Health

Why Indian street food could be good for your health

If, like us, you love a good curry then you’ll be delighted to know that eating Indian food can have lots of health benefits. Not only do Indian spices add flavour and a bit of a kick, they often have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties too.

We headed down to Dhoom Streatery and Bar – a brand new Indian tapas restaurant and cocktail bar in Dunfermline – to find out more and for a sneak preview before the premises officially opens to the public tomorrow (Wednesday, 17 October).

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Novelty swing seats

We were thrilled to find the owner and head chef is none other than Dhaneswhar Prasad, who also runs Handi in Glenrothes and was behind the launch of seven of Kushi’s well-known Asian restaurants.

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Dhaneswhar Prasad

Prasad has clocked up nearly 30 years in the industry and is well-known for his culinary genius – combining both traditional Indian cooking with fresh new twists and concepts.

As huge fans of Handi, we couldn’t wait to sample Prasad’s new offerings and chat to him about the benefits of incorporating Indian food into our diets.

Dhoom’s Taster Menu features the likes of Hippi Corn Rolls, Crispy Cassava Tikki, Lamb from Southern Ghats, Paneer Kurkure, Mango Fish Curry, Khata-Meetha Aubergine, and Rajasthani Goat Meat – all of which are infused with authentic Indian herbs and spices, such as turmeric, basil, ginger, coriander and star anise.

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Basil, Prasad tells us, is grown all over India and is revered as a medicinal, religious and spiritual herb with many health benefits. Holy basil, for example, which is a particular type of basil, makes a satisfying tea which relieves cold symptoms.

Meanwhile, turmeric is said to help to relieve pain thanks to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and ginger can help to relieve nausea and boost the immune system to ward off colds and flu.

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Selection of tapas including Hyderabadi Lamb, Chicken Makhani Macaroni, Air India Chicken Wings, Bhojpuri Daal Chawal and Hippi Corn Roll

Other popular Indian spices regularly used in cooking include cumin seeds, which can boost the immune system, help to relieve pain and nausea, stomach aches and cramps; cardamom, whose healing properties are similar to those of ginger, and black pepper, which is rumoured to cure the likes of constipation, earache and even gangrene.

Dhoom, which has a late license to open until 1am at weekends, has also become the first cocktail bar in the UK to incorporate Indian herbs into its cocktails.

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A Russian Goa cocktail topped with green chillies and given a dramatic effect with dry ice

Prasad’s street food-style tapas are like a culinary journey through India, with inspiration taken from every state. In fact, Prasad, who is originally from Delhi, travelled the length and breadth of India, from Kerala to Mumbai to Amritsar, in the name of research before embarking on his latest project.

His Dunfermline customers can even enjoy food delivered, with Dhoom introducing Scotland’s first Indian Railway Canteen Taster Thali containing a choice of starters, mains, dips, breads and desserts in a reusable and recyclable box.

“We are very excited to be opening Dhoom after weeks of hard work creating the new look, which will certainly create a bit of a buzz in the town centre,” says Prasad, whose decor incorporates swing seats, monkeys, Bollywood, and tuk tuks.

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Tuk tuk-style seating

“This eatery and cocktail bar is a completely new concept for me – and for Fife. But I have always striven to give customers what they are looking for – superb, authentic Indian food to enjoy together.

“Dhoom represents a completely new eating and drinking experience in the town. If you use social media, we encourage you to use our hashtag #letsmachaodhoom which picks up on the spirit of celebration. It’s what this place is all about.

“Street food of all types is a massive concept at the moment and Indian tapas of the quality and authenticity we are presenting at Dhoom creates a very sociable eating experience – enhanced by some innovative spicy cocktails.

“We’re putting Dunfermline on the culinary map.”

Dhoom is launching with a 10-course taster menu, with a full a la carte menu launching soon. Find it at 19-21 New Row, Dunfermline or visit the website at dhoom.co.uk

For more on the health benefits of Indian food, as well as Ayurveda, pick up a copy of the October/November issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine.

Indian street food elsewhere in Scotland 

Usha’s Indian Street Food – Glasgow

Babu Bombay Street Kitchen – Glasgow & events Scotland-wide

Tuk Tuk – Edinburgh & Glasgow & events Scotland-wide

The Jingle Bus – festivals Scotland-wide

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