This week (10th – 16th October) is National Curry Week and to mark the occasion, Sainsbury’s have revealed the results of a survey on how the nation’s love of Indian cuisine has evolved. The most popular dishes in the seventies (tandoori) and 80's/90's (balti) were mainly anglicised versions of Indian dishes, but these days, UK consumers want more sophistication and authenticity.
43% of Brits would now opt for a ready meal over a takeaway, but 37% of Brits are also willing to spend up to three hours in the kitchen perfecting a home cooked curry. Other interesting snippets of information revealed by the survey include the following :
Tikka Masala and Korma come out as the nation's favourite dishes.
Wales tops the Scoville scale, opting for Madras as their favourite dish.
Beating rice to top the poll, the UK chose naan breads as their favourite side dish.
The majority of the UK like their curry relatively hot, whilst London bucks the trend, opting for milder recipes.
Brits will spend a whopping £30,331 on curry in their lifetime.
Sainsbury’s sent me a shopping voucher to have a curry for National Curry Week and I had the choice between stocking up on ingredients and making one from scratch or grabbing a ready-meal. I was impressed to learn that Sainsbury's stocks a range of 50 prepared Indian dishes and accompaniments.
Austin Wheeler, Product Developer at Sainsbury’s comments: “To ensure we’re able to meet the growing customer demand for Indian cuisine, we spend a lot of time tasting, sampling and trialling a range of curries. We review recipes and ideas from top chefs and new restaurants and visit those real hotbeds of Indian cuisine such as Bradford, Manchester’s Curry Mile and Brick Lane to create a truly authentic product. We recently launched our new and extensive range of Indian ready meals, which includes a selection of delicious main dishes such as our By Sainsbury's Indian Tandoori Chicken with Raita Dip and our Taste the Difference hand stretched Chicken Balti-Topped Naan. We’ve also enhanced our range of vegetarian side dishes including By Sainsbury's Sweet Potato and Red Onion Bhajis, By Sainsbury's Tadka Daal and Taste the Difference Crispy Beetroot and Chilli Samosas. ”
I was tempted, but in the end, I decided to go for home-cooked and I turned to the Sainsbury's Magazine website for inspiration. They have a gallery of 35 different curries using everything from fish and prawns to lamb, chicken, beef and veggie options. I opted for a mild, family-friendly Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry. I used rump steak rather than stewing steak so I could have it on the table within half an hour - quicker than a takeaway ! - but do click through to see the original recipe, which sounds lovely too.
Coconut & Cinnamon Beef Curry
drizzle of olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
4 mushrooms, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped root ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
600g rump steak, chopped into strips
half a tin of coconut milk
50g ground almonds
handful of flaked almonds
Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions and garlic, along with the spices, for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to caramelise. Add the steak and mushrooms and fry for 10 minutes or so, until the meat is cooked to your liking.
Add the coconut milk (you might need extra if your meat has released less juice during cooking) and ground almonds and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning. Feel free to crank up the heat with extra chilli !
Simmer for ten minutes, sprinkle with flaked almonds and serve with rice or naan bread.
To find out more about Sainsbury’s variety of spices and new Indian inspired ready meals or to see the full list of ready meals, visit www.sainsburys.com
Disclosure : I received a shopping voucher to cover the cost of ingredients.