The Manchester curry houses named among the UK’s best in National Curry Awards 2021

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Three Indian restaurants in Greater Manchester have been recognised at this year’s National Curry Awards.

The awards celebrate the best within the Asian catering industry with entries submitted from all over the country.

At a ceremony at the House of Lords in London on Wednesday (September 15), twelve restaurants, takeaways and chefs were given prestigious awards.

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Bhaji Pala in Gatley was awarded with Vegan Restaurant of the Year within the North West and co-owner Devang Gohil said it was incredible to be recognised.

“I think it’s a really huge honour,” Devang tells the M.E.N.

“Since we won we’ve been all booked out, it’s crazy.

Bhaji Pala in Stockport is the first vegan Indian restaurant in Greater Manchester

“It’s wonderful to see the support the restaurant has received – we are all so happy to get this award.”

The restaurant, which has an entirely vegan menu, first opened its doors in November 2019.

Devang said it had been challenging trying to establish Bhaji Pala’s name during the pandemic.

“The lockdown was hard for everyone but especially our industry,” Devang tells the M.E.N.

“Us coming out from it and getting this recognition has been great.

“There are a lot of restaurants that do vegan or vegetarian dishes but to have an Indian restaurant that’s fully vegan I think is quite different.

“We do things that you might not see on a normal menu, like a beetroot curry or a curry made out of jackfruit.

Staff from Bhaji Pala at the National Curry Awards

“It’s things that are quite unusual to some but everyone who tries them really enjoys them.”

Devang says local support, along with the recent win, has led him to consider opening another Bhaji Pala restaurant in Greater Manchester.

“We’ve received so much support that I think it’s time for us to launch a second restaurant,” he says.

“We’re looking at opening up a new restaurant in Rusholme later this year.”

Also scooping prizes at the awards were Bengal Tiger Lily in Macclesfield for Restaurant of Year in Cheshire and Vadah in Stockton-on-Tees for Most Outstanding Restaurant of the Year in the North of England.

Paprika in Hyde and the Shabna Tandoori in Eccles both took home the prize of Takeaway of the Year within the North West.

Shabna on Monton Road, Eccles

“We were very surprised and very honoured to win,” Shabna’s co-owner Abdul Hallal said.

“We are very proud of our staff who have helped us win this award.”

Besides the food, Abdul said Shabna has been a staple part of the local community since it opened in 1984.

“We do a lot of things to help bring the community of Monton and Eccles together,” he explains.

“We’ve been here for more than 30 years, we do a lot of charity work and help local churches and schools with raffles and things like that.

“When we started this business, Monton wasn’t the way it is today.

“There was only me and another restaurant at the time and now it’s become a big place for people to come and visit to eat and drink.”

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