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Not English enough: Indian-origin woman denied permission to sell chicken tikka masala in UK

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

While English food is commonly associated with fish and chips and the Sunday roast, the Chicken tikka masala has long enjoyed equivalent popularity, if not more.

It should come as a surprise then, that when an enterprising food trader applied to serve the curry at a St George’s Day celebration, she was refused on the grounds that it was “not English enough”.

Vehemently turning down Tania Rahman’s request, the Salisbury City Council, sent her an email explaining that visitors to the event should eat “English themed food only”.

Miss Rahman, who runs an Indian street food company called Chit Chaat Chai, was “shocked and upset” with the pronouncement.

“We were dismayed to find out that our application has not been successful on the grounds that it was deemed ‘not English enough’.

“In the multicultural hotbed that is modern Britain, it is inconceivable to not celebrate the impact of Indian culture to British life and what better way to do so than by exploring the culinary delights of the former British Empire… A little history will reveal that St George himself was in fact of Palestinian heritage.

St George’s Day is a celebration of all things English, yet much of English culture (tea drinking, for instance) was adopted from India”, she said in a message on the company’s Facebook page.

She received a dismissive reply from the city council stating, “It has been decided that St Georges day [sic] will be English themed food only. I hope this helps.”

With an aim to justify the response, a spokesman of the city council said the email to Miss Rahman had been “poorly worded” and insisted: “The council never intended to be racist.

“The theme of the St George’s Day event in 2015 was olde worlde traditional English with Morris Dancers and dragon fighting. Ms Rahman has raised some very interesting points about modern England and the Council will wish to reflect upon these issues when setting the theme for the St George’s Day in 2016 and onwards.”

Chicken tikka masala was only recently supplanted as Britain’s most popular dish, after holding the title for years.

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