What are the nation's favourite curries?

Posted on 7th October 2015

Ask Brits what their favourite food is, and chicken tikka masala is bound to come up. For the last ten years it’s come out at the top of favourite food polls. For many, chicken tikka masala is a British national dish and a symbol of not just the relationship between the UK and India, which has lasted for over 400 years, but also of the British people’s way of embracing and celebrating other cultures. With over 10,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, it’s easy to see how the nation has taken Indian cuisine to its heart. But is the classic chicken tikka masala still a firm favourite over 40 years since it was invented – or has another dish taken its crown? Let’s take a look at the nation’s favourite curries.


A mix of green chillis, peppers, tomatoes, onion and marinated meat, jalfrezi is a hot curry with a dry, thick sauce. In a recent poll by Chaat!, the in-house magazine of the British Curry Club, 21% of curry lovers voted the jalfrezi their favourite curry – leaving chicken tikka masala in 10th place. 

Editor of Chaat! Dave Jenkins said the poll showed that people are enjoying spicy food more than ever.

“It’s really interesting to see that jalfrezi has topped the list. Being a spice lover myself, I think this is great news. People have been depending on the milder curries for too long now, so it’s great to see some more adventurous dishes topping the list.”

With six million Britons visiting curry houses a day, it’s perhaps no surprise that we’re becoming more adventurous and tasting more of what Indian cuisine has to offer. 

Rogan Josh

Made with root ginger, cardamom and red chillies, Rogan Josh is medium-spiced lamb dish. Like chicken tikka masala, Rogan Josh is ‘British Indian’ – created by chefs over here. Although nothing beats authentic Indian cuisine, British Indian dishes are experiencing popularity abroad where the milder spices are introducing new people to Indian food.


Paprika and turmeric turn this hot dish red – as well as generous helpings of chilli powder. Once reserved for more courageous diners, madras is now a popular meal.

Enam Ali, the founder of the British Curry Awards, said that now people have tasted spices, it’s hard to go back to having something plain.

“The British palate is changing. People’s tolerance for spiciness has gone up, and they are beginning to appreciate it more. London is now the best place for a curry, even better than India. All the top chefs are here now.”

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