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For further information on any releases for National Curry Week contact Peter Grove Tel : 020 8399 4831 or email groveint@aol.com

Curry Queen set to inspire the nation - January 2015

The organisers of National Curry Week have announced an exciting new agreement which sees Mridula Baljekar, holder of the current Best Indian Cookbook in the World title, and recently dubbed "the curry queen the stars call when they want the ultimate Indian food experience" becoming 'the face' of the popular event and introducing a new dimension.

"We are extremely excited about the future of National Curry Week, now in its 18th year," said founder Peter Grove. "Not only is Mridula a great personal friend but also the most exciting cook and writer in her field."

Soon we will be seeing Mridula on a new National Curry Week TV Channel on YouTube letting us into some of her kitchen secrets and telling us about curry the world over. It is also planned that the team will help shape the future direction of Indian cuisine in Britain which is already enjoyed by some 23 million curry fans each year with new dishes and products.

The introduction of the TV Channel will help to involve other countries who have indicated an interest in having their own National Curry Week such as South Africa and USA which already has some 8,000 Indian restaurants.

National Curry Week enjoys support from the public, politicians, pop stars and sportsmen and women as well as curry restaurants and exists to promote the cuisine, provide community cohesion and raise funds for charities for the malnourished.

The first National Curry Week event 'The Curry Capital of Britain' will start its early rounds on 1st April building up to the week itself 12th - 18th October 2015.

Recently dubbed "the curry queen" by The Daily Mail, award-winning cookery writer, Mridula Baljekar is the best-selling author of 27 Indian cookery books and her book, The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook was awarded the Best in the World by the prestigious Gourmand International Cookbook Awards in 2013. Mridula was also the winner of the The Best Asian Cookbook in the World for her book Great Indian Feasts in 2005, by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Great Indian Feasts was also awarded ‘Cookery Book of the Year’ in 2006.

Mridula presented 52 shows for Carlton Food Network, her own series ‘Mridula’s Indian Kitchen‘ and 13 episodes of the highly acclaimed ‘Spice Trail‘ in 13 locations across India.

She also appeared on Channel 4 (Gloria’s Open House), BBC2 ( The Heaven and Earth Show), Sky One and more recently on the Chrissy B show. In India she appeared on the most popular channels, NDTV and Z TV.

She is regularly invited to present cookery shows on regional and national radio stations such as LBC Radio, BBC Southern Counties, BBC Berkshire, BBC Birmingham and the Food Programme on Radio 4.

She owned a contemporary Indian restaurant in Windsor, Berkshire, England, winning several prestigious awards, including the winner at the Best in Britain Awards from 2002-2006.

Mridula’s food is described in the media as ‘Heaven on Earth for the senses’, ‘Route to spice heaven’, and ‘traditional Indian cuisine with a brilliant modern twist’. Mridula’s food attracted the attention of politicians and celebrities alike. She catered to a garden party in No. 10 Downing Street and a private dinner party for Jerry Hall.

She was born and raised in Assam in North East India and when she moved to England she turned her childhood passion for cooking into a highly successful career.

Mridula hit the headlines in the 1990s when she stepped in as Tesco’s Indian chilled ready meals consultant and turned them around. During the 6 years that Mridula spent consulting with Tescos , she developed and launched 27 lines for them. She was described in the media as the ‘cook who spiced up a superstore’.

Today Mridula really is recognised as the best cook and writer in her field.

BRADFORD RECEIVE THE TROPHY FOR THIRD YEAR RUNNING

The team from Bradford travelled to London yesterday to accept the Curry Capital of Britain 2013 trophy from Shane Lake of hungryhouse.co.uk., co-sponsors with Pataks & Sainsburys.

This is the third consecutive year Bradford has won the title putting them level with Glasgow on four wins each. The event is the showpiece of National Curry Week, now in its 16th year, and it was celebrated along with other awards at a special Celebration of Curry cruise on The New Southern Belle on the River Thames.

Patricia Tillotson accepted the trophy on behalf of Bradford council and the restaurant team of Akbars, Kiplings, Shimla Spice and Omar Khan's and a special award was made to the Bradford Air Cadets who set a new Poppadomathon World Record and raised £200 for charity.

Peter Grove, founder and organiser of the event said, "this curry cruise is a fitting end to a fantastic year during which the British curry family has once again shown its generosity and fun loving nature. Bradford once again ticked all the boxes with the judges showing exemplary teamwork, innovation and fun".

