Indian restaurants pepper Glasgow like temples pepper India. They are everywhere. Glasgow has Indian restaurants teeming from every other street and Glasgow loves Indian restaurants just like it loves fried stuff. It’s pretty fair, therefore, to go ahead and say they don’t need too much of an introduction. Glaswegians know Indian food better than most other folk in the UK and so the Indian restaurants of Glasgow have a duty to provide curry that’s on point and up to scratch. If they didn’t they’d be cast aside and bust within a matter of weeks. They’d be left to the wind like an empty carrier bag, looking on as all of Glasgow’s other Indian restaurants kept busy serving some of the best Indian food outside of India.
Why such love? From where does this almighty bond stem? Well, likely a few reasons, Great Britain’s ties with India being probably the first. Curry and Great Britain is a relationship that’s grown and grown over many, many years, but Glasgow specifically has definitely done its bit, for here was the birthplace of the chicken tikka masala. Ah, chicken tikka masala, a dish that is now one of the most eaten in the entire United Kingdom and without doubt towards the top of the menu at every Indian restaurant in Glasgow. Though, we must admit, this story is disputed by some naysayers, it goes that in 1971 a Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, who owned an Indian restaurant in west Glasgow, improvised the tikka masala sauce from yoghurt, cream, spices and tomato soup after a customer complained that the curry he’d originally ordered was too dry. It then ended up on the menu of Aslam’s restaurant and from that point on, boomed in popularity. Coming up to 50 years down the line, it’s as well-loved now as it was then.
The birth of chicken tikka masala paved the way for a whole load of other curries to become menu staples of not just Indian restaurants in Glasgow, but up and down the rest of the UK, too. Among these, many are fiery-hot while many are mild, but just to get you drooling, we thought we’d list the most popular:
As we said before, you’ll find Indian restaurants all over Glasgow and as well as all the food, what’s easy to love about them is that they’re even easier to find and fit for whatever your occasion happens to be. A curry is damn good at 3am after a few beers, true say, ain’t nothing wrong with that, but Indian food can also be a gourmet affair, an after-work nibble or the centerpiece of some top notch time with the family. So, where to look? Slap bang in the middle of the city would be a good place to start. There are plenty of gems clustered around Glasgow Central and Argyle Street train stations, then probably even more around Charing Cross, Anderston. Use a map, or follow your nose, both will lead you to Glasgow’s Indian restaurants just fine and dandy.
Finishing on a sweet note isn’t something the UK too often associates with an Indian meal out. But this is Glasgow, and things are done differently here. As we’ve said, Glasgow, its Indian restaurants and the Glaswegians themselves have more pedigree than most when it comes to Indian dining and thus desserts are just as important as mains. So, what to expect? Despite the fame of certain curries, Indian desserts don’t come to mind so easily, but if you pick wisely from Glasgow’s Indian restaurants you’ll hopefully find a bit of gulab jamun, which are kneaded balls made from milk solids then fried and coated in syrup and all kinds of flavourings. On any good menu you’ll also find bread pudding or rasgulla, a syrupy delight of ball-shaped dumplings, often made from semolina. The sweet menu of India is as vast as the spicy and just as interesting – get involved at one of Glasgow’s best Indian restaurants.