NO question, if a curry really takes your fancy, East Lancashire can cater to your tastebuds’ every sordid whim.

Bengali, Goan, Kashmiri, Keralan, Punjabi, Tandoori. Even Chinese, Thai or Malayan, if you look hard enough.

Delve into a dhansak or dopiaza, tangle with a tikka, break into a bhuna or biryani, the choices are (almost) endless.

What happens when your tastes remain exotic but you want to break away from the usual poppadoms-pilau-and-korma routine?

One solution might be Taiba, the authentic Arabic cafe located at the top of Limbrick, in Blackburn.

Owner and chef Ahmed Morse has crafted an ambitious eaterie, over the past couple of years, which wouldn’t look out of place in his native Egypt.

Though perhaps owing to Ahmed’s idiosyncratic eye for decor, not many see traditional wall-hangings, colourful cushions and an array of Eastern artefacts jostling for wall space with old typewriters, lanterns and map-of-the-globe place settings.

Seasoned travellers will see a collection of the expected fare, three or four variations on hummus, or mosabaha for the slightly more adventurous, a falafel dish, labneh cheese, sharwarma, along with the more standard steaks, grilled chicken and mixed vegetables.

For a genuine treat though, phone ahead at least the day before and order one of Ahmed’s tagines.

He’ll advise that you can have it just as savoury or spicy as your heart desires.

Before slow cookers took over the Western world, Arabian chefs have been streets ahead for centuries.

And Ahmed’s spin on the lamb delicacy, offset with an array of season vegetables, draws upon all that knowhow and then some.

Prepare for the feast ahead with some naans and hummus and lemon juice, with side salad.

Then the main event hoves squarely into view, through a heady cloud of incense.

Buried under a swelter of potatoes, carrots and onions, and arriving piping hot, the lamb layer nearly falls apart on your fork.

The exquisite art here appears to be maintaining the integrity of all the separate components, despite the lengthy lead-in time, tiptoeing along the tightrope between succulent and soggy.

Just a little forward planning tip for the uninitiated. Gauge the appetites of potential fellow diners early doors.

One tagine could easily cater for two, three or four mouths, depending on the proportion of hearty eaters around the table.

Our repast was rounded off with the offer of some traditional Moroccan tea and a selection of sweetmeats.

Once a connoisseur of everything from lapsang souchong to jasmine and wild nettle, I’ll admit I could have taken or left the aperitif, delivered in a quite fetching copper kettle.

An intriguing blend of honey and just there merest hint of mint, over green tea, would pique anyone’s interest however.

Fruit juices and milkshakes aplenty are available, for those looking to slake their thirst.

Nothing should certainly be rushed, with this kind of outing, and Ahmed is an attentive host, creating just the right ambience.

Perhaps next time we’ll plump for a racier stew. All good things come to those who wait, after all.