What is Thali? Itihaas’ Thali Offer

We design our menus to serve the best of extravagant, authentic Indian dining and contemporary culinary expertise. By popular demand, we’ve restored our Thali Menu, so guests can enjoy our recipes the traditional thali way.
Rather than choosing a single dish on the menu, thali gives you a variety of dishes to enjoy together. Every Indian state has local thali traditions, but the concept is consistent across the subcontinent: one plate; every flavour.

Take a look at the Itihaas Thali Menu to see our range of Birmingham thali selections.

What Is Thali? The Thali Way to Eat Indian Food

Thali is best described as Indian Tapas: a variety of Indian dishes served together in small portions.
The word ‘thali’ (pronounced “taa-lee”) comes from the Hindi for “plate”. Thali can refer to both the serving style and the large plate itself.
Some thali plates are flat, with dishes served in small bowls called katori/katora. Others have different sections like a bento box, or indents to hold the katori in place.
The centre of the tray is often reserved for rice or naan, which you can use to eat the curries or dishes in the katori.

History of Thali

Historically, thali was served in royal households or those of wealthy Indians, and there are many examples of 15th-century paintings showing people eating thali. These were lavish meals, with rich dishes cooked in ghee and at some celebratory times with sugar and milk.
According to chef Maharaj Jodharam Choudhary, traditional etiquette was that ‘no one could get up until everyone had finished their food. This way, thali inculcated meal-time discipline.’
Choudhary also suggests the small katori meant guests could enjoy ‘a gigantic meal with limited portions of each flavour’, communicating extravagance without over-indulgence.

It is thought that the thali tradition may have originated in Ayurveda. This is an ancient Indian system of holistic medicine in which the whole person, mind, body and spirit, must be treated together. Ayurveda teaches a theory of balanced meals similar to modern nutritional science, which requires meals to provide different food types as well as a full spectrum of flavour across sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent.
With many small dishes served together, thali is an excellent example of balancing dishes in this way. The different thali throughout India and the world follow the same pattern of food types.

Different Types of Thali Food

On each thali plate, you will always find the same basic ingredients or food types, to provide balance. A well-designed thali menu includes:

  • Grains: often rice, rice-based papadum or wheat-based naan
  • Vegetables: either in curry, steamed or tempura
  • Lentils: usually as a creamy daal
  • Chutney or Aachar: a sweet or sour pickle
  • Raita: yoghurt or curds mixed with mint and cucumber, for cooling
  • Sweets: Kheer or Gulab Jamun in Rubri

Different Types of Thali food

On our Thali menu, you’ll find five different thali meals, each with 7-9 dishes to try.

We offer a Vegetarian Thali, with aromatic Methi Aloo Gobi and a delicious Makhani Paneer.

Our Street Food Thali celebrates the best of Indian street food, with Papri Chaat, Tempura Vegetables, Hakka Noodles and Bombay Chilli Chips.

For a more elegant option, our Shahi Thali comes with a luxurious Lamb Rogan Josh and Delhi Butter Chicken.

Nashtha Thali is perfect for brunch lovers, with chana masala, soft bhatura bread and a shot of sweet lassi.

Finally, Itihaas’ Executive Thali option celebrates the most luxurious dishes from across India, with a Goan Prawn Curry, Rogan Josh, Makhani Murgh (Butter Chicken) and for dessert, sweet and sticky Gulab Jamun in Rubri.

We call our thali “Bottomless” because you can ask your server to refill any of the dishes in your thali as standard.

Traditional Indian Thali in the Jewellery Quarter

Traditional Indian Thali in the Jewellery Quarter

We recently relaunched our popular Bottomless Thali Lunchtime offer. Diners are welcome to our gorgeous Birmingham restaurant to eat delicious thali dishes every Sunday from 1 pm – 4 pm. For one of the best South Asian restaurants offering thali, head to the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham’s City Centre and enjoy a whole range of food in one meal.

