India Grill, Loughton

Tahmin Muhith is the third generation of his family to be running India Grill in Loughton. The town’s very first Indian restaurant and originally called Loughton Curry House, it was opened in 1970 by his grandfather, Rob – a chef from Bangladesh (then Eastern Pakistan), who’d come over having worked in restaurants and hotels across that country and in India. ‘My grandfather taught my dad, Mo, how to cook and my dad taught me,’ explains Tahmin. ‘Not only does that mean we’ve got a true connection with the business, but we can also ensure consistency – Indian food can be of variable quality, but we pride ourselves on a reliable and delicious sophistication across our menu. My dad and I still mix all the spices between us and marinate the meat, and I cook in the kitchen one day a week, when our head chef has his day off.’

When father and son aren’t preparing food, they’re working front of house along with Tahmin’s mother. ‘We’ve been here so long that we have third-generation customers, too – I can honestly say that we know 90 per cent of them by name. We have one regular customer who’s a West Ham fan – he pops in whenever there’s a big game – and he lives in Holland!’

Customers are willing to cross continents, then, for house dishes such a biryanis and tikka masalas, with Punjabi butter chicken winning praise from the most discerning diners. ‘There’s no bigger compliment than being told by a Punjabi family that ours is the best they’ve ever tasted,’ says Tahmin.

His own favourite dish, he says, is a Jalfrezi – that mix of warming spices, chili, and onions, made to the family’s own recipe. ‘We manage to achieve a wonderfully silky texture with ours that I love.’.

With such a commitment to their family restaurant, will Tahmin be looking towards a fourth generation to take over when he and his father retire? ‘My daughter and her cousins are all under six, so I think it’s a bit early to say,’ he laughs. ‘Watch this space, though!’


Tuck into delicious dishes made to a family recipe at India Grill. We’ve got three vouchers to win, each up to the value of £50 (drinks excluded)

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Competition closes: June 30th, 2024.

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