Before moving to Derby about a year ago, we were a bit skeptical about the city and what it can offer in terms of desi food. Mind me, we were living in Bristol (a city in the south of UK), and due to the limited desi population, we always longed for good desi food. To our surprise, Derby had quite a lot to offer in terms of Halal food (which is another thing to consider when living abroad). Thanks to the Pakistani population living in Derby, one can almost get every possible cuisine one can think of, maybe it won’t taste as authentic as it was back home, but at least one can savor their taste buds with what is available. Which also seems like a blessing.

So it was raining one Sunday (it rains almost all year long in UK) and the weather was exceptionally nice, due to summers, we decided to hunt for an authentic Chicken Karahi, made in desi ghee to match our cravings. With a little bit of searching and asking some friends around, we decided to go to ‘Mirch Masala’. Located in the heart of the desi area, called Normanton in Derby, Mirch Masala is a small, but cosy restaurant towards the end of the road, with a parking facility close by.

We went inside to the beautiful aroma of desi dishes being prepared right in front of us. One can hardly resist the amount of desi food at display in such restaurants. Nevertheless, since we were on a hunt for Chicken Karahi, we ordered that, along with their famous butter naan. Their butter naan is something they are very famous for, they are soft and literally melt in your mouth (like butter). The staff was generous to find us comfortable seats amidst the rush at the restaurant, and the chef started preparing the food we ordered in front of us. The other chef got busy in making butter naans in the tandoor (oven) placed inside the restaurant.

About 20 minutes later, one of the staff members arrived with a generous serving of Chicken Karahi and their famous butter naans. There was no regret that we had to make our way in the rain to reach Mirch Masala. Absolutely worth the effort, wait, and the money.

Their mango lassi (you might be thinking that why does it always come in the picture) is also worth trying, and so is the Haleem.

Once we were done with the food, their doodh patti came in like the cherry on the top. It was like the thing we needed to complete our experience that rainy evening. They are a bit short on the sitting space, so one needs to go at a time so they can find space to eat, but rest assured, the experience was worth everything.

Address: 83 Pear Tree Rd, Derby DE23 6QB

Rating: 4/5