Cardiff is chock full of varied, great-value Indian restaurants, from the award-winning fine dining found at Purple Poppadom and Mango House, to the cheap and cheerful street-food found at Chai Street and Bwyta Bwyd Bombai.

Whether you're a fan of mild and creamy korma, or prefer your curry with a hellova lot more heat, there's bound to be an Indian restaurant in Cardiff that's has just what you fancy. 

When someone gets around to writing a "the Big Book of Cardiff Curry", one name will be writ large. One man has changed the face of Indian dining in the city – take a bow Anand George. From his early days at Mint & Mustard to this elegant fine dining space in Canton, he has introduced the city to the flavours of Southern India: curry leaf, coconut, mustard seeds – this is a world away from your typical 'curry house'. They have taken the street-food scene by storm too, with their Tukka Tuk. With his first cookbook imminent, things are looking good for Purple Poppadom.

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Standing proud on Whitchurch Road since 2006, Mint & Mustard is the founding father of Cardiff's high-end Southern Indian restaurant scene. Mint & Mustard is undoubtedly the place to go if you like your curries to be a little less run-of-the-mill than a chicken madras with a side of half ‘n’ half. Spices such as curry leaf, coconut, tamarind and chilli feature heavily in their prettily-plated Keralan cooking – from a starter of deep fried spinach dressed with sweet yoghurt, tangy tamarind chutney and pomegranate seeds to a long-cooked and deeply-spiced Mattancheery mutton curry.

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If your taste buds are craving some tongue tantalising global flavours, why not pay a trip to Masala Restaurant. This lovely bunch specialise in traditional Pakistani and Indian cuisine, so rest assured that you will get authentic food, cooked from the heart and packed with flavour every time you visit – and trust us when we say that you're gonna be visiting this dreamy spot a LOT. With the likes of Zeera chicken, Chiken tikka masala, Tandoori Lamb Boti, Seekh kebab and tandoori Chicken Tikka, you're looking at a complete feast at Masala Restaurant. The team here pride themselves on using only the highest-quality ingredients that creates fresh and unique flavours. Along with great food, the brilliantly welcoming, homely atmosphere ensures that you'll have a fabulous dining experience as well.

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Talented chef Krish Pankaj has worked in Cardiff for a number of years, having formerly owned and cooked at Spiceberry restaurant on Caroline Street. Now, he's back under his latest guise, Keralan Karavan, serving his flavoursome Indian food to Cardiff curry lovers on a more regular basis, thanks to scoring an indefinite invite to cook from the kitchen at Small Bar. That means that punters in this trendy city-centre, craft-beer bar can now expect to feast on delicious spicy treats like Keralan Fried Chicken, Malabar Chicken Curry, and veggie Rajana (kidney bean) curry whilst they sip on independent ales and craft ciders. Lush.

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Being the baby cousin of one of Cardiff’s best independent Indian restaurants, Mint and Mustard, Chai Street was always bound for success. While Mint and Mustard serves up perfectly presented fine dining cuisine, Chai Street's four venues focus on Indian street food, simply done. Think tantalising thalis, ravishing roti wraps and moreish curries, all washed down with a hot cup of chai tea or an Indian lager. Inside each venue, Bollywood movie posters plastered over brightly coloured walls and upcycled wood help to give Chai Street that edgy street feel. With a relaxed, casual atmosphere, there’s no need to book – just turn up and tuck in!

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Bwyta Bwyd Bombai (simply translated as "eating Bombai food") is a tapestry of spice, a celebraton of culinary colour and a street-food café in the truest sense. Here, authentic Indian lunches, mini meals and finger foods excite the tastebuds whilst imaginations echo eastwards as crisp dosas are teased apart and cutlery is all but forgotten. With service with a smile and prices that'll bring a genuine smile to your face. We're sure that you'll be back to Bwyta Bwyd Bombai before you know it.

