THE HEAD chef at a Burnley Indian restaurant could be named the best in the country after impressing judges with his secret recipe.

Ibrahim Ali, who also owns award-winning Usha in Rossendale Road, Burnley, said he came across Curry Life's World Curry Expo while on a family holiday in London.

And he wowed the judges with his signature dish lamb tarka bhuna which he says is one of a kind and made with a unique blend of spices.

“It is one of the best dishes on our menu and we sell a lot of it at our restaurant. Somebody has just ordered £1,000 of it for 100 people at a housewarming party in Burnley in October.”

Dad-of-five Ibrahim, 35, said he came across the competition by accident while visiting his relatives. “My children said 'Come on dad, you can do it'.

“I thought ‘yeah right’, but the organisers said it was happening now so I though why not.”

He said the organisers hired a hall with around 100 kitchen units inside and each chef had to take in their own ingredients.

After making it through the first heat with his signature lamb dish, judges turned up unannounced at his restaurant as secret diners to sample his cuisine.

“I was shocked when they asked to speak to me. I was then invited to cook at a hotel in Manchester in the second round.”

He added: “I’d love to win it and make Burnley proud.”

The winners will be announced during an awards ceremony at the Hotel Park Plaza Riverbank, London, on October 14.