Although most pledges for the event are still to be honoured, Mr Grove was able to hand over a first cheque to Find Your Feet, the official charity, with the expectation of many more to come. All the winners for 2013 were :

Curry Capital of Britain - Bradford
Customer Restaurant of the Year - Bilash Wolverhampton
Best Signature Dish (Traditional) - Cinnamon Culture Bromley
Best Signature Dish (Innovative) - Navin Bhatia Dockmasters London E14
Curry Pub of the Year - The Vine West Bromwich
hungryhouse Takeaway of the Year - Sizzlers Pizza & Balti Hut Bradford
Best Indian Restaurant of the Year - Babur London SE23

September 2013 MINISTER PLEDGES SUPPORT TO CURRY SECTOR

The 16th National Curry Week takes place all over Britain from 7 - 13 October to celebrate Britain's 'national dish' and raise money for charities concentrating on the malnourished and poverty stricken.

Curry is enjoyed on a regular basis by 23 million people in Britain and is used as a focus for business meeting, celebrations, social functions, that Friday night out as a very important and enjoyable source of nutrition. It has been increasingly popular since the first published recipe in 1747 and the first Indian restaurant in 1809. It even boasts health benefits from lowering blood pressure and helping prevent cancer to slowing dementia depending on the type of dishes you choose.

Curry is enjoyed by people from all walks of life making it a great common denominator and topic of conversation such that even the House of Commons has its own curry club.

16th National Curry Week sponsored by Patak's, Sainsbury's and hungryhouse.co.uk once again asks people to think of the less fortunate whilst enjoying a week of fun, food and frolics ranging from Poppadomathons to attempts at eating challenges and other world records. Full information can be found on www.nationalcurryweek.co.uk.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said "It gives me great pleasure to know that National Curry Week continues to promote our nation's favourite food whilst raising money for charity. Britain just wouldn't be the same without the colour and vibrancy of Asian restaurants up and down the country. Let's celebrate the immense contribution of the Asian Cuisine industry to our country's economy and culture. We support the sector to ensure that Britain remains one of the best places in the world for our aspiring chefs to train."

Peter Grove, founder and organiser of the event, on behalf of The Federation of Specialist Restaurants said "Curry is now very much part of the British way of life whether it be enjoyed in the restaurant or at home and it is right that it should be celebrated by curry lovers in their hundreds of thousands all over the country each year."

7th October 2012

NATIONAL CURRY WEEK STARTS TOMORROW (8-14th October)

TEN CURRY FACTS :

There would be no chilli in curry without the Portuguese - they introduced chiles to Cochin and Calcat in India in 1501 and by 1543 three varieties were being grown successfully locally.

A style of curry powder existed in UK in seventeenth century - often know as 'kitchen pepper' and used in recipes since 1582 with ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmegs and cinnamon.

Chilli is the most popular spice in the world - it can help combat heart attacks and strokes and extends blood coagulation times preventing harmful blood clots.

If your mouth is on fire don't reach for the water or beer - the burnbing is caused by the capsaicin in the chillies and is only countered by caisin products such as milk or lassi.

Chillies continue to get hotter - The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T claims to be the hottest around at 1,463,700 just beating the Naga Viper - and to think most people consider the hottest Tabasco a killer at 30,000 units.

We all like a curry at home - almost half of Brits cook curries at home at least once a week and spend, on average, £30 a month on curry supplies from supermarkets.

We are such poppadummies - in a recent survey 35% claim to eat more than two poppadoms per person with their curry.

Curry was taken to Japan by the British in the 1870s - it is now one of the most popular dishes in Japan with people enjoying it over 62 times a year on average.

Sorry, korma does not mean a mild creamy dish for beginners - it actually refers to 'slow cooking or braising' and theoretically could be mild or fiery hot.

"That will cool your Biryani down a bit" - thus goes the line from the old lager add but the dish is actually not fiery and was designed for the soldiers of the invading Aurangazeb as a ready-to-eat food in times of war.

National Curry Week run from 8-14th October 2012 with the joint aims of celebrating Britain's 'national dish' and raising much need funds for the Find Your Feet charity concentrating of malnutrition and poverty.(www.nationalcurryweek.co.uk)

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PRESS RELEASE (4th October 2012)

CURRY - a very British word

CURRYFICATION - Definition : to impress on others the importance, enjoyment and benefits of curry.

When Britain's first major cookbook "The Forme of Cury" appeared in the 1390s 'cury' was the accepted word for a cooked dish coming from the French 'cuire', so by the time English merchants sampled their first spicy dishes in the sub-continent, the word had been in general use for over 200 years. The word was very similar to local words such as 'kari' and 'karahi' so the dishes became known as curry and the curryfication of the world had begun. In the last 400 years curry has not only become Britain's 'national dish' but spread to America, Caribbean, South Africa, Europe, Australia, Japan and throughout Asia. In Japan curry is one of their favourite dishes and Germany even has a museum for their famous currywurst.

15th National Curry Week (8-14 October) will celebrate this amazing phenomenon in restaurants, pubs, canteens and at home whilst helping to raise much needed funds to combat malnutrition and poverty. With over 23 million Brits enjoying curry on a regular basis each year, organiser Peter Grove is very anxious to reach them all with the curry message.

"With the help of our partners, I hope we have covered all aspects at long last" says Grove. With powerful brands such as Patak's, Asda, Fox's Spices, and Hungryhouse, National Curry Week is reaching more and more and the inclusion of Lion beer from Sri Lanka has helped to include the 'Curry Night' pub sector.

When asked what his hopes and aims for this year were Grove replied "Apart from raising as much as we can for charity, we want to get the message over to people just what the health benefits of curry can be. Of course some dishes don't come under this heading but the large majority with herbs and spices such as turmeric, chilli, cumin, garlic, cinnamon and asafoetida can help with so many ailments from the common cold to prostate cancer and dementia".

Hertfordshire County Council are so sold on the idea that they are organising a week long project for their 50,000 students giving each of their 40 schools a theme kit to decorate their dining room. Included in this will be a Curry Quiz which is becoming all the rage for home parties and restaurant gatherings.

If you want to keep up to date with events and happenings during National Curry Week visit www.nationalcurryweek.co.uk. "Last year the event 'trended' on Twitter led by pop star Bruno Mars," said Grove "so we need every curry fan to tweet #supportcurry to do it again."

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VARIOUS DATA FOR CURRY

Basic : There are approximately 9500 Indian restaurants in UK 68% of which are owned or run by Bangladeshis. Annual turnover for curry is around £3.5 bn and some 80,000 people are employed in the industry.

23 million people eat curry annually on a regular basis (more than once a month.

Trade data : Morrisons says sales of spices in the 12 months running up to September 2010 increased dramatically. The sale of curry powder was up 169 per cent, chilli powder 144 per cent, cinnamon sticks 80 per cent, cumin 21 per cent and coriander 13 per cent.

Market researchers TNS tracked products bought by a panel of 25,000 shoppers and found that consumers were increasingly flavouring dishes with spices rather than more subtle British and Continental herbs.

They found that in the 12 weeks to September, sales of fresh dill were down 1 per cent, fresh basil down 5 per cent, thyme down 16 per cent and tarragon down 22 per cent.

By contrast, sales of fresh coriander and chillies rocketed by eight per cent. Lime and lemongrass, popular in the preparation of Thai dishes, were also up six and 13 per cent.

Trade data : CURRY nights offering customers all-you-can-eat buffets for £5.99 have helped Whitbread in 2011 stop sales sliding at its pub restaurants.

Up to 80 of the group's Brewers Fayre outlets also run Chinese and Mexican evenings.

The theme nights helped the firm's 380-strong pub restaurant chain turn a 1.6% fall in sales into a 2.1% increase in the past three months.

Event data : UK adults supposedly splash out £1,145 a head on the spicy dish every year - an astonishing five per cent of the average salary, according to a new study. And it's not just feeding our hunger pangs - 20 per cent of Brits reckon it spices up their sex lives.

General data : These sizzling stats emerged from a poll of 3,000 hot food fans conducted by global research company www.OnePoll.com. The research also revealed that over a third of people admitted having physical cravings for curry and 20 per cent confessed to getting "cranky" if deprived of their favourite dish, facts that have been well-known in the industry for many years.

Almost half of Brits cook curries at home at least once a week and spend an average of £30 per month on supplies in the supermarket.

And there's no doubting the nation's favourite main dish - the good old Chicken Tikka Masala, which is top choice for both men and women despite other surveys giving Korma and another Jalfrezi top spot.

Men still tend to opt for hotter varieties like Madras, Jalfrezi and Vindaloo, while women prefer milder dishes like Korma.

And the cravings start young - with over a quarter of kids asking their parents for curry to go on the weekly menu.

The nation's 10 top curries:

1. Chicken Tikka Masala 2. Chicken Korma 3. Chicken Madras 4. Lamb Rogan Josh 5. Chicken Jalfrezi 6. Chicken Balti 7. Chicken Rogan Josh 8. Chicken Dhansak 9. Prawn Korma 10. Vegetable Balti

New Poppadum Survey 2011

Top ethnic food and drink website www.fedrest.com has just announced the results of a survey it has been running over the past year with its readers. The aim was to discover the number and range of poppadums purchased by customers in Indian restaurants in Britain.

More than two poppadums 35%
Two plain 19%
Two spicy 16%
One plain 14%
More than two spicy 11%
One spicy 5%

(more press releases)

 

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