Indian Curry History

Cardiff Curry

Indian Curry History is fascinating, what we recognise as a curry is not something that the people of India recognise. The name is subject to debate, but a consensus agree that it originates from the Tamil word ‘kari’ meaning spiced sauce.

Indian Curry History generally agrees that the word originated in India, and was adopted by the Raj. When English merchants first set foot in Surat in 1608, it was thought to be the start of the romance between the British people and the curry. In fact King Richard 1 (1189-1199) had overseen a revolution in English cooking using most of the herbs and spices we use today in curries.

Cardiff Curry

The commonly used base spices and herbs often include coriander, cumin, cardamom and turmeric. These can be augmented with mustard seeds, bay leaf, black pepper, chilli pepper, cloves, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Red chilli powder, garlic and salt are used to vary the intensity of the flavour.

The specific balance and use of these spices will alter with the season, the region, whether you are cooking meat, fish or vegetables or even the occasion these factors have defined Indian curry history. However the spices are proportioned the individual ingredients each have their own benefit. Cumin and mustard are warming herbs and Fennel seeds are cooling; however they both aid digestion. Turmeric is an extremely effective anti septic and is said to purify the blood.

Fenugreek is rich in Folic Acid and Vitamin B, and can assist in reproductive disorders. It is established that it also stimulates blood development and may promote hair follicle development as well as fighting infections.

Coriander is effective against flatulence, and black pepper is known to be high in chromium this stimulates appetite and may have a role in diabetes prevention.

The British have very much adapted the curry to their taste. Chicken Tikka Massala is a classic example with chicken tikka referring to chicken marinated and cooked on skewers in a Tandoor oven. A sauce (Massala) was added to please the British and their desire for gravy with meat. It is only quite recently that it has started to become popular in the Indian sub-continent.

There is huge variety of curries; countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia all have different styles of curry. Indeed there is a north-south difference within India itself.

Cardiff Curry

Cardiff Curry Types

Chicken tikka Masala; bit of a national favourite this one. The chicken can be substituted by fish, paneer (cheese cubes) or even lamb. The sauce is mild and creamy with tomato.

Korma another creamy curry predominantly cardamom and cinnamon or clove rather than black peppery hot or strong spices.

Madras Curry is spicy. From southern India goes with most meats and vegetables, expect chillies!

Jalfrezi is dry fried curry with green peppers, green chillies onions and tomatoes in a clingy spicy masala sauce.

Vindaloo, expect red chillies and strong hot sour flavours, usually goes with meat. A speciality from central, SW India.

Rogan Ghosh is an aromatic curry dish. The meat is cooked in clarified butter with paprika, aniseed, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Ginger and yoghurt may feature, and tomatoes increasingly so.

Balti may refer to the region of Northern Pakistan, Baltistan where people cook food in a cast iron pot or from the Hindi word balti, which means pot.

It certainly came to prominence in Birmingham in the 1980’s and spread to the rest of the UK in the 90’s Balti is eaten from the serving karahi (the Balti serving pan) with rolled up nan bread contains fried green peppers and fresh coriander. Medium hot.

Cardiff Curry Indian Meal
There are many more styles so try out a Cardiff Curry to explore the menu!

Cardiff Curry – Sides Dishes and Deserts

Samosa, Pakora, Bombay sandwich, Falooda, Kulfi, Dal, Alloo chat, Sag Aloo, Bombay potatoes, Ladies fingers. Onion Bahgee, Brindal bahjee, Prawn puri, King Prawn butterfly.

To try out your Cardiff curry you first have to find a good venue. Cardiff curry restaurants come in two main styles. The contemporary restaurant with clean lines and a bright modern feel, alternatively the traditional curry restaurant has more of a late evening, Indian lager feel about them.
All the restaurants mentioned here have been recommended as worthy of a visit. However, there are many more that undoubtedly should feature here, so if you know of one, let us know in the comments box at the end of the article.

The Cardiff Local review is divided into areas, so you should be able to find a restaurant close to you.

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Canton

Canton is perhaps the best served area in Cardiff to get a quality Cardiff curry.

The Cardamom is an award-winning restaurant falling into the contemporary category.

The Star of Wales is a traditional restaurant, good portions of meat. It is popular early evening, and also popular with local clientele.

Jinuk Quality curry house Canton Indian restaurant of the year back in 2003, hasn’t lost its touch, popular with the media and not too far from town. Many people’s favourites

Purple Poppadom in Canton Contemporary nouvelle cuisine “always at the heart of Purple Poppadom is our love for creating imaginative Nouvelle Indian Cuisine based on our wonderful culinary heritage” Self explanatory.

