Chinese food has overtaken curry as the nation's favourite ethnic cuisine, according to a new survey.
Although Indian curries have long been regarded as the first choice in Britain more people picked Chinese as their first choice.
But the two varieties of food attracted far more votes than any other meal choices, accounting for a whopping 70 per cent of the ethnic food market.
Mexican dishes were also prominent in the survey of 1,000 adults with Mexican food increasing in popularity by 20 per cent over the past two years.
But the survey has revealed that the boom in ready meals could now be over.
Researchers discovered that more and more families are turning away from microwave dishes and instead creating their own healthier versions of meals at home.
This is believed to be partly due to the economic downtown.
Sales of Chinese stir-fry dishes have risen by 37 per cent in the past two years, while cooking sauces for Chinese food are also up by 13 per cent.
Indian food has seen a slump in the ready meal sector, with sales falling by 2.6 per cent over the past two years.
The survey from consumer analysts Mintel found Britons spent £189 million more on Indian food than on Chinese food in the last year alone.
Senior market analyst Emmanuelle Bouvier said: "The current economic climate seems to be impacting on Brits seeking to recreate the restaurant experience at home.
"The initial establishment of popular favourites Chinese and Indian cuisine have led to a broadening of the market and increased popularity of different types of ethnic food.
"Stir-fries tend to be seen as healthy meal solutions that are also convenient while cooking aids, such as pastes and spices, give consumers the freedom to tailor their meals to their taste, which they cannot do with ready meals."
Sixty per cent of Britons say they like ethnic food with at least 40 per cent of this group eating it twice or more in a week.
Sixty-two per cent said that cooking ethnic food at home was cheaper than buying a takeaway.
Thirty-six per cent even believed that their home versions of ethnic meals tasted just as good as a takeaway.
Only six per cent of Britons admitted they had never eaten ethnic dishes.
ready meals: 已经做好、经过加热就可食用的即时餐
（英语点津 Helen 编辑）