Raisin Hell: only last weekend I found myself talking with an American friend about the differences in quality and style between curries bought in the UK and those from the US. One of the dishes she liked about her favourite Stateside curry emporium was a mild curry with raisins.

It occurred to me that raisins have become a symbol of curry inauthenticity in the UK (look at Pete’s piece below’), but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, I seem to think that quite the opposite was the case in the innocent days of the sixties and seventies. Now the poor dear curried raisin is somewhere above flock wallpaper* and chicken tikka masala on the serious curryophile’s list of things to be disdained.

But I haven’t the faintest whether any of the Subcontinent’s many and various cuisines feature raisins: there’s no culinary reason why they shouldn’t. And even if the raisin was introduced to the curry in the UK, I wonder why it, in particular, has been singled out as a shameful curry faux-pas?

*Has flock wallpaper become the focus of retro-fetishisation yet? If not, it’s surely due some love soon’