Vindaloo Vic

Definitive Reviews of London’s Indian Restaurants

The word “curry” is derived from the Tamil word “karii”, meaning “sauce”.

Pop star Beyonce loves curry so much that she once had a Chicken Tikka Masala flown from Surrey to New York at a cost of around $4,000.

Britain’s most popular curry, Chicken Tikka Masala (CTM) was invented in Birmingham in the 1980s. The spice manufacturer Patak’s now exports it to India.

The first British recipe for “currey” appeared in “The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published in 1747.

The first appearance of a curry on a British menu occurred at the Coffee House in London’s Haymarket in 1773.

The first Indian restaurant in Britain, the Hindostanee Coffee House, opened in London’s Portman Square in 1809. It went bankrupt.

The substance in chillies that gives curries their heat is called capsaican, found at the point where the seeds are attached to the white membrane inside the pepper.

The hotness of chilli peppers can be measured on the Scoville scale, devised in 1912 by American chemist William Scoville.

The hottest pepper in the world is the Naga Jolokia, rated at 855,000 on the Scoville scale (see above).

Most “Indian” restaurants in Britain (about 65%) are run by people of Bengali origin from Bangladesh.

Vindaloo is a dish that was originally developed by the Portuguese when they colonised Goa in the 16th century.

In a 2009 survey for Cobra beer, 18% of people in Britain rated curry as their favourite meal, and 40% eat it at least once a week. About 5% of Brits eat curry at least four times a week.

The Indian food business in Britain is worth a total of £2.8 billion a year.

The world’s largest curry, cooked at the Eastern Eye restaurant in Lichfield on 17 July 2000, weighed 3,106 kg and fed 7,500 people.

There are over 7,000 different varieties of rice worldwide.

UK curry lovers eat a total of around 5 million popadoms a week.

The average portion of CTM contains 870 calories.

There are more Indian restaurants in London than in Mumbai and New Delhi combined.

The oldest Indian restaurant in Britain is Veeraswamy in London’s Regent Street. It opened as Veeraswamy’s Indian Restaurant in 1927, and has gone through several changes of ownership and decor since. It was also the first place in the UK to have a tandoor oven (in 1959).