quizzes to the Poppadomathon relay race.
Sainsbury’s are the Official Retailer for the event but other supermarkets including Asda and Bestway are also planning promotions to make sure Britain’s curry-loving public get plenty of choice of where to indulge in the nation’s favourite dish.
“It is amazing how National Curry Week grows from year to year,” said founder Peter Grove. “Not only is it now a huge national event but outside interest has ensured it will soon go international with more fun and fund-raising for everyone”.
Five things you didn’t know about curry:
- There are about 10,000 Indian restaurants serving curry in the UK, the vast majority of which are run by people from Bangladesh, not India.
- The first curry recipe in English appeared in Hannah Glasse’s The Art Of Cookery in 1747.
- The word curry comes from a Tamil word kari or karil, meaning spices or sautéed vegetables.
- The UK’s most popular curry is the chicken tikka masala, which accounts for 1 in every 7 curries sold.
- In the UK, we spend over £250 million a year on Indian food.
National Curry Week will run from October 12th to 18th. For more ideas and information on which restaurants are taking part, see www.nationalcurryweek.org.uk.