In 1809, an Indian migrant opened Britain’s first curry house in an upmarket London square.

More than 200 years later, research by supermarket app Ubamarket cites that curry is the nation’s favourite home-cooked meal, as well as retaining a top spot on the restaurant or takeaway chart.

Among the respondents who chose this dish as their favourite home meal, Thai green curry was declared the favourite choice, followed by Indian varieties tikka masala, biryani, korma and madras.

Of course, curry isn’t a single dish but a blanket term for a variety of spicy and fragrant delicacies from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Its increased popularity as a home-cooked meal is inevitably linked to the increased availability of exotic ingredients in the UK. Even a pinch of curry flavouring will pep up an average dish, transforming it into something exotic. Whether you’re a purist who cooks from scratch, or someone who favours curry sauce over ketchup on their chips, we look at the flavours that curry favour in the UK, from mild to hot, hot, hot!


Biryani: basmati rice, saffron and vegetables, originated in Persia

Korma: the nation’s favourite – yoghurt, coconut cream and aromatic spices

Passanda: ground almonds, cardamom pods, pureed tomatoes and cream, derived from a court dish of the Mogul emperors


Balti: fresh tomatoes, garlic, ginger, spices and fresh coriander, developed in Birmingham in the 1900s

Bhuna: onions, garlic, tomatoes, chillies and spices

Dopiaza: onions, and onions to garnish, a dish dating from Mogul times

Dhansak: pineapple, lentils, garlic and spices, a Parsee dish

Korai: onions, garlic, ginger, peppers, fresh tomatoes and green chillies

Moghlai: ginger, ground almonds, yoghurt and cream, fresh coriander

Rogan Josh: garlic, tomatoes, chillis and dozens of spices, of Kashmari or Punjabi origin

Tikka and Tikka Masala: onion, peppers, fresh tomatoes, coriander, herbs and spices


Jalfrezi: onions, tomato, pepper, green chillies and coriander

Madras: tomato puree and strong spices, a south Indian version of curry dishes

Paria: garlic, tomato puree, red chilli, black pepper, a traditional Parsee dish that is hot, sweet and sour in equal measure

Vindaloo: black pepper, lemon, garlic, red chilli and strong spices, originally a Portuguese dish, with Goan influences

Go on, spice up your life this weekend!

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