Everyone loves a Chicken Tikka Masala, but frankly it can get a bit samey, can’t it? Well there’s no need for that jaded palate to suffer any longer as these days Indian food in the UK is extremely varied and offers a great many exciting options.
The thing about curry houses in the UK is that for a long time they were catering for a market that wasn’t too sure of itself. Back in the ‘70s a lot of relatively plain Indian dishes were considered terribly exotic or unpalatably spicy. Talented chefs had to adapt recipes to suit the tastes of their diners and ensure that they were appealing to the customers and not putting them off.
Over the years though that has all changed. The curry house has become as familiar a sight on the high street as the fish and chip shop. The dishes have become household names and even the most unadventurous individual will gladly tuck into a Lamb Rogan Josh with its comforting tomato-based sauce and its mild chilli kick.
What all this means is that there is now room for experimentation. Indian restaurants don’t need to hold back, they can try new things and develop new dishes and they know that there will always be a market of willing diners to sample their creations.
It also means that there is more specialisation. Instead of just the generic curry house, you have fine dining Indian restaurants with beautifully laid tables and lovely wine menus; you have vegetarian Indian restaurants and you even have regional specialists that will cover specifically say, Northern Indian cuisine.
In London of course you’ll find an absolute wealth of options and you can even sample it all from the comfort of home with companies like Deliveroo. Their food blog always catches the latest foodie trends and they’ve got a great round-up of exciting Indian restaurants in London at the moment.
A perfect example of what London has to offer in the way of unusual Indian restaurants is Dishoom. It’s really a modern version of a classic Bombay café and is very popular for brunches. The Bombay Omelette and the Egg Naan Roll are staples of the menu and their All Day selection includes such irresistible dishes as Dishoom Calamari and Prawn Koliwada.
It’s not just in London that you’ll find such delights though. Moksh in Cardiff for instance, offers some very intriguing dishes. There’s their Dragon’s Breath, which is a soup with curried lamb and a leek meringue, and then there are main courses such as Shepherd’s Chai- a playful take on Shepherd’s Pie that uses coriander mashed potato, and Frankenstein – a curry of salmon tikka and beetroot that has to be tried to be believed!