Ballater residents are celebrating their success after the village was named ‘Curry Lover of the Year’ at the Scottish Curry Awards.
The awards were presented at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow on Monday March 23, which was attended by representatives of the Royal Deeside community.
The ‘Curry Lover of the Year’ award is an honour bestowed on individuals or organisations that have gone out of their way to promote Indian food.
Owner of Ballater curry house India on the Green, Raj, said: “We were shortlisted to win Overall Best Restaurant so we were a finalist in that and India on the Green is now one of the, if not the, most high end Indian restaurants in Scotland.
“I put forward Ballater personally for the Curry Lover of the Year award. Every customer came in and I took their vote to put Ballater on the map in the curry industry.
“I am glad I have been able to put Ballater on the map for high end Indian cuisine.
“It’s one of the biggest accolades of my life that I have been able to help a community win one of the most prestigious awards.
“I was very much encouraged by Aberdeenshire Council and Cllr Geva Blackett received the award on behalf of the Ballater community.
“My two daughters were also at the awards and they were delighted for Ballater.”
Ballater landed the top prize in recognition of the high proportion of restaurants and takeaways in the village.
Cllr Geva Blackett, who attended the ceremony, said: “I was thrilled to receive the Curry Lover of the year Award on behalf of Ballater – we are so lucky to have such wonderful high standards on our doorsteps.
“Raj and I are planning to present the Award for safekeeping and display to the Tourist Information Centre so that visitors can be made aware too of the delicious food available at both India on the Green and the Lochnagar.”
More than 15,000 nominations from across Scotland were received for the 2015 Awards.
The award for Best of Aberdeen Area also went to a local establishment with Donside’s Echt Tandoori picking up the accolade.
Aberdeen’s Royal Masala Tandoori Takeaway was named Takeaway of the Year in the North Scotland category, whilst a lifetime achievement award went to Liaqat Ali of Qismat Restaurant in Elgin.