Sake Dean Mahomed, one of the first Indians to take tastes and cultures of his homeland to England, was honoured with a doodle by Google on January 15.
The doodle features kitchen ingredients like tamarind and salt, surrounded by celery leaves.
Born in Bihar’s capital Patna in 1759, the renowned entrepreneur was taken under the wing of a British Army officer at the age of 10 after his father died. According to a report, he served as a trainee surgeon in the army of the British East India Company and remained with the unit until 1782, when he resigned from the army and accompanied his benefactor to Britain.
In 1794, he published his travel book titled ‘The Travels of Dean Mahomed’. In the book, he subbed an autobiographical narrative about his adventures in India. The book described several important cities in India and a series of military conflicts with local Indian principalities.
He further opened first Indian restaurant in Britain — Hindostanee Coffee House. But the venture did not last long as Mahomed declared bankruptcy two years later.
Later, he reportedly moved to the beachside town of Brighton and opened the first commercial “shampooing” vapour masseur bath in England, providing a combination of a steam bath and an Indian therapeutic massage. His business flourished, promising to cure diseases and provide relief from various physical pains. This made him popular as Dr Brighton.
In 1822, King George IV appointed Mahomed as his personal ‘shampooing surgeon’, which boosted his business. A portrait of Mahomed hangs in the Brighton Museum, commemorating this man who helped merge the cultures of his two homelands.
Mahomed died in Brighton in 1851, between the ages of about 91 and 92.
In June 2018, a handwritten cookery manuscript containing a glimpse of the menu from his restaurant containing exclusive dishes like ‘Pineapple Pullaoo’ and ‘Chicken Currey’ was sold for $11,344 (around Rs 7.6 lakh) at a London book fair.
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