Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 12:40 UK

City could trademark Balti name

Baltis have been served in Birmingham since the 1970s

Curry restaurants outside of Birmingham could be banned from selling Balti dishes under new plans.

The city council is considering applying to protect the Balti name to help eateries in the city, which it has claimed was the dish's "birthplace".

The first ever Balti is thought to have been created by immigrants from Kashmir in Sparkhill in the 1970s.

The surrounding area is home to about 30 restaurants specialising in the dish and is now known as the Balti Triangle.

The council claims it has the same right to protect the Balti name as the makers of Champagne, in France, and Wensleydale cheese in Yorkshire.

Councils can apply to the European Union for protected designation of origin if foodstuffs are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how.

'Interesting idea'

If approved, this means that manufacturers of a cuisine outside of the area of origin cannot refer to it by that name.

A spokeswoman said: "The idea that Birmingham should trademark the term 'Balti' is certainly an interesting one, which is not without its merits.

"The city is not only the birthplace of the dish, but also home to the UK's premier community of Balti restaurants and businesses - The Balti Triangle.

"The city council is always seeking new and imaginative ways to promote the city regionally, nationally and internationally, which, if judged to be feasible and to the benefit of local people or businesses, we would not hesitate in pursuing."

According to the council's website, a Balti is a type of curry cooked quickly over a high flame with fresh marinated meat and/or vegetables.

It is then cooked with extra spices added during the cooking process.

The meal is then usually served up sizzling in the balti dish.

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