'Balti' food hardly Indian: Purists
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'Balti' food hardly Indian: Purists

However many agree such "food" has come to stay and "flourish" in Britain, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2006 18:44 IST
Vijay Dutt

Most Indian and Pakistanis and even some of the genuine Bangladeshi cuisine restaurants are increasingly getting worried at the mushrooming of takeaways and eateries calling themselves Balti restaurants.

In London alone they have come up in almost all neighbourhoods and in suburbs.

Both Manchester and Birmingham have curry miles where the Balti restaurants abound and have been prospering. But some Indian restaurants have been grumbling that many Balti restaurants claim to have Indian cuisine, which is not true.

Most of them serve food which are not of cooked according to either Indian or Pakistani recipes.

Well-known restaurants like Tamarind and Cinnamon Club and Rasoi have reportedly taken the lead to take curry out of the Balti house.

But it would be an uphill task. The manager of a well-known Indian restaurant in Mayfair told HT that the non-Asian customers have got used to the Balti recipes. "Some of them while eating at our place often say why is your food tasting different from the Balti places."

He believes that Balti "food" has come to stay and "flourish" in Britain. "But they are no threat to us, the genuine Indian or Pakistani places. More the English travel to India more they will tend to come to places like ours."

This means Britain will have varied versions of Indian food, even if it revolts the purist.

First Published: Mar 25, 2006 18:44 IST