This week we're loving, enjoying, celebrating and eating our way through 'National Curry Week', which runs from 2-8th October!
We are honouring this fantastic week by hosting our very own ‘National Curry Week’ Guided Food Tour today, where we will visit four stops, each giving a completely different experience of Indian food. Think different regions, curry vs street food, and even a very unusual twist on Indian food!
This year's National Curry Week is particularly special as it is the 25th celebration of honouring and recognising the nations favourite cuisine across a week period.
The aim of this wonderful (and very tasty) week is to go visit and support your favourite spots, so we've put together a list of our top places for curry in and around Leeds!
Delhi Wala, situated on Bishopgate Street, Leeds, serves Indian cuisine, specialising in street food from Delhi. Their chef Nitin Sharma was born and raised in Delhi, working at high end hotels with top chefs who specialise in the cuisine.
Delhi Wala describes itself as lively and casual, and their mission is to serve authentic Indian food to the people of Leeds. A fantastic spot to meet with friends, family or colleagues, Delhi Wala is open every single day, serving between 12-3 for lunch during the week, reopening at 5-10:30pm for evening service (Saturday and Sunday it is open all day from 12pm).
We love: Delhi Wala has an entire section dedicated to Indo Chinese food, featuring Chilli Chicken, Chicken Fried Rice like you’ve never had before…or something a little different; Honey Chilli Potatoes or Masala Chips!
Delhi Wala has all your favourites on the menu, as well as dishes you may not have heard of; Railway Potato Curry a blend of an Indian masala sauce paired with potatoes and spices, or a Samundri Kofta Curry, a seafood dumpling, cooked in a saffron flavoured sauce- YUM! Delhi Wala offers a wide range of varieties for everyone, with lovely warm service.
Situated on Wellington Street, just a stones throw from Leeds Train Station, Nawaab is a popular authentic Indian restaurant that has been based in Leeds since 2004, even having served the likes of Princess Diana- wow! Originally opening in Bradford, Nawaab proved its popularity and has been a huge hit in Leeds ever since, filling out the restaurant even during the week.
Sat in a Grade II listed building, the setting offers character and is a great atmosphere to enjoy wonderfully crafted aromatic curries. Smaller than most, their menu focuses on the staples, delicious Lamb Chops, Seekh Kebab ad Tandoori Chicken Tikka, cooked over charcoal, including other fish and vegetarian offerings.
Nawaab offers their popular dishes like Makhani, Dopiaza, Madras or Bhuna with either chicken, lamb or vegetables and also have a variety of lentil based curries to enjoy as a main.
We love: The lamb chops! Nawaab's TripAdvisor reviews have glowing recommendations for this dish, so get your chops around these wonderful chops!
Not only is their food award winning (Trip Advisor Travellers' Choice Winner 2022), but Nawaab are also widely known for their friendly and welcoming staff, who have guests returning time and time again!
Tharavadu, which opened its doors in June 2014, offers authentic Keralan food to the people of Leeds. What is Keralan food you may ask? Kerala is surrounded by water, may that be sea, rivers and water networks, meaning the fishing industry has majorly influenced this state in the south west of India.
When visiting, we particularly enjoyed trying some dishes that we'd never had or tried before- for starter we had Meen Chuttathu, a fish fillet marinated with aromatic spices and a side salad- the pairing sauce that this came with was delightfully refreshing and went well alongside the delicate flavours of the fish.
We also tried the Uzhunnu Vada, a Southern Indian snack made with lentils, spices and herbs. Often referred to as donuts, these deep fried circles of joy are a great dish to start off your sampling of Keralan cuisine!
The mains order was a non-negotiable for us- we had so many recommendations to try the Meen Kootan. 'The Fish Curry to order', made from white fish, ground spices and fish tamarind, extremely saucy- if that's your kind of thing!
We love: It has to be the Meen Kootan! So different to any other curry we've tried, step out of your comfort zone and try something new and exciting.
There's a reason this place is so popular, so if you're yet to try- go experience some amazing Keralan food and hospitality!
With a bustling restaurant in Roundhay, the proud owners of Aarti pounced on Leeds City Centre early doors 2023, relocating into a bigger restaurant on Swinegate. Aarti serves both street food, curries and more famously, their Thali plates (pictured below).
Thali is an Indian-style meal made up of various smaller dishes, which are typically served on one plate. Aarti serves two Thali plates, one veg and one 'non-veg' as they call it, we recommend the veg one in this instance, for the varying flavours of the three curries that are provided.
We love: Tiny pockets of joy, Pani Puri is sure to put a smile on your face- bite size thin crispy dough stuffed with potato mix and spicy water- maybe ask for a demo on how to eat one before attempting it!
Bengal Brasserie have been serving up quality Indian food in Yorkshire for over 30 years, and they now have venues in the Leeds City Centre (up by the arena), Burley, Roundhay, York and Wetherby.
Every dish is based on traditional recipes going back generations, but with their own twist and interpretation. They offer a wide range of fish and vegetable dishes, which are central to Bengali cooking, alongside a selection of meat dishes.
We love: everything! Every dish we've tried on the menu has been fantastic here from the House Specials to classic favourites. For a true Bengali dining experience, we recommend opting for one of their fish curries.
Bonus Round: North Leeds Takeaway, Moortown Tandoori
This is for those of you that love dining in the city centre, but perhaps live in or around the North Leeds area, we absolutely love our recently discovered Moortown Tandoori, a staple takeaway for an evening where cooking isn't an option, but good food is!
Specialising in Balti, Biryani and Tandoori dishes, there's a reason that Moortown Tandoori is loved by all in the local area, when Ellen from Leeds Food Tours moved to North Leeds recently, this was one a lot of you recommended!
We love: Halim Chicken, unique to Moortown Tandoori! Newly imported from Bangladesh, small pieces of chicken cooked with spring onion, chilli, lentils, lemon juice, coriander and chatt masala.
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog post. We would love to hear where some of your go to places are for curries in or around Leeds City Centre, get in touch via our Instagram.