The Delicious Diversity of Flatbreads at Shakinah

Indian cuisine is renowned for its rich tapestry of flavours and textures, and at the heart of this culinary canvas are the diverse flatbreads that accompany almost every meal. At Shakinah, we’ve made sure our clients get the chance to savour all four of the main Indian flatbreads, in a myriad of interpretations. Flatbreads are an integral part of Indian cuisine, whether they’re used as a dipping instrument or a cradle for luscious meats and legumes. Although they may seem similar, there is a unique recipe and technique for each of these flatbreads. Let’s break it down for you:


Believed to have originated in Persia, naan had made its way to India via the Mughal Empire. Naan bread is a soft and fluffy cloud of carb, normally identified by its doughy and elevated similarity to Neapolitan pizza dough. This chewy bread is made with all-purpose flour and yeast, but what gives it its unique texture and flavouring is yoghurt and ghee. Our naan is baked in our tandoori clay oven, giving it a smoky flavour and its distinctive charred bubbles on the surface. Naan often comes in stuffing variations, notably butter, garlic, cheese, coconut or Peshwari.


Kulcha is a North Indian bread that is often associated with Punjab culture. It has a soft and slightly thicker consistency to naan, and it’s definitely airier on the inside. The main cooking difference between kulcha and naan is the use of baking powder instead of yeast, giving it that lifted element. These are also cooked in a tandoor, which results in a crispy outer layer and a soft interior. At Shakinah, we offer two options for stuffing – onion or fresh mint.


Paratha is a versatile flatbread enjoyed throughout India, with regional variations. Think of it as India’s answer to the pancake, both in shape and versatility. It’s thicker than both naan and kulcha, with layers that are delicate and flaky. To make paratha, we use whole wheat flour for an earthier flavour, water, and sometimes a bit of oil or ghee. It can also be stuffed with various ingredients such as minced chicken or lamb. Unlike naan or kulcha, parathas are cooked on a griddle, or tava, with a drizzle of oil or ghee, resulting in a crispy exterior and soft interior. We recommend pairing parathas with raita, pickles, or a side of curry sauce.


Roti is a staple flatbread in India, widely consumed across the country. This is a thin, soft and flexible bread, not dissimilar to a Mexican tortilla wrap. We make our roti with whole wheat flour and water, and we don’t usually add any fat, unless we’re serving our butter roti which is generously salted and served with lashing of butter. These are also cooked on a tava, and may in fact puff up when cooked properly. They make a wonderful addition to biryanis, vegetables and lentils.

Our Shakinah Summer Dishes for 2023

It’s barbecue season, and we’re serving it up the Indian way. You could say that Indian cuisine has a perennial barbecue element to it, thanks to the charry and smoky flavour the tandoor delivers to meats, seafood, vegetables and paneer. But there’s so much more to savour in the summertime when it comes to Indian food. Think fresh flavours, tangy accompaniments and fruity sensations. Here are some of our recommendations:


Start off with your constants. Inevitably, you will encounter some level of spice with every Indian meal, so it’s best to have a cooling agent at the ready, not just because it’ll help with the heat, but also because it’s absolutely delicious. Raita is a fresh and summery mixture of cool and thick yoghurt, textured with chopped cucumber, fresh coriander and sometimes tomato. Feel free to add a spoonful of it to temper your curry sauce.

Khachumbar Salad

There’s no summer without salad, and never underestimate its presence at the barbecue table. Our Khachumbar Salad is a colourful mixture of fresh and crunchy garden greens seasoned with Indian spices to add even more vibrancy to your meal.

Malai Tikka

If you’re after a milder experience but with just as much flavour, you must try our nutty-licious Malai Tikka. We marinade our chicken overnight in a creamy and decadent mixture of almond and cashew nut paste infused with yoghurt. This is then beautifully charred on our tandoor.

Mango Lassi

Wash down your Indian barbecue – and mellow that intense level of spice – with a delicious swig of mango lassi. Freshly made in our kitchen, our Mango Lassi is dangerously addictive, and tastes like a summer smoothie packed with probiotics, protein and vitamins. It’s a glass of sunshine!

