India’s Influence on English Food

The History

The impact of Indian food in England came about largely due to the British occupation of India from 1858 to 1947. This was to have a big influence on the British diet since recipes of Indian food were brought back to Britain when the English withdrew from India. Even Queen Victoria ate food prepared by Indian chefs and took a liking to their cuisine, something that had not previously been present in England.

The Impact of Travels

Immigration of individuals from the Indian subcontinent continued to bring in their traditional dishes, and at some stage curry became a popular dish among the Brits. Over time, however, these meals were often altered and changed by the British and, even today, chicken tikka masala is considered a national dish. In fact, there are thousands of curry houses found all over the United Kingdom today. Another food item that became popular and was adapted to English tastes was chutney. You can find it in many parts of the world where Indian folk have immigrated. Curry, chutney and samosas go hand in hand with the eastern nation. One can even find samosas in the United States, where there are Indian restaurants that have largely been established by immigrants from the land. In the United Kingdom many Indians founded small cafes and restaurants in the 1940s, and soon began making their native dishes.

From Street Vendors to Fine Dining Restaurants

In the United Kingdom a person can almost always find “an Indian” or Indian-inspired food somewhere. You can choose to dine at an upscale eating establishment or restaurant, or even pick up something quick from a street vendor. The aforementioned samosas, pakoras and other foods quickly became popular and they have remained so. Restaurants tend to make Indian dishes that have been adapted to British tastes – the intensity of the curry and flavors are sometimes incredibly mild; but in other places they make more authentic cuisine. Indian finger food has also become something that many English people enjoy and may even at times prefer over traditional snacks.

Why Indian Food Became Popular

There are many reasons why Indian food became popular in the UK. For one thing, many of the said dishes have spices added which give a unique and delightful taste to the food. These spices, such as turmeric and ginger, are also usually good for your physical health. Before Indian food made its way into the UK, local meals have been somewhat bland and less diverse. The addition of spices and the aromas of Indian food may be partly why it became increasingly favored by the British. Certainly, the influence of immigration from India spread the availability of these types of dishes and soon people noticed that there was something appealing about such foods. It also gave chefs some new ideas and allowed them to become more inventive with their menus and dishes. India has clearly had an important influence, not only on English food but also on its culture.

Why Indian Food Became Popular