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A style of fast, high-temperature, cooking of meat or vegetable pieces in a highly spiced Indian-style sauce, served with rice or naan bread.

The origin of the name is very unclear, it may be connected with the distinctive round-bottomed Chinese-type cooking or service vessels used, from the Hindi word for 'bucket', or it may be the name of an ethnic group or a region of Northern Pakistan.

The first written reference given by the OED is an advertisement in the 'Heathan ' of Balsall Heath, Birmingham in July 8th 1982; "Specialists in kebab, tikah, balti meats tandoori chicken and all kinds of curry."

The distinctively English style of Balti cooking seems to have first appeared in restaurants in Birmingham in the 1980's, though as late as 1984 a correspondent to the Curry Club's Magazine had to ask, "What is a Balti?"

Balti Dish
Image: Miansari66

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