Saffron Tikka

A dish that’s as golden as the sun. Few flavours match the might of saffron, and who says that such an opulent ingredient shouldn’t feature in a barbecue-inspired supper? Our recipe is quite simple: saffron, coriander and yoghurt are left to marinade our chicken overnight, and the tandoor is left to work its charry magic.

Coconut & Peshwari Naan

It’s a barbecue; you’ve got to have some carbs. Our coconut and Peshwari naans have an added summer flavour with their tropical fillings, and make for a wonderful form of edible crockery to your main dishes. Scoop up some lovely protein or sauce with your naan for some good eating.

Prawns Koliwada

It stands to reason that the fishing village of Koliwada is where this dish had originated from. This delicious street food is made of freshly sourced prawns coated in a heavily spiced and deep-fried batter. Be warned: this is one of our spiciest dishes, and it is not for the faint-hearted. However, the final kick of flavour is totally worth it, and that’s why you’ve ordered raita and lassi.

Mint Kulcha

If you’d like to experience something slightly different to naan, we recommend kulcha as a barbecue alternative. Kulcha is somewhat denser than naan but still comes with a soft and white texture. We especially recommend our kulcha garnished and flavoured with mint for an absolute summer vibe.

Pahadi Kebab

Speaking of mint, this classic summer herb is a main feature in our Pahadi marinade. Succulent pieces of chicken are left to soak up the flavours of a beautiful mixture of yoghurt, garlic, coriander, ginger and fresh mint, then cooked in our tandoor to absolute perfection. We also make this with prawns if you’re after a more pescatarian barbecue.



Samosa Stories: Exploring the World of Indian Street Food

The vibrant and flavourful world of Indian street food is an integral part of the country’s food culture, known for its diverse culinary traditions. From savoury snacks to mouth-watering sweets, the streets of India offer an array of delectable treats that will tantalise your taste buds. From the bustling streets of local Indian markets, such delicacies have made their way into the Shakinah menu. Here’s a taster:

Chaat Delights

Chaat stalls are commonly found in busy markets which are close by to tourist attractions and bustling street corners. The literal translation of ‘chaat’ in Hindi is ‘to lick’, which perfectly describes the finger-licking experience of enjoying these snacks. Although they originated in the north of India, their popularity has swept across the continent and beyond, thanks to their delightful and often tangy flavour.

A star chaat dish that is immensely popular in the Shakinah menu is Aloo Tikki, our boiled and fried potato patties encased in golden breadcrumbs and seasoned with cumin, fresh coriander and ginger. We also cannot leave out the king of street food – samosas – which is a flaky pastry stuffed with cumin-flavoured peas and potatoes. A chaat stall will serve these to you with a variety of toppings such as chutneys and yoghurt, so don’t be afraid to recreate this from our list of sundries.

Tandoori Temptations

India’s street food scene wouldn’t be complete without the sizzling selection of tandoori specialties cooked in a traditional clay oven. The tandoor is a cylindrical oven made of clay or metal which is heated with charcoal or wood to high temperatures. This gives the food a distinct smoky and charred flavour. Some of our most requested tandoori dishes is tandoori chicken, which is marinaded in a mixture of yoghurt and spices such as chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander and garam masala. This is then cooked in the tandoor until it becomes juicy, tender, and infused with the flavours.

Another sought-after meal in the streets of India is Tandoori Paneer Tikka, which is an excellent vegetarian option for those who love the tandoor taste. The marinaded paneer is skewered and cooked in the tandoor until it’s nicely charred.

Kebab Culture

Sheikh kebabs are another street food staple that makes use of the tandoor. These are skewered minced meat which has been blended with spices, onions and herbs. The skewers are then placed in the tandoor and cooked until cooked through with a charred exterior. Our Sheikh kebabs are available with chicken or lamb, which are infused with chopped ginger, garlic, onion and fresh coriander.

Irresistible street breads

Once again, the tandoor oven delivers an array of beautiful carbs to the Indian on the go, as well as our table. Soft and fluffy breads such as roti or naan are slapped onto the inner walls of the tandoor, where it adheres and bakes until it puffs up and develops a slightly charred and smoky flavour. Indian street food breads can also serve as a meal in their own right, especially when stuffed with delicious minces such as Peshwari naan, which is filled with a sweet mince of dried fruit and nuts, or lamb or chicken keema paratha, which is made from whole wheat flour and stuffed with a spiced meat mince.


