Living in an inclusive culture has many perks. We, as people of UK, surely enjoy such perks to the fullest. There are plausible reasons behind that. Our cosmopolitan culture of UK embraces many appreciable attributes from different cultures and regions while keeping our own cultural identity strong and well accentuated. Believe it or not, this is a really great way to preserve cultural identity in this era of mass globalization.
However, some people debated about this idea (or fact?), as they think embracing attributes of other cultures actually possess an indirect threat to our cultural ingenuity. But if you think for a while, you will surely find that those concern are not very viable. Embracing positive attributes from other cultures actually, make our culture stronger and adaptive to changes. When we are consciously adopting the practices from other cultures, we are actually making ourselves more adaptive to the global changes consciously, we know where we are standing and therefore there is a small chance for us to be hoodwinked by other cultural trends while forgetting our own cultural identity. And at the same time, being inclusive of other cultures make us culturally positive and inclusive individuals, who are more open minded and as a community, we have evolved into a more optimistic and friendly one, which is appreciated by the rest of the world. Hence, a British person will come back to his teacups for a gentle chamomile tea after a scrumptious French lunch.
Well, a really easy way to understand our way of being an inclusive culture is observing our gastronomical culture. If you take a close look at our eating habits in the UK, you will easily see how nicely our culture is blending the interesting cuisines with our while not forgetting our roots. Let’s focus on the foreign cuisine we are most familiar with. Indian cuisines.
Indian cuisines actually have been a part of our cultures for two whole centuries. Well, yes, for last few decades, the popularity have increased exponentially, but it has been a part of our culture for a long time.
The first Indian cuisine restaurant in the UK has opened exactly 208 years ago. An Indian immigrant, Sake Dean Mahomed opened the first Indian cuisine restaurant around Hyde Park, the neighborhood where people returning from Indian were the majority. That restaurant would also take orders and deliver food to the houses of customers, which makes it the first ever Indian food takeaway in the UK as well. Since people were more likely to have a chef to cook them whatever meal they wanted and were not accustomed to the practice of dining out in a restaurant, the target customers of that restaurant: the aristocrats and the upper middle-class people did not take the service from Sake Dean’s restaurant. Hence, the restaurant was declared bankrupt soon and closed down.
However, Her Highness Queen Victoria changed the game. Her Majesty, a true cosmopolitan monarch was very culturally inclusive regarding her dinner menu. The menu included many dishes from different regions of the world. And Indian cuisine was one of the most prominent dishes featured in Her Majesty’s menu.
The dinner meals made Indian cuisines more popular among the aristocrats and then the upper middle-class people. And slowly the people of UK became acquainted with this delicious cuisine seasoned with herbs and spices.
Though initially, general people, accustomed to a different type of eating practice were wary about the spices and herbs, once they overcame their prejudicial dispositions, they embraced the tasteful delicacies of Indian cuisines. One thing must be noted that we did not stop eating our native cuisines. We just embraced another cuisine and learned to appreciate and enjoy it as well.
Well, saying all that, you might already have assumed that I am one of those food historians or someone knows a lot about cultures and cuisines. But I am nothing like that. I am just a humble Cantabrian with an immense love for Indian food and a knack for history.
Well, to be honest, I am really excited about our British cuisine history and influence of foreign cuisines in our food habits, because the Museum of Cambridge is organizing a great History Festival this February. My friends and I are really excited about this one. We are especially elated to attend the Victorian themed historical dining. We don’t intend to miss that exciting Saturday event at any cost!
I must admit, my love for Victorian culinary practice stems from the fact that was the introduction period of Indian cuisines. I love Indian food very much. Hence, I really am excited to attend the dinner and learn more about it. Also, the fact that Victorian era was really the beginning of a new dimension of being inclusive if seemingly different food cultures – is also very fascinating.
So here I am, gushing about Indian food and how it was introduced to our cultures and how we should be happy that it is a part of our culture now.
Well, for my intense fanboying over Indian cuisines over Indian food, I am often asked for recommendations for restaurants to die in. Personally, I prefer takeaways to restaurants. Anyway, there are a few takeaways and restaurants in Cambridge where I often stop by. Let me note those for you.
My Most Favorite one: Curry Palace
I live in Cottenham, and Curry Palace is my most favorite Indian cuisine takeaway. Well, Curry Palace is both a restaurant and takeaway, so you can dine in there as well. They serve really healthy and hygienic dishes. I am especially a fan of their house specialties. I will also recommend you to check their website before ordering. They often post different offers and deals, which are quite economic. I order from Curry Palace, Cottenham on almost every weekend. I do sincerely mean it, this is really a good place to dine in or order Indian cuisine meals from.
Other Places in Cambridge to Check for Indian Meal!
Bollywood Spice: Bollywood Spice is an exciting Indian cuisine takeaway of East Anglia. The Biryani dishes they serve are worth trying. The serve a wide range of Biryani dishes and an Indian cuisine lover must check Bollywood Spice out to know it for themselves.
Moghul Tandoori: If you are around Struton Street, Cambridge and a fan of curry, you need to stop by at this Indian cuisine takeaway at least once. Moghul Tandoori serves really scrumptious curry dishes. Do check their menu, they serve other traditional Indian cuisine dishes as well. And they are tasteful too, but the curry dishes of Moghul Tandoori are especially great!
Are you excited about the History Festival? Let me know. I would also love to know about your experiences in the Indian cuisine restaurants and takeaways I mentioned here. Thanks in advance!