The district is definitely top of the tikkas when it comes to Asian cuisine.

We scored with two prestigious awards at an annual ceremony celebrating the country’s finest curries.

Bakhtair Murshed, head chef at Fusion Foods in High Street, Markyate, won Chef of the Year for Hertfordshire, and Zaffran in Hatfield Road won Best Indian Restaurant in the county at the 2021 Euro Asia Curry Awards.

Held at Mayfair Venue in Romford, the prestigious awards celebrate the very best curry eateries in the UK and the talented, hardworking people behind them.

More than 200 restaurants and takeaways serving curries, from Indian to Thai, were nominated for this year’s awards. A panel of expert judges travelled around the country to find out who offered the finest cuisine, customer service and atmosphere, before picking the winners.

Fusion Foods owner Gyash Uddin described Bakhtair as an “amazing chef”.

“Not only does he cook fantastic food, his commitment to the job is wonderful. Nothing is ever too much for him – he always goes above and beyond. When things were really tough for us during the pandemic, and we were short staffed he rallied on and did us proud.”

Gyash said the team were all delighted with the award. “It’s great to have something to celebrate after a difficult 18 months,” he added.

Zaffran owner Jomjom Rashid said winning Indian Restaurant of the Year was a "wonderful surprise".

Asked what made his eatery stand out he said: "We like to put a bit of a twist on the traditional Indian menu, creating new and exciting dishes."

The Euro Asia Curry Awards were set up in 2015 by Bangladeshi chef Shorif Kahn, who has 20 years of industry experience behind him.

Shorif said it was more important than ever to celebrate excellence in the industry, when so many restaurants had been badly hit by the pandemic.

He added: “Not only do these businesses contribute a huge amount to the UK economy, they’re also loved by their communities. It’s wonderful to see them all open again and thriving.”