Here at Shakinah, we’re very lucky to have a team of chefs who are able to give us the real thing, thanks to their North Indian heritage and their respect for traditional recipes. Hailing from the region of Uttarakhand, our Executive Chef has imprinted his North Indian roots onto our menu, presenting us with authentic dishes from this part of the world.

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

There is an unfortunate misconception that all Indian food tastes the same, and that all regions share a common culinary history. On the contrary, the distinct narratives between the north and south can be identified by the nature of their respective dishes, and you can guarantee that every ingredient tells a story.

When we speak about North India, we’re specifically referring to regions such as Punjab, Kashmir, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, to name but a few. These are regions that have predominantly given Indian food its reputation for rich flavours; hearty and aromatic sensations to combat the icy conditions coming from the Himalayas.

Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India

It is perhaps pertinent to trace back the origins of these flavours to the 16th century, when the region was first invaded by the Mughal Empire. Known for their decadent produce, the Mughals brought their Persian style of cooking to North India, along with their precious spices, dried fruit and nuts. It was also the Mughals who had cemented the tandoor oven as what we now know to be a pillar of Indian cooking.

The civilisations that followed also learned to cultivate this rich and fertile land, which is why the region, particularly Punjab, is renowned for its superior dairy produce. In fact, most North Indian dishes are yoghurt-based, while South Indian cuisine is more dependent on coconut milk. Paneer and lassi are also more traditionally North Indian.

Nainital Lake, Ayarpatta, Uttarakhand

Another testament to North India’s agriculture is its wheat- and legume- based diet. You’ll find dals to be a permanent accompaniment to any North Indian meal, with a variety of lentils produced in the region. Moreover, naan bread, roti and paratha are originally North Indian foods, which allow for a more vegetarian diet. This is very telling of the region, as most communities based here are Hindu.

A few of our dishes which are typically North Indian are the following:


Dating back to the 13th century, samosas are one of the most identifiable dishes in North Indian cuisine. Beautifully wrapped parcels of a chickpea batter, with a cumin-flavoured filling of peas and potatoes.

Butter Chicken 

Known as one of Punjab’s best exports, butter chicken had first come about in the 1950s, right after Partition. Butter chicken, or Murgh Makhani as it’s known in India, was first served in New Delhi by Kundan Lal Jaggi and Kundan Lal Gujral, who had been experimenting in their kitchen with some new ideas for a curry. This dish is made of tender chicken pieces cooked in a rich tomato and cashew nut sauce, flavoured with rich butter and fenugreek.

Tandoori chicken

As we’ve mentioned, the tandoori clay oven is a marker for North Indian cuisine. We have several tandoori dishes, but perhaps our most popular is our Tandoori Chicken. This is a succulent chicken leg served on the bone, marinated in yoghurt, ginger and spices.

Aloo Gobi

A vegetarian favourite, this is a comforting dish made with potatoes, cauliflower and tomato chunks, fried and cooked in Indian spices.

Dal Panchrani

Typical of North Indian cuisine, dals are an instant bowl of good health and comfort. This dish consists of five types of lentils, cooked in butter ghee, ginger and coriander leaves.

Our Favourite Sides and Sundries

Our Favourite Sides and Sundries

Although Indian dishes are certainly the centre piece at the table, it’s what often accompanies them that elevates your meal to a whole other level. It’s an indisputable fact that curries and other saucy dishes were made for dipping, and so dip we must. Indian cuisine has certainly provided a variety of delicious mediums for partaking. When done right, you cannot but wipe your bowl clean with a slice of naan or a forkful of basmati. But of course, Indian sides go beyond buttery carbs. There are many other sundries to explore at Shakinah, and here are a few of our favourites:   


Without a doubt, lassi is lactose-liquid heaven. Popular in the Southern region of India as well as Pakistan, you’ll find that many households have a free-flowing supply of lassi, with a jug of it ready to be served to family members and guests. Traditionally, it is a savoury drink of plain yoghurt blended with water and spices such as cardamon, and then seasoned with salt. However, you’ll also find fruit-infused lassis, such as mango or strawberry. Lassis are a beautifully silky digestive aid which also double up as a cooling agent.   At Shakinah, we offer sweet, salted, mango and strawberry lassis to go with (or without!) our spicy dishes. They’re seriously addictive.


