Known for blurring the lines between two rich cultures, India and Britain, Sake Dean Mahomed, was not just an author or a surgeon but also the first man who opened an Indian restaurant in the UK. Mahomed introduced Indian cuisine and Indian therapeutic massage called shampoo baths on a foreign land of Europe in the early 19th century. However, Google has not credited him for that but for writing and publishing a book in English. It was on this date in 1794 that Mahomed became the first India author to publish his autobiographical narrative of his travels in English. The book is called The Travels of Dean Mahomed. The book recounts his time in the army and describes many important Indian cities and military campaigns.
Sake Dean Mohamed was born in Patna and as he was growing up, was taken under he wing of the British Army Officer since his father died early. 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.
It was in 1810 that he moved to London and opened Hindostanee Coffee House, the first Indian Restaurant in Britain. The place not just gave the English, the aura of India and its culture but also gave them the first taste of curry and hookah. However, it didn’t mint numbers and was forced shut just after two years. Then in 1814, Mohamed tried his hand on the ‘shampoo bath’ in England. His luck charmed in this business and flourished in no time. Providing a combination of a steam bath and an Indian therapeutic massage, his ‘shampoo bath’ started promising to cure diseases and provide relief from various physical pains. Since he lived at the beachside town of Brighton, he became popular as "Dr. Brighton"
Mahomed died in Brighton in 1851, between the ages of about 91 and 92.
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