Britons hail 200 years of first Indian restaurant

Britons hail 200 years of first Indian restaurant London: It is 200 years since the first Indian restaurant was opened in Britain by a man from Bihar and Britons across the country are celebrating the event with a National Curry Week.

From the humble beginning in London in the form of 'The Hindostanee Coffee House' on George Street, Portman Square, in 1809, the Indian food industry has grown into one of Britain's largest, employing over 100,000 people with a turnover of millions.

It is said that today there is nary a village or street in Britain that does not have an Indian restaurant.

Chicken Tikka Masala is considered Britain's national dish, while Britons continue to patronise the Indian food industry despite recession.

National Curry Week was started in 1998 to promote the cuisine and to raise funds for charities concentrating on hunger, malnourishment and poverty.

During the week, curry lovers visit their local curry houses, some of which stage special events and fun challenges.

The story goes that Sake Dean Mohamet, who was born in 1759 in Patna, joined the East Indian Company and rose to the rank of subedar.

He and his 'best friend', Captain Godfrey Baker, came to Britain in 1784 and started a new life in Ireland.