Siraj Ali

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Siraj Ali
Native name মুহাম্মদ সিরাজ আলি
Born Muhammad Siraj Ali
(1955-11-24) 24 November 1955 (age 61)
East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
Residence Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, England
Nationality British
Occupation Restaurateur
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Begum Momtaj Khanom
Children 4

Muhammad Siraj Ali (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ সিরাজ আলি; born 24 November 1954) is a Bangladeshi-born British restaurateur and philanthropist.


In 1979, Ali bought the New Curry Centre, in Stanford-le-Hope. At the time Ali's family was the first Bengali family in Thurrock Essex.[1]

Ali runs the Maharaja restaurant in South Benfleet, Essex.[2] Since 1991, the restaurant has held charity nights raising close to £2 million for hundreds of charitable causes including; Multiple Sclerosis Society, NSPCC, British Red Cross and Breast Cancer Awareness amongst others.[3] Ali has been involved in the Indian catering industry since the 1970s, with a career spanning 40 years.[4][5]

Ali is the founder chairman of both the Thurrock Bangladesh Welfare Association and the Thurrock Islamic Educational Cultural Centre. He is the general secretary of the Castle Point Bangladeshi Education and Cultural Centre, as well as governor of the Hajji Soyed Ali Primary School and the chairman of the advisory committee of the Essex Bangladesh Welfare Association.[2]

He is chairman of the Interim Committee Arbitrator and former treasurer of the Balagonj Education Trust, which aims to provide life skills and education to disadvantaged children in Bangladesh.[2] He is also vice-chairman of The Bangladeshi Catering Association (Essex region).[4][5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2009, Ali won the Channel S Award for years of charity work in south Essex.[2] In 2011, he was awarded the British Bangladeshi Who's Who 'Outstanding Contribution' Award for his long standing contribution to the hospitality and catering industry.[3]

In 2009, Ali was the joint winner of the Bangladesh Caterers Association 'Caterer of the Year' for the South East.[6] In 2015, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Curry Life magazine.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Ali lives in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex.[2] He is married to Begum Momtaj Khanom, and they have one son, Ansar, and three daughters, Shahena (who is a celebrity television chef on The Food Channel)[1] Shareena and Jasmine.[7][8]

Ali has arranged around 200 charity events per year for 20 years, raising around £600 to £1,500 an event. It is estimated that he has helped raise £3 million for charity.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Q&A with Siraj Ali: Meet the man who brought Indian cuisine to Thurrock". Thurrock: Thurrock Gazette. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e McNally, Alex (25 April 2009). "Restaurant boss Siraj praised for community dedication". Essex: Echo. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Bangladeshi restaurant entrepreneur honoured". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Restaurant owner awarded for work in catering". Essex: Echo. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Restaurant owner awarded for work in catering". Essex: Halstead Gazette. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "A "Currysmatic" Bangladeshi Caterers Association Annual Dinner". Tandoori Magazine. January 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (July 2008). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 42. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (October 2009). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 30. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 

External links[edit]