What Is England’S Most Popular Dish??? - TheBritishBaker Blog at Allrecipes.com - 169612


What is England’s most popular dish??? 
Apr. 13, 2010 6:03 pm 
Updated: Jun. 6, 2010 5:33 am

If I was to ask you the question what is the most popular food in England? You would more than likely answer Fish and Chips, Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding or even Sausage and Mash.  I am afraid to tell you that you would be wrong, oh yes, wrong!  The answer is actually Indian food. 

Indian food has now been favored by the British for quite some time with Chicken Tikka Masala believed to be one of the most favorite National Dishes, so much so that the British army recently replaced its customary steak and kidney pie lunch with the dish.

It is claimed that there is now in excess of 10,000 Indian restaurants up and down the country, some of which have been recognized by the Michelin Guide, which is an inventory of outstanding European restaurants.  The Indian food Industry is valued at a whopping £3.2 billion in Britain alone, almost ¾ of all dining out in the country.  The curry house has replaced the fish and chip shop in many of Britain’s towns and cities.  Samosa's. Tandoori’s and Biryanis are now sold at every Sainsbury’s or Marks and Spencer’s stores.  British airways and Virgin Atlantic even serve fragrant curries on their flights.

Indian restaurants have had an upgrade in latter years with designer inspired interiors and smooth service. For years Indian food was known as a quick cheap meal after a night out of socializing with friends, but this is not the case any longer.  Indian restaurants are now one of the chic places to be seen.

The minute the plane touches down in England, for my family and I the countdown begins.  How many Indian restaurants can we dine at during this visit home, will we ever tire of Indian food, no I can honestly say I don’t think we ever will.

It was only since moving to the States that I have started to cook Indian food at home, I just love the aroma of all the fragrant spices blending together.  I guess for many years I just shied away from making curries, often believing that my talents were not up to the challenge, but I am so pleased to say that with patience and practice I am getting there.  I have found so many delicious recipes on this site and of course there is many more to try, one of the reasons why Friday’s are now Indian nights.

Naan Bread, Wrapped for a hostess gift.
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Indian Style Sheekh Kabab
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Alicia's Aloo Gobi
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Indian Chicken Curry (Murgh Kari)
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Jeera Fried Rice
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Beef and Spinach Curry
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Chicken Jalfrezi
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Apr. 13, 2010 6:12 pm
I'd like to eat your blog :) It is surprising that of all dishes, curry would be at the top in England!
Apr. 13, 2010 6:14 pm
It really is huge over there now. Changed so much from when I was a teenager. Back then it was good old fish and chips smothered in salt and vinegar.
Apr. 13, 2010 6:17 pm
As it so happens, I'm making curried chicken for dinner tonight. I love curry!
Apr. 13, 2010 6:19 pm
So no, Cactus Rose it was not Roast Beef and yorkshire pudding like you thought, but that is such an enjoyable meal too.
Apr. 13, 2010 6:22 pm
I've never had Yorkshire pudding, I keep forgetting to try it out.
Apr. 13, 2010 6:24 pm
I love Indian food! Are those recipes from AR? They look delicious!
Apr. 13, 2010 6:25 pm
Apple Strudel, my father was British (came from Devon). I was taught that Yorkshire pudding is made in a pan, and popovers are made in muffin tins. Am I correct?
Apr. 13, 2010 6:31 pm
CACTUS ROSE, I have never tried pop overs so not sure what the difference is, but Yorkshires can me made in muffins tins too. That all depends on personal preference as to whether you prefer individual or one large. They do also sell Yorkshire pudding pans which have the four holes. There is an excellent recipe on here for sky high yorkshire puddings if you wanted to give them a try. NURSE ELLEN - Yes all those recipes are off this site, certainly all worth a try.
Apr. 13, 2010 7:22 pm
Beautiful photos, I can almost smell them! I love Indian food, in fact the first time I ever tried it was on a trip to London in the mid 80"s...knocked my socks off! I think at the time there was only one Indian restaurant in the DC area. Not so anymore! I've tried one or two dishes from AR and they were delicious, but alas, the 'others' aren't crazy about it.
