Indian curry is without doubt one of the staple foods of the UK, with the Chicken Tikka Masala recognised alongside Roast Beef, and Fish and Chips as one of our national dishes. Indian food is a celebration of the diversity of Britain and is emblematic of the melting pot of cultures that make up the UK.
I love Indian food, it is my soul food, and I am fortunate enough to live next door to India so can eat some of the most exceptional Indian food you can imagine at many places ranging from a scattering of tables on the pavement to fine-dining restaurants. Several guests at Pots & Pans Cottage have asked me to recommend an Indian restaurant in the area. As I know a thing or two about curry, I thought I’d put together a selection of my favourites in and around Saddleworth. Though if you happen to ever be in Myanmar, make sure you visit the Marina Indian restaurant in Yangon, you will not be disappointed.
The first Indian restaurant in the country opened in London in the early 19th Century, though the first in Manchester (The Kohinoor on Oxford Road) didn’t open until the 1950s. During this time there were a huge number of South Asians recruited from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India to work in the textile mills, all who brought their own recipes with them. So, as you can imagine the North-West of the UK soon became home to hundreds of fabulous South Asian restaurants all catering to the needs of the local workforce whilst at the same time introducing some fabulous new tastes to the UK. The collection of over seventy small (neon-lit) South Asian restaurants that remain from this period on the world-famous ‘Curry Mile’ in Rusholme in Manchester still draw cravers of quality curry to the area from miles around.
Although many ‘Indian restaurants’ are actually Bangladeshi or Pakistani, they often serve a selection of foods from all three countries, and Indian food itself is myriad of styles, spices and flavours depending of where in India the chef originated.
Saddleworth and the surrounding area are not short of options when it comes to South Asian cuisine, and although some are better than others the availability of many quality Indian restaurants within a few miles of Pots & Pans Cottage fills me with great joy. These are a few of my favourites, full details are provided in the table at the bottom of the page.
Uppermill has one Indian Restaurant, The Shalimar is on the High street, across the road from the Commercial Pub. They’ve been there as long as I can remember and they serve a decent curry. It’s not my favourite restaurant in the area, but I’m yet to have a bad meal there and I make sure to visit every time I’m back in the country. The service is always swift and friendly, and they are always busy. They also make use of fresh and organic ingredients sourced from local shops and local farmers. They are well worth a visit if you are in Uppermill.
Arguably the best Indian restaurant in Saddleworth is the Bay Leaf in Delph, this quaint little spot on King Street (the main through road in Delph) serves up some fabulous dishes with exemplary service. They’re also very knowledgeable about looking after celiac diners, which is always a sign of good restaurant in my books!
Nearby Mossley has several great Indian restaurants, Lal Quilla (in Top Mossley) is perhaps the most famous in the area, they’ve been cooking up Indian and Bangladeshi food since 1998. Booking is essential, but they also do takeaways and have a smart bar to take a drink while you are waiting for your food.
Also in Mossley are Chutney Massala and the Red Rose Indian restaurant. Both are on Manchester Road in Bottom Mossley, and both serve up excellent South Asian cuisine. If I had to choose, then I’d say my personal favourite is Chutney Massala as you can take your own booze (they have no liquor licence). Though the Red Rose does a mean Tandoori, so it’s a close call between the two.
In Lees, on the way into Oldham, you will find The Spice Lounge. They’ve been around for more than a decade, and they’re owned by Lees Tandoori takeaway across the road who have been going for over 30 years! Dishes come from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the districts of ‘Punjab’, and local curry aficionados highly recommend them.
The best vegetarian restaurant in the area is undoubtedly the famous Lily’s in Ashton under Lyne. Located just outside of the centre of Ashton (opposite IKEA) Lily’s have been serving up phenomenal vegetarian cuisine for over ten years. They’ve won a handful of awards and been featured in several newspapers and good food guides. Despite recently upgrading their little cafe to a smart and very colourful premises across the road they still serve up the tasty and simple fare that attracts diners from far afield. Check out their unlimited vegetarian Thali it comes highly recommended!
If I happen to be out and about in Manchester then I’ll inevitably venture to Raajdoot Tandoori restaurant in Albert Square, they’ve been dishing up the good stuff since the 1960s. They have won many awards over the years for their incredible food and service, and I’ve been going for so many years it always feels a little bit like going home when I walk down the stairs into the beautiful restaurant.
Of course, this is just my opinion, but if you are after a curry in Saddleworth or the surrounding area then you are in luck, and you can’t go wrong with one of the above. If you think I’ve missed somewhere out, then let me know, and I’ll add it to my list of places to try out next time I am at the cottage.
Cheers and beers and poppadums (lots and lots of poppadums)
Pots & Pans Cottage is a charming L shaped 18th-century weavers cottage located in a small hamlet 10 minutes walk from the centre of Uppermill in Saddleworth. If you are interested in visiting Uppermill and exploring beautiful Saddleworth then click on the book now button below to view the prices and availability and make a booking.
103-107 High St, Uppermill,
01457 872576 / 01457 820799
Mon-Thur, Sun: 5.30pm-11pm
Fri - Sat: 5.30pm to 12.30am
|Lily's Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
75-83 Oldham Road, Ashton-under-Lyne
0161 339 4774
Mon: 12pm to 2pm, Tue: Closed, We - Thur: 12pm to 8pm, Fri - Sat: 12pm to 9pm, Sun: 12pm to 5pm.
|The Bay Leaf,|
King Street, Delph
Mon - Sun 5pm to 11pm
18 Albert Square,
0161 834 2176
Mon - Fri 12pm to 2.15pm, Mon - Sun 6pm to 10.30pm
391 Manchester Road, Mossley
Mon- Sat 5pm to 11pm, Sun 3.30pm to 10pm
|Lal Quilla Indian Restaurant
Unit 5 Roaches Estate, Manchester Road, Mossley
01457 839666 / 839777
Mon – Sat: 5pm- 10pm, Sun: 4pm-10pm
|Red Rose Tandoori|
149 Manchester Rd
Sun – Thur 5pm to 11pm
Fri – Sat 5pm to 12am
|The Spice Lounge
High Street, Lees
0161 620 8922
Mon - Thur 5pm to 11pm
Fri - Sat 5pm to 12am
Please be aware that all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information contained on this page is accurate, but it is possible that the information may be out of date, incomplete or the opinion of the author. It is advisable that you verify any information from this page before relying on it