TINY takeaway in Purton is this year’s winner of Swindon’s
annual curry competition.
The Spice Express beat off tough competition from the three other finalists
during a cook off at Swindon College.
The other finalists were the Lalbagh Restaurant in Rodbourne, the Biplob
Restaurant in Old Town and the Chariton House Catering Service at Network
All three produced a huge variety old dishes with exotic names such as
a chackmai king prawn- marinated tiger prawns, okra caldeen—spiced
okra and kumramalabba - a green vegetable curry with a type of Indian
cheese called Paneer.
The Spice Express chef Jamal Miah, 43, of Kingswood Avenue, impressed
the judges with his dishes which had contrasting flavours.
He cooked a sweet cinnamon chicken curry accompanied by a side dish called
bajja boal - pan fried fresh water cat fish marinated in spices and a
shahi pilau — basmati rice cooked with milk, spices and nuts.
Jamal said: “It feels great to win. The takeaway was one of the
four short-listed in last years cook off.”
Its owner Mohammed Ali, 39, said: “It is nice to win especially
when it is only the second year that we have entered. But everyone is
a winner because the standard of cooking and food has been excellent.”
The Spice Express will now represent Swindon in the regional finals which
may well be held at Swindon College later this year.
For the first time this year, the competition, which is backed by the
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, was open to all commercial
food outlets that can cook curry not just Indian and Asian restaurants.
Salmon, an environmental health officer at Swindon Council, organised
the curry competition. She said: “I hope it gets bigger and better
next year. So if people have a really good curry from a take- away, or
even from their local pub, then they should encourage them to enter the
Of the 11 establishments which entered, nine passed a hygiene inspection
and went through to the next round when chefs had to prepared a main curry,
a side dish and a bread or rice dish for the judges to sample.
Each dish was awarded points on the basis of taste texture, appearance
and aroma and the four restaurants with the top marks went through to
the Swindon College cook-off.