Who’s your local hero? Win a meal for 8 people!

Matin Khan, who runs two restaurants on the outskirts of Edinburgh, has been named the UK’s top curry chef by the industry’s trade magazine.

Executive Chef of Itihaas in Dalkeith and The Radhuni in Loanhead, he was given the accolade on Sunday 15 October in front of an audience of 500 at the Curry Life Awards at the Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Mayfair.

In a double triumph for Scotland, Radhuni was awarded the title of the UK’s best curry restaurant.

Since Matin opened the 80 seat Itihaas in 2007 its titles have included Scotland’s Curry Chef of the Year, Best South Asian Restaurant, and Restaurant of the Year in the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Awards.

His son Habibur, who accepted the award on his behalf, has managed Radhuni since it opened in 2011. At the age of 23 in 2019 he became the youngest person to win a major award in the British Curry Awards.

The audience at the awards, which celebrate the best of the UK’s multi-billion-pound curry industry, included Minister for London Paul Scully, former UK Health Secretary Baroness Virginia Bottomley, her MP husband Sir Peter (longest serving Member of the House of Commons), four other MPs and Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer and a former President of the Confederation of British Industry. The event was hosted by ITV news presenter Lucrezia Millarini.

A chef for over 40 years, Matin was born in Bangladesh.  After his family moved to Cambridge when he was a teenager, he began honing his cooking skills in the family home.

“It’s a great honour to be described as the finest curry chef in the United Kingdom,” he commented. “There are so many wonderful chefs working in thousands of restaurants all over the country that I am truly humbled and very proud. My emphasis has always been on developing authentic recipes and working with the finest kitchen and front of house staff.”

The 120-seat Radhuni (its name means ‘passionate cook’) is one of only three Indian-style restaurants in Scotland to have been awarded an AA Rosette for culinary excellence.

Regularly placed in the British Curry Awards’ “Hot 100”, it was named Scottish Curry Restaurant of the Year in 2020 and 2021 and in July this year took the same title in the Scottish Restaurant Awards.

Habibur Khan commented: “These are remarkable achievements for my father and the restaurants he established. His legacy is assured. Helped by my father’s guidance, the team at Radhuni have worked tirelessly and with great skill to create a constantly first class dining experience. We are overwhelmed by this latest honour.”

Curry Life magazine reaches 10,000 Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and Pakistani restaurants serving millions of customers a year.

The ‘curry industry’ is said to account for two thirds of all eating out in the UK. Indian-style restaurants get through more than 200,000 tonnes of rice a year.

There’s still time to submit an entry to let Midlothian Advertiser readers know who your hero of 2010 was. Submit your nomination before the deadline and the winning hero wins a fantastic meal for 8 people at Itihaas restaurant!

As the dust settles on the New Year celebrations and life gets back to normal, we’re asking readers to tell us who their community hero was in 2010.

We’ve teamed up with award-winning Dalkeith restaurant Itihaas to celebrate local people who went the extra mile last year. It could be a carer, a member of your family (young or old), a neighbour or a colleague.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll tell their stories and help you say thank you to that special person via the pages of the Advertiser. Then we’ll ask readers to help us choose the top community hero and treat them to a slap-up meal for eight at Itihaas.

Itihaas directory Matin Khan said: “Throughout Midlothian, as in the rest of the Scotland and the UK, people of all ages are devoting huge, untold amounts of time and energy to caring for relatives and other loved ones.

“Their efforts are generally under-rated and under-recognised. It’s time to start applauding them. These carers are real-life heroes and heroines in our communities, putting others before themselves. There are some great examples of selflessness out there.

“At Itihaas we are closely involved with local groups so know the tremendous value of community spirit and voluntary service. We are delighted to offer a prize for this Advertiser initiative. Carers deserve a treat!”

To nominate your local hero, fill in the coupon and attach it to an explanation of up to 200 words of why they deserve applause. Send your entry to Advertiser Local Hero competition, 12 High Street, Dalkeith EH22 1HR, by noon on Friday, February 25 2010.

Printed in Midlothian Advertiser, Thursday 13 January 2011

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Indian Restaurant Edinburgh

17-19 Eskbank Road, Dalkeith, EH22 1HD | 0131 663 9800

Monday – Thursday || 12pm-2pm || 5pm-10:30pm
Friday – Sunday || 12pm-2pm || 4:30pm-10:30pm
Closed Tuesday

17-19 Eskbank Road, Dalkieth, EH22 1HD
0131 663 9800

Monday – Thursday || 12pm-2pm || 5pm-10:30pm
Friday – Sunday || 12pm-2pm || 4:30pm-10:30pm
Closed Tuesday

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Established in 1997

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