Brits face chip and curry shortages – but at least sprouts are off the menu too

Brits face a curry and chips crisis but may welcome one food shortage – Brussels sprouts.

Russia ’s Ukraine invasion is playing havoc with the UK’s £4.2billion curry industry.

The besieged nation is a leading exporter of sunflower oil – in which many dishes are cooked – and wheat for Indian breads.

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Rocketing gas prices are also driving up cooking costs with two British restaurants-a-week shutting.

Karim Ullah, who owns Bengali eatery Brohmon in Stansted, Essex, said: "The industry is in serious trouble .The most perfect storm is here.

"Indian restaurants are really struggling because of two things that they need desperately in order to make their business model work – cheap ingredients and cheap energy. Both of them have been shooting up.

"A lot of high street restaurants are closed because they can’t afford to pay their staff and they can’t afford to pay for the ingredients, and they are really struggling to pay the energy costs.’’

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Fellow foodies’ favourite chips also face a battering after potato prices soared following the recent heatwave which ravaged crops.

The British Potato Trade Association said this week’s record temperatures came after a prolonged drought’ which has seriously affected’ crop quality.

Southern and eastern areas of Britain are currently experiencing the worst growing conditions,’’ a spokesman said.

"If it stays dry much longer we are looking at seriously reduced yields. Now is the critical time for moisture and growth.

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"There are growers that have stopped irrigating because of a lack of water.’’

The spud crisis follows an explosion in fish prices due to shortages of cooking oil and whitefish from Russian waters.

National Federation of Fish Friers’ president Andrew Crook said between 20 and 40 chip shops were shutting across Britain every month.

With two of Britain’s favourite takeaways facing meltdown there was one small crumb of comfort for some – love-em-or-hate-em sprouts are struggling too. Growers warned blazing temperatures will have destroyed many, leaving many Christmas dinner plates Brussels-free.

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Many of the country’s key crop regions have seen as little at 50ml of rain in the last 180 days which had already created a `desperate’ situation for producers before this week’s record 40C heat blast.

Julian Marks, managing director of farming group Barfoots, said: "Essentially when we have got temperatures like this crops will shut down.

"It doesn’t really matter how much water you give them the temperatures prevent them from continuing to grow. We are into the final thirds of the availability of winter-stored water and any summer abstraction that we are allowed from the rivers is becoming more difficult as flows reduce.

"Extreme temperatures are making life difficult .It doesn’t matter if you have enough water or not it is making life difficult for those crops.’’

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