The Famed Tikka Masala Has Been Dethroned As Britain’s Favourite Curry

In 2001, then UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook stated the tikka masala curry was a true British national dish because it provided "a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences."

The orange curry has been heralded as the most popular in the United Kingdom for years, but it appears that it has been dethroned.

Food delivery service Just Eat asked its customers to rate their favourite curries, hoping it would settle the debate once and for all which spice most took the fancy of the British public. To tikka masala lovers everywhere, it was a shock result, with the chicken korma taking the top spot with 29 percent of the vote.

Chicken Korma
Chicken Korma

Credit: Miansari6 (Wikimedia Commons)

Nearly a fifth of all curry orders on Just Eat are for kormas, and it's the number one dish in all but two of 16 UK cities. According to Short List, people in Leicester had the tikka as their favourite, while Birmingham listed balti at number one.

While the korma and tikka took out first and second, the rogan josh came third, jalfrezi nabbed fourth and biryani rounded out number five. Tandoori, balti, madras, dopiaza and bhuna completed the top ten favourite curry dishes.

The korma isn't too spicy, although it features almonds, cashews and coconut (or coconut milk), so it's not the best for those with a nut allergy. It has its roots in the Moghul Empire in the 16th century, which used to control an area now known as modern day Pakistan and India.

While there's no denying that the tikka masala is a delicious dish, its origins might have played a factor in why it's so popular in Britain. Its history depends on who you ask, with some saying it emerged in the Punjab, India, while others believe it was created in Glasgow, Scotland.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala

Credit: Michael Hays (Creative Commons)

Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, who owns the Shish Mahal restaurant in the Scottish city, claims to have invented it in 1971, while experimenting with yoghurt, cream and spices. His son, Asif Ali, told the BBC in 2013: "On a typical dark, wet Glasgow night, a bus driver coming off shift came in and ordered a chicken curry. He sent it back to the waiter saying it's dry.

"At the time, Dad had an ulcer and was enjoying a plate of tomato soup. So he said why not put some tomato soup into the curry with some spices.

"They sent it back to the table and the bus driver absolutely loved it. He and his friends came back again and again and we put it on the menu."

The dish is so revered in British culture that British MP Mohammad Sarwar asked Parliament to support an initiative to give Glasgow European Union protected geographical status simply because of it's the rumoured birthplace of the tikka masala.

Sources: BBC, Short List, Guardian

Featured Image Credit: PA

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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