Sake Dean Mahomed: First Indian author who published book in English

Sake Dean Mahomed was a man of talent and became the first Indian who had published a book in English. He had first served as a surgeon in British Army. He introduces shampooing technique in the United Kingdom and many more. Let us study more about Sake Dean Mahomed through this article.

Born: 1759, Patna, India
Spouse: Jane Daly
Founder of: Hindoostanee Coffee House, London
Fist Book written in English: The travels of Dean Mahomed
Died: 1851, Brighton, England

Sake Dean Mahomed was an Anglo-Indian traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur. He was born in 1759 in Patna (earlier the Bengal Presidency), India.  He was the first surgeon in the British army and in 1810 opened the first Indian restaurant in London.

He introduced “shampooing’ technique in the United Kingdom. Not only this, he was the first Indian writer who wrote a book in English language. Let us tell you that Google Doodle celebrated, Sake Dean Mahomed and Anglo-Indian traveller’s 260th birth anniversary, a first Indian author who published a book in English and achieved so many things in the United Kingdom.

Sake Dean Mahomed: Early Life history

He was born in 1759 in Patna. Basically, belongs to Buxar. His father was of barber caste, was in the employment of the East India Company and also knew the technique. At a young age he had learned to make some products that were common to Indians like soaps and shampoos.

His father died at a young age. Then, he was taken under the wing of Captain Godfrey Evan Baker, an Anglo-Irish Protestant officer at the age of 10. As a trainee surgeon, he had served in the army of British East India Company.

Sake Dean Mahomed: Works and Achievements

He was known as the man of talents. He was the first entrepreneur who had gained popularity by building cultural connections between India and England. He also ventured into various industries like publishing, F&B and wellness.

Mahomed became most popular at the age of 25 when he had opened the first Indian restaurant in 1810 in UK named “Hindoostane Coffee House” in the George Street, near Portman Square, Central London. According to the early restaurant guide, the coffee house is described as “hailed it as a place for nobility to enjoy hookah and Indian dishes of the highest perfection”.

Just after two years the restaurant declared bankruptcy but Mahomed was not disheartened and then in 1812, he had opened a luxury bathhouse in London and became the first man who introduced ‘shampoo baths’ in Europe.


Do you know that the name of the bathhouse was “Mahomed’s Baths” on Brighton seafront and served elite class Englishmen who came to get head massage and steam baths? This technique was nicknamed as “shampooing” which was inspired by a Hindi word champissage meaning “a head massage”.

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In the bathhouse, he offered what he dubbed ‘the Indian Medicated Vapour Bath’ (it had Indian medicinal herbs added to the vapour) and ‘Shampooing with Indian Oils’.  It became the part of royal lifestyle of England. Amazing is Mahomed’s client included Prince of Wales, George IV and later Willian IV. He was known as the ‘The Shampooing Surgeon of Brighton’.

In 1822, King George IV appointed Mahomed as his personal ‘shampooing surgeon’. A portrait of Mahomed hangs in the Brighton Museum, commemorating this man who had merged two homeland cultures British and India.

Sake Dean Mohamed in 1794 published “The travels of Dean Mahomed” an autobiographical narrative about his adventures in India, the first book written by an Indian in English. The book has explanation and memories when he had served the British army and also describes many important Indian cities and military campaigns.

In 1822, he wrote a book named “Shampooing or Benefits Resulting from the use of Indian Medical Vapour Bath” which became a bestseller and was credited with merging Indian and British culture in the early 1800s.

So, Sake Dean Mahomed was a man of talent, who had overcame several hardships of his life and achieved so many things which is an inspiration for us. His work got recognition not only in India but also out of India in UK, London, and Europe. He had built cultural connections between India and England.

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