It has commonly been said that curry is the new national dish of Britain, which comes as no surprise considering the number of curry houses are on our high streets today. As a nation, we really do love curry, so much so that the curry dish contributes to 5billion of the British economy!
Traces of curry recipes from India date back to the early 1500s and the dish eventually made its way to English cuisine in 1733 as it was served by Norris Street Coffee House in Haymarket, London.
‘Curry was yet to establish itself firmly in British cuisine. In the 1940s and 1950s, most major Indian restaurants in London employed ex-seamen from Bangladesh, particularly from Sylhet. Many of these seamen aspired to open a restaurant of their own. After the Second World War, they bought bombed-out chippies and cafes selling curry and rice alongside fish, pies, and chips. They stayed open after 11 pm to catch the after-pub trade. Eating hot curry after a night out in the pub became a tradition. As customers became increasingly fond of curry, these restaurants discarded British dishes and turned into inexpensive Indian takeaways and eateries.’
As a nation, we love to absorb different influences and cultures, so much so that there are more Indian restaurants in Greater London than in Delhi and Mumbai combined.
On the 29th of November 2021, the 17th annual British Curry Awards will take place. This event is taken very seriously with curry houses competing against each other to win the awards on offer. Much like the Oscars, there is a stage, special presenters, performances, trophies and speeches, all to be streamed online.
To get involved in National Curry Week, you could visit your local curry house and enjoy a delicious meal in Plymouth. We have a whole host of curry houses to choose from, a favourite of ours is Shapla Balti Cuisine! You could also purchase an Indian recipe book and have a go at cooking your own curry, perhaps invite a few friends over for a curry night too? If you’d prefer to enjoy a flavoursome curry from the comfort of your own home, most curry houses offer takeaway options.
Located on Ridgeway in Plympton, Shapla Balti Cuisine is an authentic Indian restaurant and takeaway, offering the finest traditional Curries, Specials, Masala’s, Biryani’s and more.
Shapla Balti were finalists in the British Curry Awards in 2017 and were awarded a Tripadvisor certificate of excellence for three years running. They are a celebrated favourite in the local community and it is clear to see why! Mr Ali and his team take real pride in what they do, and it certainly shows.
Personally, we recommend that you make the time to dine in at Shapla- to really get the full experience, but they also offer delivery free to the local area. Shapla regularly host a number of charity events and special evenings- so make sure you check out their facebook page for updates!