YOU might know Raj from Uddins in East Reach which closed around five years ago.

Now, he is back with his latest venture - Yarani Indian Kitchen and Bar in Bridge Street.

Running Uddins for 20 years has given Razaul Uddin, 45, a vast amount of experience creating delicious Indian food and he is excited to be back running his own restaurant again after a five-year break.

Since the age of 14, Raj has loved cooking. He used to help his dad with meals when he was younger and now, uses these family recipes to please his customers.

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Raj said: “From a young age, I watched and helped my dad. I picked it up from him and it has become part of my life now.

“Cooking is part of me, so I can’t change. The opportunity came up to own Yarani and I thought I should give it a try.

“This is why I have called Yarani a kitchen and not a restaurant, because we focus on home cooked dishes.”

At the moment, while Raj is looking for a chef, his mum, Benwara Begrum Uddin, is helping out in the kitchen.

“She is retired, but she is the main key in the kitchen at the moment. People were waiting for us to open because they knew us from the restaurant in East Reach. If my mum wasn’t here, then Yarani wouldn’t be open.”

At Yarani, Raj uses as many fresh and local ingredients as possible.

He creates delicious home cooked traditional Indian dishes for guests to try both at the restaurant and as a take away.

“If you love what you are doing, and it is your passion, then you can do anything.

“Garlic and ginger is key to all recipes, so I couldn’t create anything without them.

“Dansak curry is my all-time favourite curry. I like it because it is a little bit hot, sweet and sour with lentils and pineapple.”

When visiting Yarani, you will see the walls adorned with gorgeous pictures of India, taken by Bernard Foto. Raj admitted that he is calling it a restaurant gallery, as he eventually wants customers to book tables by the photos above them.

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The past few weeks has been very busy for Raj. He explained that he has been working for around 19/20 hours a day to make sure everything at Yarani is perfect.

So how does Raj cope when the kitchen is busy, serving both take away meals and restaurant dishes?

He admitted that organisation is key.

He said: “I can organise things well. I have done all the trade- front of house, kitchen, delivery so I know how to sort things well. Everything is down to experience.

“For me, it is not about the money, it is about customer satisfaction more than anything else. Without the customers I am nobody. The customer is me.

“It doesn’t matter how lovely the restaurant is, if I have no customers then it doesn’t work. All the reviews give me inspiration.

“Anything from the curry to the poppodoms, I check everything to make sure it is good quality. Everything has to be the best it can be.

“So far, we have been trading for two weeks now, and we have not had any mistakes.

“If people don’t enjoy the food then they don’t have to pay for anything. I have said that a few times and no one has complained.

“It is a big statement to make but I know what I am doing and so I have the confidence to say it.”

The local community is what Raj focuses on when he cooks – he loves to make people happy and bring people to the Taunton high street.

He added: “I want to build up the business as much as I can, but obviously to do this I will need support from local people.

“Without local people I am nobody. I want everything to be perfect. I don’t want the money – but I want the customers to be happy.

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“If the customers give me a try, they will never be disappointed.

“When people think about Indian, I want them to think about Yarani and nowhere else.”

To find out more, visit Yarani on Bridge Street in Taunton, visit yarani.co.uk or call 01823 339393.