Birmingham is well known as the birthplace of the balti.
The Balti Triangle - an area covering parts of Sparkhill , Balsall Heath and Moseley , between Stratford Road, Wake Green Road and Alcester Road - is where many of the restaurants serving it are concentrated.
If you’ve ever tucked into a balti, you’re eating an amazing piece of Birmingham history and culture.
But how much do you really know about the dish?
So here’s 10 things you probably didn’t know about the balti, courtesy of Andy Munro, author of the book Going For A Balti.
1. The balti was the invention of a Pakistani restaurateur in the late 70s and the idea was to fuse Pakistani cooking with western tastes.
2. His restaurant, Adil, is still open in the Balti Triangle.
3. The original steel pressed balti bowls were commissioned specially and made by a Smethwick firm
4. The oldest remaining balti bowl still in use is estimated to have been used to serve up more than 5,000 baltis - British craftsmanship at its best!
5. A genuine Birmingham balti is fast-cooked over a high flame and has to be served up in the dish in which it has been cooked.
6. A scientific study purported to prove that eating a Birmingham balti was equivalent to drinking half a pint of Guinness in its health benefits because of the iron traces from the bowl.
7. It’s got nothing to do with Baltistan and gets its name from the Urdu word balti meaning bucket.
8. However, in Pakistan, there is a tribe called the Baltis but it’s unlikely they eat the dish.
9. Birmingham’s balti has even been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
10. The name of the now-famous Balti Triangle was originally invented with the strapline ‘lost in a sea of spices’ (obviously a nod towards the similarly-titled Bermuda Triangle in which ships and planes have disappeared).
These and many more facts are contained in Andy Munro's book 'Going for a Balti' Get your signed copy HERE
Andy has a site dedicated to Balti, restaurant directory and other interesting facts. Visit www.balti-birmingham.co.uk
By Andy Munro and David Bentley