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Do Bradford’s top curry houses cater to vegans?

As we reach the end of Veganuary, Asian Standard has investigated whether Bradford’s top-rated curry houses cater to vegans.

Since 2014, people all over the world have kicked off the first month of the year by not eating meat or consuming dairy products.

Veganuary is a 31-day challenge for meat-lovers to follow a vegan lifestyle for January.

This year, a record of half a million people has pledged to only eat vegan food in January, 125,000 of whom are in the UK.

A survey commissioned by the Vegan society in 2019 found that 600,000 people were vegan, around 1.16% of the population.

McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC now all serve at least one vegan item on their menus.

Around 7.2m people follow a meat-free diet in the UK, with a further 8.8 million people going meat-free by the end of 2022, analysis by Finder.com has found.

With an increasing market, fast-food giants, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, and KFC have all entered the vegan market, producing plant-based replicas of their famous burgers and subs.

Burger King released its Plant-Based Whopper and Vegan Royale, McDonald’s released the long-awaited McPlant, KFC the Original Recipe Vegan Burger, and Subway introducing vegan cheese, meatballs, and chicken to their menu. We have released a video comparing the fast-food burgers, which you can find here.

But what about Bradford’s famous curry houses? Do they cater to vegans? Can you enjoy a meat-free dish with your omnivore pals? Well, you’re in luck because Asian Standard has investigated this.

We’ve compared Aagrah, Akbar’s, MyLahore, Shimla Spice, and the International to find out.

Aagrah – The Aagrah Building, Mid-Point, Thornbury, Bradford BD3 7AY.

Aagrah in Thornbury. Image: Google Street View.

Aagrah has many curries that are suitable for vegans, however, they are only labelled as vegetarian.

Cooked in vegetable oil, the vegetable bhuna and vegetable dopiaza is suitable for plant-based diets, and the curries cooked with cream, such as the korma and madras, can be cooked without using cream, you just need to ask your server before you order.

The International – 40-42 Mannville Terrace, Morley St, Bradford BD7 1BA.

The International. Image: Google Street View.

The International has paneer curries on offer for vegetarian folk who enjoy the dish but offer “accidentally vegan” meals in the form of daal, aloo palak, and aloo gobi.

They aren’t labelled as vegan, but they contain no meat or dairy and are cooked in oil – not ghee – which makes them okay for vegans to consume.

Shimla Spice – 69 Otley Rd, Shipley BD18 2BJ.

Shimla Spice in Shipley. Image: Google Street View.

Shimla Spice doesn’t label any of its curries as vegan, but the ones they do have, are cooked in vegetable oil and non-vegan items such as milk or cream can be removed from the dish before cooking.

Just make your server or the receptionist over the phone aware before ordering from the menu, so they can advise you on what’s best.

Akbar’s – 1272-1280, Leeds Rd, Bradford BD3 8LF.

Akbar’s on Leeds Road.

Akbar’s offers the widest range of vegan-friendly curries. On offer are balti palak aloo daal,

a vegetable dopiaza, balti tarka daal, aloo gobi karahi, vegetable achari balti, and an aubergine potato balti.

The curries at Akbar’s are cooked in vegetable oil so vegans can rest assured that no dairy is used in the cooking process.

MyLahore – 348 Great Horton Rd, Bradford BD7 1QJ.

By far the easiest menu to navigate is MyLahore, which brand their dishes with vegetarian and vegan symbols.

MyLahore on Great Horton Road.

However, they don’t have much on offer. The only plant-based curry you can get is a vegan karahi – plant-based chicken-style strips cooked with onions, tomatoes, green cardamom, cinnamon cloves, green peppers, ground cumin and coriander leaves.

My Lahore offers a vegan wrap and stir-fry but if it is a curry, you are after, then it is just the karahi as even the daal has dairy in it.

Final thoughts

All in all, Bradford’s top-rated curry houses do cater for vegans, but you do need to do a bit of research before ordering your meals, as they are not labelled as such.

If in doubt, always ask your server or phone the restaurant before placing an online order so they can swap out ingredients before cooking your meal to order.

Asian Standard’s Curry Awards is back for 2022 after being postponed for two years due to the pandemic. Check our website and social media pages regularly for updates.

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