Avoid disappointment: Book your table at Itihaas now.

The Ultimate Curry Guide To Homemade Anniversary Meals

We understand. Your anniversary is a time to spend quality time with a person you love. You want your meal to be absolutely perfect, so you can reminisce, relax together and enjoy a conversation without having to worry about a thing. Sometimes cooking at home is easier.

Homemade Curry: The Best of Anniversary Meal Ideas

Some would suggest that French or Italian cooking is the most romantic, but what is more sensual (and delicious) than a spiced, aromatic curry, full of texture and flavour? And anyone who’s been to Itihaas knows good Indian food is both luxurious and impressive.

Romantic Indian Dinners For Two


If you are cooking a romantic dinner at home, your loved one will appreciate effort, variety and style. In Indian food culture, there are so many textures and flavours to choose from that whatever you prepare is sure to impress, so long as you keep in mind the person you’re cooking for. How hot do they enjoy their food? Do they have any intolerances or allergies? Will they appreciate the main or the dessert the most?

Our chefs love preparing rich, complex dishes for our guests, as food is a language of love for many of us. Indian food famously takes time and forward planning to prepare, so your partner will enjoy the effort you have put into gathering fresh ingredients, preparing a perfectly balanced masala and cooking each dish to perfection. Make them feel special with the right dishes, incense, candles, flowers and a glass of their favourite drink.

The Menu


So how do you plan a menu for a romantic dinner with Indian food?

A starter can set the tone for the evening, so choose something you know your partner enjoys, and that you can both be at ease with. Fingerfood, for example, is a good choice for a romantic meal idea.

Pakora and Bhaji are always fantastic Indian starters for anniversary dinners, as they can be stuffed with any filling. Pair them with some mango chutney, tamarind sauce or mint-coriander to balance the flavours.

Main Course
We asked our chefs what they would cook for a romantic dinner. Here’s what they said:

Biryani: layer marinated chicken at the bottom of a pot, under par-cooked rice, saffron milk herbs and ghee, and then

Methi Murgh: finely chopped fresh fenugreek and green chillies cooked with tender chicken in a flavoursome gravy.

Shopping List – Get your Biryani Ingredients Ready

To really make the flavours zing, use fresh ingredients where possible and cook for a long time on a low heat. Infusing the meat with spices by marinating it is an important part of the process that must not be rushed, or your dish will be bland and unappealing. If you are organised, marinate the meat overnight to get the best flavour.

You can substitute chicken for other meat if you prefer, such as lamb. For seafood lovers, choose king prawns, which are easily marinated in a few hours. Even tofu can be marinated to give it a fuller, more exciting taste.

For the Marinade

  • Plain yoghurt
  • Garlic ginger paste (or fresh garlic and ginger)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Red chili or powder
  • ½ kg Chicken (or protein of your choice)

For the Biryani

  • Ghee
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 2 slices Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cloves
  • Anise
  • Jeera
  • 200g Basmati Rice
  • 1 Onion
  • 400ml Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian/seafood versions)
  • Fresh mint
  • Milk infused with 1 pinch saffron (optional)

The Method

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, it’s time to cook.

  1. Start by marinating the chicken with yoghurt and spices.
  2. Slit the chicken pieces and place in a large bowl


  • 3 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 1/4 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tablespoon garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix everything well and coat the chicken pieces in the mixture
  2. Cover and set aside for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. While the chicken marinates, rinse and soak the rice for 30 minutes.

Cooking the chicken

  1. Heat ghee in a large pan and add 1 bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, anise, jeera and other spices in your preferred quantities.
  2. Add onions and fry on a medium heat.
  3. Add marinated chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until the outside of the chicken is all cooked
  4. Turn down the heat and then cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and excess moisture is gone


  • ¼ cup yoghurt
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 slit green chili
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  1.  Mix well and spread everything into a single layer
  2. Drain the rice and layer it on top of the chicken.
  3. Gently add chicken stock, a handful of chopped mint and 1 tbsp saffron-infused milk. Do Not Mix.
  4. Cover and cook on medium heat until the rice is cooked through, adding water as needed.
  5. Garnish with mint and serve with love.

