Veggie Perrin’s, Plymouth
A family-run Indian restaurant established in 1995, Veggie Perrin’s specialises in Gujarati-style cuisine, with a menu that is 100% vegetarian and 80% vegan.
It is inspired by the Hindu principle of ahimsa (non-violence to all creatures), which was advocated by Gandhi and is a fundamental belief of the restaurant’s founder, Bill Meswania.
Must try: Bhindi Masala, or the Kerala Paneer which is made up of Indian cottage cheese cooked in a creamy coconut sauce, with a blend of rich spices and tangy pepper. Spicy, but not hot.
Mains from: £3.50.
Teign Indian Cuisine, Teignmouth
This tiny restaurant has six tables and is tucked away down a side street in Teignmouth. You’ll feel like you have discovered something no one else knows about… only they do! Booking is essential as it is always full. This traditional and authentic restaurant provides excellent service – some favourable reviews declare it serves “probably the best Peshwari Naan ever”.
Must try: Chicken/Lamb Tikka Pasanda, or the Chicken/Lamb Beguni.
Mains from: £9.95.
Everest Gurkha Chef, Barnstaple
This curry house started life as a food stall in Barnstaple’s historic Pannier Market, before opening as a small restaurant in the town. It serves authentic Nepalese and Indian dishes, all freshly prepared by chef Romy Rai – the first lady from the Gurkha community to win the prestigious British Curry Award.
Must try: Nepalese beef or lamb, with garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, fresh curry leaves and Nepalese masala. The Khasa Chicken is also delicious: stir-fried chicken, garlic, ginger, egg, potato flour, sliced mixed pepper, onion, leeks, soy sauce, sesame oil and olive oil.
Mains from: £8.99.
Denley’s Essence of India, Topsham
Denley’s won Best Asian Restaurant of the Year (West Country) at the 2019 Asian Curry Awards. Located in a former dairy, the understated facade could fool you into thinking that it’s not very big, yet it can accommodate up to 70 people. Denley’s customers travel from miles around to enjoy the extensive menu.
Must try: The chef’s signature main course – Shatkora Bhuna Masala. Shatkora is a citrus fruit from Bangladesh. With a choice of chicken or lamb, it has subtle, yet sublime flavours. The Dhaba Murghi is a classic Indian roadside chicken curry. It’s cooked on the bone, with garam masala, coriander, garlic and ginger.
Mains from: £7.50.
Gurkha’s Diner, Paignton
Gurkha’s Diner is apparently the first Nepalese cuisine specialist in Devon. Founded as a takeaway in Torquay in 2004, it has grown into a large, licensed restaurant serving high-quality, responsibly-sourced Nepalese and Indian food. The favourable reviews include mention of the succulent, flavoursome kebabs and generous portion sizes.
Must try: Imli – cooked with tamarind sauce, mustard sauce, yoghurt, garlic, ginger, coriander and curry leaves. Lasuni – cooked with garlic, mixed herbs, onion and coriander.
Mains from: £7.50.
Karma, which used to be part of the Great Western Hotel, opened in 2018. The old dining room has been beautifully transformed by owner Raj Kaushal. But this is not your average Indian meal. Karma serves a wide variety of Asian foods, including a tempting range of dishes for vegan and gluten-free diners. It has even enjoyed the patronage of former Prime Minister David Cameron!
Must try: Amritsari Macchi – a starter made with diced fish which is first marinated in traditional Punjabi spices, then battered and fried. Szechuan-style veg balls – a starter made with ginger, garlic and Szechuan pepper, and served with chef’s special in-house sauce.
Mains from: £6.95.
Maha Bharat, Kingsbridge
This multi-award-winning Bengali and Indian restaurant was established in 1993 and still operates with only two chefs. Consistency and authenticity are the key ingredients to its success, from the quality of the herbs and spices, to using the finest meats and vegetables.
Must try: Remix Chef’s Special – chicken, king prawn, lamb and mushroom cooked with a variety of chef’s secret spices. Delhi Korai – green and red pepper, cooked with chicken in a Delhi-style sauce. Special Duck Jalfrezi – confit of duck, cooked jalfrezi-style with an orange twist.
Mains from: £7.95.
Cinnamons Indian Restaurant, Axminster
The style here is to blend the tried and tested dishes and create something new and delicious. There is plenty of variety, flavour combinations and specialities to choose from on the extensive menu.
Must try: Moglai Chicken – tender pieces of chicken, flavoured with egg, ginger, garlic and exotic masala. It’s then shallow-fried and added to a sauce made with yoghurt, coconut, poppy seeds, cashew nuts and sultanas. North Indian Garlic Chicken – cooked with hot spices, fresh garlic, peppers and green chillies.
Mains from: £5.95.