Friday 7/10/2005


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Diary and Notes

Curryday and British week all in one - there's only one answer really - Balti!

What could be more traditionally British? You can stick you CTM up your nose for all I care (plus I've already had this on my blog). When it comes to a traidtional British curry it has to be a balti.

Now please don't think I am denigrating the people of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh who were the antecedents of the balti, but wherever the ancestors of the people who invented it came from doesn't really matter, this is a true Brummy invention and is perhaps Britain's greatest contribution to world cuisine.

If you think it isn't British then spaghetti is probably Persian, hamburgers are definitely German, teryaki is Portugese, curries are also Persian, haggis is probaly English and everything is very confusing to say the least. The people who invented the balti were brummies (of Pakistani descent no doubt) but still brummies and should be awarded the credit they deserve.

There's also much dispute as to where and when the balti was invented. Even the OED is confused and has sent out an appeal for information. If anyone reading this has any written evidence of the balti pre-1984 they should contact the OED and help fill in the gaps in our culinary history. (See Origins of Words Appeal)

A woman I once knew from Telford claimed that the balti was actually invented there and Telford's most famous restaurant (Telford's most famous anything), Mister Dave's Balti Restaurant, was still making this claim the last time I was there.

So we don't really know the whoever, whenever and wherever this great dish was invented but it doesn't really matter, it really is one of the greats of world cuisine. It should properly be served with a giant elephant or family naan but you can't get giant naan breads in Manchester so I opted for ordering two. I also had a lamb kebab for a starter with a very odd name which was really not much different from lamb tikka with a lot of onion.

Very nice dinner indeed - £10.50 with free delivery.

Jalal Tandoori (and balti specialists - according to their leaflet)
242 Fog Lane
M20 6EL

Cake Blog

Parkin: Made by Park Cakes Bakeries, Lancashire. Described on the wrapper as North Country Oatmeal Treacle Cake - in case you were wondering. A bit heavy and chewy for me, but if you were hungry and walking in The Lakes I'm sure it would be just the ticket.


  • Butty Kebab, Salad and Mint Yoghurt

  • Special Mix Balti (Chicken, Lamb, Mushrooms, Peppers and Tomatoes)
  • Aloo Saag
  • Naan Bread (2)