Glasgow, in western Scotland, has many times been named the curry capitol of Great Britain. Glaswegians choose curry as their favorite food for take away and they love to sit in a restaurant to enjoy the many varieties of curry too, whether that be a quick lunch or a relaxing evening out.
Where can you join them in this on your next visit to Glasgow? I’ve suggestions for three city center spots to get you started on your Glasgow curry explorations, but first:
what is curry, anyway?
Curry is a mix of spices and seasonings associated with southeast Asia. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chile of various degrees of heat are common elements. There are many variations and additions, though.
Every region, every chef, every family has favorite combinations. The restaurants in this story choose their menu items from among the many regions of India, each offering them in different ways.
Tuk Tuk offers interpretations of the sort of food you might find along the roadside in India — the sort drivers of tuk tuks might look for on their breaks, for instance. With that in mind, the chefs at Tuk Tuk offer a range of small plates, which they divide into roadside plates, Tuk Tuk street curries, and Tandoor specialties. It’s a good idea to choose two or three of these small plates to make up a meal, or at lunchtime choose four dishes (including two curries) from a selected list for a special price.
As is common with the food of India, vegetarians and meat eaters are both well catered for. You might choose aloo gobi, potatoes and cauliflower, yellow and black lentil curry, or the spicy Bombay chilli chicken. Tuk Tuk Walla staff curry features chicken on the bone, while in lamb lasooni garlic is prominent.
Indian Gallery, a few steps further along Sauchiehall Street from Tuk Tuk, has a touch of elegant atmosphere, in contrast to the bustling scene at Tuk Tuk. At both places you will find welcoming staff and reasonable prices, however, along with a range of curries and accompaniments from which to choose. Especially good value for your money at Indian Gallery are the two course lunch and pre theatre (early evening) menus. You could begin with pakora — meat or vegetable — or samosas, bhajis, or chicken chaat.
For your main dish, you may choose to have chicken, vegetables, lamb, or seafood prepared in a range of ways. One of my favorites is dopiaza, which features onions, and Indian Gallery’s take on biryani, which features saffron rice cooked with herbs and spices, is a favorite too. Rogan josh, a curry with tomatoes and coriander emphasized, and bhoona, which features ginger and garlic, are popular choices. Each of these comes with your choice of rice or Indian breads.
Not sure just what you’d like? Then lunch at Masala Twist could be for you. They offer a selection of items on a buffet during lunch hours. Individual dishes are quite varied, too. If you are feeling adventurous, they often have exotic meats, such a crocodile, on the menu. Masala Twist bills itself as the home of Glasgow’s hottest chicken curry, too. Regional curry classics are another feature of Masala Twist’s menu. The staff is will help you choose among specialities from Punjab, Goa, Hyderabad, and other regions, or create your own combination by selecting their thali menu which allows you to choose three dishes and accompaniments for a set price. Masala Twist is located a few steps off Sauchiehall Street, on Hope Street. One thing to note: it is up a flight of stairs.
There are many other fine places to explore curry, Indian and otherwise, in other neighborhoods in Glasgow. In future stories perhaps I’ll take you along to several of those. If you are in the city center, Tuk Tuk, Indian Gallery, and Masala Twist will make interesting, reasonably priced choices with welcoming staff — and if you aren’t feeling like dining out, they each offer takeaway, too.
If the heat in these curries has you wanting to cool your taste buds, there’s an ice cream place nearby you may want to explore…
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