Another cooling agent in the Indian arsenal, a raita is a delightful yoghurt dip infused with cumin and freshly chopped coriander, and a good helping of shredded onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh chopped coriander and cumin. Of course, you’ll find several other variations of raita across the world, even fruity ones such as pomegranate. Raitas are a cross between a condiment and a dip, so you are most welcome to dunk your naan into the bowl or spread it on top, or even have a spoonful of it when things get to hot to handle during your meal. Delicious relief!


Khachumbar Salad

If you need to lay off the lactose but still require a cooling agent, our Khachumbar salad is a great and refreshing option. This is a crunchy mix of fresh garden greens seasoned with Indian spices and lemon juice for freshness. It really goes with anything, and helps with your five-a-day.

Pilau Rice

This side is an absolute crowd pleaser. A golden bowl of goodness, pilau rice is a side dish with a fried onion, bay leaves, turmeric and cinnamon masala, to mention but a few of the spices that give this rice its seductive flavour. One of the secrets to this dish to caramelise the onions in ghee or good-quality butter to begin with. Pilau rice is so delectable in fact, that it makes for an excellent meal in its own right. At Shakinah, we also serve a version of this classic with peas for a touch of green. This is comfort and colour in a bowl.


You can’t have a proper Indian without naan, really. Well, you can, but you’d be sorely missing out on cloudy doughy goodness. Dating back to at least the 12th century, naan has been wiping our plates clean since time immemorial. This is a leavened bread made from wheat flour ands yoghurt, which is what gives it its fluffy texture. It’s an incredibly versatile sundry, which is why at Shakinah, you can have butter, garlic, cheese, coconut or peshwari naan. We particularly recommend the latter, as it’s embellished with a wonderful mix of nuts and dried fruit.


Get Cosy with a Curry 🥘

Get Cosy with a Curry at Shakinah

Baby, it’s cold outside. But at Shakinah, we’ve got the perfect winter warmers for you this Christmas. 

As we shift gears in preparation for the Christmas rush, we know that our cosy curries will certainly be in demand this season, rich in spices, creamy coconut, luscious yoghurt and meaty goodness. What’s more, curries are an excellent excuse to incorporate some good carbs into your meal. From our fluffy pilau rice to springy blankets of naan to mop our curry sauces, our side dishes are a cheeky alternative to a fork and knife. Here are our recommended favourites for December:

King Prawn Madras

Where there’s Madras, there is heat. But not to worry, we’ll be happy to mellow it down for you if you’re not great with too much spiciness. Originating from the old region of Madras – now Chennai – in the south of India, this curry goes way back in time, retaining its tangy punch and hot flavours. The sourness of Madras is created from acidic ingredients such as vinegar, lemon or lime, coupled with the fruitiness of tamarind. As it’s a southern dish, the base is fresh coconut cream, which also brings a nutty element to the final taste. We offer other protein alternatives with our Madras, including chicken, beef and lamb.

Lamb Roghan Josh

Our Roghan Josh is one of our most popular and explosive dishes when it comes to depth and flavour. Another authentic recipe, Roghan Josh hails from Kashmiri, which is why we use this particular blend of spices for it. Our locally sourced lamb is slow cooked to perfection with cinnamon, ginger and saffron, hence the heavenly aroma. We recommend some butter roti to go with this dish to add even more richness.

Beef Vindaloo

What’s a curry night without a vindaloo? This fiery dish is an all-time classic, and it will certainly get you warmed up thanks to its piping hot blend. We marinade our beef in vinegar to give it tartness and tenderness, and it retains its moisture in our crimson sauce. Finally, we add some starchiness with beautifully boiled potatoes. Admittedly, our vindaloos – also available with other meats – are a culinary challenge, so we recommend a good helping of raita and a glass of lassi.

Butter Chicken

For something just as rich but with less spice, there’s always our butter chicken. A more contemporary option, butter chicken is somewhat similar to a Chicken Masala, but ours is richer in ghee, cashew nuts and fenugreek, and not as pungent when it comes to its tomato base. This is a creamy and comforting winter warmer that is utterly pleasurable in its simplicity. Our patrons love to accompany this with garlic naan or onion kulcha, a flat white bread stuffed with savoury onions.

