Al Frash Green [Chilli] Champion 2009

Al Frash Balti restaurant in Birmingham unveils our very own chilli champion of 2009.

Chilli Champion John bathes in his glory after unveiled as Al Frash' Chilli champion 2009.

John said he was proud to be finally (!) recognised as the master of heat. "I prefer Green chillies rather than red", he comments as he holds his extra Chilli Chicken Balti accompanied by a Green Chilli Naan.

When quizzed on potential challengers, John jokingly put aside any challenges to his crown. "Its not about one sitting [of eating chilli], its about every time you eat it". We won't disagree John.

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1 of only 4 authentic Balti restaurants left in Birmingham

July 09 - Al Frash Birmingham recognised as one of only 4 Balti Restauarants in Birmingham still serving Balti in the original way, resulting in a drive to protect the cuisine and getting a lot of attention on the way from the BBC amongst others...

"It started with a kiss" as fingers are snapped when Andy Monroe [The City's Balti campaigner] dips into his mouthwatering balti at Al Frash. It seems that Andy is not accustomed in seeing the Balti cooked & presented as it should be.

We learn later than Andy Munroe has kick-started an initiative that will be difficult to stop.... Getting Balti cuisine recognised and protected in much the same way as Melton Mowbray pork pies, Wensleydale cheese and Cornish clotted cream.

Since July 2009, Andy has been kept busy fighting the corner for Birminghams Balti Triangle and spreading the message across the media. Radio, TV and print media across the UK have shown great interest in the "reclaim Balti for Birmingham" drive spearheaded by Andy.

Al Frash have also been invited to comment on recent developments as we have been recognised as being one of only four restaurants in the whole of Birmingham that have remained true to the original concept of Balti cuisine, a concept that became reality with the help of early Balti chefs, and most importantly Birminghams' Balti lovers who have truly shaped the cuisine into one of the UK's favourite.

Mo Ahmed of Al Frash stated

"...too many "Balti" restaurants were not true to their heritage and served meals on plates. We are trying to revitalise the originality that's been lost. A lot of the changes [made by some restaurants] are for the convenience of restaurants rather than from customer demand."

You can read the full article at the BBC news website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8128128.stm

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