Aagrah and Mumtaz shortlisted for British Curry Awards

TWO Bradford restaurants have been shortlisted for a national “Curry Oscar”.

Aagrah, in Thornbury, and Mumtaz, in Great Horton Road, are both up for an gong at the British Curry Awards. The awards, which make an in-person return for its 17th year after being run virtually in 2020, celebrates the best curry houses across the country. They are recognised globally and were dubbed the “Curry Oscars” by former Prime Minister David Cameron.

There are 13 categories in total this year, with establishments from the same areas competing against each other to be named the best spice restaurant in their region. This includes: Scotland, the North East, the North West, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, Wales, the South East, the South West, London central and city, and London outer and suburbs.

Both Aagrah and Mumtaz have been shortlisted in the Best Spice Restaurant in North East award.

There are also the “Best Newcomer”, “Best Delivery Restaurant/Takeaway” and “Most Innovative Restaurants Concept” categories as well. Aagrah and Mumtaz faced off against each other back in 2019, with the latter securing the top prize for the second year in a row.

This year’s ceremony is in Battersea Evolution, in London and takes place on Monday, November 29. It 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.

Curry houses across the country are nominated by their local customers and this then creates an authentic list of the nation’s favourite Asian eateries. There is then a rigorous vetting process conducted by an independent panel of judges.

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. A restaurateur himself and owner of Le Raj curry restaurant, Epsom, he said: “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.”

The British Curry Awards are in association with Just Eat. Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director at Just Eat, said: “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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