He was the first Indian immigrant who arrived in Britain.
In 1784, the first South Asian émigré to arrive in Britain was Din Mahammad, who was born in Patna. In Britain he was later known as Dean Mahomet. He wrote The Travels, a collection of letters about Indian life, the first book in English published by an Indian. He opened Hindostanee Coffee House, a restaurant in London's Portman Square, in 1810, and thus was the first Indian restaurateur in Britain. It gave the gentry of Georgian England their first taste of spicy dishes. The restaurant was described as a place 'for nobility and Gentry, where they might enjoy the Hookha with real Chilm tobacco and Indian dishes of the highest perfection'.
When Din went bankrupt in 1812, he moved to Brighton where he set up the business of Indian medicated vapour and shampooing Baths and was well known as 'Shampooing Surgeon'. He published another book, Shampooing or Benefits Resulting from the use of Indian Medical Vapour Bath in 1822. He is reputed to have introduced shampoo to England.
Din Mahammad's tombstone in St. Nicholas' churchyard in Brighton marks the last resting place of Britain's first Indian restaurateur. It reads simply: 'Sake Dean Mahomed of Patna, Hindoostan. Lord Mayor of London's Westminster recognised the heroic culinary achievement of Din Mahammad and focussed attention on his turbulent life and times by unveiling a plaque marking the spot where his first restaurant stood - at 102 George Street, London.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan