Don’t get me wrong, I adore Indian food, and I think it is some of the most delicious and diverse in the entire world. But when it is hot like this, you might agree that it is not what you're appetite craves for.
A lot of Indian food is heavy, and I am hot enough right now without my mouth being on fire too. I am also really bad for ordering too much (especially when I have had a bit to drink) then demolishing all the poppadum’s and half a pint of chutney before the food even arrives. I am left with a bloated stomach, a full plate and a general sense of shame.
Or at least I used to anyway…
Times have changed, and Indian street food has come into it’s own with the likes of Bundobust making Indian cuisine a little more summertime friendly and lighter on the old stomach. Many other Indian restaurants are working with this concept too, and no one does it better than Asha’s, who keep us visiting in the hottest of months.
The trick with Asha’s is that they show us that Indian food does not need to be heavy with repetitive ingredients. Real, authentic Indian food can also have subtle, light flavours that allow you to taste the quality of the produce. This combined with seasonal British produce such as fava beans, chard, lamb and monkfish the result is a sensational Indian Summer Menu that is completely unique.
Take for example some of the dishes from the small plates menu which are light and flavourful but still with that colour and brightness of Indian cuisine. A favourite of mine is the Grilled Lamb Chop which is cooked to perfection and not swimming in dense sauce but instead a sweet pea puree which really lets the beauty of the meat speak for itself. This is perfectly sided with a bowl of their crispy kale.
The Protein Bowl is ideal for a hot day. It combines bulgar wheat and quinoa with avocado, red cabbage, quails egg & sweet peas with your choice of salmon tikka, chicken tikka or paneer cooked to perfection in their tandoor oven. This is a great one for after the gym too.
As for the mains, I am particularly partial to the Grilled Chicken and Fava Beans – which again retains flavour without cloaking the meat in a heavy sauce. And, no summer meal would be complete without India’s answer to ice cream – Kulfi. The Pistachio and Liquorice is always a good shout and makes the perfect thing to cool you down on a hot summers day.
In short, everything at Asha’s is beautifully sourced, cooked and plated – and this sort of Indian food is exactly what summertime eating is all about.
Asha’s, 47 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NG
0161 832 5309