I have been visiting Aagrah Skipton for over 25 years, when it was on Devonshire Place, run by a true gentleman Mr Sabir. At the time Aagrah was in the Cobra Good Curry Guide, Top 100 UK Indian Restaurants and I wrote a letter to Cobra, saying how fantastic, not only the food was, but how vegan friendly, under the management of Mr Sabir. Imagine my surprise, that on our next visit, a framed copy of my letter was proudly displayed in the front window, which Cobra had sent Mr Sabir.
Fast forward over two decades and Aagrah is now located in larger premises, which we have only visited once, as neither the food or service was brilliant, bigger is not always better. This recent visit, was to meet up with friends for dinner, as they will moor their new canal boat in Skipton, so they will be regular visitors to the town. I have virtually stopped eating Indian food, it does not agree with me, which I can only put down to the many seeds they use, mustard being one I think affects me badly, but our friends wanted to go, so I thought I would be careful in my selection.
We got a warm welcome and were shown to our table and then I had a word with the Manager, so I could make a decision what to have. I had checked their wine list prior to our visit and found a very nice vegan wine, Jean Marc Brocard Chablis, it was the only one on the list, I recognised.
I opted not to have poppadum, which I love, but the lentils they are made with, do not like me. I knew the onion bhajis were vegan, so I chose those to start.
When they arrived, the onion bhaji were nothing like I have had before, I would describe them as Indian onion rings. They were absolutely delicious, with a lovely batter, not a drop of grease, but crisp and dry.
I scrutinised the menu for a mustard seed free main course and side dish, very difficult, as mustard was in nearly all the dishes. I chose balti chilli mushrooms (extra hot), boiled rice and bhindi bhaji, otherwise known as ladies fingers or okra.
The food was excellent, each dish had its own individual spicing and flavour, unlike some places who just use a base sauce and add more chilli to make it hotter. The bhindi can be a really slimy and gloopy vegetable when cooked, but there was no slime at all, must be an Aagrah secret.
The food was not your every day Indian cuisine and I could not fault it, but it has made me realise that Indian food is no longer for me. I was up all night with all the allergic symptoms I suffer from and the following morning felt worse, so sadly I will have to refrain from curry in the future.