Atul Kochhar's Michelin-starred Benares was among Britain's best Asian curry restaurants and chefs honoured at this year's British Curry Awards after a country-wide nomination process.
Winners included Karma in Whitburn (Scotland); Raval, Gateshead (North East); Mem Saab, Leicester (Midlands); Bokhara, Pen-y-Fai (Wales), Benares in London (Central London and City) and Myristica, Bristol (South West).
Best Newcomer was Shampan 4 at the Spinning Wheel, in Kent.
The Polash Tandoori in Dartford, Kent scooped the Best Takeaway gong, while Mohammed Aslam MBE of Aagrah Group received the Special Recognition Award for an influential culinary personality - the latter of which has in previous years been won by accomplished chefs such as Madhur Jaffrey, Cyrus Todiwala, Anjum Anand, Heston Blumenthal and Shelim Hussain.
Hosted by presenter Chris Tarrant, the awards were this year held in London's Battersea Evolution. Guests included Prime Minister David Cameron and chefs James Martin, Anjum Anand and John Gregory-Smith, as well as TV personalities Ulrika Jonsson, Melinda Messenger and Lizzie Cundy, plus MPs including Keith Vaz, Rushanara Ali, Chris Grayling, Anne Main and Alok Sharma.
Speaking at the event, Ali said: "This is the ninth year of the British Curry Awards and I am incredibly proud of just how far we have come in that time. The British Curry Awards have become an institution. Curry may have been born in India but now British curry has truly a place in the hearts and stomachs of people throughout the land.
"When we started the British Curry Awards in 2005 we were criticised for calling curry 'British' [but] today British curry dishes such as Tikka Masala have an identity all of their own and are known and admired throughout the world. This is a night for celebrating all that's great about our industry and the important part it plays in the everyday lives of Britons."
Full list of winners
Best Spice Restaurant Scotland: Karma, Whitburn
Best Spice Restaurant North East: Raval, Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Best Spice Restaurant North West: The Viceroy, Carlisle, Cumbria
Best Spice Restaurant Midlands: Mem Saab, Leicsester
Best Spice Restaurant Wales: Bokhara, Pen-y-Fai, Bridgend
Best Spice Restaurant South East: Chez Mumtaj, St Albans, Herts
Best Spice Restaurant South West: Myristica, Bristol
Best Spice Restaurant Central London and City: Benares, Berkeley Square
Best Spice Restaurant London Outer and Suburbs: Indian Moment, Battersea
Best Newcomer: Shampan 4 at the Spinning Wheel, Westerham, Kent
Best Takeaway Award: Polash Tandoori, Dartford, Kent