Birmingham is one of the places that lays claim to inventing that most English of dishes : the Balti.
For those of you have not experienced this culinary delight ( the word literally means 'Bucket' ) it is usually served in a stainless steel bowl with a Nann bread on the side. Many people like to order rice with it as well to soak up the wonderful juices.
it was developed in the UK by Indian restaurants - and is totally unknown in India.
It is however evolved from (so I am informed by a friend of mine who owns a Balti House) from certain dishes that can be found in more mountainous areas of india.
There are so many places that specialise in baltis now - an area of Birmingham has developed as the 'Balti Mile' or 'Balti Triangle'.
Essentially it is around the Sparkbrook area and Ladypool road inparticular.
A cheaper alternative is to go to Selly Oak (useful local train station here) and find one there. They tend to be cheaper here as they mainly service the nearby University crowd.
The triangle itself is in Moseley but most of the VT readers will never find it if I put this entry there. There are around 50 balti houses who are members of the Asian Balti Restaurant Association based in Birmingham. The triangle itself is in the north part of Moseley, which is just to the south of the city centre. There are 36 Balti Restaurants in the triangle bounded by the A435 and the A34. It is a very small area. It's origin is from Pakistan and Kashmir and the houses are famous for their huge naan breads (some as big as a table)
Resturants..Birmingham has a variety of cultures and you have to visit Sparkhill a district in Birmingham majority of residents are Asians (Pakistani/Indian groups) Very friendly people. The resturant you need to visit is The Lahore Buffet Ladypool Road. There are a large variety of indian dishes and cater for vegetrians and Non vegetrians. Or you could go into a pizza place or a fish and chip shop.
It is very cheap 6 pounds per person and eat as much as you like opens from 1pm - midnight. The staff are very pleasant and mostly families visit the premises. There is no reservation and the service and food is outstanding and cheap.
Favorite Dish: Everything is catered for although fish is not on the menu. From starters to main course to sweets.
Birmingham is famous for it's Baltis and balti houses (both takeaway and restaurants) can be found all over the city. We have some of the best Indian chefs in the world here in B'ham, so you know your balti is going to be perfect everytime... The baltis here are brilliant and the restaurant is lovely and the staff very friendly.
Favorite Dish: Prawn & mushroom balti and cheese naan
Award winning Chef and friendly, stylish restaurant with food to delight, savour and wish I could get them to franchise in Australia!
The Indian migrants were on a winner by giving Brummies an alternative to bland Anglo food. especially after the clubs and pubs closed!
The food is exquisite and good value. 5-10pounds.
The staff always courteous and efficient.
Favorite Dish: The Naan bread is amazing! Get the large Naan and share - its exciting when you see it arrive on the table.
Great pick if you have vegetarian friends as they have quality choices too.
As I was in Birmingham a short time and not returning for a long time, it was great to have the Chef's Recommendation: a Combination Balti dish. You can choosed two small containers enabling you to sample two curries in small portions.
They are usually very generous with their food, so don't be afraid to ask for your left-overs to be put in a take-away for lunch the next day....
Always goes well with a cold lager.