BBC Radio 2 announces the Nation’s Favourite Curry

This evening on BBC Radio 2 Drivetime with Simon Mayo (5-7pm), the result of the vote for the Nation’s Favourite British Indian curry was announced. With 19 per cent of the vote, the champion was revealed as the Jalfrezi curry – a popular South Asian dish which is cooked with oil and spices and characterized by a dry, thick sauce.

Published: 10 September 2015
As a huge curry fan myself, I’ve had a great time over the past week exploring the influence of Indian culture through its delicious cuisine, with some of the UK’s finest chefs and curry enthusiasts. It’s also been really interesting finding out why people love their particular favourites.
— Simon Mayo

Following closely behind was the Madras and the Rogan Josh, with 15 per cent and 11 per cent of the vote respectively.

Chetna Makan - curry enthusiast, and talented baker from last year’s BBC One Great British Bake Off, made the announcement and served up the winning curry live during Simon Mayo’s show.

As the home of ‘Foody Thursday’, the bid to discover the Nation’s Favourite Curry was launched on Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show on Tuesday 1 September as part of India Season on the BBC.

The winning curry was championed by Cyrus Todiwala OBE, one half of The Spice Men, who was on the show on Tuesday to back the Jalfrezi. Cyrus is chef proprietor of Café Spice Namasté, and cooked for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

As part of the week-long feature, chefs from around the UK were advocating for their favourite dish and telling listeners why they should vote for that curry. Some of the chefs that featured on the show included Tony Singh – the other half of the Incredible Spice Men; Asif Ali - owner of Shish Mahal in Glasgow and son of Ali Ahmed, who invented the Tikka Masala in the 70s; Shabir Hussain - the founder of Akbar's, which has the title of Manchester’s finest curry house; Vivek Singh - chef and CEO of The Cinnamon Club; and Rejina Sabur-Cross - author of the hugely popular book and blog ‘Gastro Geek’. Plus, for those that were inspired to try their hand at cooking one of the top curries, recipes were made available at bbcgoodfood.com/recipes.

The Jalfrezi beat another nine curries to the top spot, which were all chosen in consultation with the British Curry Awards and the British Curry Club. The vote was open for eight days and almost 8,000 listeners headed to the website to have their say.

Presenter Simon Mayo says: “As a huge curry fan myself, I’ve had a great time over the past week exploring the influence of Indian culture through its delicious cuisine, with some of the UK’s finest chefs and curry enthusiasts. It’s also been really interesting finding out why people love their particular favourites.”

Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes for BBC Radio 2, says: “The Nations favourite curry vote has been a popular talking point among many and I’m delighted to be celebrating India Season on Radio 2, especially in such a way that gets the whole nation involved.”

The curries that were included in the vote, in alphabetical order, were:

  • Balti - Balti curries are served in a Balti dish (hence the name).
  • Biryani - Biryani is a one-dish rice-based curry.
  • Dhansak - Dhansak is a hot, sweet and sour curry containing lentils.
  • Jalfrezi - Jalfrezi curries are cooked with oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce.
  • Korma - Korma is a mild dish made with cream, and is known for its lack of heat.
  • Madras - Madras is rich and intensely spicy.
  • Rogan Josh - Rogan josh has a thick flavoursome gravy
  • Saag - Saag is a leaf-based sauce made from cooked spinach and other greens.
  • Tikka Masala - Tikka Masala is made from roasted spicy chunks (tikka) and simmered in a creamy tomato sauce.
  • Vindaloo - Vindaloo is a spicy, hot and vinegary curry made with red hot chili.

CM