Glasgow’s Curry Credentials:
- Winner of the Curry Capital of Britain in 2010, 2006, 2003 and 2002
- Runner-up in 2012, 2011 and 2004
Scotland’s largest city has a worthy reputation for being something of an epicentre curry having received the Curry Capital accolade more times than any other city in the UK. It’s also claimed the chicken tikka masala was invented here in the 1970s, forever cementing the significance of Indian cuisine in British culinary consciousness.
Glasgow is of course famous for many other things. The oldest football stadium in the world (Hampton Park) is located in Glasgow, it was designated the European city of culture in 1990 and the art nouveau designs of the Glasgow’s famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, can be found throughout the city. A fair number of great comedians and actors hail from Glasgow – Billy Connelly, Frankie Boyle and Robbie Coltrane to name just a few. The city’s music scene is equally thriving and can lay claim to producing such seminal bands as Primal Scream, Simple Minds and Belle & Sebastian.
Cusine-wise, Glasgow has garnered something of an unfair reputation for frying all kinds of food. The deep-fried Mars Bar has come to symbolise this though in reality it is more of a novelty food item rather than a city-wide snack. Thanks to its large Asian population, Glasgow has really adopted Indian cuisine as its own with some excellent curry houses including KoolBa and Mother India, to be found dotted throughout the city. Last year, Glasgow’s Curry Capital entry was as a strong as it has ever been, though unfortunately not enough to pip long-time curry rivals Bradford to the post. Perhaps the tables have turned this year though and Glasgow can once again claim the Curry Capital title?!
Glasgow’s Restaurant Team 2013:
Ashoka, Southside 268, Clarkston Road, Glasgow, G44. Tel : 0141 6370711
Koolba, 109 Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NP. Tel : 0141 552 2777
Mother India, 28 Westminster Terrace, Glasgow,
Mr Singhs, 149 Elderslie Street, Glasgow, G3 7JR. Tel : 0141 204 0186
An Interview with Glasgow’s Lord Provost Councillor Sadie Docherty
Glasgow have claimed the Curry Capital title more than any other city and are a strong rival to last year’s winner Bradford. As curry is such a huge part of Glaswegian culture, we spoke with Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Councillor Sadie Docherty, to find out more about their 2013 entry. For more on Glasgow’s bid, head to www.glasgow.gov.uk/
1. You very narrowly missed out on taking the top spot in last year’s awards, how do you rate your chances this year?
We put our heart and soul into this competition and this year is no different. Our nominated restaurants and our own council’s marketing team put a great deal of effort into making Glasgow’s bid for the title the best it can be.
Our submissions are always fresh, innovative and exciting. This year’s will be just as imaginative – if not more!!
We show Glasgow for what it is – diverse, dynamic, energetic and, of course, curry crazy!
2. Glasgow is a very diverse city, with a great food culture. What does the city do to encourage multiculturalism and how does this affect the cuisine on offer?
Glasgow is easily Scotland’s most ethnically diverse city, with one in 20 Glaswegians of minority ethnic origin. Having such a diverse community brings a dynamic and cosmopolitan feel to our city, introducing native Glaswegians to other cultures, to enjoy and learn more about them.
We host a range of festivals to celebrate the diversity of our city. Glasgow Mela, for example, is one which has been developed to represent the coming together of many people, from many cultures, to celebrate their shared diversity. The Mela was originally created in 1990, as part of Glasgow’s celebrations as European City of Culture, this event is now Scotland’s largest multi-cultural extravaganza of music, dance and interactive acts.
Over 50% of Glasgow’s population eat a curry at least once a week. This leads to our chefs and restaurateurs continually looking to innovate and develop the flavour of the Glasgow curry.
Whatever the secret ingredients, it is an unquestionable fact that a Glasgow curry is incredibly good value for money with the cost of an Indian meal in any of our restaurants putting most other cities to shame – meaning Glasgow can provide a fantastic deal for visitors, tourists and citizens.
3. How does the city support the curry restaurants, which form an important part of the food culture in Glasgow?
The council provides enormous support to over 60 black and ethnic minority organisations that deliver help and advice to our ethnic residents. As part of our work we published a ’Welcome to Glasgow’ pack, produced in English, Polish, Slovakian, Romanian and Czech, to inform migrant workers of their rights and responsibilities while living and working in Glasgow.
Enjoying a good curry is a part of Glasgow life and when it comes to Indian food we believe we produce the best curries in the world – many say that the taste can’t be replicated anywhere else.
This fact is reflected in the scores of curry houses and restaurants operating in the city, and some have been established for many, many years and remain among the busiest in the city.
It’s the enthusiasm and passion of the people of this great city that has helped us over the years to win the Curry Capital of Britain title and that alone makes us winners, already.
4. Which four restaurants have been chosen to represent Glasgow in the awards?
KoolBa, Mother India, Mister Singh’s India, Ashoka Southside
5. How does the city council support the chosen restaurants?
In any way we can. We write to all the Indian restaurants in Glasgow and send a hard copy of the nomination form for them to copy and use to encourage their customers to nominate them.
We work together throughout the competition and it’s wonderful to form good working relationships with the restaurants and businesses even after the competition is over.
6. As part of the competition all the restaurants are required to hold a charity dinner, what does this involve?
It is up to the individual restaurants to decide what type of fundraising they will do to support the competition’s chosen charity. The organisers of Curry Capital commended us for donating more than any other city in the 2010 and 2011 competition and last year was hailed as the most compassionate city in the competition by judges.
This year’s restaurateurs will be just as eager to show their support – another trait our city and citizens are known for is our generosity when donating to charity.
7. Do you think you’ll ever get tired of eating curry?
The thought doesn’t enter my mind!! We are a city with so many unique Indian restaurants serving up a huge variety of innovative and mouth watering dishes. It’s hard to imagine anyone getting tired of eating curry – and certainly not in Glasgow.
8. If Glasgow had to choose its all-round favourite Indian dish what would it be?
Too hard a question to answer!!
9. How will you celebrate if you win?
In true Glasgow style.