What a curry on!

The Telegraph Curry PhotoThe Daily Telegraph published an article, just a couple of days ago, about the state of our curry houses. The Chairman of the Asian Catering Federation, Yavar Khan, was intimating that in the next ten years one in two curry houses were likely to close. Most are Bangladeshi owned and the Chairman of the ACF intimated that the restaurant community were both insular and complacent.

So where does the Balti Triangle stand on the issue?

Well, firstly, the shortage of Asian chefs is a real disincentive to open new restaurants and also is a negative for existing ones. Maybe, one of the few good things to come out of Brexit might free up movement from the Indian sub continent. Luckily, most balti houses are family affairs because most young aspiring chefs don’t see fast cooking a traditional balti with traditional ingredients, over a high flame, or risking wrist burns in the tandoor as an exciting or creative culinary career.

The other issue is that these Pakistani restaurants (not unlike those that are Bangladeshi owned) think that sticking to tried and tested ingredients is the safest business proposition. This is particularly frustrating in the case of Balti which is a method of cooking rather than exact ingredients. How about a Duck Balti with Mango or Balti Lamb and Date or Balti Paneer with Fig? The list could be endless and maybe such developments might be Balti’s eventual saviour although a properly cooked Balti with that unique caramelised flavour will hopefully survive the impending curry doomsday forecast by Mr Khan.

ANDY MUNRO

2 Responses to What a curry on!

  1. Phil Baxter 14th July 2017 at 10:18 am #

    Hi , I found this page by chance but have enjoyed reading your posts. You are right about a lot of the younger generation not being so keen to be chefs. I was recently in a restauraunt in Coventry where i was offered a job as a Chef . Not bad for a 65 year old white male who has been eating curries for the most part of 60 years now. My wife and i are curryholics i suppose as i dont really remember the last time i ate English type meals. Although bought up in Coventry i used to go out with a girl who lived in Shirley Bham.I used to travel over on the train and get off at New St and meet her at Moor St station.Back in 1969 or 1970 was a lot different to today, The only Indian restaurant i could find was on the Bristol road i think and we used to walk there for a curry. I live in Derby now and only just having more free time as had demanding job but hope to start travelling into Birmingham again perhaps once a fortnight to try different Curry Houses. Phil Baxter

    • andy munro 16th July 2017 at 10:55 am #

      Phil
      Thanks for your response…brought back a few memories of curries on the Bristol Road (or occasionally Manzils,Digbeth)after a night out at Rebeccas or La Dolce Vita.
      Hope you get to make it back now and again and,if you do……

      BALTI; Shabab or Al Frash
      POSH; Lasan and Itihaus (Jewellery Quarter)
      TRAD; Rajdoot, Manzil, Dilshad,( Selly Oak) or of course, there’s one or two left on the Bristol Road!
      regards
      Andy

Leave a Reply