Restaurateurs in Birmingham's balti triangle are having to charge more for their curries as the price of rice continues to soar on the world markets.

The cost of popular grains have risen by up to 60 per cent year on year, while the price of basmati rice - one of the most popular in Britain - has doubled.

But the Asian catering industry is facing a double whammy as restaurant owners are having to cope with a shortage of Bangladeshi chefs, as a result of immigration restrictions.

Last night one of the city's oldest restaurants, Adil's in Stoney Lane, Sparkbrook, confirmed customers will "pay more in future".

Mohammed Arif, who runs the curry house, said: "Prices will have to go up as we pay more for rice. So yes, people will probably have to pay more in future. That will probably impact on our custom too, but we don't have any choice really."

Alex Waugh, director of the Rice Association, said big producers like India and China had restricted their exports, along with Vietnam and Egypt, and there were now "rapidly declining stocks" in the world.

This will feed into the price British consumers pay for rice at shops and in restaurants.

"If you are a restaurant owner and you are buying a lot of rice you either reduce your margins or you put your prices up," said Mr Waugh.

"A cost increase of that magnitude is going to feed through and this will probably see the price of a curry increase."

Mr Waugh also warned that the price rises would hit the Bangladeshi community in the UK.

The shortage of workers in curry house kitchens has been caused by a new points-based system for lower skilled workers introduced by the Border and Immigration Agency.

At a meeting in London on Monday, Keith Best, chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service, discussed ways in which the curry industry can put the case to the Government that it is in serious trouble because of the restrictions.

Mr Best said the Government had mistakenly assumed that vacancies in the curry industry would be filled by Eastern Europeans. But, he added, they have "no cultural sensitivity towards or understanding of the curry industry".

"It is a sad comment on Government policy that it favours Eastern Europeans over citizens of Commonwealth countries such as Bangladesh whose preceding generations have contributed so much to the British economy and continue to do so."

A Border and Immigration Agency spokesman said: "Our objective is to manage migration in the national interest, striking the right balance between safeguarding the interests of the UK resident workforce and enabling UK employers to recruit or transfer skilled people from abroad in order to help them compete effectively in an international market. The recently-established Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will advise ministers on where migration might sensibly fill gaps in the labour market."