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Tandoori dishes a huge hit in Britain

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 14:04 IST

Popular Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala and tandoori items have permanently changed the British diet, feels the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

According to the CRE, food and exotic cuisines from foreign countries have become so popular that they some of them are now being referred to as the national dishes of Britain.

On Wednesday, the CRE celebrated the 30th year of its existence by inviting 12 leading chefs to contribute recipes that originated abroad.

Antonio Carluccio, Gary Rhodes, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Antony Worrall Thompson, Aldo Zilli, Ainsley Harriott, and Ken Hom are among the contributors, The Independent reported.

The dishes prepared included Caribbean dish curried goat, Thai food with a prawn curry, a tuna dish, tandoori foie gras with celeriac, Stir-Fried Chicken With Black Bean Sauce and cinnamon duck drizzled in honey.

"The biggest change in British food has been that we are using a lot more ethnic ingredients than we were 20 years ago," said Michael Moore, one of the chefs participating in the event.

Alveena Malik, the commission's head of integration, said food was an excellent way of getting people to interact with each other because in many cultures it was the point at which people met.

Worrall Thompson said there were more than 100 different food cultures in the UK.

"It was a struggle to get an avocado 30 years ago, unless you were in London. Sweet potatoes? We just hadn't seen them. You had the Chinese and Indians at first and then the Thais after that," he added.

Chef Roopa Gulati said that in modern British cooking root ginger, tamarind and hot chillies were as likely to be used in an innovative roast as in a traditional Indian curry.