Apr. 13, 2010 7:27 pm
Thank you for your comments Wyattdogster, good to see you back. Did you guess correctly? At first my son's were not too keen on Indian food. Now I can't stop them from eating it.
Apr. 13, 2010 8:20 pm
Thanks! I guessed incorrectly, I figured fish and chips! But the Indian makes perfect sense. My family enjoys the samosas but not much else, though they eat anything I put in front of them! What was your favorite of the recipes you tried? That Chicken Jalfezi looks great!
Apr. 13, 2010 8:53 pm
I guessed right! I actually thought, "chicken tikka masala"...Indian take-away is everywhere! I was also amazed at the range of frozen foods available in England...stuff that seems really exotic to us in the US. Of course, I heard a 20 something woman in the tube complaining that she couldn't cook...she put a frozen meal in the oven but forgot to take it out of the package first!
Apr. 13, 2010 9:11 pm
i knew a guy that curry was the fave in england...whoa for me...england that what i learned has seemingly bland tastes...tho their fish and chips r the BEST
Apr. 14, 2010 5:07 am
Jeri L. - Thats is just too funny, its crazy the amount of people who think throwing a frozen meal in the oven/microwave is cooking... Congratulations on guessing right. SMITTY - Its funny how we travel to different countries and find the food bland, its the same when all my family comes to visit me her in the USA. I guess its just simply what you are used to. For me I was so shocked at first just how salty all the food tasted here, I don't seem to notice that anymore so I guess I must have gotten used to it.
Apr. 14, 2010 5:28 am
Hi Apple.Strudel, our friends in Manchester have Indian dishes for their Sunday dinner at their Mums house!!! I am forbidden to make Indian food due to the fact I made chicken curry with sweet potatoes and rice with naan bread. The meal was really good but we couldn't get the smell out of the house!!! I went as far as washing all of the coats that were in the downstairs coat closet! But I love all of the flavors !! Hubby is going to Manchester to visit without me at the end of June: ( Can't wait to see your next blog all of your food is always beautiful !!! YUM!!
Apr. 14, 2010 5:58 am
Before moving to Ireland I lived many years in england and enjoyed indian take-aways. Now living in Ireland I cook a lot of indian food as my family love it! Thanks for the inspiring photos!
Apr. 14, 2010 6:21 am
It's too bad that the old standbys aren't popular anymore! I think that trying dishes from other countries is good, but not at the price of displacing old favorites! Ah! Well! Who am I to stand in the way of progress?
Apr. 14, 2010 6:35 am
DRAGONFLY22 - Thank you so much for your kind words, your story is so funny. The smell I guess does travel all the way through the house, not sure what our neighbors must think! Hi LOVE TO COOK, I have never yet visited Ireland, hope I get the chance one day Are Indian restaurants as popular over there as in England? I know just what you mean SUEB - the old dishes are still popular and you always find them on the menus in the old country pubs, but then they are also offering plenty of curry dishes too. I guess its a matter of catering for the demand.
Apr. 14, 2010 7:12 am
I guess wrong! Pictures are lovely!
Apr. 14, 2010 7:23 am
Who'da thunk it? Indian food, huh. Well, now I know where I'll be eating on Friday nights! Haven't had much Indian cuisine but what I have tried I have loved.
Apr. 14, 2010 7:35 am
You made a believer out of me. I'll try them!
