June 16, 2005

The Case of the Birmingham Balti

The BBC and the Oxford English Dictionary are asking logophiles to help rewrite the 'greatest book in the English Language'. Armchair word-detectives have been invited by the BBC Wordhunt to find proof of the origin of fifty mysterious words. Balti and tikka masala are both on the list: if you feel like disputing the claim that these items were concocted in some Bangladeshi restaurant in Birmingham, send in your evidence to the BBC and it might feature in a forthcoming television series.

Personally, I think the British are welcome to their dubious versions of Mughlai and their even more dubious terminology. What more can you say for the people who cooked up curry as a catch-all term for Indian cuisine?

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