Paneer Tikka

This aesthetically pleasing dish is a hit with both vegetarians and omnivores. We present ruby red slabs of milky paneer, marinated in ginger, garlic paste and yoghurt. This is then garnished with green peppers and fresh onions to incorporate your five-a-day. This is ideal with sweet coconut naan, or chicken keema paratha, a North Indian bread made from whole wheat flour that is stuffed with spiced minced chicken.

Diwali-Festival of Lights 🪔

Aside from the shift to heartier meals at the turn of Autumn, October is a particularly exciting time in Indian culture, as it welcomes the festival of Diwali. If you haven’t heard of it, Diwali is the much-anticipated festival of lights that is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains all over the world. Lasting around five days, Diwali symbolises the victory of good over evil, or how light conquers darkness. It is associated with Ganesh and the power of knowledge and wisdom, as well as the goddess of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. 

In the lead-up to Diwali, which is usually celebrated on the third day of the festive period and the darkest day of the month, followers of the faith spiritually prepare their homes by cleaning and decorating, usually with oil lamps and rangolis, which are traditional and artistic circle patterns. This is a time when people dress to impress, invite their loved ones round and partake in family feasts. As it’s a festival of light, it is in fact considered good luck to leave a light on overnight on the darkest day.

Plenty of traditional dishes are prepared for the festivities, some of which are staples at Shakinah. If you’d like to experience Diwali with us this year, we’ll make sure you don’t miss out on the best treats of the festival. Here are a few family favourites for Diwali:

Cauliflower and Paneer Pakora

Many who celebrate Diwali follow the tradition of not consuming meat during these five days, so you’ll find our selection today to be quite vegetarian. Nevertheless, it is certainly a festival of good eats. After all, it is also a celebration of the harvest. Two such staples are cauliflower and paneer pakora, with each of these ingredients enveloped in a gram flour batter flavoured with Indian spices, then deep fried to perfection. 

Paneer Tikka

Naturally, paneer is an excellent alternative filler to meat, and everything about it is delightful. Think of it as a salty Indian cottage cheese. Our paneer tikka merges cheesy goodness with a timeless Indian mise-en-place. Cubes of homemade cheese are marinated in ginger, garlic paste and yoghurt, then garnished with green peppers and fresh onions. Plenty of flavour here.

Palak Paneer

This dish has been a family favourite in Indian homes for generations, and if you’ve only just discovered paneer and can’t get enough of it, this recipe is a must. The paneer is cubed into bite-sized pieces, then smothered and cooked with a purée of fresh spinach and Indian spices.

Aloo Tikki

It’s very much all about the finger food at Diwali household celebrations. Aloo Tikki are an excellent pick-me-up of boiled potatoes which are crumbled and flavoured with fresh coriander and ginger, then breaded and fried in ghee. What’s not to love?

Vegetable Biryani

Don’t be afraid to keep it vegetarian. Biryanis are a staple among family gatherings, as they’re usually made to share. We select the freshest veg, then spice it up for maximum flavour. This is then immersed in a bed of perfectly cooked basmati rice.

An Indian Barbecue at Cocktail Hour

Fancy the flavour of barbecue, but not in the mood to sit outside for it in the sweltering heat? We have a solution that comes with an Indian twist. The smoky scent of our tandoori dishes is reminiscent of the Mediterranean barbecue waft, and our summer cocktail menu is generous and plentiful. Here at Shakinah, you can have your barbecue and eat it.   

Our team will be more than happy to curate the perfect summer meal for you. Our summer cocktail menu features refreshing beverages that are the perfect antidote to the hot weather. Enjoy fashionable fruits, herbs, spices and liqueurs blended and poured into the most unorthodox and Instagrammable glassware you’ll ever come across. Ordering a cocktail at Shakinah is a theatrical experience, and it’s all the more heightened by a sizzling and colourful spread of food to go with it.

Here are a few of our favourite culinary and cocktail pairings for that Indian barbecue vibe we promised you:

Tandoori King Prawns and Strawberry Garden

What a red-hot pairing. Hues of fuchsia will adorn your table here, with our tandoori prawns beautifully barbecued crimson. Meanwhile, the Strawberry Garden is a fruity concoction of crushed strawberries, vodka, elderflower, basil and mint.

