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Curry flies 11000 miles, sets world record

Newcastle's Rupali restaurant delivered a vegetable curry to a British hiker in Australia, making it the world's longest delivery.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2003 21:34 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt

The tales of celebrities ordering Indian curry and meals to be flown to them thousands of miles away by their favourite Indian restaurants in Britain are in a surfeit.

Such immense popularity of the Indian cuisine is the reason for the Indian food industry's annual turnover of nearly £4 billion now and some of the manufacturers having been honoured with knighthood and OBEs. They deserved it if their cuisine made Tom Cruise while shooting in Italy order dishes from Bombay Brasserie in London to fly them out to him.

The latest order, however, has broken the record for the distance to which the ordered dishes had to be flown. It has led to its entry into the 2004 Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest delivery.

A British hiker Rachel Kerr was in Australia two years ago when the yen for a curry made her telephone her favourite restaurant Rupali in Newcastle, over 11000 miles away. So far calls have been made from New York, Switzerland and Italy.

Another record of sorts was established by Kerr's order. So far orders from far and away were mainly for the "national dish", CTM (Chicken Tikka Masala curry) and biryani, but Kerr was missing a vegetable curry. It was possibly for the first time that a vegetarian dish was ordered from one thousands of miles from her favourite eating joint.

The story goes that Kerr, 24, was taking a year out for hiking around the world with friends. After six months she reached Sydney. Her desire for the curry made her go to an internet café from where she placed the order with Rupali, her favourite restaurant in Newcastle, her home city.

The order placed through 'Mad About Curry' website led to the restaurant arrange the long distance delivery of the frozen dish. One presumes Kerr enjoyed the curry that covered over 11000 miles passing over several countries on way to her.

The Rupali owner Abdul Latif, Lord of the manor of Harpole, who came to Britain from Bangladesh in 1969 and opened the restaurant in 1997, told Hindustan Times that the British Airways waived £180, the cost of transportation. He, in turn, did not charge Kerr.

Latif revealed that the veg curry liked by Kerr and others is a mixture of brinjal, beans and cauliflower. He also created the Curry Hell which is the hottest curry in the world. The ones who can finish a full plate of it are not charged by Latif, and others who cannot have to cough out £6.95. He is also available for promoting products from India under the sales banner Rent A Lord.

First Published: Dec 25, 2003 21:33 IST