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Americans understanding of British Indian food?

General chat about British Indian Restaurant curries

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6CJRQO
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Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by 6CJRQO » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:24 pm

I was chatting to my barber today about my love for British Indian food and they really were clueless! They said, oh being British I suppose it isn't very spicy and it's more bland. I asked why they thought that, but they were just under the impression that our Sunday roasts with gravy are the essence of our national dish. I am tempted to make a Chicken Phal and deliver it to their doorstep, but it would probably go to waste!

Funnily enough, a similar story was when a Mexican colleague joined me in London for a BIR meal. He said he wanted very spicy, but one down from their hottest so the restaurant recommended the Vindaloo. I was impressed that he ate it all, but he then admitted that was the hottest curry he had ever eaten!

Has anyone else witnessed a foreigners misconception of British Indian cooking?

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by pauly » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:04 pm

Well here in Ireland they don't seem to have much idea, the restaurants mainly. I was reading a review on Trip Advisor of our local & one guy said he ordered a Vindaloo & he's eaten hotter chicken stews !

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by bombay andrew » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:15 pm

Now that's very Bazaar when I was in Mexico I wanted to try hot!!!! and the food was Bland, tried all there hot dishes even chili tequila. You can't beat a good old chicken phal
Cheers Andy

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by Lozman » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:47 pm

I find most people here (I now live on the SW outskirts of DC in NoVA) think British cooking in general is dull, but often that is a stereotype they assume correct rather than from experience. I tell people pretty regularly that Indian food here is delicious but still doesn't provide the "fix" that lovers of BIR curries crave. To use an analogy, if I am hankering for a Big Mac, going into a Burger King and having a Big King XL is probably still gonna be pretty tasty, but it is not a Big Mac. (I'm not confessing my love of Macdonalds here, just using it as an example) ;)

I've been to a bunch of different Indian restaurants around this area, and while they have all been tasty enough none of them really do it the way I need it. There is one a short drive away from me that is called the London Curry House, and advertises that it is a London inspired menu with dishes from restaurants all over London and the UK. Yet, they don't even have poppadums on the menu.

Has anybody been to a BIR in London (perhaps even the UK as a whole) and not been able to tuck into a tasty poppadum before your meal? I doubt it very much :lol:
Last edited by Lozman on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by 6CJRQO » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:58 pm

No poppadoms!? That is like going to a drive-thru Starbucks here in the US and they tell you they don't have any coffee :)

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by rsaha » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:42 pm

Haha - decades ago I was guilty of that - Canadian mind you. Then on my first visit to London I tried it. Revelation! Now, sadly, I find what I can cook at home is better than what I ate last time in the UK (maybe 18 months ago).

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by JalfreziT » Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:36 pm

6CJRQO wrote:Has anyone else witnessed a foreigners misconception of British Indian cooking?
Yes. But to be fair, the British branch of Indian Cuisine isn't the first thing on the to-do list of a "foreign" visitor to the UK. :no:

I wonder how good your knowledge is of Kurdish cuisine in Finland? Nope, thought not.

But fear not, next time I visit good ol' Blighty, I'll be sure to schedule some time to have my ears lowered, so I can pop the question to the chap with the snippers. And if he replies that Finland is all sauna, raw fish, polar bears and Nokia phones, I'll be sure to post a thread somewhere on the internet to highlight his clear ignorance of how the world really is :laugh:
They've been cooking on Blue Peter, now they're sampling the dishes,
I don't normally like tomatoes John but this is delicious.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by 6CJRQO » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:13 am

JalfreziT, my wife is Finnish but I don't know what that has to do with anything? ...and my knowledge of Kurdish cuisine? Why? This is a BIR forum, so I have no idea what you are going on about.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by Lozman » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:16 am

I think you’ll find that’s sarcasm, another British institution that don’t translate too well over here ;)

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by JalfreziT » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:14 pm

6CJRQO wrote:JalfreziT, my wife is Finnish
Really, I didn't know. Kerro terveisiä. Mistä päin suomesta?
6CJRQO wrote: and my knowledge of Kurdish cuisine? Why? This is a BIR forum, so I have no idea what you are going on about.
I was a bit surprised that you were so shocked that some random barber in the US wasn't fully up to speed with the spice level of British cuisine. I think you called him, "clueless". I thought that was bordering on the unfair. So I threw a semi-humourous, non-offensive, dig, on to the vehicle of sarcasm.

