Putting Curry in the Picture
by Lizzie Collingham , , pp.,
October 2006, volume 30, No 10

As a young child, in late 1970’s Britain, I would often walk into the kitchen to find my mother making a curry. To this day I can still picture it; some kind of meat (probably beef), an onion, a few teaspoons of curry powder and for that touch of exotica, it would be topped off with some raisins. She never served it to me, as she knew I hated it and I cannot remember seeing her eat it either. My parents divorced in the 1980s and following my father’s departure from the household the ‘curry’ was never seen again. It wasn’t until the 1990s that curry came back into my life. I had been invited to a birthday celebration – an all male affair – and the ‘lads’ and I went to a typical UK-style Indian restaurant. The practice whereby gangs of drunk young men pile into their local curry house is referred to in the UK as ‘going for an Indian’ and it is more of a tradition in the UK than the Royal Family or tea and biscuits. But I had never done it before, and it was in that curry house that I first realized that there was more to curry than just eating a novel cuisine.

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