After a 25 year hiatus, A E Harris & Co have worked with Andy Munro, a local Balti historian and author of ‘Going For A Balti’, to engineer and manufacture the bowl that houses Birmingham’s most famous dish. The Birmingham Balti is a specific style of cooking whereby the curry is served in the same pressed steel, flat bottomed wok that it is cooked in.
The bowl was originally made in Smethwick in the 1970s. However the manufacturing of the bowl moved out of the region in the 1980s, and soon was being made and imported from overseas.
However Andy Munro approached A E Harris & Co in an effort to bring the manufacturing of the bowls back to the region. He said:
“I want people to come to Birmingham and have the authentic Birmingham Balti experience. The bowl is part of that experience and so it was important that the manufacturer we approached was innovative and passionate enough to see our vision.
“A E Harris & Co has a sterling reputation in the Jewellery Quarter, and after approaching them with the idea we started to work on the bowl that deserves to house this iconic dish”
Director Jerry Smith was instrumental in the production of the bowl from concept to delivery. He said:
“When Andy approached us with his idea, we were happy that the product was not only commercially viable, but also feasible from an engineering and manufacturing perspective”
“It’s important that we take on local projects like this, as it not only allows us to be innovative and creative but also allows us to expand our repertoire and expertise.”
The process of making the bowl presented A E Harris & Co with specific engineering requirements for the 139 year old manufacturers. The requirements included the spot welded handles, the smooth flat edges of the bowl and the appropriate specification of the pressed steel to ensure the correct formation and thickness which allows the correct heat transfer when cooking.
Jerry Smith said:
“We were able to provide the technical and engineering knowledge in order to make their idea become reality. This project demonstrates our ability to invest in the unique, the innovative and the challenging.
“We had to take on this project, as it was a project specifically unique to the region. We are seeing more enquiries from customers who like the fact that our products are made in Birmingham, and we want to continue to take on specialist, local projects when we can”
A E Harris & Co are currently working on a variety of local and UK wide innovative, engineering projects.