London, Nov 4 : Sales of spices and Indian ready-meals are soaring in the UK as the worsening economic climate forces curry-lovers to cook their favourite dish at home.
As per latest figures, consumers are staying in more rather than heading out to more expensive pubs, clubs and restaurants.
Supermarkets have seen sales of curry ingredients such as ginger, coriander and chillies more than double, while Indian ready-meal sales are up 50 per cent.
According to Morrisons, sales of spices in the 12 months running up to September have increased dramatically.
The sale of curry powder is up 169 per cent, chilli powder 144 per cent, cinnamon sticks 80 per cent, cumin 21 per cent and coriander 13 per cent.
Market researchers TNS tracked products bought by a panel of 25,000 shoppers and found that consumers were increasingly flavouring dishes with spices rather than more subtle British and Continental herbs.
They found that in the 12 weeks to September, sales of fresh dill were down 1 per cent, fresh basil down 5 per cent, thyme down 16 per cent and tarragon down 22 per cent.
On contrary, sales of fresh coriander and chillies increased by eight per cent. Lime and lemongrass, popular in the preparation of Thai dishes, were also up six and 13 per cent.
Edward Garner, director of research at TNS, said that demand for ingredients such as creamed coconut, curry paste and chapattis was eight times higher now than in 1994.
Edward Shaw, chairman of Bristol-based herb and spice importer Bart's, said that he believed that the summer's poor weather was also to blame for making more people to cook curries at home.
"Cooking from scratch is something which people do more when the weather is less good. Throughout the summer there was a lot more cooking than ice-creaming and salad-ing going on," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.