Leicester - Curry Capital
What is the Curry Capital of Britain?
The Curry Capital of Britain was first created in 1999 by Peter & Colleen Grove who chaired The National Dome Grading Scheme (now The Federation of Specialist Restaurants) and are co-editors of The Real Curry Restaurant Guide as well as Oriental, Italian and Mood Food Restaurant Guides.
The Curry Capital of Britain was held every year up to 2007 when it was won by Leicester. The competition was re-introduced for 2010.
Leicester's history & tradition as Curry Capital
Leicester has a grand tradition in the Curry Capital of Britain competition, having been placed in the top few entrants every year and winning the ultimate accolade in 2007 for the first time in the competition’s history.
To win the grand title of ‘Curry Capital of Britain’, Leicester emerged triumphant against competition from other UK cities including London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bradford, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham and Leeds.
Curry Capital 2015
Compiling the votes for the teams for Curry Capital of Britain - supported by partners Sainsbury's, Amira Rice, Bhai Cider and Kingfisher - was a huge undertaking this year with thousands and thousands of votes cast.
The city wishes our team all the best in their quest to bring the title back to Leicester!
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
Their are a number of reasons why Leicester is a top contender for Curry Capital not least of which include the fact that the city is a previous winner of the Curry Capital of Britain:
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.
It’s also the first European city to be twinned with a location in India - the Gujurat city of Rajkot.
The influence of the vegetarian Gujarati cuisine is unique to Leicester, creating a distinction from other cities such as the Balti in Birmingham, the curry houses in Manchester and Bradford where the Miripuri influence is more prevalent and the dominance of the Bengali community in Tower Hamlets.
Leicester was home to the first Asian content TV channel in the UK and housed the BBC Asian Network national radio station.
Leicester’s Golden Mile on Belgrave Road is famous throughout the world as a centre for Asian food and drink, jewellery, clothing, and arts and crafts.
Musical giants, Kasabian hail from Leicester and guitarist, Serge Pizzorno is “proud” to have his signed photograph hanging on the wall of his favourite local Dine India restaurant, whilst Leicester-band, Cornershop pressed their debut release, the ‘In The Days of Ford Cortina’ EP, on curry-coloured vinyl.
The city’s love of delicious, Indian cuisine has made the city a centre some interesting and exciting headlines lately.
Leicester’s curry houses themselves, famed for both their quality and affordability, have been making the headlines.
The Independent newspaper was quoted as saying that ‘Leicester has a great reputation for being a brilliant place to grab a curry’ in an article about the Curry Society at the University of Leicester.
The Leicester Comedy Festival - the longest-running comedy festival in the UK - established its own curry house as a venue for the festival.
And if all that wasn’t enough the city has seen some famous faces pop in and personally praise some of our wonderful Indian restaurants.
Comedian, writer and presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli came to the city with his unique Indian Takeaway comedy and cooking experience. As part of the show he challenged the Chutney Ivy to a cook-off with the audience deciding the best dish. The result was a draw but Hardeep didn’t take it personally and applauded the city’s great food!
He also later commented that Leicester’s vegetarian curry-house Bobby’s was amongst his top five Indian restaurants in the country.
Curry queen, Madhur Jaffrey is a big fan of the city's curries. In a recent interview with Asian Image magazine, Madhur said: "Leicester was definitely an eye opener for me. It was so revealing. And there is definitely an Indian aroma and culture in the city."
And Madhur's TV 'Curry Nation' series featured an episode on the Gujaratis Of Leicester that also aired in Australia!
Madhur also starred in the Jadoo movie, filmed in Leicester's Belgrave Road - the Golden Mile - and premiered in Leicester. Jadoo was a nationwide hit and tells the story of chef brothers Raja and Jagi, who have rival restaurants on opposite sides of Belgrave Road. Raja's daughter, Shalini, helps them to reconcile their differences in time for her wedding.
How many of this year's Curry Capital cities can claim a national movie made about their curry expertise!!!