Salute to Saleems

It is with collective sadness that balti aficionados note the closure of Saleem’s. Known for it’s balti at the hotter end of the spectrum, fiery dips and some mean kebabs, this baltihouse was well loved. Its signature framed picture of their family’s Pakistani wrestling ‘tag team’ will also live long in the memory. With its […]

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Madhur or just mad

The Daily Mail, reporting on the Cheltenham Literature Festival (surprise surprise!), quoted Madhur Jaffray as saying, ‘balti is a craze that will die out as diners move on to more authentic Indian cuisine’ …. she dismissed balti, thought to have been invented in a Birmingham curry house in 1977 as ‘having origins in no place […]

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Return of the lunchtime Balti

Years ago, in the halycon early days of Balti, a lunchtime visit to a Baltihouse was a customary break from the stresses of the working week. However, as the recession bit, the Balti Triangle was generally ‘closed’ on a weekday lunchtime. Things now seem to be changing back to the ‘good ole days’ with Shabab […]

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California dreaming Balti style

In San Francisco, there’s a fabulous food purveyor called Trader Joe’s which rivals Waitrose in its eclectic selection of quality and seasonal foods. However this month, Trader Joe has let himself down by trying to bring the Balti to the West Coast of the USA in the shape of the ubiquitous ‘Balti Pie’. To paraphrase […]

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Planning for what

I visited one of the Balti Triangle’s pioneer restaurants recently and they were depressingly downbeat due to the continued saturation of eateries in the area … particularly fast food joints. Last time I spoke to BCC Planning Dept, they said that they were clamping down on permissions on hot food outlets across the City … […]

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Return of the flock?

One of the Balti Triangle’s most popular restaurants, co-incidentally called The Popular, has undergone a makeover. This cosy restaurant has made an excellent job of the décor but, on my last visit, I’m sure that I spied a 21st Century version of flock wallpaper. What next? Black Forest Barfi?

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EU latest

The bid to secure ‘Traditional Status Guaranteed’ EU status rumbles on with the documentary evidence of the minimum 30 year origin rule now satisfied courtesy of the ‘Balsall Heathan’ magazine. Next up is another visit from DEFRA … a genuinely helpful bunch but not helped by the pernickety Eurocrats. Apparently, a number of previous attempts […]

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Curry too hot for Brum

Yet again, it appears that the local authority and partners have gone cool on the National Capital of Curry competition, due to be held in the Autumn. Proposals sent to the local authority, local paper, and the College of Cakes have met with that ultimate weapon of public servants … ‘silence’!

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Discovering Balti

I was at Shabab recently for a visit of the ‘Discovery Channel’ programme makers who were filming a programme about curries and wanted to cover Birmingham’s famous Balti. The presenter was well known Iranian comedian Omid Djalili. I’m pleased to say that he massively (and genuinely) enjoyed his Balti Chicken and Mushroom Vindaloo. We also […]

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