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Sunday, 28 November, 1999, 04:28 GMT
Japan orders the curry
Curry to go: Japan wants the rights Curry to go: Japan wants the rights

While Britons snap up Japanese cars and televisions, there is one eastern export they just cannot grow to love - its food.

But now a Japanese firm is trying to convince the nation it has been eating its cuisine all along - not sushi or noodles, but the "Indian" curry.

Britain's favourite: The Britain's favourite: The "Japanese" takeaway
Dismissing the long-held view that the dish was invented in India and adapted by British settlers, The House Foods has lodged a patent application for "cooking a curry", according to the Independent on Sunday.

Patent application No 06090838 says that Hirayama Makoto and Ohashi Sachiyo devised the means to "easily cook a curry having excellent taste and flavour", the paper says.

Though still under consideration by the Japanese authorities, a successful bid would give the "inventors" the right to claim royalties every time a curry is sold. They could control every step of the cooking process.

India, home to one billion curry eaters, has called the situation "a matter of concern".

It is already challenging a patent on Basmati rice, won by Texas-based company RiceTec. It said it developed the rice, despite the fact that India grows 650,000 tonnes of rice every year.

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See also:
03 Nov 99 |  UK
India gets a taste of UK tikka
27 Jul 99 |  Health
Curries could damage your health

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