Apr. 14, 2010 9:32 am
I LOVE Indian food! Talk Indian food with me anytime! AR has recently published a whole bunch from SUSMITA. You can find her profile & thus recipes by looking at my "Cooks I Like" - which is in no way reflective of the many, many cooks/people I like! (That would be ridiculously long list.) Have taught myself over the years, with lots of recipes from my fave site: www.vahrehvah.com
Apr. 14, 2010 9:41 am
apple.strudel: In parts of ireland(cities) there are lots of indian restaurants, but in the celtic tiger years they became very popular even in smaller towns!!! (but not very cheap)
Apr. 14, 2010 12:07 pm
SWCHEF - Thank you so much for your comments about my pictures. 1GDCOWGRL - You are welcome here for dinner any friday you like!!! KATHY you really must give the recipes a try, there really are some fabulous Indian recipes on this site. Hello again RHIANNA I will have a look for that cooks profile and also check out the website you suggested, I have a few favorites that I keep cooking, but love to experiment with new recipes. Hi KIM you are so right I think that was how a lot of Indian food started to filter into England, its a shame you can no longer enjoy it. LOVE TO COOK, Indian food can be pretty expensive, I find when cooking at home at first to buy the ingredients for the first time can be costly but once you have them in the pantry its a pretty reasonable meal to make.
Apr. 14, 2010 9:53 pm
I watch lots of BBC America, so I guessed curry. It's one of those foods that they tell you to watch out for on "You are what you eat." I haven't developed a taste for Indian food because I haven't really been exposed to it. I thought I wanted to try curry until the show explained that it was high in fat, etc. But then again, I believe most of her diets are vegan, and I'm sure every curry is different. I'm surprised that there aren't many Indian restaurants in the US.
Apr. 15, 2010 7:11 am
Yum, the first time I tried curry is when I lived in England. I love it! I love chicken curry spicy hot! But, replacing the steak and kidney pie? That's asking for trouble from the troops, no?
Apr. 15, 2010 7:54 am
Welcome back COOKINARGENTINA - I was also surprised to hear about that, but I guess it must be working, pretty sure the troops would let them know if it was not what they wanted to eat. DAISEYLAND - I am sure there are recipes that are high in fat, but there are also many recipes which are not, like everything its a matter of moderation!
Apr. 15, 2010 8:04 am
Love your blog, the only thing is, that the writing is somewhat hard to read. Maybe a little more spaced out??? I think others would agree w/ me :)
Apr. 15, 2010 8:08 am
Well you all know I am English, and I can confirm that Indian is very very popular. There are so many Indian recipe books and restaurants over there. Sonya has published a couple of recipes, and is working on "Royal Mulligatawny" as we speak - she expects to post it this week. I was an absolute Indian fan, but like many others am now tending to Thai; somehow the thicker, heavier Indian sauces have seemd to pale in my palate, compared to the Thai flavours. Either way, though, they are both very good. And thanks to a.s for spreading the news.
Apr. 15, 2010 8:08 am
I know, I am so sorry N_H I will make sure I don't use that font again in the future. It was my own fault as I published without looking through it first, it looked good in Word, but then just changed when it was copied into AR. Oh well, another lesson I have learned!
Apr. 15, 2010 8:10 am
As regards the font sizes, I have diswcovered that Ar's blogger is limited, and you can't just use any font size you like....I try to use 12, 14 or 16 to get the better results! AR seems to chop off larger ones
Apr. 15, 2010 8:16 am
Thank you for your help SWISS PHIL, Next time I guess I will try and keep it simple! I have not yet tried any thai food (not that I am aware of anyway) is there a dish you recommend I start with, my family loves flavor and the spicier the better! TIA
Apr. 15, 2010 12:51 pm
I just sent a couple of shouts out to you in the RE!!!!
Apr. 15, 2010 4:48 pm
very interesting to know,A.S!
Apr. 15, 2010 9:59 pm
Having just read your blog, I will say that I'm not at all surprised! My aunt Flo lived in the "row house" that housed mum's family, including 6 kids in a two bedroom. Mom remembers WW2, and the bombings. When I lived there in the late '60s, and stayed with Flo on occasion, the entire area of Aston, in Birminham was infused with the smells of Indian cooking! Ducking down the "corridor" under/between houses, to get to Flo in the rear courtyard, I have to say that curry was probably the only smell I detected, being a child "yankee" displaced at an early age. Thanks for the reminder... Stevie
Apr. 16, 2010 11:00 am
I would have said fish & chips. I love indian food but have never tried to make it at home yet. Im a fan of your pics everything you make looks so good:)
Apr. 16, 2010 12:28 pm
Thank you SILLASMILES, I appreciate your comments about my pictures, I must admit I thought Fish and Chips would still have been a firm favorite. Hello again STEVIE, There is quite a museum now in Birmingham which has preserved some of those Row houses, I have never been but I have heard they are very authentic, they have been staged inside to look just how they did years back.
