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Leicester Curry Awards returns following pandemic postponement

Although the nation as a whole is obsessed with curry, with Leicestershire being one of the most diverse places in the UK, we’re spoilt for choice and definitely a worthy contender for the UK’s curry capital spot. 

Picture Credit: Pukaar Group

With this in mind, in 2017 the Leicester-based company, Pukaar Group, organised the very first Leicester Curry Awards as a celebration of the county’s rich multicultural heritage. The prestigious gala dinner has gone on to become an annual event (also taking place in 2018 and 2019) and the evening is underpinned by an awards section which spans seven categories including ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Best Takeaway’.

However in 2020, just three weeks after announcing the event finalists in a lavish ceremony held at the Mattioli Woods Plc building, Pukaar Group were forced to postpone the upcoming ceremony due to pandemic restrictions.

During the pandemic, Pukaar Group continued to work with previous Leicester Curry Award-winning restaurants and takeaways to support the community. They teamed up with curry houses such as Masalas, Mithaas and Chutney Ivy to donate food to key workers from Leicestershire Police, Leicester City Council, the NHS and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service. The generous establishments supplied over 100 meals a day across the city and county. 

However, as the city began to ease itself out of lockdown, Pukaar Group recognised that Leicestershire’s curry houses  – like many other small businesses across the country – needed public support now, more than ever. As such, Leicester Curry Awards is returning on Monday 27 September 2021 at city centre venue, Athena. 

Picture credit: Pukaar Group

With a shortlist of 35 establishments — compiled from thousands of public nominations for over 250 restaurants and takeaways — an expert panel of mystery judges will choose the winners and runners-up across each of the seven categories.

Previous winners of the coveted Restaurant of the Year category have been Mumbai Inn (2019), Shimla Pinks (2018) and Chutney Ivy (2017).

In previous years, the event has drawn some of the county’s most notable figures such as Simon Cole, Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Chairman and The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mr Mike Kapur OBE.

Romail Gulzar
Picture Credit: Pukaar Group

Romail Gulzar, founder of the Leicester Curry Awards says: “It felt more important than ever this year to lend our support to local curry houses and we’ve done all we can to ensure this is our biggest event yet. A lot of the nominated curry houses generously donated much-needed food during the pandemic so it’s only right that we honour them now that we can.”

Proceeds raised from the upcoming event will be split between two charities; Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, and RAFA the Royal Air Forces Association (or RAF Association).

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By Gita Sarasia

RAF Advertisement