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Britain's Curry Crisis

Britain's Curry Crisis

It seems that the US is not the only country dealing with immigration issues. In England, the government uses a point-based system to determine migration by non-EU citizens. While this may be a good move for security reasons, it is actually bad for food reasons. You see, over the last several decades, many believe that curry has become England's "true national dish". However, thanks to the immigration restrictions, many of Britain's curry houses are suffering from a staff shortage. Restauranteur Ahmed Koysor said:

It's been really difficult to recruit locally. We have tried hiring eastern European staff but they have been mostly useless. No skills, no understanding of what we do. And besides, they need to speak the language of the kitchen if we are going to be good at what we do.

There are no confirmed figures, but the Bangladesh Caterers' Association states that there are 27,500 vacancies in Bangladeshi-owned restaurants and that immigration officials have said that no more Bangladeshi nationals will be allowed in. If this continues, many restaurants may be forced to close.

So what do you guys think of this? With curry being England's "national dish," do you think there should be some more wiggle room?


Join The Conversation
orisugar orisugar 9 years
But i agree about British food being bland and gross...I don't know why people make such a fuss about British fish and's so greasy and sticks to the newspaper it's wrapped in. I remember the first time i had fish and chips in england, my stomach was out for a couple of days. blargh.
orisugar orisugar 9 years
yeah but curry isn't only made with curry powder, alot of other spices and ingredients are added to it. It's a very specific style of cooking.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
British food ISN'T very nice at all! Greasy and fried (and bland) :SCARED:
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Not to pick at the article here, but isn't curry, a spice, and not technically a 'dish'? I looked it up in the dictionary, and it said: "any dish flavored with curry powder or the like: a lamb curry" :PONDER:
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
LOL @ Ikandy - if they were to rely on British cuisine for their national dish, though, no one would eat it. Because, after almost two years of living here, I can tell you that Brit food is not very nice. Curry is AMAZING. But I haven't noticed much understaffing, though that might just be because I live in a decently large city...
Ikandy Ikandy 9 years
So the brits want indian food...minus the They need another national delicious as indian food is...too fn bad!
MlleMLT MlleMLT 9 years
Argh some comments make me mad...Indians are NOT like Texas' "Mexicans." First of all I am an Indian in Texas (lol) and there are lots of legal "Mexicans" here - most Americans and Brits would not be able to tell someone who was born in Laredo from Nuevo Laredo but one of them is American! Not all "Mexicans" are illegal... Also, I have lots of fam in London (younger genration was born there so they are British through and through) and they are truly discriminated against by some intolerant white Brits which makes me so mad because they are as British as the next! Their immigration problem is not on the same level as the US (that's to say in 10 yrs, there will not be more Indians than white Brits etc...). Also Britain was a colonial oppressor of Indians for centuries. What do they expect 60 years after India/Bangledesh/Pakistan gets independence?? That nobody will come for a better education, economy etc...? That's stupid. As far as the surface issue of cooks in a kitchen, they should just hire people who can learn to cook Indian food. Brits don't eat true Indian food anyway, it is made for their taste. If you go into any American restaurant, no matter what type of food it is, there will probably be white line cooks and those of Latino descent in the back!
LArgent LArgent 9 years
This is terrible! Curry is the best food in the whole world! Luckily The Rajput, my personal favourite in London's Shepherds Bush doesn't seem to be suffering. The more serious, and ridiculous thing about this 'crisis' though, is that if Bangladeshies are coming into the country to work, then there is no reason they should't be allowed entry. They will end up paying tax after all. There are plenty of English people sitting around sponging off the government, and no one seems to be complaining about that. If only for the sake of a good Jalfrezi, certain areas of immigration law should be overlooked!
orisugar orisugar 9 years
Oh I found this funny excerpt somewhere: "At one such restaurant a Sylheti chef served a customer a dry Chicken Tikka dish he had taken some pains over, and was expecting to be appreciated for. Instead the pukka sahib summoned him and hollered: 'Where's the gravy?' In disgust, the chef took the dish back into the kitchen and simply emptied a can of tomato soup into it, adding a few spices as well. When he brought back the altered dish, his customer was delighted. Thus was Chicken Tikka Masala born. ”
orisugar orisugar 9 years
I guess since it is most consumed it becomes England's national dish.
Lucy-Ingham Lucy-Ingham 9 years
It is a fact- several natioanl polls in the fact have proved it. It might be weird, but it is true
orisugar orisugar 9 years
I think that saying curry is England's national dish is absolutely ludicrous. It's accurate to claim that curry is widely popular in England, but to appropriate South Asian food and tighten immigration restrictions on South Asian people is extremely hypocritical. Infact it reflects remnants of a colonial mindset.
Lucy-Ingham Lucy-Ingham 9 years
SeptemberLights- the national dish of england is a chicken tikka masala, it is a well known fact. Honestly, unless you are from England yourself, you really wont get it properly. Its just a good example of how England takes on other cultural elements and makes them part of their own heritage. Or something less cheesy to that effect. I'm really not surprised that this is the case- its not just a case of fewer people being allowed into the UK, the other thing is that those who have worked in the curry houses before, have got better jobs, or gone to university. England's immigration policy has become very aggressive recently, and while I don't think such a policy should be based on food, if it has such a significant effect on the restaurant and hospitality industry, then that makes it an economic issue, and it should be taken into account.
celebrity_soup celebrity_soup 9 years
septemberlights, how can curry NOY be englands national dish?! SERIOUSLY! there are SO MANY indians in England, im not surprised!
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 9 years
That is ridiculous! How can curry be England's national dish??? If you read the article they are actually just saying that some popular Indian chicken dishes were created in England not India. I wouldn't go around saying that curry is the national dish of england. My sisters husband is from London and he started rolling on the floor laughing!
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Most kitchens have people speaking all different kinds of languages. Why would a curry house need everyone to speak the same language? And if it were truly an only-people-from-this-area-could-do-the-job kind of thing, wouldn't that work to bring them in? I mean here in America if someone has special skills for a specific job, the employer can sponsor their entry to the country. :? But, now I want to eat some curry. :P
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
Can't say I feel sorry for them ... perhaps they should just charge more for curry ... then there would not be as much demand.
quelle quelle 9 years
this is an interesting problem. it would definitely be a shame if immigration would have such a big impact on a nations' "national dish", though i can't help but find this whole situation rather ironic.
girlfriday girlfriday 9 years
As an Eastern European, I take offense to the comment that we're "totally useless." Kidding. (I suppose it's hard to get along in a kitchen where you don't know the food or language. And anyway Bangladeshis would probably make terrible sarma!) This is an interesting take on EU immigration. There are all these little things that are affected that one never thinks about.
caryatid caryatid 9 years
haha, i think basing a country's policy on food is a great idea! when i was in london, a guy was chatting me up on the bus and asking about where i was from (oklahoma) and said he had been to texas, then launched into 'our indian people are kind of like your mexicans'. i was a little bit horrified but amused at how matter of factly he stated it. and while i love mexican food, i don't think that food should play such a role!
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