[Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester] Lily's

A return lunchtime visit to one of the small number of entirely vegetarian South Asian restaurants in the metro area.

Vegetable samosa to start for one of us. It’s not in the slightest bit greasy and comes well balanced, with a background kick of chilli but not such that it overpowers. There’s a mint raita to soften things. Masala dosa to follow. A nice crisp pancake filled with spiced mashed potato, which would have stood a bit more spice. There’s a nice sambhar, coconut chutney and a yoghurt dip. It’s fine – not the best dosa we know in the area but pretty good.

The other starter was papdi chaat. It’s a well thought out dish, both for texture and flavour – crisp papdi and sev, chickpeas and potato, mixed with yoghurt and a sweet/sharp chutney (tamarind?). It’s a generous portion that would possibly have done you as a main course, if you hadn’t come with much of an appetite. Fortunately, I had brought an appetite, so was able to also enjoy vegetable Jaipuri. It’s a richly flavoured dish, reflecting the cuisine of Rajasthan – mixed vegetables, chopped very small, cashew nuts and grated paneer in a creamy tomato sauce. I ordered that with a couple of Gujarati roti, liberally smeared with melted ghee.

Good lunch. And we then popped into their shop to buy a selection of sweets to nibble on over the coming days.


Sounds perfect, John. Big fan of a samosa and chai breakfast and love most chaats. One day I’ll make my own. I really miss Ambala.

It’s good, Jan. And, next time youre this way, easy to get to from Manc city centre on the tram.

I used to work literally across the road. There’s an asian supermarket next door and the restaurant used to be in there (more caff than restaurant back then). The family that owned it flogged off the supermarket and moved the restaurant across the road, into what had been a social club. I had my retirement “do” in the club.