If you didn't receive the message contained in the text I wrote, I promise not to take offence, nor refer to you as "clueless" :P
They've been cooking on Blue Peter, now they're sampling the dishes,
I don't normally like tomatoes John but this is delicious.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by Chuck Nee » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:15 pm

I must admit that since I am a Brit born in Bromley then moving to Bradford I got into Currys very early on when they first perceived as mucky curries.
Down basement stairs, eat at a bench with strangers, no utensils just Chapatti to shovel into your mouth wow those were the days...

But when I moved to Canada I had to learn to make my own curry's since generally Canadians back then had no palette for spices and heat and therefore no Indian restaurants or takeouts anywhere :shock:

They have improved a lot now and there are restaurants but I'm glad I can make my own ha-ha

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by Dragonsfire » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:06 pm

Hi! neighbour (Med Hat)
We moved to Toronto when immigrating to Canada in 1970. Found it depends on were in the country you are, Toronto has a huge variety of cultures so it was not difficult to get the ingredients for curries. The Prairies are a meat and potato culture so they dont like foreign stuff in general. So like many countries it depends on the immigrants integrating their cooking styles.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by 6CJRQO » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:32 pm

My wife grew up just north of Pyhäjärvi Lake, but she lived in the UK for 9 years before moving stateside with me. I wonder if her favorite dish being a Dhansak has anything to do with Finnish tastes? I'm also 'clueless' when it comes to Finnish cuisine, but she's a total convert when it comes to BIR :cool2:

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by JalfreziT » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:40 pm

6CJRQO wrote:she's a total convert when it comes to BIR
She's not alone.

Finnish tastes are changing, and certainly they have changed in the 9 years your wife has been away.
They've been cooking on Blue Peter, now they're sampling the dishes,
I don't normally like tomatoes John but this is delicious.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by SpeedTripleGuy » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:51 am

A couple years ago a friend of mine brought an English gal to eat at a local place we really liked. Owner is Indian and he knows his business when it comes to great food. We all had the chicken vindaloo and she said it wasn't as spicy as she has had at the Indian restaurants in England. My friend and I just didn't get it.

The vindaloo was very good and not flaming hot. As far as rich spiciness (not necessarily hot) I've made a more complex vindaloo sauce but this place was in the top 5 I've ever had at a restaurant. I'm still wondering what she thought was missing.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by JalfreziT » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:10 pm

It might help people understand your story if you said which ******* country you were in when this happened? :confused:
They've been cooking on Blue Peter, now they're sampling the dishes,
I don't normally like tomatoes John but this is delicious.

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by Cory Ander » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:35 pm

I would presume that (but I might be wrong), since SpeedTripleGuy is living in America, and since the title of this thread is "Americans understanding....." that they are referring to America? I'm sure they will be able to confirm....?
Regards

CA (aka Admin) :)

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Re: Americans understanding of British Indian food?

Post by Milaandra » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:06 pm

I'm originally from Canada (Ontario) and I didn't notice a difference in the tastes of Indian food between the two countries, just the popularity. (However, I'm a mild curry lover and haven't gone hotter than Madras) Here, curry is practically the national dish! And the concept of chip shop curry sauce on chips is still too frightening for me to try. :D

Oddly enough, there are some major differences in Italian food between North America and Britain, and also with Chinese food.

I'm always intrigued by the cultural differences and the way certain things have evolved in different directions. Okay, yes, I'm a bit of a geek. :geek::

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