Lamb, onions, chickpeas, rice, tomatoes and spices in different combinations that feel like they could go on for infinity tasting exactly the same.
Well, that was my view until I went to Asha’s a couple of weeks ago. Let me tell you- they keep you on your toes with a range of delicious Indian flavours paired with some unusual ingredients you might not expect.
Starting off with the perhaps not entirely surprising inclusion of fish on the menu, you will find a Scottish Salmon Byriani, Lobster Panchphoran on the A la Carte and a South Indian style Stone Bass Curry on the summer menu.
Although avid fish-eaters may have had a half-arsed salmon tikka from a less than average curry house a few years ago, I promise these dishes will blow your mind.
Ashas take care with the quality of their produce, and like these dishes show it. They are using local fish and really using our beautiful native produce and marrying it with the stunning spices that come hand in hand with Indian cuisine.
But it goes much further than fish. Take completely alien products like the duck in their delicious Duck Seek Kebab or the Guinea Fowl that they season with tikka flavours and cook to perfection in the tandoor.
A real highlight for me, however (especially has a half-Scot with a particular penchant for the stuff) would be the Venison Samosa on the starters menu. Yeah, it’s as good as it sounds. You really wouldn’t think that the naturally strong flavour of the venison would go well with the strong Indian spices…but it does.
Granted they are strong in flavour- but I love them. The spices marry perfectly with the meat, the pastry is crisp and light and the bravery for such a combination deserves a round of applause in its own right.
Side all these Indian-fusion delights with one of their delicious Indian breads with a classic Asha’s twist. Take for example the epic Lancashire cheese Kulcha which is stuffed with gorgeous local cheese which is ooey, gooey and everything you need. Or perhaps, the Truffle Naan will take your fancy… which it will as soon as you catch wind of its glorious scent.
This naan is a luxurious sidekick for any of the delicious Asha’s dishes- and I can guarantee you won’t find anything quite like it here in Manchester.
In short, Asha’s is brave in the way it approaches its ingredients and we like it. They have a sense of locality and an appreciation for our native ingredients that a married beautifully with their Indian flavours which in turn creates a taste experience that is completely unique.
Asha’s, 47 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NG
0161 832 5309