Spice up your life with a curry on the first day of December, and you will be spicing up the coffers for a local charity!
This is the message from local restaurant owner, Shalim Abs, who will be honouring British Curry Day on Wednesday 1st December, by donating half of his day’s takings to the Weldmar Hospicecare charity.
Shalim, who runs Shalims Indian Restaurant in Weymouth says, “We will donate 50% of the money we take on British Curry Day to the Weldmar Hospicecare. So, whether you are enjoying a meal in our restaurant or ordering a freshly cooked takeaway, your purchase will contribute to this deserving charity”.
British Curry Day campaign started by Mr Enam Ali MBE who is one of the leading figures in the British curry industry. It is a national salute to those who came to this country and innovated the industry. Today this contributes £4.2 billion pounds to the economy (source: Financial Times), with sales of over 2.5 million curries every week throughout the UK (source: British Curry Awards).
Shalim says, “This event celebrates the legacy our forefathers brought to this country and the cuisine which has been embraced into British culture. It is also to honour and recognise the hard work and perseverance shown by the early pioneers who dared to set foot on foreign soil with no education, no money and no grasp of the English language but through sheer tenacity and determination they managed to create a booming industry against all odds. British Curry Day is also to raise awareness that even though we say Indian restaurants but the majority of the restaurants are run and owned by Bangladeshis from the region of Sylhet. You could say Sylhet is the root of all Indian restaurants in the UK today.
Shalims Indian Restaurant in Weymouth has been a mainstay to Indian cuisine for many years.
He continued, “Our long association with Weymouth started over 20 years ago when my father opened the doors to our first curry house here. We have been proudly serving fresh, authentic curries since that time. Many of our customers have been visiting us for decades and we have had the honour of seeing their families grow and to be part of their celebrations over the years.”
The classic curries we enjoy today, such as chicken tikka masala, baltic, jalfrezi, madras, chicken vindaloo and the even hotter phaal, are not commonly found in India. They were all created in Britain by the early pioneers of this British and Indian fusion. Whilst sadly, many of these have been lost to the pandemic, the younger generation continues to elevate the cuisine we enjoy today.
Shalim, explains, “As chefs we always want to push our creatively and culinary expertise forward. We have developed exclusive dishes such as, gunpowder chicken and our Balti special mosala to tantalise tastebuds and are delighted that our food has been recognised with five winning accolades from the British Curry Awards, amongst others”.
Along with the whole of the hospitality sector, the curry industry has been hard hit by the repeated lockdowns of the pandemic. Despite this hardship, they continue to give generous support to local charities and good causes. Shalims is no exception.
James O’Neill, Weldmar Hospicecare says, “We provide our patients across Dorset with the highest level of specialist end of life care, whilst giving vital support to their loved ones. Our charity relies on donations from our supporters to provide all of our services free of charge. Our thanks to Shalim and his team for supporting us and to everyone who participates on Wednesday 1st December. You will be helping patients and those they love receive the care and support they need.”
Owner, Shalim concludes, “My team and I are delighted to have this opportunity to help this worthwhile charity and give back to a community we are proud to serve.”
Shalims Indian Restaurant is situated in Commercial Road, Weymouth, Dorset and table and takeaway orders can be booked by phone or online at www.shalimsbaltihouse.co.uk
Photo: Weldmar Hospice Care building in the background – inset from left to right – Shalim Abs, Shalims Indian restaurant and Mr Enam Ali MBE who came up with the idea for ‘British Curry Day’