The Outcome
You want your partner to feel special when you serve this meal. While your biryani is cooking, make some small changes to create the right mood for a romantic evening.

  1. Cover the table with a beautiful tablecloth to show that this is a special meal.
  2. Lay out your best matching glasses and plates.
  3. Light a candle or lamp to enhance the mood.
  4. Place a vase or bowl with flowers on the table.
  5. Keep your anniversary gift somewhere near the table so you can give it to your partner at the perfect moment, without getting up.

Not got the time? Go out for dinner instead!

Not everyone has time to cook a homemade anniversary dinner, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for romance. Let us handle the cooking and treat your partner to an evening in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter.

As a fine dining Indian Restaurant, Itihaas is the perfect setting for a romantic night out together. We take pride in quality service and a high standard of North Indian cuisine, presented in the opulent decor of our restaurant floor. We set the scene for an intimate dinner for two with dark wood panelling, candlelit tables and glittering chandeliers, with Indian culture front and centre with carved stone elephants and a menu inspired by our long culinary history.

View the Itihaas menu here to see the full range of options.


Wedding Trends of 2018!

Here’s a brisk summary of a few wedding patterns that will highlight even the most conventional Indian wedding functions.

Brides pulled out all the stops on Blues, Navy, Royal Blue and Hues. With the changing shading palettes for brides, we saw shades of blue becoming showbiz royalty at the 2018 wedding style.

From powder blue lehengas to satiny indigo outfits to pestle blue shararas, this colour was extremely popular among the ladies and the grooms didn’t timid far from coordinating their outfits with their brides.

Dance floors and DJ’s at Indian weddings were amped up in 2018 with appealing marble or hardwood move floors, particularly the ones that matched the whole décor theme.


Deciding on your perfect Indian wedding menu

Indian weddings are renowned for being extravagant and glamourous…and no guest will ever leave hungry. Your wedding day should represent everything about your love for one another, which is why we ensure everything from table decor to your reception menu is perfectly matched to exceed expectations.

As expert wedding planners at Itihaas, we know how important the perfect menu at an Asian wedding is. Which is why we only provide the finest Indian cuisine prepared by our award-winning chefs. From appetisers to a complete menu, we even plan out a special drinks menu for your special day, as an opportunity for a celebratory cocktail should never be missed.









Whether you’re planning a mild or spicy set menu, let us cater to your guests. We pull out all the stops for your appetisers to receive excellent first impressions, whether you opt for tangy fish, flavoured with spices in a crisp batter or marinated chicken, salad, garlic mayonnaise and hot chilli in flatbread, we will give your guests an exceptional taste for what is to come.

A welcome drink should never be forgotten, it is a way of welcoming your guests in and thanking them for celebrating your special day. By the time the reception comes around, there will be only one thing your guests are waiting for, food…and of course the first dance.

Be as extravagant as you desire with our caterers, so whether you are after 3 courses or 10, Itihaas is here to add the perfect balance of flavours and spice to your big day.

We can keep dishes flowing throughout the night, with delicious options like our chicken jungle curry cooked on the bone, our tantalising tempura chicken and paneer in bamboo boats, or a more seafood-focused menu with dishes like our lobster paanch phoran and goan prawn curry. We certainly never forget a sweet tooth, which is why we can find you a cake beyond your wildest dreams, after all, it’s all about that wow factor for your very important guests. Not to mention the selection of delicious desserts, from mango colada to gajar halwa cheesecake, let us know what sweet treats you desire and we can cater to you.

If you’re looking for excellent Asian wedding caterers to put together your perfect menu, then get in touch with us here at Itihaas today. We make dreams come true and strive to exceed expectations.