Chicken Tikka Masala and Aperol Foam Bomb

No Aperol, no party, but this is our interpretation on the coveted summer bitter. Enjoy a heightened Aperol and Chambord with cinnamon, tequila, passion fruit purée, and a hint of red chilli. As there is a little bit of fire to this cocktail, we recommend pairing it with a mellow and creamy chicken in a tomato and cashew sauce.

cocktails malta

Vegetarian Nibbles with Gin Cucumber

A selection of our meat-free starters are an eclectic and filling option for a more convivial and shared experience at the table. We cannot but champion our deconstructed onion bhaji, cumin-infused vegetable samosas and cheese corn marbles for a mild dinner. We recommend pairing this trio with this season’s signature cocktail, the Gin Cucumber. We’ve given this drink a beautiful fiery kick with green chillies, but you’re nonetheless guaranteed a refreshingly zen beverage with apple juice, mint, fresh cucumber and coriander leaves.

Shakinah King Prawns and Banana & Coconut Elegance

There’s always time for curry and the sea. Our inhouse Shakinah king prawns is a dish inspired by a North Indian recipe, with a rich and spicy sauce thickened by unctuous lentils. This dish is on the spicy side, so you might want to opt for our equally rich but mellow banana & Coconut Elegance. Our creamy cocktail is enhanced with white rum, fresh lime juice, tamarind syrup and cumin for a tropical finish to your meal.

cocktails in malta

Tandoori Chicken and A King’s Beer

Talk about a match made in barbecue heaven. Our tandoori chicken is presented to you as it’s still sizzling barbecue aromas, and the ruby red coating promises succulence, flavour and the right amount of crispiness. Order this timeless classic with a side of coconut naan for dipping, and wash it down with our own elevated Corona that is mixed with passion fruit purée, tamarind syrup and a pinch of cumin.

Pahadi Kebab and Watermelon Martini

Skewered chicken is always a good idea, especially when steeped in a fresh herb marinade. Our Pahadi kebab is dressed in mint, yoghurt, plenty of garlic and ginger for a savoury flavour, and a good kick of coriander. Temper the latter with a good swig of our Watermelon Martini, which is a minimalist cocktail/smoothie of blended chunks of fresh watermelon, prosecco and vodka.

martini malta

Spring Flavours at Shakinah

Spring Flavours at Shakinah

The strong winds have wafted in balmier temperatures and lighter aromas to the spring air.

Although Shakinah will still be serving its heady classics, we would like to shift the spotlight onto some of our more suitably spring dishes to complement the season. With our chefs ready to welcome seasonal produce into the kitchen, you’ll find that our dishes are adapted to what is freshest on offer. As you might be looking for zestier flavours, here are our recommendations for the season:

Navratan Korma

The literal translation of ‘navratan’ is ‘nine gems’, signifying the nine vegetables traditionally used in this vegetarian classic. One of the milder kormas, the Navratan features a creamier sauce that celebrates the mellow flavour of the cashew nut, rather than any other adorning spices. Our chef makes a selection of the freshest vegetables in season for the Navratan, which are then cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of firmness.

Achari Kebab

Here at Shakinah, we’ve always got the barbecue fired up, and one of our star dishes straight off the grill is the Achari Kebab. The uniqueness of this dish is the incorporation of the achar, a traditional South Asian pickle with lemons, limes, ginger and even mango, which are then spiced with chilli pepper during the pickling process. The juicy chicken pieces are marinated in an achar and yoghurt mixture, giving the chicken its trademark tanginess and festively sunny hue.

Kesari Jhinga

This moreish dish encompasses all that is holy about warmer climates. The pescatarian king that is the prawn is marinated in heavenly yoghurt, and spiced with majestic saffron, ginger and garlic. Kesari, which is Sanskrit for saffron or lion, is the star ingredient in this dish, flavouring and decorating Shakinah’s hand-picked tandoori-cooked prawns. Although the Kesari Jhinga makes for a great starter, it could also be the perfect spring lunch.

