Blog Archives

Itihaas’ Raj Rana featured on BBC Midlands with homeless charity Let’s Feed Brum

Itihaas’ Managing Director, Raj Rana, was featured on BBC Midlands discussing his work with homeless charity Let’s Feed Brum. As one of the founders of the charity, Raj has also started employing some of those he has met on the streets to work in his kitchen.  

Check out the video here, where the BBC talk to Raj and one of his new recruits, Rhudi. 

 

Posted in Press Releases

The rise of street food

Here at Itihaas, we’re always embracing new food trends and bringing in more of what our customers want – and the rise of street food is no different.

So why is street food becoming so popular?

Street food began in Asia, and has since taken over the globe with its intense flavours and a bigger bite for your buck! What’s so great about street food is that you can try new flavours and unusual food pairings that you might not normally see on a menu.  They’re also particularly popular in the Summer months, with burgers being a top street food favourite.

 

At Itihaas, we’ve incorporated the UK’s love for street food with our exciting lunchtime menu. With an Indian twist, we’ve put together a menu that features delicious street food favourites. Bombay Burgers and our very own Street Food Thali selection make up – the perfect Summer lunchtime treat.  

Stop by our Indian Restaurant and try some of our Indian street food favourites – you won’t regret it!

 

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The Rehearsal Dinner

With wedding season well underway, we’re using our wedding expertise to give you some tips on that all important rehearsal dinner.

So, what exactly is a rehearsal dinner? Traditionally in the Western world, the couple and those in their wedding party will meet for a rehearsal the night before the big day. This will involve going through the run-through of the ceremony. Though not everyone follows this tradition, most couples, along with their nearest and dearest, will have a rehearsal dinner the night before their marriage.

Why have a rehearsal dinner? It’s a nice way of putting all the wedding planning behind you and relaxing with your loved ones before the big day. Most couples are also too busy rushing around speaking with everybody and taking photos on their wedding day so don’t get much time to sit and eat – this will ensure you’ve had a good meal, ready to take on the day!

Where? Whether you’ve chosen Itihaas as your Indian wedding caterer, or you just fancy an exquisite Indian feast to celebrate with your loved ones – Itihaas is the choice for you.

Make sure you book in advance!

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The art of food presentation

Here at Itihaas, we strive on creating a dining experience like no other, which is why the art of food presentation is so important to us. Our visual senses are what initially draw us in, which is why patterns, colours and symmetry all play a huge part in attracting us to certain dishes – we know you not only want your food to taste good, but look good too. It’s also important that your surroundings match the cuisine – let the décor takes you on a journey, along with the flavours of each dish.

 

Dining at Itihaas, you will experience intricately prepared dishes, every flavour and spice carefully chosen to bring joy and comfort to your palate. The colours on your plate each represent a taste of India, and our historic artefacts and luxurious décor will transport you there. All of these aspects add to the event of dining out, bringing together great food in a great setting.

 

Carefully prepared dishes deserve to be presented beautifully, even with your own home cooking. If you’re planning on cooking a loved one a meal, or are hosting a dinner party for friends, we’ve got a few tips on how to show off your food:

  • Use white plates– they help to make your food the focal point so it doesn’t get lost in patterns/bright colours.
  • Placement is key – place your food on the plate in lines or in geometric shapes
  • Have a focal point – usually this is meat or fish, but whatever the focal point, make sure it doesn’t get lost on the plate, but also don’t hide the other elements
  • Colours should complement each other – colours should match the flavours of the dish, but they also help us to identify the overall mood (spiciness, tartness etc.)
  • Always garnish– this increases flavour and adds an extra dimension to the dish

 

Alternatively, come join us at Itihaas Indian Restaurant to see how we value the art of food presentation.

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What’s your bread type?

When attending an Indian restaurant, you’ll most likely see a range of breads offered to accompany your dishes. Each one is unique and brings different flavours and textures to your meal.

Chapatti  – An unleavened flatbread made of whole wheat flour (known as Atta) plus salt and water. Common in South Asia, chapattis can be pretty much served with anything. They’re light and easy to roll which makes them great for dipping and filling with vegetables.

