Britain's favourite comfort food: Roast dinners put tikka masala on the back burner

The curry has topped polls for a decade, but did not even make the top 10 in the BBC Good Food's 25th anniversary survey

Chicken tikka masala may have been topping favourite dish polls for a decade, but it seems most Briton's idea of "food heaven" is a traditional roast.

The Sunday lunch favourite was cited by 43 per cent of Brits as their ultimate comfort food, followed by the pub grub classic steak and chips, by 35 per cent. The typically English scones, with jam and clotted cream, and apple crumble came in at third and fourth place, in the massive poll for YouGov.

Tikka masala, which has in recent years been overtaken by jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry, did not even make it into the top 10 in the survey carried out to mark BBC Good Food's 25th anniversary. It came behind pizza, classic lasagne and spaghetti bolognese to languish in 14th place, in one of the largest food studies ever commissioned.

Chocolate brownie, strawberry cheesecake and the victoria sponge were the other desserts to make it into the list of dishes described as "food heaven", while steak and ale pie and beef Wellington came in at 10 and 13 respectively.

 

And while many Brits say they enjoy Thai curries, chilli con carne, paella and Moroccan tagine, the results suggest that traditional British dishes were at the forefront of most people's minds when thinking of their best-loved meals.

It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that a cup of tea remains the favourite way to wake up in the morning, despite the rise of the coffee shops on the high street. Some 41 per cent of Brits prefer a cuppa to start their day compared with coffee drinkers at 29 per cent.

The study comes after it was revealed that 10 per cent of the British population can't cook a thing, including a disproportionate number of men, many of whom can't even boil an egg. However, 52 per cent of Brits say they can cook 10 or more dishes from scratch, while an impressive 32 per cent claim to have a repertoire of 20 or more dishes.

Despite our improving culinary skills, the microwave is the item people couldn't live without; 56 per cent choose it in preference to a kitchen knife or toaster. About half of us sit down to eat as a family, but 67 per cent do so while in front of a screen.

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