One of the things I have been anticipating is the lack of Indian food in the United States. OK, I know that you can get just about everything here if you look, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be as popular, or as common or as good.
Indian food (or ‘a curry’) has been engineered in Britain over the past fifty or so years to suit the tastes of the gravy-loving, lager-imbibing, Northern European palate. This has been done with such great success that a particular dish, Chicken Tikka Masalla, has become somewhat of a national dish served during an evening of refreshments and merriment.
Indian restaurants are as common in Britain as Chinese restaurants are in the U.S. Pretty much every town has at least one and many of them deliver. An odd thing about them is that, even though the majority of Indian restaurants are not part of a chain, they have eerily similar menus. Even restaurants that purport to serve food from the opposite edges of the Indian subcontinent will have a ninety percent overlap and maybe just a ‘specials’ section with that region’s unique food. Apart from trendy places that are aiming at ‘authenticity’, I can confidently order my six or seven favourite items with confidence that the waiter won’t say ‘Bombay Potatoes???’
(Note on spelling – There seem to be two other ways of spelling ‘masalla’: the first with two ‘s’ and one ‘l’, and the other with one ‘s’ and one ‘l’. Never with two of both. I just picked the one I preferred.)
This curry was pretty good in my reckoning. The chicken wasn’t that tikka-like in that it wasn’t giant pieces of deliciously charred lovelinesses but overall it was very good. They even served cider that was more than half decent. Cider isn’t traditional, but not being a beer drinker, it’s the nearest equivalent.