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Aagrah Pudsey and Leeds up for Best in North East at the British Curry Awards

The pioneering award show is back in-person after streaming online due to Covid-19 restrictions last year.

Three estaurants in West Yorkshire are in the running to win the Best in North East title at the  British Curry Awards in London on Monday, 27 November.

The restaurants are Mumtaz Bradford and Aagrah Midpoint in Pudsey and Aagrah Leeds City.

The restaurants were nominated by the public and will be honoured by the British Curry Awards in association with Just Eat, as it returns for its 17th year after the pandemic challenges.

The finest curry restaurateurs from across the UK will descend on the capital in the hope of being recognised as the best restaurant in their region and honoured with a jewel in the crown of the UK curry restaurant industry award sector at the prestigious ceremony on Monday 29th November at Battersea Evolution.

The British Curry Awards are back in-person.

Recognised globally as the original and most respected award ceremony in the UK curry industry and the ‘Curry Oscars’, as highlighted by former Prime Minister David Cameron, British Curry Awards will once again welcome in-person prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.

Last year’s ceremony, which was live-streamed due to pandemic restrictions, was attended virtually by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; Love Island contestants, Amy Hart, Nas Majeed and Eva Zapico; TOWIE star, Jess Wright; and model and TV personality, Caprice among others. TV comedian and impressionist, Rory Bremner, hosted the virtual event, which was live-streamed to audiences globally.

As the foremost and pioneering celebration of the UK curry industry’s achievements and the best restaurants across all regions, with awards, deemed the most prized badge of honour across the entire industry for winning restaurants, British Curry Awards has established itself as a national institution, recognised internationally and a firm fixture of the UK’s social calendar.

Aagrah Midpoint (Pudsey) is up for Best in North East alongside sister restaurant Aagrah Leeds City. Image: Google Street View.

A nationwide nominations process to honour the nation’s top curry houses is led by the local patrons of curry houses on the streets of Britain, annually invited to nominate their favourite Asian restaurants and takeaways.

The process of public nominations creates an authentic list of the nation’s favourite Asian eateries, based on the opinions of residents, leading to a rigorous vetting process by an independent panel of judges.

Managing director of Aagrah group, Mohammed Aslam said: “We have been around since 1977 and are a family-owned restaurant. My nephew runs the restaurant in Pudsey and my eldest son runs Leeds City restaurent.

“It is really nice to hear we have been nominated for the award. There is life outside the M25. We have won over 70 awards and winning another one means you have to work harder to make sure you are the best.”

Aagrah Leeds City is also up for the award. Image: Google Street View.

This year’s ceremony has particular significance, given the challenges faced by the industry over the past 18 months of the pandemic, and will acknowledge the industry’s spirit and resilience through difficult business and personal circumstances. The industry has seen many leaders, pioneers, restaurateurs and staff tragically lose their lives to Covid. This year’s ceremony will pay tribute to those that have passed away.

Additionally, operational issues such as supply chain and staff shortages and the knock-on effect of multiple lockdowns have had a lasting impact on business. Nevertheless, the entrepreneurial spirit and strong will of the UK curry community continues to work tirelessly to serve customers and diners across the UK with the nation’s favourite dish.

British Curry Awards Founder, Enam Ali MBE, is the UK’s leading spokesperson for the curry industry and has been promoting it globally for the past 45 years.

Enam Ali MBE founded the BCA in 2005. Image: Damionelson.

A restaurateur himself and owner of Le Raj curry restaurant, Epsom, he says, “It gives me great joy that, after the challenges of the last 18 months, my industry friends in the UK curry fraternity and public figures will unite once again in person at the home of the British Curry Awards – Battersea Evolution – to celebrate the nation’s favourite curry houses while also recognising the issues we, as an industry and as a nation, have faced during the pandemic.

“Testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the cross-generational migrant community that comprises the UK’s curry industry, we have come back ever more determined to serve curry lovers up and down the country, continuing to take on all challenges head-on and ensure the industry continues to thrive once again.

“At the same time, we will pay tribute to our industry colleagues that we have sadly lost to Covid. Their presence is deeply missed among us.”

Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director, Just Eat says, “It’s a great honour to once again be sponsoring the British Curry Awards. After an incredibly challenging 18 months, there’s never been a better time to recognise the resilient and hard-working individuals within the restaurant and takeaway sector.

Despite the many obstacles faced, from shortages in the supply chain to difficulty in recruiting skilled workers, restaurants have risen to the occasion and delivered customers a taste of normality when they needed it the most. We want to ensure that takeaway restaurants – especially in this sector which contributes so much to British culture – don’t just survive, but thrive, in today’s challenging economic climate.”


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