THE Gohel family curry recipe was a closely guarded secret handed down through the generations -- now it's the nation's favourite dish!

Sukhi's Indian Cuisine, in Bolton Road, Darwen, curried favour with diners who voted it the makers of the best chicken tikka masala in the country.

Owner Sukhi Gohel puts the success down to his grandma and mum's recipe which taught him what he says are the secret of good curries -- spices.

A television camera crew visited the restaurant on Thursday night after it came out on top in the BBC online poll.

They were filming for The Nation's Favourite Food, a ten-part series being broadcast in January which explores what tantalises the country's tastebuds.

One of the episodes will concentrate solely on Sukhi's and give the Gohel family recipe nationwide exposure.

But Sukhi, 53, refuses to reveal any more of the secret behind the taste except that a unique mix of spices is the key.

He offers hundreds of curries at the restaurant, which opened 20 months ago, but said the most popular was chicken tikka masala.

A couple of years ago the dish was revealed as the nation's favourite food, above roast beef and fish and chips, and Sukhi thinks he knows why.

"I think it is the colour that makes it so popular," he said.

"For many people the colour of curries puts them off, but chicken tikka masala is bright red, which is eye catching. We have tried to make many curries from my family's recipe.

"Everybody does chicken tikka masala, so we tried to do it differently.

"We didn't get it right away and have altered it a few times, but it is good because of the spices, which are my family's secret."

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "It will be featured in a programme called the Nation's Favourite. People voted on-line for their favourite food and then we picked a restaurant that had come out tops and had a good reputation."