Our Story

The 1950’s

A small, young family arrived in Yorkshire for the first time. They brought with them the traditions of the land they knew – Kashmir. The guest was held to be sacred; a bringer of blessings and felicity upon the house of the host. Food was not far behind in its importance. The young couple had watched their mothers crouched over clay pots on open fires as they teased together the array of flavour native to Kashmir’s valleys.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

Though they missed what they had left, they quickly grew to love their new surroundings. As they settled in amongst the gruff, kind, and honest people of Yorkshire, the county became as much a home as the one they left.

Having treated their new friends to home cooked dinners, they found that the culinary traditions they had brought here fit surprisingly well. So popular were these soirees that the young family bought a small, mobile take-away from which Mr Sabir sold the same homemade tidbits his wife had offered the family for many years.

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THE REST IS HISTORY!

A 3am breakdown by a graveyard was disconcerting enough to convince Mr Sabir to find a more permanent home for his wife’s cooking, and a small place in the market town of Shipley was procured. It was decided that this humble eatery would be known after the city of the great Mughal courts – after all, it was the innovation and experimentation of chefs employed here that bequeathed India with much of its culinary magic.

All was well until time came to put a sign above the door; having left school in Kashmir at 13, Mr Sabir didn’t read or write English. Luckily, his young daughter came to the rescue, and aged 12, decided ‘Aagrah’ was a better translation from the Urdu than the more common ‘Agra’. Her father agreed, and the spelling was promptly adopted. She proceeded to write by hand her father’s first menus, and in 1977, the very first Aagrah opened its doors to the people of Bradford. Our enthusiasm has burnt brightly to present day.

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