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Jamie Oliver loves our curries


With Birmingham's array of top class restaurants, gourmets can choose to sip Champagne, savour foie gras and eat the finest fillet steak easily running up a bill of £100 a head. But when TV chef Jamie Oliver went out to eat with thirty of his mates, he visited an unlicensed, family-run, south Indian vegetarian restaurant where diners would struggle to spend fifteen pounds each. The chef barely recognisable in a baseball cap and military style jacket drifted into the Jyoti with his friends- and plenty of wine and beer-at 8pm on Thursday. They sat at a long table near the window overlooking the busy Stratford Road, Sparkhill and sat chatting happily and eating heartily for two hours, undisturbed by the other customers in he plainly decorated restaurant. Jamie, in Birmingham for the Good Food show, has become a regular visitor to Jyoti during his jaunts to Brum.

He told me: 'It's been my secret-until now! It's good to get away from the hotel and all of the other chefs. I always come with my mates and we're made very welcome.

And its great food, its vegetarian but you don't miss meat-you feel you are getting the full experience. And the spicing is very confident.' Jyoti, run by brothers Raj and Mukesh Joshi, whose wives cook most of the food, has been on Stratford Road for around a decade and has a loyal following. Raj said his celebrity visitor was charming and added: 'He is always willing to chat to other customers and have his pictures taken. It's a pleasure to have him here.'

Jamie's Choice:

  • Samosas
  • Stuffed whole peppers
  • Pani Puri
  • Chana Masala-Chick Pea Curry
  • Bengun Methi-aubergine and fenugreek leaf curry
  • Aloo Matar-Potato and Pea Curry
  • Paneer Bhurji- Indian cheese and nut curry
  • Vegetable pilau rice
  • Plain boiled rice
  • Breads
  • Indian rice pudding