Rasoi Stories Leeds: Meet the chef behind the Indian restaurant in the heart of Chapel Allerton

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Rasoi Stories, a family business, draws inspiration from India all the way – from street food from the north to spicy curries from the south.

At the helm of the kitchen is Azad Singh, who has worked in some of India’s finest hotels.

Born in Delhi, Azad was inspired by the street food found in every corner of the city – from samosas and pani puri to chole bhature, a spicy chickpea curry served with fried bread.

Azad Singh, 38, is the head chef of Rasoi Stories at Chapel Allerton (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“I used to cook for my whole family,” Azad, 38, told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“My mum saw that I liked to cook, so she told me to do a degree in hotel management because my food was so good.

“She encouraged me to become a chef and it was my dream to travel abroad in the future.”

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Azad has over a decade of cooking experience in some of India’s finest hotels (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Azad got his first job at the five-star Bristol Hotel in Delhi, before working at the Grand Hotel, the Indian Heritage Center and the Oberoi Hotel.

With a decade of experience in Indian kitchens under his belt, he moved to the UK in 2011 and later became head chef at Indian Tiffin Room in Leeds.

But after the birth of his two young children, he left the restaurant to spend more time with his family – and was named head chef at Rasoi Stories last year.

Azad said: “When I had my second baby, I felt like my wife was in pain – it’s hard to take care of two young children. They depend on us.

“Rasoi Stories opens at 5 p.m. so I have more time to be with my family and support my wife.”

Rasoi, which means cuisine in Hindi, serves an impressive range of dishes – from poppadoms and tandoori sharing plates to fish curries and biryani.

There’s also an extensive wine list and a range of cocktails on offer, including the Mumbai Mule with vodka, spiced ginger syrup, lime, mint and ginger ale.

“We have a whole range of Indian cuisine – from north to south,” Azad added.

“And people love our street food. Curry, you can find it everywhere, but street food is harder to find.

“On my menu, we have South Indian dishes like Chicken Madras and Chicken Jalfrezi, and North Indian dishes like Pakora, Chicken Lollipop and Pani Puri.

“It’s a full menu – you can find food from all over India.”

The restaurant received Tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2019, as well as the Travelers Choice Award in 2020 and again in 2021, in recognition of rave reviews from tourists.

Azad said he will go above and beyond to ensure his customers are “100% satisfied”.

He added: “Sometimes the restaurant is full and you have a lot of orders, but then you have to keep the passion inside.

“If you lose your passion, you’re going to ruin everything. You have to stay calm and keep going.

“But I like being a chef just because I like to cook. I like to feed our customers.

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