National Curry Week at Itihaas

Now, if there is one thing we are good at, it is making an exceptional curry. So, as a fine dining Indian restaurant, there is no way we will be missing out on National Curry Week.

From 22nd – 28th October, join us at Itihaas to indulge in our wide selection of flavour-filled curries. If there is one way to celebrate National Curry Week, it is at Itihaas Indian Restaurant. Whether you’re looking for tender spring lamb in our delicious rogan josh or opt for something a little different with our seafood prawn and scallop mustard seed curry, we can deliver whatever your taste buds desire.

national curry week at itihaas

At Itihaas, we are proud to have won the ‘best restaurant in the UK Cobra Good Curry Guide’ meaning we know exactly how to mix our flavours and spices together to bring our customers the very best curry dishes. Sit down in our stunning restaurant where contemporary meets traditional, experience a journey through North India, Kenya and Mumbai along the way.

Experience the true taste of an Indian curry at Itihaas, not just for National Curry Week, but every week! Book your table today.


Which side dish should you use for your curry?

You probably won’t be shocked to hear that at Itihaas Indian restaurant, we are huge fans of a flavour-filled curry. The tricky decision when it comes to indulging in our exquisite cuisine is…which side should I choose?

Well, we are here to save the day. At Itihaas, we have put together the accompaniments we think match perfectly with our delicious curry.



Whether you choose our chilli olive naan, garlic, buttered, truffle oil and poppy seed or opt for a bit of spicy naan, it is the perfect accompaniment for all of you curry lovers.

The soft, oven baked Indian flatbread works so well as a side, as it compliments the powerful spices of your freshly served Itihaas dish. Best of all, if you cannot decide, simply opt for our Roti Ki Tokri and be indulged.



We don’t hold back when it comes to rice, with a wide selection to suit all preferences and match all of our curry dishes.

From Sahdey Chawal to Mushroom & Truffle Oil Pilau, or treat yourself to our selection of flavour filled Biryani dishes for a unique blend of basmati rice to pair perfectly with your curry.



A well known favourite side dish to match with curry. A filling side dish made up from lentils is sure to compliment the many different curry dishes we have to offer.

These are our top 3 side dish choices, but we have many more to offer, book your table today to discover how Itihaas can spice up your night.

Join us at Itihaas and allow us to take you through an age of flavours. We have a range of exquisite curries and many different delicious side dishes to satisfy your tastebuds and provide you with an evening of fine dining.


Top Tourist Spots in India

As we are a Indian restaurant, it is safe to say we know a thing about India itself, and a lot about the culinary experiences. With our delicious cuisine inspired by the country, we have put together our top 3 places to visit if you’re planning a trip anytime soon!

Discover the treasures not only Indian cuisine has to offer but the place itself:

  1. Agra

Home to the world famous Taj Mahal, means that Agra is one of the most visited cities in India. The city boasts iconic architectural structures and a vast amount of stunning history to discover.

If you’re travelling with a loved one, then it is a must to visit the monument of love in this city.

  1. Delhi

North India is represented through the spices and flavours of Itihaas, one of the must-visit places we love is Delhi. Filled with tourist spots like The Red Fort, India Gate, Lal Qila and many more, we can guarantee you will never be bored in Delhi.

  1. Goa

If you are looking for more of a golden sands and blue sea holiday then Goa is a must. This is the perfect place to relax while peacefully watching the waves of the Arabian sea.

If you’re not planning on a trip to India anytime soon though, why not let us bring the taste of India to you, At Itihaas we create authentic Indian cuisine, inspired to take you on a culinary journey through the North of India with a couple of stops through Kenya and vibrant Mumbai.

Experience the same outstanding cuisine…just right on your doorstep. Book your table today!

Another Stunning Venue

At Itihaas, we are extremely pleased that we are partnering up with the luxurious venue, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club.