Vegetable Biryani

Not that we wish to diminish the importance of our meat and fish dishes, but there is something so wholesome about vegetarian meals, especially when the earth has so much to offer at this time of year. Vegetables make for lighter meals, and a dish such as our vegetable biryani is an excellent avenue to get your five-a-day. The conglomerate of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg and bay leaves beautifully permeate the vegetables, and the rice gives a wonderful roasted bite – possibly one of the best ways to have your carbs.

Not Just Citrus

One of our best-selling desserts brings together the flavours or sunshine, leaving a zest of spring zing in your mouth. This cheesecake offers a harmonious balance of lime, lemon and white chocolate, with a coconut biscuit crumb cementing the light and fluffy layer on top. If you haven’t had enough dairy, don’t forget to wash it down with a lassi of your choice.

Key Ingredients In Indian Cuisine

Key Ingredients In Indian Cuisine

A cuisine can say much about its nation’s history. Every flavour has a part to play in the telling of a country’s story, and every ingredient comes with its own journey to the final dish. At Shakinah, we feel it’s important to stick to the original culinary narrative, although we don’t mind adding a few of our own embellishments and interpretations along the way. Nonetheless, we’ve always stayed true to the foundations of Indian food, and our chefs have ensured that only the very best selection of these basics come through the kitchen door.

Our Best Selected Indian Spices & Ingredients.

Here’s a breakdown of some of our indispensable staples:


With over 300 million bovines in its territory, India possesses the largest dairy herd in the world, and is the greatest consumer of dairy produce on record. It’s therefore no surprise that it plays a central role in the Indian diet, with buffalo milk being the nation’s primary source, and the cow revered as a sacred symbol in the Hindu religion. From lassi to raita, paneer and ghee, dairy sets the scene at the Indian table, working in tandem with a rainbow of chillies and spices. Often used as a cooling agent as well as a tenderiser, yoghurt makes its appearance in various forms, such as a marinade for most meats in tandoori, or a base for curry sauces. Most of our meats and seafood at Shakinah are marinaded in yoghurt prior to cooking, and we recommend a side of our own raita recipe to temper your spicy selections. Alternatively, our lassis are a delicious accompaniment to your meal, be they as an apéritif or digestif. A yoghurt-based drink blended with fruit, spices and salt, lassi is an indulgent beverage with a tart flavour and rich texture. 

indian yoghurtPhoto: Shakinah’s Raita


Mainly used in South Indian dishes, or as a vegan alternative to dairy, the coconut is a lucrative drupe from which communities in tropical climates have been benefitting for centuries. As another prominent symbol in Hindu culture, the coconut and its derivatives have served humanity well. While the coconut’s shell and tree trunk are used as a source of charcoal and timber respectively, the fruit itself has given cuisine coconut water, oil, milk, cream and the flesh itself. Coconut cream or milk is mainly used as a sauce thickener along with the masala, giving a mild but tangy punch to the dish. At Shakinah, we like to use fresh coconut in all our Madras dishes, but it is especially tasty in our Sakuti, where prawns a served in a roasted coconut and onion sauce.


Another dairy hero in the Indian glossary, paneer is India’s answer to the Mediterranean’s halloumi. A semi-hard cheese that doesn’t melt, paneer is made from curdled buffalo milk that is set with an acidic substance such as lemon juice. Though not as salty as halloumi, paneer’s dense and chewy texture renders it a filling alternative to meat and fish, and can be added to any masala sauce, such as tikka masala or sometimes even chana masala. Its star appearance however is in palak paneer, where cubes of this succulent cheese are immersed in an aromatic emerald green spinach puree. At Shakinah, we also feature a decadent paneer pakora which are smothered in gram flour and deep fried. Do try!

Basmati Rice

As the largest exporter of rice in the world, India’s national economy is heavily dependent on the production of its rice. Rice is the country’s most dominant crop, and its hot and humid weather, as well as heavy rainfall, offers the perfect environment for rice cultivation. The Basmati grain is the most common in Indian cuisine, providing a fluffy carbohydrate with a nutty hint. Biryani dishes, originating from the Muslim communities in India, feature a rice dish that celebrates aromatic spices mixed with cut meat or seafood. Shakinah’s Chicken Biryani with saffron is a star attraction, as is our classic pilau rice with cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric.    

basmati rice indianPhoto: Shakinah’s Pilau Rice