A BURNLEY curry house has proved hot stuff after being crowned one of the best Indian restaurants in England.

Usha in Rossendale Road, Burnley, was among the top 56 restaurants to make it through to the finals of the British Curry Awards — dubbed the Oscars of the UK curry industry.

The popular restaurant, which opened its doors in 2002, finished runner-up and was crowned the third best Indian restaurant in the North West.

Nominated for the award by his customers before being judged by a secret diner, Usha’s owner and head chef Ibrahim Ali is very proud of his achievement.

He said: “It’s really great to be nominated for an award and do well but it’s even better when you have been nominated by your customers.

“This was our second year in the competition and we did even better than we imagined. Hopefully next year we will win.”

Farther-of-five Mr Ali, 34, has 20 staff at his restaurant, where he also runs cookery lessons.

Usha has had a successful year, also winning a Highest Quality Assured Mark by Blackpool and Lancashire Tourist Board.

Mr Ali, who is planning to release a cookery book in the New Year, managed to beat off competition from more than 3,000 restaurants to reach the finals.

He said: “Winning these awards can only be good for business.

“I personally would much rather choose a restaurant that I know someone has enjoyed than gamble in this economic climate.”

One of the best

  • Usha was opened in 2002 by the then Mayor of Burnley Gordon Birtwistle.
  • The restaurant has been recognised by the British Curry awards, Bangladesh Caterers awards.
  • The most popular dish on the menu is Lamb Shank Mihhari.
  • Head chef Ibrahim Ali runs a Curry Club passing on his skills to curry-lovers.
  • Anyone interested can call 01282 457529.