Apr. 17, 2010 4:16 am
I love Indian food and prepare it at home. So delicious. Naan and Chicken Jalfrezi are very delicious. I have heard that you can find plenty of Indian, Chinese, Italian etc. restaurants in England (especially in London), but not English food restaurants. And I want to say, I will be glad to visit England someday.
Apr. 17, 2010 8:25 am
Hi DG. It really all depends about where you are in England to what sort of restaurants you will find. I lived in Bakewell, Derbyshire before I moved here and its a tourist area in the peak District national park. There was a huge selection of restaurants (lots of restaurants in town but only 1 small grocery store!!) Italian, Indian, Chinese, Tapas, English Pubs and more traditional tea rooms that you could ever want.
Apr. 17, 2010 10:22 am
I love your pictures and blogs! I have a very good Indian friend who I've been lucky enough to have cook for me. Your food looks just as delicious as hers!
Apr. 17, 2010 5:08 pm
Oh, YUM! Those dishes look great! I'd love to experiment some more with Indian food, I enjoyed the one dinner I had...thanks!!
Apr. 18, 2010 2:55 am
This blog is so, so true! I moved from the states to London about 6 months ago, and while I made a point of having fish & chips, bangers & mash, etc. whenever we go out with local friends, it is usually for Indian food. It's just so much more flavorful and versatile, I think. "Native" British food seems to just be potatoes, cabbage, and pork or tough beef, in Brown Sauce. Our favorite is one pub has Thursday curry night - your choice of curry, basmati rice, naan bread, and a pint for £5!
Apr. 18, 2010 11:08 am
Hi Griffin10, thank you for your comments, the pub you are talking about is not whetherspoons is it?? Thank you WW, you really will have to experiment more, there seem to be so many excellent Indian recipes out there. ildefonso - Thank you so much for your comments about my pictures, really appreciate that.
Apr. 18, 2010 4:03 pm
My guess was chicken tikka masala. I went to Scotland 3 years ago and it was on the menu everywhere. When I finally had the nerve to try it, I ordered it every chance I could afterwards. I also love Sticky Toffee Pudding which I discovered on that trip.
Apr. 19, 2010 6:35 am
I loved reading the stories of your family. Thank you so much for sharing those, along with the pictures of your favorite dishes. They look amazing!!! I haven't checked yet, but did you post any of those recipes??? Yummy....
Apr. 19, 2010 12:16 pm
Great pictures of Indian food except for the Chicken Curry dish. When taking a photo of a dish with so many small pieces of different ingredients, I would suggest that you include the serving bowl to accent it.
Apr. 19, 2010 12:23 pm
I need instruction on how to make perfect jasmine rice. I can never get it right! Can you tell me how? What specific brand and style of rice should I buy? What is the best cooking utensil to use? Any specific brand of cooking pots that you prefer???
Apr. 19, 2010 3:57 pm
Daniel - Thank you for your comments Daniel, I don't have much time to play around with taking savory photos as my family is waiting to eat and always gets frustrated when having to wait for me to take photos before they can dine. You are right about including the colour of the dish and more than often I do, but in this case it was white and bounced the flash back and I did not have another photo to use. So had to crop that out, thank you for your advice. Can't help with the perfect Jasmine rice, as I don't use that at all.
Apr. 19, 2010 3:59 pm
Hi KAREBARE - all the recipes that I have used are from AR, there are so many excellent recipes on here to choose from its easy it get spoilt for choice. SIMPLYDI - Like you I adore sticky toffee pudding I have not made it for a few months, so I guess its about time that I did.
