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Leicester - Curry Capital of Britain 2016

Curry from Chef and Spice

Leicester's curry capital credentials

"Most other cities have a focus on one particular type but in Leicester you can experience everything, including very high quality vegetarian food. Curry houses are a strength when it comes to attracting people to the city and with the raised profile from the Richard III discovery we're working hard to persuade people visiting Leicester to stay longer and enjoy the theatres, restaurants and other attractions."
Martin Peters, Chief Executive of Leicester Shire Promotions

To find out why Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor thinks Leicester should win this year’s competition, click here

There are a number of reasons why Leicester is a top contender for Curry Capital.

Leicester as a city has deep roots in Indian culture and cuisine. According to the last census, Leicester is the most ethnically diverse city in the region and is also suspected to be the first plural city in the UK. As such, it knows a thing or two about Indian cooking.

Furthermore Leicester's Diwali (Hindu Festival of Light) celebrations are the largest outside of India, with up to 35,000 people attending the switch on of the lights on Belgrave Road and even more attending Diwali day itself in the heart of the city's Asian community.

As one of the most multicultural cities in the UK, Leicester is the perfect place to sample a host of different flavours and spices from the huge variety of unique curry houses scattered across the city.

The vibrant, colourful, buzzing Golden Mile is a must visit for all curry lovers. Here's a few curry houses on that world-famous stretch of road to try for yourselves!

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Leicester's history with curry

Leicester’s history with curries go back at least 50 years with Leicester’s first ever curry house, the Taj Mahal, opening in 1960. Since then, the Asian community residing in Leicester has thrived, to the joy of curry lovers, and so did the amount of curry houses populating the city.

Award winners

Last year, Leicester eatery, Masalas was named best curry takeaway in the country. At the English Curry Awards 2015 in Manchester, Masalas beat nine other finalists to take the prize as the best curry takeaway.
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Eleven Leicestershire businesses made the final of this year's annual English Curry Awards. The finalists were crowned at a glittering ceremony at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on 22 August. Three of our restaurants / takeaways returned victorious, each winning their respective category.

The Cinnamon Lounge in Market Harborough won the award for team/service of the year for the East Midlands. Chutney's in Leicester won takeaway of the year for the East Midlands, while the award for best home delivery service for the East Midlands went to takeaway, Spicy Flames in Leicester.

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Hosting of British Indian Awards

Leicester also held its first British Indian Awards for first time this year. The fourth annual British Indian Awards (in association with BDO) took place at Leicester's very own Athena where the winners were announced.

Event organiser, Yasmin Mahmood said: "The Indian community is now the largest ethnic minority group in Leicestershire and is growing rapidly. The Asian population in Leicester exceeds 100,000, which makes it the ideal city to host the awards."

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Home to the best

County curry chef, Manik Miah, head chef at the Windsor Tiffin restaurant in Burbage near Hinckley (for the past 10 years) is one of the top ten Bangladeshi cooks in the country. Manik won the Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) chef of the year award last year from a group of 30 finalists.

When asked about the standard of the chefs, Pasha Khandaker, BCA president said "We are immensely proud of all the winners today that they stay strong, focused and positive to drive our industry forward even in times of great hardships."

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Free curry anyone?

In more recent news, curry house Spice Bazzar, showed its patriotism towards the city by giving away 1,000 free curries to Leicester City Football Club fans, in celebration of the club’s triumph in the English Premier League.

Abdul Giash served up free madras, masala, jalfrezi or bhuna specials to season ticket holders on May 15 when Leicester were crowned champions.

He said: “Winning the title this season would make the city so proud.

“We want to be a part of the celebration, thank home and away supporters and encourage them to back Leicester to win the league. I know it’s going to cost us thousands but it doesn’t bother us. Everyone in the restaurant follows Leicester City. You only experience this sort of thing once in a lifetime."

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More than just football & royalty

The recent success of Leicester City FC and the reinterment of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral really put Leicester in the global spotlight but there's plenty more to Leicester and Leicestershire including 2,000 years of history, pioneering achievements in space and science, the largest outdoor covered market in Europe, the UK’s rural capital of food – home to the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie and Stilton Cheese, plus many, many more.

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Included in these highlights is the city’s deep love of curries. Plenty of reasons to justify awarding the coveted title of Curry Capital of Britain 2016 to Leicester!

 

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Last updated September 2015