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A vegetarian voyage through South Asian and other cuisine in West Leeds

By Damon Cooper

From flashy contemporaries with extravagant furnishing to laidback venues serving street food, South Asian cuisine is served in abundance throughout West Leeds. 

Celebrating its 45th birthday this year is Aagrah, a Kashmiri restaurant that offers an indulgent balti paneer plus cheese and onion naan that gets preserved in a pizza box if you have it delivered. Its midpoint suite is spectacular and it serves buffets on an evening too! 

From one chain to another, Lala’s Restaurant made the headlines in recent times, having been named best Asian restaurant in the north two years on the trot. Owner, Junior Rashid, converted an old pub into the most marvellous of venues, the food is bang on and collectively delivers a memorable dining experience you’d be silly not to embrace. 

‘Lucky to have’: Desi Sweet Centre is off Bradford Road

Last stop on this stretch of Bradford Road is Desi Sweet Centre, a small Indian cafe serving vegetarian food like paneer rolls and a wide range of Indian sweets. Places like this are a more common sight in Bradford, but we’re lucky to have a sweet centre on our doorstep too. 

Shezzaan’s on Galloway Lane in Pudsey does an excellent shahi paneer dish – and mixing that with their pilau rice takes the tasting experience to another level. Alongside Aagrah and Lala’s we are so spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants for dining in this small area.   

Paneer korma at East on Richardshaw Lane in Pudsey is boasted as the best korma sauce in town and it’s hard to disagree due to its uniqueness. The fresh double cream combined with a bounty full of coconut, it’s an indulgence you’re not going to forget anytime soon.

The Funky Indian Restaurant at Stanningley Bottom. Photo: Emma Roberts

The Funky Indian is a relative newcomer to the area with its NAAN’IZZA, a combination of naan bread and pizza with panjab ingredients. I would highly recommend stonebaked pizzas from chilli paneer & coriander to feta cheese & caramelised onions. 

Stanningley Road is takeaway central with Shalamar serving an equally-as-palatable korma sauce as its more prominent neighbour, East just up the road. Mister Khans has long been a favourite after a night out for locals, having achieved a 5.1 out of six rating from 1,000+ customers on JustEat.

Depending where you live in West Leeds, South Asian cuisine from far and wide to your house via deliveroo, ubereats or foodhub so explore your choices!

Faiza’s Tandoori takeaway is the predecessor of Abids Restaurant, which has converted into an ice cream parlour and enjoyed palak paneer with egg rice over the years. In Rupyal, you have the last Indian restaurant standing on this street with many options for vegetarians too. 

Zulfi Hussain runs Deeva in Farsley.

In Farsley we have Deeva as the standalone south asian restaurant on Town Street which has joined forces with Headingley-based Cat’s Pyjamas and now serves street food alongside its more contemporary offering in an elegant setting.

Street food-wise, I think you still have to venture over to Kirkstall for a vada pav in West Leeds via Manjits kitchen. 

We are in a cost of living crisis so I hope Zulfi, owner of Deeva restaurant won’t mind me reminding anyone to reach out to him if you’re hungry, cannot afford to eat and he’d be happy to feed you, no questions asked. Find him via social media or ask around. 

blue tiger restaurant bramley leeds
Blue Tiger is on Ganners Hill in Bramley.

Bramley is home to the durable Blue Tiger tucked away on Ganners Hill and I can confirm that Paneer Veran Bhuna is lush. There’s other non-cheesy dishes too! 

Manjit’s Kitchen is always worth a visit.

Final stop is going to be Manjit’s Kitchen in Burley, serves wonderful mango lassi, tasty vada pavs (Indian potato burgers toc rudely put it..) and an array of amazing starters. 

I’m missing out including places in Armley, Kirkstall, Calverley, Farnley, Rodley and Wortley – but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring. It also means I’ve got a lot of adventures ahead of me and a heap of discovery in all areas of West Leeds!

Which local business serves your favourite south Indian dish? 

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