Harma Cuisine & Indian Spices
The Sharma Cuisine is inspired by the ancient spice trade trails through India, the Middle East, through North Africa and the Mediterranean. The spice trade was a huge part of commerce through history and has influenced the Asian and European culture and economy for many centuries. Authentic Indian cookery involves using a wide variety of imported and locally cultivated spices in combination, to create the perfect flavours and aromas to stimulate your senses.
Our experienced chefs know their Sharma spice cupboards inside out, and we use the highest quality Indian spices and herbs from around the world to flavour our food. Here are some of the most common Indian spices that we use in our dishes.
Sharma’s Unique Masala Blend
Many of our Sharma Indian dishes contain a special masala blend of our own. In Indian cookery this is also referred to as garam masala. The masala blend is, like many spices, thought to have medicinal properties in Ayurvedic practice. This blend in particular is quite spicy and can practically raise your body temperature. If you have ever eaten a hot curry before – you will know what we are talking about!
The modern masala blend includes a mixture of different natural ingredients including coriander seeds, cardamom, fennel and mustard seeds, and red chillies toasted and ground. More traditional mixes include cinnamon, cumin, mace and peppercorns. We use our own special combination of both modern and traditional ingredients to create the perfect Sharma masala blend, a unique recipe of ours, we assure you it tastes sublime ;)!
The Spices Used In Our Madras Curries
Madras is a curry blend that is often misunderstood. The ingredients are similar to the masala blend, however it is slightly less fiery – in general madras curry is considered to be ‘medium hot’ (unlike the garam masala which is rather hot) and is ideal for anyone who would like just a spicy kick to their food, without being too spicy!
Something noteworthy is that, in Britain the madras in fast-food restaurants tends to be particularly hot, in comparison to the one we prepare.
Aside from the seeds that make up most curry blends, madras also includes fragrant dried Indian bay leaves and fenugreek leaves too. Madras includes turmeric as well, and turmeric has become very popular in alternative health and wellbeing as it is thought to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Turmeric is also believed to help with cognitive performance and there have even been studies into how it may support Alzheimer’s patients!
Sharma Biryani Blends
Biryani is one of the most fragrant blends of spice mixes. Ginger is one of the key ingredients and is another food that is thought to have health benefits much the same as turmeric, as it contains anti-oxidants.
The biryani blend works well with all kinds of meats and on our menu at Sharma we offer chicken, beef, lamb, vegetable and prawn options served with delicately flavoured basmati rice for a truly authentic Indian meal.
& More Blends!
In addition to the Indian spice blends used at Sharma, our Arabian and Mediterranean also contain a beautiful selection of fresh and dried herbs including fresh coriander, and dried mint.
When you visit with friends we encourage you all to order something to suit your own tastes but also share and try each others’ food for a round-the-world dining experience.