Worthing Residents Prefer Their Curry Hotter to Brightonians

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Did you know that 23 million of us regularly eat curry? It’s true, the British love a curry. But who do you think loves the curry with the biggest kick? Hari Ghotra, a food writer, chef and entrepreneur from Wolverhampton decided to test what parts of Britain are most likely to turn up the heat when they order their Friday-night takeaway. Over the course of five years, Ghotra collected tweets containing the names of curries and to each dish she assigned a “heat rating” from 1-10. She then compiled her findings into an interactive curry heat map. The residents of Kent, Essex and the North West love their curry hot, whereas a few places in the South and North East prefer a much milder dish.

“The research reveals some interesting trends…for example, northern cities typically prefer hotter curries than the surrounding areas, whereas in the south the opposite trend can be observed” Hari said “while the North West tops the charts by individual city location, it’s the south that ultimately prevails…when the localities are grouped its actually southerners overall who prefer the hotter curry”. What we wanted to know, however, was what sort of curry Brightonians prefer. The results are surprising, with those living in Brighton and Hove preferring a milder curry to those living in Worthing, and those in Lewes preferring an even milder curry to Brightonians. Though we don’t live too far apart, our taste buds clearly do. You can find the curry heat map here, and let us leave you with a great curry recipe that should satisfy our slightly milder, but not too mild, taste buds.

Chicken Balti Recipe

Prep time: Ten minutes Cook time: Twenty minutes Serves: Four


  • 2 tablespoons tandoori masala – good quality store bought or homemade
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 chicken breasts – skinned and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger – grated and finely chopped
  • 1 large green or red pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 – 3 fresh green chilli peppers
  • 2 tomatoes – roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala – Here is my homemade recipe
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 5 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large frying pan or balti pan.
  2. Toss in the onions and allow to fry for about two minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine.
  4. Throw in the chicken pieces.
  5. Now add the sliced pepper, chilli pepper, tomatoes, the tandoori masala, the garam masala and the vinegar.
  6. Stir constantly for a further two minutes.
  7. Plop in the tomato paste and add about 100ml of water. A little more can be added if you prefer more liquid.
  8. Your chicken balti is ready when the chicken is cooked through. Try not to over cook the vegetables. They should still have a nice crunch to them.
  9. Just before serving, sprinkle the coriander into the curry and season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the lime juice.
 Recipe by Dan Toombs

Holly Martin

[email protected]

Feature image from here.

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