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Masala craft

A new book, Times by the Thames — An India Cruise, presents a kaleidoscope of memories of Britain, which, among other things, presents an elaborate description of “curry-power”, the popular Indian curry.

books Updated: Oct 02, 2010 15:38 IST

The pungent smell of ‘masala’ wafting through a restaurant window, vapours from a piping hot gravy that make eyes tear, people elbowing each other for a seat: these aren’t the narrow alleys of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, but signs of the curry revolution that has hit Britain!

A new book, Times by the Thames — An India Cruise, presents a kaleidoscope of memories of Britain, which, among other things, presents an elaborate description of “curry-power”, the popular Indian curry.Authored by Vinay Dutt, a journalist who has worked in Britain for 15 years, the book looks at the popular Indian food items that are quite a rage in the western country.

“There are around 9,000 curry houses — some of them now institutions and favoured destinations for London businesses with a turnover of 4.6 billion pounds a year and employing 70,000 people!” estimates Dutt.Former Union Minister for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who launched the book in the Capital recently, commended the author while adding that Britain employs more people in Indian food than the entire coal mining, ship building and the iron and steel industries combined.

Dutt’s book doesn’t focus on gastronomy alone; it also covers various facets of life in contemporary England, its democracy, politics, influence of the media and multiculturalism.