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The Balti Blog..... hot news!!

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4th April 2010

A busy week!! We've just photographed and reviewed 2 more Indian Restaurants in Marbella, Gulzar and Jaipur and announced an On-Line shop is being built behind the scenes on The Costa del Sol Curry Guide so all you Curry Crazy Ex-Pats can get hold of the ingredients and sauces on a next day delivery service on The Costa. We are also expanding our recipie section to include a 'buy now' ingredients button and a 'how to' section that will include ways to spice up the supermarket sauces that you can buy... Let's face it, some of them need a bit of something extra!!!!

The Curry Guide xx

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6th April 2010 Taken from The Times.. I Love the last paragraph!!

There is nothing in the world quite like going for a curry. I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the first ccrack! of the poppadums before you pile on the mango chutney, the creeping heat that makes your eyes bulge or even the persistent, residual orange oil under your fingernails from scooping it all up with a floppy naan. But it’s unbeatable.
In acknowledgment of the British love affair with curry, the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane, London, recently hosted the second British Curry Awards. This glittering affair, made all the more so by the sprinkling of saris and gold necklaces that flashed amid the sea of dinner suits, is the baby of the Bengali restaurateur Enam Ali. In the business for almost 20 years, he is probably the most enthusiastic curry fan you’ll ever meet.

He recalls his early days. “It was difficult in the beginning. Recognition was nothing because restaurants were always treated as ‘just a curry house’,” he says in his lilting Sylheti accent. (Sylhet is a city in Bangladesh, where the overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis in the UK come from.) “But our community is creating such wonderful cuisine that now the whole world is enjoying it. It’s not coming directly from India, or Pakistan, or Bangladesh, it is born here.”

Herein lies the key to the success of curry in Britain. Offer a chicken tikka masala, of which we eat about 18 tons a week, to a Gujarati or Punjabi person freshly arrived from the subcontinent and they are likely to recoil in horror. The dishes that we love so much are not “Indian” in any true sense. Their origins lie early in the 19th century and the burra khanas (big dinners) of the British East India Company’s agents, or Anglo-Indians as they styled themselves.

According to Lizzie Collingham’s excellent book Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, it didn’t take long for their Indian cooks to start adapting regional dishes to British tastes. Further transformations took place when the first wave of East India Company officials retired and returned to Britain.

They continued to put curry on the smart tables of Britain, while coffee houses up and down the country enthusiastically served up approximations of khichari (kedgeree) and masala omelette. Curry had arrived.

It is a long fast-forward to the dishes we consume in vast quantities today, but the British love for curry has only grown. And with it, the industry. There are now nearly 10,000 “spice restaurants” in the UK and they turn over more than £2 billion a year.

Despite this massive commercial success, however, the curry industry remains in constant flux.As consumers become more discriminating, restaurateurs such as Ali, Iqbal Mahad and his chef Vivek Singh (the Cinnamon Club) and Cyrus Todiwala (Café Spice Namaste, Chor Bizarre) get more creative. The menus incorporate ingredients and techniques not just from all over Asia, but the rest of the world.

Ali estimates that maybe 40 per cent of the menu at his award-winning Surrey restaurant, Le Raj, was “born in Epsom”. This spirit of experimentation is spreading. Curry certainly has the support of the British public. Think on this: when you last went on holiday abroad, what did you miss? That’s right

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23rd April 2010

We now have a few more restaurants with discounts on The Guide. In Calahonda we now feature Maharani & Prince of India, In Estepona, Jaipur Purple, in Marbella we have The Taj Mahal and The Star of India (photos coming soon) and last but not least, a brand new Indian Restaurant in The Square at Cabopino Port called Taj Palace. Iwould like to thank the owners and staff of all the above restaurants for their warm welcomes, hospitality and backing of The Guide.....

The Curry Guide xx

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26th April 2010 The History of The Chilli & why we should all have a curry on Columbus Day!!!!

Chillies have a long, long history and are in fact one of the oldest crops cultivated by man. Many of the uses we know of for chillies such as the combination of chilli and cocoa, and the chipotle (smoked chilli) were developed thousands of years ago.

Once Columbus returned to Europe at the end of his second journey in 1496 he is believed to have had chillies with him.
From this small start, chillies successfully circum-navigated the world in approximately 50 years. Not a bad effort in an era when the primary transport modes were powered by either wind or horse !

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30th April 2010

Birmingham’s bid to stop the famous balti being sold outside the city has angered the couple who kick-started a Black Country balti belt.

The city council wants to protect the dish’s name to help restaurants in what it claims is the birthplace of the balti – and says it has the same right as the makers of Champagne, in France, and Wensleydale cheese in Yorkshire.
But the move to trademark the name has been branded “absurd” by Dave and Lin Homer, both aged 56, who run a warehouse in Dudley called Mister Daves.

They deliver frozen baltis to restaurants, pubs and shops up and down the country, and export the exotic dish to ex-pats in Majorca, France and Spain.

Mr Homer was the first to open a balti house in Lye 25 years ago. Set up in a small cafe, Mister Daves soon began attracting thousands of diners from around the region and led to a balti boom in Lye High Street.

