Sanjay is the youngest son of Rafique and Helen Choudhury at the Taj Mahal, Bridport. Rafique and Helen introduced Indian cuisine to the town when they opened the doors of their restaurant on East Street in 1983! Sanjay (30) has been involved with the business all his life. He started to work in the restaurant doing whatever was required at 14 years of age and remembers folding napkins much earlier! He started full time in the restaurant after leaving Sir John’s Colfox Academy in 2011
Although he has spent the majority of his time working front of house, he has always taken an interest in the works of the kitchen and has spent much time over the years watching his mum, Helen, cooking her authentic recipes in the kitchen for the restaurant.
It was during Covid when all the chefs were on furlough that Sanjay found his passion and enthusiasm for cooking. He worked with Helen learning and preparing the dishes for the takeaway service that they still ran, and that he delivered to homes for free within the area. There is nothing in the kitchen that Sanjay cannot do from preparing the vegetables, rice and bread to cooking tandoori and curry dishes. He admits to loving the ‘heat’ of the kitchen and working at speed to create delicious dishes! As a ‘foodie’ he says he loves tasting and finding out how dishes are made and hopes to be able to spend time in India with a master chef to learn more about both traditional and contemporary Indian cuisine.
In the Moores Biscuits Cookery Theatre at the Melplash Show on Thursday 24 August at 10 am, Sanjay is going to show how easy it is to cook a simple curry at home. He will be cooking chicken tikka, pilau rice, a potato side dish and making a quick and easy base curry sauce that you can add your favourite veg, meat, chicken or fish to.
Rafique and Helen moved to Bridport and opened the Taj Mahal in May 1983. At that time they travelled daily to Bridport from Christchurch.
The Taj Mahal was the first Indian Restaurant in Bridport, and is now the oldest restaurant in the Town under the same ownership
As always when Helen gives a demonstration in the cookery theatre at the Melplash Agricultural Show there is standing room only.
This year Helen showed how to prepare a delicious selection of dishes for an Indian breakfast lunch
We are very proud of a recent review made of our Restaurant. The restaurant was reviewed without our knowledge following a visit to the Restaurant in June 2022 and was published in the Dining Out section of the July 2022 issue of The Diary. An exert:
“In summing up we can only say we enjoyed our evening at the Taj Mahal very much. The food was delicious, the service excellent, if a little rapid, and the surroundings very comfortable. Lovely crisp white table linen makes such a difference and shows that your hosts really care.
Going back, yes of course, after 23 years of living in West Dorset, I can’t believe I’ve been foolish enough to pass the Taj Mahal by, I stupidly thought you could only get a good Indian in big cities”
The full article below:
For the first time we shall be opening for breakfast/brunch on Sunday 12 June from 10.30-2pm. This is a special event, and will kick start the popular Bridport Food Festival fortnight running from 12 – 24 June www.bridportfoodfestival.co.uk.
The menu that has been devised by Helen (Choudhury) will be:
Aloo Chana, puri, vegetable curry, khichari and paratha served with coffee or tea
Please ring to book 01308 424956/421000
We look forward to welcoming you!
As we all know on Monday 19 July most of the remaining lockdown restrictions will be lifted in England. Sadly COViD cases are rising in Bridport and we at the Taj Mahal want all our customers to know that their safety and our staff’s continues to be our priority.
We shall continue to to keep the restaurant COViD safe with reduced seating, hand sanitisers, etc. and although not mandatory we hope that all our customers will continue to register with NHS Track & Trace when they arrive at the restaurant and wear a facemask until they are seated. Our staff will be continuing to wear facemasks whilst serving you.
We have all come so far and the last thing we want is a winter lockdown so let us all try to keep everyone safe!!
Thank you for your continued support
Helen and Sanjay
Whilst the restaurant was closed due to Lockdown, we took the opportunity to refurbish the restaurant – new bar, new chairs, new carpet and new pictures. We have received some wonderful comments from those that have joined us in the restaurant since we opened on Monday 17 May. We are pleased to share some photos with you.