Essential Spices in Indian Cooking (and How We Use them at Chakra)

Posted on 14th June 2016

Indian cooking relies heavily on spices. They inspire and influence our cooking, shaping the way we think about ingredients, and can be combined in a dizzying number of ways. Indian cooking is normally based on a few essential spices, giving food a ‘base’ onto which other spices are added to create new and different flavours. What these essential spices are can vary depending on who you ask, but in general they are considered to be coriander, chilli, garlic, ginger and turmeric. 


At Chakra we love to play with our food, looking at Indian cuisine in a modern, inventive way. That’s why we care so much about how our food is presented – and that’s why our chefs are always innovating to create new tastes. However, we still like to pay homage to the roots of Indian cuisine, and draw on the essential Indian spices in our cooking, both at our Kensington restaurant and our global luxury events.


Spice Crusted Tiger Shrimp

“Absolutely stunning.”The Foodaholic


Our spice crusted tiger shrimp is fast becoming a signature dish at Chakra on Holland Street; our guests simply can’t stop talking about it. Some like it hot, and this starter is for you fire lovers. Combining finely chopped garlic, ginger, ground turmeric and green chilli – four out of five essential spices – it’s fiery and feisty, but it’s balanced out with cooling yoghurt and fresh lemon. Seasoned well with salt and white pepper, this is one to wake up your tastebuds.



Grilled Lamb Seekh Kebab

“Really quite velvety and robust in flavour.” TripAdvisor


First created for the Muslim Mughal courts of India, ‘classic’ is something of an understatement for this timeless dish. Of course, we couldn’t resist putting our own Chakra spin on it. The lamb is marinated with an intoxicating blend of garlic, ginger, coriander, garam masala, red chilli pepper, salt, freshly ground nutmeg and black pepper – and we add mint for a quintessentially British twist. We serve our melt-in-the-mouth lamb with aubergine chutney and Spanish padron peppers, giving this dish a truly international feel.



Clay Oven Paneer

“Soft and smoky, with spices shining through.”The Swindian


Rich, crumbly paneer is a beautiful ingredient, and our blend of spices makes it the star of the show. Garlic and ginger paste, red chilli powder and coriander powder make an aromatic combination of the essential spices. Bitter carom seeds are offset by fruity mango powder and zesty lemon, and a light sprinkling of cumin, coriander and black pepper powders round off the flavour. The addition of yoghurt, mint and basil chutney means the paneer never becomes overpowered.



Have we tempted your tastebuds? Visit our Kensington restaurant to enjoy the tantalising food our guests enjoy at one of our luxury events. Demand is high, so book now to avoid disappointment.


Have you visited Chakra? Which dish did you most love? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter – and don’t forget to write a review on TripAdvisor.

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