He and his wife went on to open another three restaurants in Kingswinford, Telford and Worcester, which have now closed.

But the curry king now employs his older brother Alan, 61, 26-year-old son Richard, and two other staff at his factory in Parkway Road to prepare and freeze the Bostin’ Baltis he has been cooking for years outside Birmingham. He hit out at the plans to restrict the balti to Birmingham.

“It’s like trying to register the name saucepan and saying you can’t use it to cook at home because I have got the rights on it.

“Baltis are so widespread now. The council seems to think it has a God-given right to the name balti. This is absolutely absurd.”
Mr Homer, a self-confessed curry fanatic eating up to two a day, learned to make the dish from a restaurant chef in Sparkhill and gave up his jobs as a telephone engineer and DJ to open his restaurant.

The first ever Balti is thought to have been created by immigrants from Kashmir in Sparkhill in the 1970s.

Councils can apply to the European Union to protect the origin of food if it is produced, processed and prepared in a geographical area using recognised know-how.

Birmingham says it wants to promote the city regionally, nationally and internationally

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3rd May 2010

The Costa del Sol Curry Guide welcomes Saffron in Elviria, Indian Dreams in Marbella and Raju's Indian City in Benalmadina. All 3 restaurants have been photographed and reviewed and can be seen on their respective area pages. We would also like to thank all 3 restaurants for their hospitality and food!!! All 3 have offered great discount offers for followers of The Curry Guide so make sure you mention us to your waiter or when booking a table.

The Curry Guide xx

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5th May 2010

Heart 95.7 FM have asked The Costa del Sol Curry Guide to appear on their radio station for a live interview on Tuesday 11th May at 4pm to chat about theIndian restaurants on The Costa del Sol and inland. We'll be taking a few dishes into the studio for the DJ's to try, on-air.... Listen in and hear the noise a vindaloo virgin makes!!!

The Curry Guide xx

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19th May 2010

A CURRY-MAD dog has been banned from his favourite food after wolfing down too much of the spicy stuff.

Chorlton pooch Dante has such a taste for tandoori that he refuses to eat dog food and regularly turns up outside takeaways and restaurants begging for leftovers.

Now vets have told his owner Pauline Rawsterne to put him on a strict no-curry diet because it has given him a tummy problem.

Thankfully for 11-year-old Dante, he has been saved from pet purgatory after a takeaway stepped in and offered to create a healthy version of his favourite dish that suits his new diet. Pauline, 48, of Chorlton Green, said Dante got a taste for curry when a former lodger started to feed him leftovers from takeaways.

Since then Dante has turned his nose up at regular dog food and often escapes to try his luck outside nearby curry houses.

Pauline said: "I've started giving him different dog food that's a bit tastier but nothing can compare with curries as far as Dante's concerned.

"Whenever I leave the door open he is away looking for more. He particularly likes Beech Road and the takeaways around Chorlton Cross on a Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. He gets quite annoyed and starts to sulks if I give him normal dog food."

Sadly, a trip to the vets led to a diagnosis of a bowel disorder that looked set to bring an end to the mongrel's curry-eating days.

Pauline said: "The vet has now ordered him to stay away from takeaways and told me to put him on rather bland dog food.

"I've also been advised to put a muzzle on him on the off-chance he might try to snaffle leftovers he finds on the street."

She also put Dante on a fitness regime to get him down to size because of the pounds he had put due to his unhealthy diet.

"He's in good shape now - he even comes out with me on my bike rides," Pauline said.

Luckily for Dante, Mohammed Asdar Ali took pity on him and created a healthy chicken balti which will not inflame the dog's tummy problems.

Ali said: "No curry-lover should be deprived of their favourite food, so we came up with something that Dante can enjoy without giving himself any more health problems."

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17th June 2010

Chez-Spice is the latest addition to the ''MALAGA'' page of The Costa del Sol Curry Guide. Chez is about 40 mins drive from Malaga and is nestled at one of the most spectacular vantage points above La Vinuela Lakes. Words simply can't describe the wonderful setting of this restaurant so we've added lot's of photos to their review in The Guide to get you in the mood for a truly memorable night.. We know that if you live on The Costa, Chez is not a restaurant that you can nip round to at a moments notice as it's around an hour from Marbella in the car, so plan well!! Book a table on the alfresco terrace about 30 mins before sunset for best views or a Sunday lunch. Mention us and you'll get a FREE bottle of wine with your meal.

The Curry Guide xx

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11 July 2011

Passage Thru India has now opened at The El Zoco Centre in Calahonda..

At last, an Indian Menu, made simple.. check out their page under CALAHONDA on the guide...... Enyoy, we did!!!!!!

The Curry Guide xx

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25th July 2011 will dawn the very first English Curry Awards, aimed to recognise and reward the curry industry in all its facets. The Awards are completely devoted to England’s love of curry... the folk that slave away in a cloud of heady spices to create and serve the scrummy dishes that disappear in mere moments of the fork or fingers diving in; the restaurants’ and take-aways’ entourage who serve up excellence as standard; and those that are genuine fruit-loops for the dish!

Every nominee has their own unique background which reflects their commitment to the curry industry.

hungryhouse.co.uk