Leeds restaurants fire up for British ‘Curry Oscars’

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Competition is heating up as two Leeds based curry restaurants are short listed for the British Curry Awards 2013.

The awards, nicknamed the ‘Curry Oscars’, has seen nominats handed to the Aagrah restaurant, Quarry Hill, and Mango Vegetarian, Wetherby, for the Best Spice Restaurant North East Award category.

Aagrah restaurants have also been placed into The Best Newcomer Award category, for their new premises in The Moors Shopping Centre, Ilkley.

While the Aagrah restaurant in Leeds is a veteran of the competition, the Mango Vegetarian is a first time nominee.

Owner Rekha Sonigra said: “We are absolutely gobsmacked as we are just a little restaurant in Wetherby, to be nominated for this is amazing.

She added: “To be even put into the same league as Aagrah is very humbling.”

The restaurant is holds true to a family run Orthodox Hindu restaurant, offering traditional Gujarati food, strictly vegan and gluten free.

Mrs Sonigra said: “When we first came to Leeds we could not find anywhere to eat out, so we made one ourselves.”

The Aagrah restaurant at Quarry Hill won the award for Best Restaurant in North East at the Curry Awards 2012.

The British curry industry has contributed £3.6 billion to the economy annually, making it one of the favourite dishes for the Nation.

This year 263,000 public nominations have been received via app, email and post, with one restaurant generating 13,000 nominations.

Nominations are given by restaurateurs, customers, critics and the media, including big names such as Heston Blumenthal.

Event director and producer, Justine Ali said: “This year’s British Curry Awards will be even more spectacular than ever before. Where the event has become a major fixture on the UK’s social calendar, it will surpass itself in the wow-factor stakes this year.”

The ceremony was first established by British entrepreneur and restaurateur Enam Ali MBE who founded the event in 2005, he has been promoting British curry for over 30 years.

The awards will be held in London, taking place at Battersea Evolution, November 25.