Margaret with daughters Jacqueline (right) and Susan (left) on her 103rd birthday last July

Margaret with daughters Jacqueline (right) and Susan (left) on her 103rd birthday last July

A 103 year old woman who became a national hit after revealing a love of hot curries as her secret to a long life has landed a well-deserved award win.

Margaret Phillips, a resident at Bupa’s Balcarres care home in Dundee, was dubbed the ‘nan who loves naan’, thanks to attributing her good health and longevity to a love of the fine Indian cuisine.

Now, the super-centenarian has been crowned this year’s Curry Lover of the Year at the Scottish Curry Awards 2016, having received an impressive number of nominations from members of the general public.

The Scottish Curry Awards aim to recognise and reward the curry industry in all its facets, and saw Margaret triumph over the competition, beating seven other nominees to secure the coveted title.

The great-grandmother of 16 was born in Dundee in 1912, but spent nearly 15 years of her life living in India, marrying her second husband in Bombay (now Mumbai) and honeymooning at the famous Taj Mahal Palace & Towers hotel.

It was during this time that Margaret discovered a fervour for the spicy dish, and boosted her talents in the kitchen.

Margaret with daughters Jacqueline (right) and Susan (left) on a trip to Austria in 2005

Margaret with daughters Jacqueline (right) and Susan (left) on a trip to Austria in 2005

Margaret’s daughter, Jacqueline, said: “She certainly makes a mean curry and, before she moved to Balcarres, she was famous within the family for her curry suppers, which she would hold on a regular basis.

“The whole family is thrilled that she has won. It was a huge surprise when she was initially nominated, but we honestly cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Curry Lover of the Year title.

“We would like to thank everyone who voted for her. It’s a very special achievement and the whole family is incredibly proud of her.”

The Scottish Curry Awards 2016 were held at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow on Monday 4 April.

Margaret was regrettably unable to travel to the awards ceremony, so her grandson attended on her behalf.

To ensure she hasn’t missed out, however, Balcarres care home is set to host a celebratory curry night this week, serving up a feast of fiery dishes, including Margaret’s favourite Prawn Madras.

Lynn McLean, Home Manager at Bupa’s Balcarres care home, said: “The staff and residents are absolutely delighted that Margaret has won this award – it’s such a unique opportunity so it’s all very exciting.

“As she is turning 104 this summer, she is unfortunately unable to get out and about as much as she used to, so wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but we think the curry night will be a fantastic alternative, and something a little bit different for all the residents to enjoy.

“Margaret is such a pleasure to be around and very popular with everyone who lives and works here. We’re all absolutely thrilled for her and her award win.”