[Manchester, Rusholme] Lal Qila

It’s one of the stalwarts amongst a dwindling number of “high street curry houses” along Rusholme’s “Curry Mile”. A reflection on the changing nature of the area is that we’d gone to to stock up at Syria Sweets on Dagenham Road, rather than for South Asian food. But lunch had to be had, and we fancied a change from the kebabs and Middle Eastern mezze at Jaffa.

So, to start, there was gosht puri. A large flaky flatbread, folded over some large shreds of lamb in a little sauce. It was fine. The other starter – vegetable samosa – was the better bet. Two generously sized samosas, stuffed with well flavoured spuds and peas – and not at all greasy.

Aloo gobi is one of our regular orders in South Asian places and this was a decent example. Good balance between spud and cauli and a quite poky sauce. Chicken palak came from the desi section of the menu. The sauce is pretty much spiced spinach, as you’d expect, but the spicing was underwhelming – not just a lack of chilli but a lack of other flavourings. But it was a comforting lunchtime dish when coupled with the decent roti and pilau rice that we shared.