 

Dosa – A dosa is very similar to a crepe or pancake. It’s typically made from rice batter and black lentils, and is a very common part of a South Indian diet. They’re traditionally served hot and can be stuffed with a variety of fillings and served with chutneys.

 

Naan – A very popular accompaniment in many Indian restaurants, as a hot naan goes wonderfully alongside curry dishes. Typically made from white flour, salt, yeast and yoghurt, they also often come in a mix of flavours as items such as garlic or raisins are added to the batter mixture.

 

Poppadom –  Thin, crisp disc that is traditionally served as an accompaniment to most dishes, but mostly as a snack or appetiser. Made using flour from a variety of sources, such as lentils, chickpeas and rice. They’re great for adding texture to your meal.

 

Paratha – A layered or stuffed flatbread that is often confused with a chapatti – though these are much thinner. It’s served as a treat as can be quite heavy and filling due to the dough being coated with ghee or oil and folded repeatedly. They’re delicious stuffed with potatoes and other vegetables, but are also tasty with just butter spread on top.

Why not come sample the variety of authentic Indian dishes we serve at Itihaas? Click here to view our menus. 

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A feast at sundown with Itihaas this Ramadan

Here at Itihaas, we understand that many of our customers will soon be fasting as part of Ramadan, which is why we would like you to come to join us for an Iftar celebration, available every evening for the month of Ramadan. We know this time is often celebrated as a social gathering, and Itihaas is the perfect setting for families, friends and communities to come together.

 

To accommodate all who attend, and follow tradition, there will be dates and glasses of rose water for all, including a 3-course set menu, which you can pre-book here so that everything is ready for your arrival. 

Itihaas’ stunning décor will be the perfect setting for you to feast after your daily fast. A 3-course meal full of delicious aromatic Indian spices will await you, providing you with everything you need for an evening of intense flavours and filling food.

Book your table to guarantee availability. We look forward to having you with us at our Iftar celebration!

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10 facts about India

India is a huge, enigmatic part of our world, and there are a lot of interesting things to come out of the diverse South Asian country, which is why we’ve put together a list of 10 facts about India that you probably didn’t know.

1.Over 100 million years ago in the age of the dinosaurs, India was an island. It was only until 50 million years or so later that it would collide with Asia and the two continents’ coastal areas formed the Himalayas.

2.India doesn’t have a national language, but it is said that the number of languages spoken in the country is over 1000.

3.India has the world’s largest film industry with over 1000 films produced each year.

4.India has the largest population of cattle in the world, and therefore produces the most milk.

5.Gold is one of India’s biggest obsessions and the country is the largest buyer of gold in the world.

6.India prides itself on having the largest democracy in the world.

7.“Chaturanga” means ‘four members of an army’ and was India’s gift to the world. The game “Chaturanga” is now commonly known as chess.

8.The country is home to the largest number of English speakers in the world.

9.Yoga originated in India 5000 years ago.

10.India has the largest number of vegetarians in the world.

Now you’ve learnt some more about India, why not try some authentic Indian cuisine at our Birmingham restaurant? Book now!

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The history of curry & Brum’s love affair

Birmingham has become known as the curry capital of the UK with a wide selection of curry houses spread across the city. People from all over the UK come to Birmingham just to sample the authentic Indian cuisine that can be experienced here, but where did this love affair between Brum and curry from?

Balti houses began popping up in the Midlands city in the 1970s, and due to their popularity amongst locals, they’ve been growing ever since. The Balti dish was created by the local Pakistani/Kashmiri community that decided to bring a taste of their home cooking to the streets of Birmingham, by blending various herbs and spices to create the perfect dish that could also be enjoyed by the Western locals. The famous Birmingham Balti Triangle was formed by bringing together the Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath and Moseley areas of the city to form a triangle of Asian cuisine, and is a well-visited spot for food lovers. However, the heart of the city also features an array of award-winning restaurants that aim to create an extraordinary dining experience.

Birmingham’s curry restaurants are increasingly in demand, as Birmingham’s reputation for being the best of the best when it comes to authentic Indian cuisine continues to grow; it’s impossible not to visit the city without sampling some delicious food.

