Sunday, 3 June 2007

Balti Triangle Trail 1

In Birmingham, there is a quarter commonly known as "Balti Triangle". As you can imagine, it is a triangle shaped area in south east of Birmingah, where there is a high concentration of Indian, Bangladishi, and Pakistani restaurants. If you live in Britain, you might remember the tornado that hit the area on 28 July 2005.

This is the view of Ladypool road, one of the main streets of the area. Bit gloomy, partly because of the weather.

Balti means a curry dish supposed to be born in Birmingham in the immigrants' community here. The idiosyncracy of balti is its container: it is served in a small metal bowl shaped pan with two handles, which is called "kalahi". My impression is that the recipe changes from restaurant to restaurant and does not have real "sine qua non" element. Balti became also local synonym for curry.

If I understood well, tens of years ago, the Balti triangle was the only place you could get decent "Indian" (British term for the people of India, Bangladeshi, and Pakistan is "Asian", but I guess "Indian" is commoner elsewhere) food in Birmingham. However, with the increase of "Indian" immigrants settled in other areas and the "Indian" food got more and more familiar to the British people, it is now easier to find good "Indian" restaurants elsewhere than in Balti triangle, so the restaurants in the area are in decline.

We come to the area from time to time, because it is still exotic somehow and we can find many unfamiliar things. I write about our recent visit in coming entries.