Read more about Bwyta Bwyd Bombai (3Bs)

The Google Maps listing may describe this as a modest Indian vegetarian restaurant but it’s won awards, you know. This family-run joint is a Mecca for Cardiff’s veggies and being just a stone’s throw from the city centre, it's the place to go if you want tasty, cheap and filling grub. The restaurant is unlicenced (although it’s BYOB and there’s a corner shop two doors down) so try a mango lassi or the exotically named disco coffee. Portions are big so you might have to ask for a doggie bag. The restaurant also does takeaway if you prefer to veg out in the comfort of your own home.

Read more about Vegetarian Food Studio

Established back in 2009 by a foodie by the name of Mr Zaman, Mowgli’s is all about traditional cuisine reinvented - with low fat and natural ingredients forming the backbone of every dish. And as we’ve mentioned previously on Wriggle, it’s the only restaurant in Cardiff named after a character from Jungle Book (or any Disney film for that matter).

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Masala Bag is bringing top Indian street food in their gorgeous Cardiff restaurant. We love their thalis – a great way to sample lots of different dishes from all over country of India.

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Kumar’s simple décor is all part of the charm of this City Road restaurant, where it’s all about the southern Indian food and not about the fripperies. Bring your own booze or order a refreshing mango lassi and sit yourself down for an Indian meal like nowhere else in Cardiff. Indo-Chinese classics like cauliflower Manchurian and chilli paneer are heady with soy and chilli, whilst crisp and paper thin dosas are served with comforting lentil sambal and creamy coconut chutney. But it’s their lamb kothu parotta which is the pick of the bunch, combining finely chopped flaky bread, yielding lamb, fragrant curry leaf, egg, red onion and tomatoes.

Read more about Ponnuswamy Restaurant (Kumar's)

This Cowbridge Road East-based restaurant has been in service since 1991, which is an achievement in itself, especially in Cardiff. As for its food, it’s worth diving into the ‘Chefs Recommendations’ section, which features some real gems such as the spicy-as-hell Naga Chicken, and the ‘Simple To Cook But Easy To Mess Up If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing’ classic, Chana Massala.

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Found in a grade 2 listed building opposite the Wales Millennium Centre (not a bad view if you ask us), Duchess Of Delhi is the place you go for beautiful Mughal cuisine but with a modern twist - a point reflected in the decoration too. And if that wasn’t a big enough sell, they also put together their own magazine called ‘Chaat!’ which celebrates Asian food and culture. Location? Check. Great Indian and Southern Asian food? Check. A magazine? Check.

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Heading up this family-run business are the Uzzaman brothers, who are dedicated to offering nothing but the finest Indian cuisine. Their extensive cooking knowledge has been passed down through the generations, starting with their grandfather who opened the family’s first restaurant on Woodville Road in Cardiff in the 1960s. A second restaurant, The Roath Tandoori, opened in 1984 and quickly made a name for itself in the area. It was here that Mrs Uzzaman introduced her sons to traditional Indian home cooking, and with her guidance the four brothers learned the art of Indian cuisine. The brothers’ extensive, deep-rooted knowledge of Indian cooking, coupled with their excellent understanding of good customer service, are the ingredients which make The Cinnamon Tree restaurants such a success. With an emphasis on family history and tradition, recipes passed down through generations, and exotic ingredients, they offer exceptional Indian food with some twists along the way. You can find duck, turkey or even ostrich on the menu.

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Located in the beautifully restored former Grand Hotel on Westgate Street, The Mango House is one of our favourite additions to the Cardiff dining scene. Indian food lovers are sure to be delighted with the freshly-prepared recipes. All of which are created on the premises using high quality, locally-sourced produce. The restaurant has won numerous awards and is frequented by high profilers such as Welsh Opera Singer Rebecca Evans and Celebrity Chef Nancy Lam, they’ve even been recommended by the BBC Eating Out Guide. You just know it’s going to be great.

Read more about Mango House

Published -18th June 2019