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  • 'Going for an Indian' or 'having a curry'

  • is almost as stereotypically British as roast dinners or fish and chips.

  • There are around 12,000 curry houses in Britain.

  • The word came from the Tamil 'kari', which meant a spiced sauce.

  • But gradually the term was adapted and used as a generic term

  • for any stew-like food from the Indian subcontinent -

  • rather ignoring such subtleties as,

  • regional differences and completely different flavours,

  • textures, cooking methods and ingredients.

  • The first definite mention of 'curry' in English is in 1598.

  • But the first recipe for curry published in Britain

  • wasn't until 1747,

  • by which time Brits, long-time traders with India,

  • were slowly taking over the country.

  • Thousands of British men and women spent time in India.

  • They had Indian cooks and servants,

  • and while some tried to maintain Western eating habits,

  • most quickly embraced the tastes of their new home.

  • When they returned to Britain,

  • they brought their new love of Indian food back with them.

  • Those who had lived in India

  • knew very well that not all Indian dishes were curry,

  • and when the first,

  • albeit short-lived Indian restaurant in Britain

  • opened in London in 1810,

  • its menu contained khichdi, chutnee and pulao...

  • dishes later known by the anglicised names, kedgeree, chutney and pilaf.

  • Manuscript books, kept by those in the know,

  • also differentiated between dishes.

  • But they were very much a minority, and in Britain,

  • curry became a catch-all term for almost anything with Indian spices.

  • Slowly certain dishes, especially chicken curry -

  • which used an elderly fowl, which had stopped laying eggs -

  • entered the mainstream repertoire.

  • Ready-made curry powders were widely sold.

  • British palates were not used to Indian spices,

  • and the early recipes are more like gently flavoured meaty stews,

  • laden with turmeric, ginger and galangale, with cayenne for a hit.

  • By the 19th Century,

  • curry was in every cookbook, mainly as a leftover dish.

  • The Anglo-Indian cuisine of this era was a hybrid,

  • using pickled cucumbers to replace mango, apple instead of tamarind,

  • and ready-made spice blends galore.

  • It was great, but had very little in common with its Eastern roots.

  • Queen Victoria took a different approach,

  • regularly eating 'Indian dishes'

  • prepared by the cook to her Indian attendants,

  • who'd joined the royal staff at her Golden Jubilee in 1887.

  • There were a few eating houses run by Indians,

  • mainly for other Indians, in port towns,

  • but it took until the 1920s for high profile restaurants to open,

  • catering for a British market.

  • By 1946 there were around 20 Indian restaurants in London.

  • Boomtime for curry came after the Second World War,

  • when the partition of India brought migrants

  • from Punjab and Sylhet to Britain.

  • In the 1970s,

  • civil war in Bangladesh saw many Bangladeshis flee to Britain,

  • and even today many apparently generic Indian restaurants

  • are really Bangladeshi.

  • Curry, in its 1970s form, was cheap and cheerful,

  • adapted for British tastes.

  • In 2001 the then foreign secretary, Robin Cook

  • declared boldly that Britain's national dish was chicken tikka masala

  • a classic example of an Indian dish - buttered chicken -

  • meeting British tastes,

  • in this case with the addition of cream and, allegedly,

  • cream of tomato soup.

  • In the last decade or so,

  • the British relationship to Indian food has changed.

  • Most of us have grown out of wanting something so hot

  • it'll hospitalise us.

  • Leading Indian chefs are teaching us

  • that there is so much more to Indian food

  • than the comforting predictability of the average restaurant menu.

  • Maybe after 250 years, we've simply come full circle.

'Going for an Indian' or 'having a curry'

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來自印度的咖喱如何征服了英國 (How curry from India conquered Britain | Edible Histories Episode 6 | BBC Ideas)

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    Seraya 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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