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Est. 1996

Issue 149

July 2009

Curry Goes From
Zero To Hero



200 Years ago curry was known only to those with connections to the British Raj in India and very few restaurants existed in Britain for diners to enjoy.

Then in 1809 along came the amazing Sake Dean Mahomet from Bihar in India to open The Hindoostanee Coffee House at 34 George Street off Portman Square in London's West End to introduce "the enjoyment of Hookha, with 'real chilm tobacco', and Indian dishes 'in the highest perfection, and allowed by the greatest epicures to be unequalled to any curries ever made in England".

The restaurant did not last long but Mahomet went on to become 'Shampooing Surgeon to King George IV' and it would be over 100 years before the next Indian restaurant would grace the streets of Britain.

200 years later curry is widely recognised as 'Britain's National Dish' and 23 million of us enjoy the spicy creations every year.

To mark this success story National Curry Week is changing its direction for 2009 after 10 years of raising money for a variety of charities. The same element of fun will remain with restaurants challenged to go for the World Poppadom Tower record, beaten by a restaurant in Blackpool in 2008, or the new Samosa-building speed record. The difference this year is that all monies raised will go to The Curry Tree Charitable Fund whose Trustees include top restaurateurs Cyrus Todiwala MBE DL ; Enam Ali MBE ; Rajesh Suri and Gulu Anand.

National Curry Week 2009 will be asking that target group of 23 million curry fans to donate just £1 per person per year to the cause. Donations can be made throughout the year with National Curry Week being the culmination and celebration of achievements. 50% of money raised will go to worthy causes in the sub-continent as directed by the Trustees with an emphasis on natural disasters and, most excitingly, 50% to the education and upskilling of staff for the Asian sector to give tangible help to the Government's efforts at helping the staffing shortages.

Over the next two months, Britain's 9500 Asian restaurants will be invited to join in the scheme to ask their customers to support The Curry Tree Charitable Fund and help build for the future. "Nothing should stop us from helping those who are less fortunate than us." said Rajesh Suri, CEO of top West End restaurant Tamarind.

Details of participating restaurants will appear on the website www.nationalcurryweek.co.uk and if your local restaurant is not involved you can donate direct. Every person donating their £1 will be able to download, completely free, the unique turning pages ebook called Recipes For Success 2009 valued at £5.99 full of recipes from the top Indian chefs.







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Mood Food is published by FSR, London, England © 2009 


Peter J. Grove

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