Last night I had a curry for dinner. Very nice it was too.
It is now thirteen years since the then Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, announced that the English National Dish was no longer fish and chips or bacon and eggs, but chicken tikka massala. Everyone likes a curry.
It’s the spice, of course. Spice has age-old associations with opulence and extravagance, and the spice trade was one of the great economic drivers for European colonial expansion in the East – when Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet of five ships circumnavigated the globe between 1519 and 1522, only one, the Victoria, returned, but it was brimming over with cloves. Subsequent ocean-going empires – the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British – built Golden Ages on a handful of nutmeg islands or a contract for black pepper.
Hence the appropriately opulent take on spice, above. And here’s a short video about how they made it.