If you want the full Birmingham curry experience, visit Itihaas restaurant for a completely authentic taste of fine Indian cuisine. Tantalise your taste buds with our lunch menu or go for the full fine-dining experience of an evening meal. You’ll be surrounded by enchanting historical décor with a modern twist, to really set the mood as you dine. Book now for your Itihaas experience!

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CURRY AND COMEDY NIGHT FEEDS HOMELESS PROJECT’S BIG AMBITIONS

Last Friday, comedy-lovers and curry-connoisseurs alike were in high spirits, at Itihaas’ Comedy Rum-Ball. Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens welcomed 270 guests, who came together for an evening of eating, drinking, and entertaining. Hosted by BBC Celebrity MasterChef finalist and famed comedian, Hardeep Singh Kohli, those in attendance not only raised the roof, but also vital funds for local homeless project Let’s Feed Brum. Altogether, the generous attendees donated a phenomenal £10,475 to the cause.

The second event of its sort, the comedy and curry night was designed to give back to those in need, using its first sold-out success as its inspiration. The Rum-Ball brought together the best in the business, with Itihaas’ head chef Pavneet Sangwan and Ampersand’s head chef Phil Bradley working with Hardeep to create the bespoke fusion menu. Joined by rum specialist, Alessio Franzese from London’s famous Rum & Sugar, the four-course meal saw each plate paired with a taster of the special spirit. A menu including salmon and goats’ cheese samosas, duck dosa salad, masala mackerel, and Jaipur mess, was meticulously matched with a measure of rum intended to complement the fusion flavours. Compered by the tongue-in-cheek Hardeep, the evening ticked every box, with sugar, spice, and all things nice.

Rum and comedy weren’t the only things to keep guests occupied between courses: a charity raffle and auction also ensured that invitees were entertained. The auction’s star prize of a luxury day sailing the Solent aboard the Rum Runner boat was coveted by the crowd, bringing in a generous bid of £1,900. Both the raffle and the auction saw all proceeds go to Let’s Feed Brum, making an incredible £10,475. These funds will help ease the lives of those on the streets, by providing food, drinks, and essential supplies. To put the total in to perspective, the money could fund 2,095 sleeping bags or 146,650 cups of tea and coffee.  

Raj Rana, managing director of Itihaas and co-founder of Let’s Feed Brum, was particularly pleased with the night, saying:

“As one of the directors of Let’s Feed Brum, it was tremendously important to me that the night went well. However, I am absolutely blown away at how successful it was. The other directors and I are truly overwhelmed at the total raised, which has surpassed all our expectations! On behalf of us all, I want to say an enormous thank you to all that came and made the night as magical as it was – thanks to your kindness, we can make a difference to hundreds of people that are living on our streets.”

Plans are already in place for the next curry and comedy night, expected to take place in September. To make sure you get your tickets before they sell out, keep an eye on the Itihaas website. In the meantime, you can also get behind the Let’s Feed Brum cause by volunteering, donating, or fundraising: just visit the website to find out more.

Posted in Press Releases

Indian spices & their many uses

Indian spices aren’t just great for adding flavour to your recipes, many of them also have other medicinal properties. We’ve outlined some of our favourite spices that have multiple uses, so you can start improving your health, and your meals, every day.

Turmeric

Bright and beautiful Turmeric is an antioxidant that has been said to help fight and manage Cancer. It also cleanses the liver, so it’s perfect for when you’re suffering with a hangover and want every ounce of alcohol out your system. It’s also known to be used in the prevention of Alzheimer disease.

Cumin seeds

Cumin is commonly used in Indian cuisine, and it can pretty much be used in any dish! It also boosts the immune system, relieves pain and stomach issues, and is a good iron supplement.

Ginger

Powerful and spicy ginger can boost the immune system, cleansing your body to help relieve colds and joint pains.

Cinnamon

Not only does cinnamon taste great sprinkled over our coffee or desserts, it has also been known to regulate blood sugar, meaning you’ll be full of energy all day.

Cloves

Cloves are used considerably across India, and not just in the food. They are considered to be natural painkillers, so are perfect steamed in boiling water to relieve a sore throat.

 

Here at Indian restaurant Itihaas, we use an extensive range of authentic Indian spices, which means you’ll not only get a delicious meal, but you’ll leave feeling happier and healthier.

Posted in Blog