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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The relentless march of Chicken Tikka Masala across Britain's culinary landscape took another step forward on Friday when the Ministry of Defense announced it would become a staple of military rations.
The Anglo-Indian dish that overtook fish and chips long ago as the country's favorite food will join more exotic fare like chilli con carne and vegetable korma in army lunch boxes.
Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will no longer find traditional dishes like corned beef hash and treacle pudding in their ration packs.
Twenty new menus will also include pasta lunchtime pouches, vegetarian and Halal dishes to satisfy different multi-cultural dietary requirements and tastes.
"One of the most important requirements is to provide increased variety to troops operating for long periods on rations," said Defense Equipment and Support Minister Quentin Davies.
More than 300,000 boxes of the so-called Multi-Climate Rations, palatable in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius, will now be distributed to troops for a taste trial.
Soldiers have said they were hungry for more varied food rations.
Paul Cunningham, the officer responsible for the new packs, said food served to the soldiers in main camps was generally well-balanced and nutritious.
"However, in the remote areas in Afghanistan and Iraq it is not always possible to provide meals cooked by chefs from raw ingredients," he added.
Reporting by Martina Fuchs, Editing by Steve Addison