A LOTHIAN curry house has been crowned the best Indian restaurant in Scotland at a prestigious awards ceremony known as the Curry Oscars.
Karma in Whitburn’s West Main Street beat local competitors Shezan in Edinburgh and Itihaas in Dalkeith to win the accolade at the coveted British Curry Awards.
It is the second win for the popular restaurant, which was also hailed Scotland’s best curry house in 2013.
The winners were announced at a star-studded event in London hosted by BBC broadcaster Jane Hill and attended by special guests including MPs, Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy and EastEnders actor Nitin Ganatra.
This year, there were 218,000 public nominations via post, app and online from diners suggesting their favourite, before it was whittled down to a shortlist.
In an online post, Karma’s owners said: “A big thank you to all who nominated us for the British Curry Awards 2015. And a huge accolade to the Karma Team in winning The Best in Scotland 2015 on Monday. Shortlisted four years in a row to winning this prestigious award twice (2013 and 2015) is a testament to all the staff for their continuous dedication. Well done to all.”
The awards were set up 11 years ago to celebrate the curry industry, which generates £4.2 billion for the UK economy and employs more than 100,000 staff. The event also saw awards founder and restaurateur Enam Ali MBE speak out about “crippling” shortages of chefs.
Mr Ali said the main reason for the crisis was the government’s immigration policy.
He said: “I have drafted a very constructive new visa scheme to help the industry survive in the current climate.
“I believe my document will help to tighten migration to the benefit of the country while giving us access to the skilled curry chefs we need.
“At the same time, looking to a long-term solution rather than depending on foreign chefs, I am proud to tell you I have formed the Le Raj Academy in partnership with the North East Surrey College of Technology.”
Shelim Hussain, founder of sponsor Kukd.com, said: “It is a great honour to be a part of the original and benchmark award ceremony that was established to celebrate the achievements of such an integral and significant industry within the UK.”