India spice is a curry house; they have tended to concentrate on take aways, however, still worth a visit as a good turnover in the kitchen usually means good food.

Love Curry is a highly rated delivery service serving West Cardiff regularly gets 4 and 5 stars.

Janata Palace Very well recommended, Tandoori mixed grill a real meat feast. Traditional restaurant with traditional decor.

Vegetarian Food Studio Cafe style restaurant, take your own wine. Award winning food that belies that fact that vegetarian restaurants are bland. Good size portions and helpful explanation of the menu.

Cardiff Curry

Cardiff Curry Restaurants in Roath

The Himalaya in Wellfield Road, Roath Medium priced curry restaurant, probably the best in the area, especially late at night.

The Mirchi is a café style in Roath. Really good food here, an excellent vegetarian menu as well, they prefer you not to drink alcohol on the premises. With the food as good as this it’s no great loss. Fresh ingredients and great taste.

Haveli, A light and airy restaurant, tasty and interesting menu, ask about the dishes they are very helpful here. Contemporary art work and a good atmosphere.

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Cardiff Bay


Spice route, Not actually in the Bay but over in the Red dragon centre. They promote themselves by saying, “Using local welsh produce with the finest ingredients, our majestic pots reveal generous servings of Indian, Thai, Pakistani, Malaysian & European cuisine.

All dishes are full of flavour at an unbelievable fixed price!”

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Heath

Mint and Mustard, Contemporary style, Mint and Mustard is currently in the 2012 Michelin Guide. It offers contemporary food with impeccable service. Probably the best Indian in Cardiff

Panama Tandoori a longstanding traditional restaurant (1976), which tells its own story, excellent Bangladeshi food with a very welcoming smile. Try the Tandoori!

Cardiff Curry Restaurants in Birchgrove

Jamuna Complete with Bollywood on the screen. Fine food here fish particularly tasty, delivering to most of Northern Cardiff

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Cardiff Centre

Juboraj Mill Lane Contemporary One of several restaurants in the Juboraj group. Others are in Rhiwbina, and Lakeside. Excellent Indian and Bangladeshi curry, at the more expensive end but not exorbitant.

Mango House on Westgate Street, occupying formerly Cardiff, Grand Hotel, a contemporary Indian restaurant. Being in Westgate street busy on match days. Very good food, keep for special occasions.

Cardiff Curry restaurants in St Mellons

Shamrat in St Mellons. Not at all central but very good curry restaurant, always busy, so get organised to get the best out of your evening.

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Pontcanna

Cinnamon Tree Pontcanna Curry house Good quality traditional type of Indian restaurant, has a good local following. Make sure you are not in the takeaway queue

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Whitchurch

The India gate If you still love the old style diners and just enjoy a really good curry then this is the place for you. Well established and going strong.

Indian Khazana

Adjacent to the India Gate, a good find, quality of the tikka is excellent and a comprehensive vegetarian menu.

Good food with a very reasonable price, best in the area for value. NOW CLOSED PERMANTLY

Indian khazana

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Rhiwbina

The Gateway of India chilled curries. Not a restaurant, but a chilled curry delicatessen. Very clean and with weekend offers. Curry often tastes better when it is marinated.

Juboraj (Rhiwbina) previously mentioned, the original Juboraj. Food is good even when full.

Cardiff Curry restaurants in Cathays

Akash take away. Old-fashioned curry restaurant reputed to be the oldest in Cardiff. All chicken is off the bone, and staff are very welcoming

Balti King is excellent for a take away, fresh food and often with a discount. So value and quality what more can you ask?

Mowgli’s Cathays Real napkins, outstanding food with clean and fresh interior. Above average curry house with an imaginative menu.

Balti Cuisine Woodville Rd. Well reviewed traditional restaurant in Woodville Rd. Very good value for money, with friendly service.

Kasturi No license so take your own beer or wine, good food, good service and good value, this restaurant has worked out the balance between flavour and strength, very good fish and chicken dishes.

How to Use the Cardiff Curry Directory

  • Go for family run restaurants, their reputation is important to them so standards tend o be a bit higher.
  • Higher review ratings speak for themselves but check the number of reviews which will reflect how busy the restaurant is.
  • Coming soon, Hygiene ratings, restaurants my look fantastic front of house but its the kitchen where all the magic happens so check the ratings.
  • Special offers: We try to keep you aware of offers but by nature special offers are special and a bit unpredictable so check the restaurants own websites for offers, many offer 10% off orders online or discount on their ‘slack days’.

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