When Hansa Dabhi opened her iconic restaurant way back in 1986, she wanted to introduce Gujarati vegetarian cuisine, from the west of India, to the people of Yorkshire. Since then, thousands of more-than-willing diners have enjoyed her finest vegetarian food, created in Hansa’s unique style by her all-female team, making it ‘ a must visit place when dining in Leeds.
This is Indian and East African home cooking with a twist – there’s no grease, just fresh herbs and spices – proving to even sworn carnivores that there is more to fine dining than meat. The walls bear testament to this, with family portraits hanging side by side with numerous awards and accolades. The award she treasures the most is the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Leeds Restaurant Industry’, awarded in 2008, by ‘The Leeds Restaurant Association’, no less.
And it’s no wonder Hansa’s is so highly acclaimed; you can enjoy treats such as Hansa’s sizzler – an array of paneer and spiced vegetables on a searingly hot skillet, accompanied by baturas (warm, fresh herby breads) or the ever popular Patra, a delicate Gujarati starter made from Collocasia leaves to get your taste-buds tingling for what’s to follow.
Having live music during mid-week makes Hansa’s an ideal venue for a celebration with a difference. You can even buy Hansa’s cookbooks (recently voted number 1 by The Independent) or attend her monthly cookery demonstrations; or, better still, head off to her native Gujarat on one of Hansa’s Heritage Tours to India.