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Curry: Scotland's Other National Dish

Curry: Scotland's Other National Dish

Heather Greenaway | Daily Record

It is Scotland’s other national dish, with more than 50,000 curries being wolfed down every night.

Curry was introduced to the masses in 1888, when the International Exhibition in Glasgow featured an Indian kitchen. Since then there has been a roaring trade in the hot stuff.

Research by beer giants Cobra has revealed Scots are spending pounds 8.7million a week on curries, putting the exotic cuisine ahead of fish and chips, sausages and mash – and even our national dish haggis.

To celebrate Cobra National Curry Week, top Indian chef Tony Singh invited me to his Edinburgh restaurant to find out if I was hot in the kitchen and, to my amazement, I got top marks.

My surprise is warranted as the last time I was put through my paces in a professional kitchen Michelin star chef Martin Wishart told me my food was fit only for the bin.

I think from now on I will be sticking to Asian cooking as the Kheema Mutter curry I made not only got the thumbs-up from colleagues back at the office, it got a gold star from the curry king himself.

Leith-born Sikh Tony, 38, who runs Tony’s Table on North Castle Street, has been cooking since he was a teenager and loves sharing the recipes he learned from his Punjabi mum with his hungry customers. As he showed me how to brown onions with spices,chillies and garlic to make a paste, the award-winning chef talked about his passion for food and Scotland’s long-standing love affair with curry.

The dad-of-four said: "I think Scots like curry because it goes so well with beer and we all know how much we love to drink and eat.

“Scotland is a country with lots of cultures and we are not afraid to sample the exotic. Once we get a taste for something different, there is no going back and that is why the love for Indian cooking has grown.”

Tony, who also runs the famous Oloroso restaurant in the capital, said: "Across the UK, 2.5million people dine in 9500 curry houses every week.

“As much as I love mince and tatties, there is nothing better than a great chicken-on-the-bone curry. Curries are easy to make at home, too, as once you have all the ingredients prepped, you can have the whole thing finished and on the table in half anhour.

“It’s quick, healthy food with all of the taste of cordon bleu cooking.”