It was a stroke of marketing genius to declare that the national dish of Britain was Chicken Tikka Masala. A dish almost totally devoid of Indian origin – but exotic enough to make us seem comfortable with multiculturalism.
I like a good curry. Damn. Even the word curry is a generic Britishism designed to cover any spicy food from lands afar.
Every Indian restaurant in the UK offers “The Most Authentic Cuisine”. I know what I like – but I’ve no way to judge its authenticity.
One of our hosts asked where I wanted to go out for dinner last night. “There’s this great Japanese place round the corner,” he suggested.
I love Japanese food. But having flown a few thousand miles to India, why would I try any cuisine other than Indian?
The food here is beautiful. As a vegetarian, I’m overwhelmed with choice. With the exception of some ill-advised chutney, I’ve been able to handle the spiciness.
I’ve eaten in both cheap canteens and high class restaurants – the food, drink, and service has been uniformly impeccable.
But is it better than my local Ruby Murray? That’s hard to say. There are some great restaurants in the UK. The only way to tell, really, is to have just one more spoonful of this paneer, and a quick bite of this dosa and – oh my! – another sip of this delightful mango lassi, and… and.. and…