How did the curry get here and how did the Brits, a nation famed for a love of bland food, end up with Chicken Tikka Masala as their favourite dish? It is a history that took curry, via the British Empire, from its Eastern origins, around the globe. This book talks to the men and women who gambled everything to make a living, who endured indifference and racism to secure an income and those who got their relatives to pack the cardamom when they visited as there was no other way of obtaining the ingredients. This book looks at how the British love affair with curry has changed lives, not just in Britain but around the globe
Introduction. Chapter One - The Lust for Spice. Chapter Two – Why Spice + Spice=Magic. Chapter Three – The Food of Empire. Chapter Four – Twentieth Century Tastes. Chapter Five – The Pioneers. Chapter Six – The Vindaloo Years. Chapter Seven – The British Response. Chapter Eight – The Unexpected Consequences of Curry. Chapter Nine – The Curry Conquerors. Chapter Ten – The Five-Star Revolution. Chapter Eleven – The Future of Curry. Chapter Twelve – Curry Conquers the World. Epilogue. Appendix A – A Guide to Regional Cuisines. Appendix B – Restaurant Names. Appendix C – Menu Mates References.
“…Stories of the “curry conquerors”….make this a surprisingly entertaining read…” (Daily Express, 26 November 2004)
Jo Monroe is a former Time Out TV critic, dotcom entrepreneur and author of six previous books. She is currently a freelance writer working for the Observer and The Times.
Curry isn't just a dish. It's a great British Institution. Like modern Britain it is a blend of influences from around the world and across history. It has travelled around the globe from its earliest origins 2000 years BCE, through the British Empire to the thousands of flock wallpapered curry houses that lined every British high street throughout the 1980s and 1990s. From there it once again embarked on a voyage to all corners of the world before reaching for the (Michelin) stars of haute cuisine. Now curry's journey is coming full circle as British creations like chicken tikka masala and Pataks pastes are being exported back to India. This is the story of curry's incredible adventure and of the many, brave, adventurous and enterprising people who made it a cultural phenomenon.
How did the Brits end up with chicken tikka masala hailed as their national dish? How did Indian cuisine - as vast and varied as the country of its origin - produce identical menus in restaurant after restaurant? How did you get hold of cardamom in Liverpool in the 1920s? What exactly is a Rogan Josh? And where on earth did that wallpaper come from? A quirky tale of how spice traders, empire builders, sailors, entrepreneurs, hard work and passion made curry a cultural phenomenon.
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