SCOTS’ passion for curries is cooling, according to one of the country’s leading Indian restaurant bosses.

Sanjay Majhu, who runs the Ashoka chain of restaurants, said the demand for curry has fallen so much he has sold off four of his 14 restaurants in the past year.

The former Asian businessman of the year pointed out that Scots are leaning towards a more international cuisine and are favouring the likes of World Buffet restaurants which offer greater variety.

He said: “People like going to World Buffet because they are cheap and cheerful.

“Indian restaurants still do well but they’re up against a lot of competition. I am definitely trying to wind down the business now.”

World Buffet restaurants feature an all-you-can-eat multi-cuisine, offering Chinese, sushi, pizza and pastas and dessert counters. The business is half-owned by Sukdev ‘Cook’ Gill, younger brother of Charan Gill.

‘Cook’ Gill said the model of combining culinary choice with keen prices allowed the restaurants to attract a broad customer base.

He said: “Kids love it. We get loads of families coming in, we get the pensioners, tourists and students coming in and big parties.

“We cater for everybody.”

The curry restaurants are also facing completion from food chains such as Nandos and Hungry Horse.

Mr Majhu has diversified his portfolio beyond Indian food, with two Spanish tapas restaurants, trading as Las Ramblas, in Bearsden and Livingston.

He bought the Ashoka chain from founder Charan Gill for £8 million in 2005 but is now hoping to sell off his restaurants to those currently running them.

“We always had the plan that after 10 years we would sell to existing managers. But a lot of them can’t get money to fund them.”

Pat Chapman, editor of Cobra Good Curry guide, said there were several reasons why curry restaurants are less appealing to customers.

“The recession has had a big effect, with people reducing their intake from perhaps two a month to just one. People are still spending cautiously even now and are preferring to cook an Indian meal at home or order a takeaway, rather than go for the full restaurant experience.”

Indian restaurant owners also claim it is harder to find staff with specialised skills because of tighter immigration controls.

However, Mr Chapman added that curry supply had simply outstripped demand.

“There was a massive boom in Indian restaurants 25 years ago to the 10,000 we have today in Britain. And it may be we are oversubscribed. There has definitely been a slowdown in curry consumption.”

Mr Majhu’s sold curry houses include the Ashokas in Glasgow’s West End and in Argyle Street.