This stunning wedding venue showcases the elegant countryside surroundings while offering 18 different event rooms to choose from when deciding where to spend your special day.

Our new partnership is staying in the Midlands with the Forest of Arden Hotel located in Itihaas’ hometown of Birmingham. A fantastic location for travelling family members and friends too, as it is just a short stop away from Birmingham Airport and the NEC.

A wedding shouldn’t have to be stressful which is why opting for this venue will bring peace and tranquility to your big day in the luxurious setting.

another stunning venueanother stunning venue






At Itihaas we pride ourselves in being wedding professionals who will help plan your perfect day to every last detail, and by providing our extraordinary Indian catering at this outstanding venue.

If you are getting married, get in touch with Itihaas weddings and let us open your mind to the unbelievable Asian weddings we can create.

Summer Desserts at Itihaas

From chocolate to cheesecake to traditional Gulab Jamun, we love to finish our delicious A’la Carte menu off the right way…with dessert. This summer at Itihaas, we have pulled out all the stops to satisfy your sweet tooth with our exciting new menu.

We have chosen the top puddings you have to try this summer – not forgetting our signature cocktails to compliment.


On a bright summer afternoon, indulge in our exclusive Mango Colada Slice. A mouth-watering base of coconut and pistachio, complimented by creamy pineapple mouse finished with coconut flakes and garnished with an unbelievably tasty mixed berry compote mango and pineapple glaze. You may not be on a beach with a Pina Colada in hand, but this dessert is filled with plenty exotic flavours.

Recommended cocktail: Mango Margarita


Sweet or spiced, this summer? We have had a super sweet option, now we have the dessert to keep all of the spice lovers happy. You won’t be able to stop after just one slice of our unreal Gajar Halwa Cheesecake. A soft carrot cake base with walnuts, topped with spiced cheesecake and home made Gajrela.

Recommended cocktail: Spiced Passionate Mule

If you are a lover of dessert and can’t resist a slice of cheesecake, then Itihaas Restaurant is where you need to be this summer, indulge in our sweet treats and book your table today!

Fact VS Myth

At Itihaas, we have been hearing of a few curry myths lately…so we thought we would clear these up with a facts VS myth blog…have a read, you may even learn something new.


  1. “There are over 9,000 restaurants in the UK serving curries”

Itihaas’ fine dining restaurant being one…delivering you extraordinary flavours and spices.

  1. ‘Itihaas has won numerous accolades for its food, service and decor. Itihaas is the recipient of, The 2007 Cobra Good Curry Awards for the Best UK Restaurant and The British Curry Awards 2012 for Best Restaurant in the Midlands.’

A fact we’re proud of!  Why not head over to our Indian restaurant and discover our award-winning dishes for yourself?

  1. ‘The UK’s favourite curry is a Korma’

A study from JustEat confirms that Korma is right up at the top of the list for Britain’s favourite curry.


Myths –

  1. “Indian food is all hot and spicy”

We can confirm this is simply just a myth and you can discover deliciously mild Indian dishes at Itihaas.

  1.  ‘Indian food isn’t vegan friendly’

Indian cooking caters for everybody, whether you are a meat eater, vegetarian or even a vegan there are many different spices, sauces and vegetable dishes that cater to everybody’s needs.

  1. ‘Having a spicy curry will bring on labour

By all means you are welcome to visit Itihaas restaurant and try this…however we do have to inform you this is simply a myth. There is not enough strong scientific evidence for us to to confirm whether or not a Vindaloo will get the labour process going.

Now we have confirmed the truth of the curry myths, it is time to head down to Itihaas Indian Restaurant and indulge in our exquisite dishes and fine dining experience.

18 Fleet Street Birmingham, B3 1JL – TELEPHONE: 0121 212 3383 – OPEN: Sun – Fri 1:00 pm – 10:30 pm – Sat 4:00 pm- 10:30 pm


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