Families wake up early on Christmas morning, open up the presents from Santa, watch the same film that’s on nearly every Christmas and restrain from eating loads until lunch, because of the big dinner.
Mum says: “Ok everyone, we have a table booked for Christmas dinner at the Indian restaurant down the road, get your coats and shoes on!”
A bit of Christmas curry for Christmas dinner seems the order of the day for some families. Jolly Dad cracking his rubbish jokes and having the turkey vindaloo. Little Jimmy trying to be the hard man like his Dad and having the madras. Big Sister, Jessica just wants poppadoms, because she is watching her figure and adventurous Mum sticks to the korma.
As a nation, it seems that us Brits are moving away from our traditions. All our traditional annual meals see to be declining. Who hardly now eats potato ash on Ash Wednesday? Where’s the fish gone on Good Friday? And what happened to everyone going to the chippy on a Friday night? Some people do keep these traditions going and families may have their own routine of meals, but not having the stuffed bird on the 25th of December seems a bit unholy.
Or are we a nation not set in our ways and traditions? Well we are a nation that moves with the times, because of factors in history. The traditional Christmas dinner
people had before the war was goose, because many turkey farms cropped up and turkey was a lot cheaper to buy, this became the preferred choice and one could feed a whole family. So now it seems we are branching out even further and not just putting the turkey as leftovers in a pot to make curry for a few days after Christmas, but actually having it on the day itself.
Jeff Hall, Tandorri.co.uk (Asian restaurant directory website), said: “Chicken Tikka Masala is the most popular English dish in the U.K.” Yes… English!
Chicken Tikka Masala was created by a few Bangladeshi restaurateurs in the U.K. If anyone doubts that Chicken Tikka Masala has joined fish and chips as one of greatest national dishes, they just need to look at the sales. Just one of the UK's leading supermarkets sold 1.5 million of them last year alone.
Mr Hall, said: “Asian restaurants do get booked up on Christmas Day and offer the traditional turkey dinner as well as there own menu.
“Some English restaurants are fully booked up nearly a year in advance and some Indian restaurants are booked up by September. I think in some cases it may be that people can not get a table in an English restaurant and see that Indian restaurants are offering the traditional turkey dinner and they opt to go there.
“I have been to an Indian restaurant on two occasions in the last ten years and loved it. I had curried turkey on one of the times and the normal turkey dinner the other time. The waiters were walking around in Santa hats and white beards. It was a very festive atmosphere with decorations.”
The majority of Asian restaurants are open on Christmas Day, because the festivals they celebrate land on a different time of the year. Hindus and Sikhs celebrate Diwali towards the end of October and Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr around the same time.
The Brits love their curries and a lot would say they would love a hot curry more than steak and kidney pie and chips. The U.K. has become so multi-cultural over the last
50 years, times have changed and food has changed along with the times.
Even though the Indian cuisine has had a big impact on the British food industry, the Brits have made their mark on Indian food as well. Nearly all Indian food is vegetarian and they would have never of thought to have meat in them. Brits love a bit of meat though. In the 1960’s a lot of inauthentic “Indian” foods were produced like the Balti originating in Birmingham curry houses and the worldwide popular, Chicken Tikka Masala. The trend has now reversed and more restaurants are putting their more authentic dishes on the menu, like the Biryani and Tandoori.
Several restaurants are offering the same price for the Traditional Dinner as the Indian Dinner.
The Indian Ocean Restaurant, Manchester quotes from its menu: “Our delicious Indian cuisine offers an interesting alternative to the festive norm whilst keeping a twist of the traditional.”
The difference really is just the curry instead of the turkey with the infamous Brussels sprouts that everyone dislikes. Christmas dinner should be a time where everybody enjoys their meal and not just stick to the turkey. I mean is it such a bad thing to be “untraditional”? You sit round the table with all the family and big sis, Jessica is not going to like the meal or a part of it, most likely, because she is vegetarian, so she is left with the veg and a Quorn burger, or the little brat, Jimmy, who refuses to eat his greens and is left with a turkey and cranberry sandwich. Granny complains that the turkey gets stuck in her false teeth. Dad lets all this moaning carry on, while wishing he had his beef vindaloo and Mum collapses on the floor exhausted from cooking this farce. Happy families, eh?