Google’s doodle today (15 January) commemorated the Anglo-Indian businessman and surgeon Sake Dean Mahomed, who was born in 1759 in Patna and was the first Indian author in English, as well as the first individual to establish an Indian restaurant in Great Britain, reports The New Indian Express.
Mahomed was a surgeon by training who served in the British East India Company’s army, and later on immigrated to England, where he went on to gain fame as the ‘The Shampooing Surgeon of Brighton’ for his expertise in producing soaps and shampoos.
He was the first person to introduce Indian cuisine in Great Britain, setting up the Hindostanee Coffee House in 1810, which was frequented by British aristocracy looking to dine on high-quality Indian food and smoke hookah.
Despite the restaurant’s popularity, Mahomed was forced to shut it down in 1812, and set up a different venture; he established a space known as Mahomed’s Baths which combined steam baths with Indian therapeutic massages in the seaside town of Brighton. He called his treatment ‘shampooing’ from the Hindi word ‘Champissage’ meaning head massage.
Mahomed authored a book on the same subject, carrying testimonials from his customers. By 1822, Mahomed was serving as the personal ‘shampooing surgeon’ to King George IV.
A portrait of Mahomed is still preserved at the Brighton Museum.
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