Curry is the UK’s favourite food. FACT. With it often said that curry is the new national dish of Britain. Since the 1970s, curry houses have become a staple of highstreets up and down the country and millions of Madras, Jalfrezi, Bhuna, Balti and other unspecified curries are consumed every week! But Britain’s much-loved curry industry is facing an existential crisis.
Up to 17,000 Indian restaurants could be facing closure over the next 8 years: a prediction that if proved correct, would deal a major blow to the nation’s already dwindling £4 billion curry industry. With reasons for this decline cited as: Britain’s transition to healthier eating, combined with the industry’s failure to embrace new marketing opportunities, such as social media platforms. Not forgetting the added burden of Brexit.
But fret not. We’re here to here to put your mind at ease and rekindle this love affair via The Great Curry Revival – where we asked some of our favourite home cooks to meet the chefs and recreate these lamb classics at home for National Curry Week. But in the meantime, here’s just a few of the many health benefits of curry and other reasons why you should be paying a visit to your local curry house right now!
Spice, Rice & All Things Nice
A trip to your local curry house doesn’t mean you have to leave with a belly the size of Delhi. Indian cuisine ranks among the healthiest in the world, with its abundant herbs and spices almost like an edible pharmacy.
Chilli, for one, is a nutritional powerhouse – packed full of vitamin c and capsaicin, which can help reduce blood pressure and causes an increase in the release of endorphins! Buzzing. Combined with the anti-inflammatory, brain plaque fighting and digestion-inducing qualities of turmeric. Or the many health benefits that are crammed into garlic, which has been found to promote the production of protective enzymes in the stomach and help lower cholesterol.
Not forgetting lamb, of course, which is a high-quality source of protein, providing all nine essential amino acids your body needs for growth and maintenance. Bolstered further still by vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, Selenium, Zinc, Niacin, Phosphorus and Iron. Here’s a few of our favourite lamb curry recipes from National Curry Week, as some of the UK’s best-loved home cooks set off in search of award-winning curry houses up and down the country.
Birmingham: Slummy Single Mummy
First stop on The Great Curry Revival was Birmingham, courtesy of Slummy Single Mummy by Jo Middleton. Home to the Balti Triangle, the city has a longstanding love affair with spice. But few curry houses can rival the award-winning Asha’s! Here’s what happened when Jo went behind the scenes to see how Head Chef, Sunil Kumar, creates his trademark Lamb Rogan Josh – and her attempt to recreate this classic curry at home. Spoiler alert: Sunil is a dab hand in the kitchen. But nice try, Jo.
Bradford: Hungry, Healthy, Happy by Dannii Martin
Next up was the Curry Capital of Britain: Bradford – where Hungry, Healthy, Happy by Dannii Martin was invited to enjoy a lamb-inspired Indian feast for The Great Curry Revival. Dannii’s family night in one of the city’s best-loved curry houses saw the Martin’s swapping their usual chicken and beef for lamb, which didn’t disappoint! Here’s their first encounter with a Lamb Keema and their efforts to recreate this quick, easy and delicious classic.
Brighton: Greedy Gourmet
Sizzling Lamb Karahi was the dish of choice for Greedy Gourmet by Michelle Minnaar, as she set off in search of spice in the brilliant Bayleaf Indian Brasserie of Brighton. On her visit to one of the south coast’s finest curry houses, Michelle had the chance the meet Muki Rahman, who was on hand to share his love of lamb and tips on how to cook the perfect curry! See how Greedy Gourmet got on in her attempt to recreate this rich and spicy staple of Northern India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Shetland: Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Ever wondered what Indian restaurant chefs cook for themselves at home? Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary by Elizabeth Atia paid a visit to Shirazul Islam from the Bengal Spice takeaway in Lerwick, Shetland, to find out! Take a look at Shirazul’s family recipe for the perfect Lamb and Spinach Karahi and how you, like Elizabeth, can at least attempt to try and make this creamy, melt-in-your-mouth classic. Delicious.
So, there you have it: curry is amazing and is still the UK’s favourite food! Join us in rekindling this love affair by booking a table at your local curry house tonight. Or join the conversation and see how other people celebrated #NationalCurryWeek and #GreatCurryRevival on Facebook and Instagram.