At Shakinah, we like to keep things as authentic as possible, staying true to the roots of our Indian cuisine. This is why we’ve insisted on using the original names of our dishes in our menu, showcasing the variety and diversity of Indian cooking techniques. For those who are not as au fait with Indian cuisine, some names might be quite overwhelming, and it’s easy to get lost in all the terminology. Here’s a quick glossary we’ve compiled to help you navigate your next meal with us at Shakinah:
Tikka – In Hindi , tikka means ‘pieces’, referring to the morsels or chunks of meat prepared for a dish. For tikka to have their flavourful and aromatic characteristics, they’re marinated in a mixture of yoghurt and various spices, including cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric. The meat is then skewered and cooked in a tandoor, imparting a smoky and charred flavour to the dish. For those of you wondering, the difference between chicken tikka and tikka masala is that chicken tikka is served straight from the tandoor oven, while tikka masala is a dish that serves tikka in a rich and creamy sauce.
Tandoori – Tandoori dishes in Indian cuisine are known for their smoky, charred flavours and vibrant spices. Meats, seafood or paneer are marinated in yoghurt and spices such as cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and red chilli powder for a distinct ruby colour. These are then cooked in a tandoor at very high temperatures, allowing for quick and even cooking. Tandoori dishes are not served in a sauce, but raita, a fragrant mint sauce or mango chutney make for a great accompaniment here.
Sheikh kebab – This dish has roots in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and the technique involves skewering and moulding ground meat that has been mixed with various spices and herbs, and then grilling or cooking it. As a result, sheikh kebabs have a different shape to other kebabs, which are usually chunks of meat straight off the skewer that have not been minced.
Curries – For those who love a saucy dish, our curries are the way to go. Curries consist of pieces of meat, fish, vegetables or paneer in a luscious sauce, so these are perfect for those who love to have something to dip into in between in their meal. On our menu, you’ll notice that there are different types of curries, each one prepared with its own unique recipe. For those who prefer mild flavours, we recommend going for our bestselling cashew korma, or our delicious chana masala. Masalas tend to have a more spiced base mixed with yoghurt or coconut milk, and tomatoes are often an accompaniment to the sauce’s recipe. If you’re looking for a bit more heat, we recommend a vindaloo or madras curry, as well as the paneer kolhapuri as a vegetarian option. For an especially filling option, our saagwala and palak dishes come with a rich and green spinach sauce.
Biryani – Originating from the south of Asia, a biryani is an aromatic dish where the main ingredient is an aromatic rice. It’s often considered to be a one-pot meal, where the meat or vegetables are combined with a good portion of rice, such as pilau or basmati rice. This long-grain rice is commonly used due to its fragrance, texture, and ability to absorb flavours well.