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English, August: Chef to curry favour with desis

world Updated: Jul 06, 2013 23:31 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar
Dipankar De Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Forget the fighter aircraft deal and intermittent rows over visas. The British are now testing India’s patience with a threatened incursion into that most beloved of its treasures – curry.

Come August and cheeky British chefs will be in Kolkata over 10 days to give Indians a taste of their own, well, curry.

And it’s not just the famous Chicken Tikka Masala – Britain’s adopted national dish – that Indians will be offered.

The Taste of Britain Curry Festival will bring as many as 70 different types of curries, Shepherd’s Manpasand Pie and Bengal Lancers shrimp curry. There is even a version of the Sunday Roast and Yorkshire Puddings.

“It might sound a little odd taking curry to its birthplace but the festival has had an enthusiastic reception in the past from countries as far afield as America, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, UAE and Eastern Europe,” said Michelin chief Dominic Chapman, who was inspired to take the curry project to India by Cobra beer founder Karan Bilimoria.

Appropriately, the audacious project has the blessings of Prime Minister David Cameron, who boasted that curry “has become part of the British way of life.”

In an interview to HT during his visit to India this year, he admitted to liking “a pretty hot curry,” and said he was “very proud that we’ve got some curries here in Britain that we’re exporting back to India.”