Apr. 19, 2010 4:10 pm
A lady I work with has a daughter who is dating a young man from India. She raves about the food she's had with his family. My sister works with many folks from India, and also raves about the food. I personally have not tried any myself, but it looks intriguing. You have inspired me to try some. Thanks!
Apr. 20, 2010 3:44 am
Indian markets are so much fun for the senses. I recommend buying something you've never heard of. You may strike out, but you may find some new favorites! Cardamom tea is one of my discoveries. Mmmmmm very warming on a chilly night with some milk and a dash of allspice!
Apr. 20, 2010 4:41 am
Cardamom is AMAZING! A few broken pods can give basmati a nice touch, too. I just moved from L.A. to Wales and if I can chime in, one of the great things about the Indian places is that they're happy to be open much later than other restaurants. Also, I've never seen shepherd's pie on a menu in the U.K.
Apr. 20, 2010 4:44 am
Hi apple.strudel, I am from India. I am so glad that indian food is liked by so many people. If you all feel like trying some vegetarian recipes, tarladalal.com is great. Another site is sanjeevkapoor.com. Really like reading your blog.
Apr. 20, 2010 5:50 am
Thank you KHUSHI I am going to take a look at those sites now. JUALIE we have some wonderful Indian Grocery stores around me, there really is so much variety plus a good range of the British brands that I miss from home. AlemaunThyn - so Surprised that you have not seen shepherds pie on the menu, it can often be referred to as cottage pie. Like you I just love Cardamom, especially in sweet breads. Yum!
Apr. 20, 2010 6:45 am
My understanding is that shepherd's pie is made of lamb, and cottage pie is made of beef. The night I got engaged we went to every single restaurant in town (I was craving it), and no one served it. My fiance said it was probably because the British are usually happy to make it at home, so we went to the market and celebrated with a home made one!
Apr. 20, 2010 10:45 am
Yes that is pretty much correct, but over time it seems that the paths have crossed somewhat. I know so many people who only use Beef and still call it Shepherds pie!
Apr. 20, 2010 7:09 pm
When I was in England in 1986 I fell in love with their curry and again in 2003! Here in Texas we love tex-mex but in England its Indian food! Yum
Jun. 6, 2010 5:33 am
I happened to come across this article: I recently came to Scotland from Canada and being a student, gets takeaway a few times. I'd never thought to try Indian food but here it's on every menu. I dared and now I love it. Especially chicken pakora!
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A little about me, I am a wife and Mum of two gorgeous boys aged 18 and 23, and now mummy to two adorable English Cocker Spaniel puppies named Brie and Henri. We have been living in the US now for 5 years. (You will also see me on allrecipes.co.uk - AR's UK site). I guess like most other European’s I don’t eat to live, but live to eat!!! One of my great passions in life is food. Good home cooked, fresh produce. Especially if it is sourced locally. I truly believe that it is so important at the end of the day for a family to sit down and eat a home cooked dinner together. I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen now, which always amuses my husband. A few years back we had a small public house and restaurant in the Derbyshire Countryside (England). Never once would I venture in the kitchen. With all those professionals there was certainly no need for an amateur! Should you wish you can contact me at thebritishbaker@mail.com
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More than anything I adore baking. Cakes, Cookies (or biscuits as they are known to me) and my latest love is baking bread.
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Some of my earlier memories are sitting at my Grandma’s kitchen table in England, watching her bake. She insisted on having to bake a fresh cake everyday. My Grandad was a big cake fan, and a cake always had to be kept in the pantry just in case a visitor should call. Not that you could move in the pantry for more sugar, flour and butter then any village store. (Just in case food rationing ever came back). Unfortunately my Grandma has recently passed away, but her passion for baking will always live on through me and I hope that in time my baking skill will do her justice.
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Anything that actually turns out how it is supposed too!!!
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Oh my goodness where do I start, like everyone I have had the usual tragedies, sponge cakes that have sunk in the middle, over cooked pie crusts, bread that has just failed to rise but I can thankfully say with a little patience and practice I am finaly getting better!!!
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