Eating Halal At Mumtaz Restaurant, Bradford

The world famous Mumtaz restaurant is halal-friendly Growing up in the green Yorkshire county of north England is fantastic for my faith....

The world famous Mumtaz restaurant is halal-friendly

Growing up in the green Yorkshire county of north England is fantastic for my faith. I have warm memories of meeting diverse Muslims with hardcore farmer accents (the 'ayes and the dropping h's for 'ow are you?). Over the years I've seen the increase of Muslim-friendly hubs which makes living here, that much more homely. Mumtaz restaurant in Bradford caters especially to Muslims and is one of my favourite places to dine with family and friends.

'Mumtaz', Urdu for 'excellent palace'
The restaurant is located near Bradford University and has recently opened a branch in Leeds. It's a family run business and has been around for several decades, specialising in Kashmiri cooking. Whenever I visit I'm welcomed by spicy fragrances. Walking past the front desk, you used to be able to see the chefs cooking behind glass doors - men that can cook = awesome.

Because the restaurant is run by Muslims, the food is halal and organic. Apart from desserts, the entire menu is cooked from fresh ingredients on site. I've seen crates of ripe vegetables and racks of ground spices that makes the eating experience more interesting.

My family and I incline towards healthier eating and my sister is a vegetarian. Pakistani-Indian food is known for its insanely spicy cuisine but I can't handle all that heat. Every dish is custom made to your needs, so I can ask for minimum spice, additional veg, for it to be cooked in extra virgin olive oil and with extra dried fruit and dips.

I have practiced 'good eating' at Mumtaz. Small portions of everything - a potato stuffed paratha, a sweet chick-pea and lentil chaat (yoghurt mix), masala fish and red onion.

The Peshoori naan (I would spell that Peshawri, from Peshawar, a northern Pakistani town) are scrumptious: these are large, fluffed naan breads stuffed with nuts, made in a tandoor oven with oils and sprinkled generously with almonds, raisins, candied peels and coconut. That's my 'oh em gee' moment!

Mango lassi (smoothie) FTW!
What you SHOULD order
Mumtaz's menu in like ordering from the Taj Mahal - if Taj Mahal was catered. For appetisers we usually order a mix of chicken boti: off-the-bone chicken cooked on a chargrill; masala fish: deep fried fillet of fish, and lamb kebabs with salad. A squeeze of lemon and mint and oh, it's magic on the tongue.

Main courses include chicken, seafood and lamb again, but we opt for vegetable biryani which is a layered rice dish with stewed vegetables, and karahi chicken: cooked in a tomato-onion-garlic blend with deeply warming spices and nuts.

Alcohol free zone
Another great aspect of Mumtaz is that the entire venue is alcohol-free. This makes it more family friendly too as you see many large groups reserve a conference room for Eid parties and weddings.

Once I saw a shelf of champagne bottles and freaked momentarily - but was told it was a halal bubbly, like the British drink Shloer.

Every table is assigned a waiter, every waiter is trained with great attentiveness and plate-carrying skills, and recently the restaurant took on more Muslim women waiters in hijab.

A trendy eco-cool atmosphere in Mumtaz makes the food more artistic too. Walls are decorated in Arab-Indian paintings, and a silicon bubble mould is used to create this slab of chocolate that went with my chocolate cake.

Eeny, meeny, miny - more please.

Would you like that to take out?
Yes please. An emporium of packaged food allows customers to take home the unique recipes by Mumtaz. Gift bags filled with preserves and pickles; organic drinks, jars of ready-made spice mixes for home cooking and... baby food! Organic and halal, of course.

Mumtaz has fed everyone from the posh - The Queen, to the infamous - Indian actors, to the average - The Eco Muslim. It has a great reputation for high quality food and service. Which is why I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to experience traditional Asian-British culture.

+ Mumtaz Restaurant 

More on food:
Skewerz: Australian Fast-Food That's Halal
'Halal' brand Saffron Road makes a buzz
Five Important Fatwas on Halal Food, Drinks and Medicine


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