Why is Indian Food so Famous in the UK?
Indian cuisine is spread throughout the United Kingdom! Many Europeans enjoy a wonderful Indian curry whenever they please; but why is it that Indian food is so popular in the UK? What made Indian food more popular than other cultural foods? There are several historical reasons for why this is the case. It is unknown which of these had the majority of the effect.
India-UK Connections date back to the 1600s
Indian cuisine was already having a slight effect on the UK as far back as the 17th century. The first recorded proof of India’s culinary influence was in 1747 when an English woman wrote a cookbook containing an Indian curry recipe. At this time, it is unlikely that Indian curry was well known throughout the UK; this may, however, have been the first step towards Indian cuisine gaining a foothold in the UK. Given that they have had over 400 years to integrate their cuisine into the UK, it is not all that surprising that Indian food is so famous today. They have had centuries to spread their fame!
Anglo-Indians returning to the UK
In the 19th century, the Anglo-Indians returned to the UK from their work with the British Raj. Upon returning to their motherland of the UK, the Anglo-Indians brought their love for extremely spicy curries with them. The fact that so many of them returned together caused a need for Indian restaurants to open in order to give these people the option to eat the food which they love most. Since that was still over 200 years ago, it would not be much of a stretch to assume that Indian food has become famous from around this point and onward. This does not mean that all or even most Europeans share their love for Indian food, but it is only reasonable that the food would be famous as you would be seeing their restaurants everywhere you went.
Following World War II
A couple of years after World War II, in 1947, the Indian subcontinent was divided into two to make the countries of Indian and Pakistan. At this time, there was mass-migration from the Indian subcontinent, bringing in even more Indians to the UK. Several more traumatic events happened around this time period causing the mass-migration to last for quite some time. By the time it was over, Indian cuisine was absolutely everywhere! If it was not famous before this time, then it definitely became famous during this mass-migration!
Not as Surprising as We Thought
Yes, it does seem that it was only inevitable that Indian food was to become famous in the UK, based on the three major events over the past four centuries. If a people group live throughout a country or continent for hundreds of years, it is only natural that their chosen cuisine will become immensely famous!