Search form

Last updated: 1 min 58 sec ago

You are here

Food & Health

The Spice Village: A whole history of flavors

Karahi chicken
Indian and Pakistani cuisine is known for stirring up all five senses; food from that part of the world is synonymous with spice, color, flavor, and texture!
Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, red chili, turmeric, coriander powder and ginger played a central role in the cuisine and history of the Indian subcontinent. A great deal of history is connected with the spice trade, in which spices were brought from India and further east to be traded in Europe and western Asia. These spices eventually influenced cuisines in northeast Africa, Europe and the eastern world.
Owing to its fiery but tantalizing flavors, Indian-Pakistani cuisine is a popular option in Saudi Arabia among both nationals and expats. If you are looking for some of the best Indian-Pakistani food in the Kingdom, then The Spice Village (formerly known as La Sani) is the place that you should definitely try.
With branches in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar, The Spice Village is touted as one of the oldest restaurant chains in the Kingdom. Making use of a day off, we decided to try the lunchtime buffet at the Al-Khobar branch and, needless to say, we were not disappointed!
The buffet is priced at SR55 per person and includes a wide variety of Indian, Indo-Chinese, and Pakistani dishes. We started with salads and appetizers: a crisp apple and lettuce salad topped with mayonnaise dressing (Russian salad), a cucumber salad, and a classic garden salad. An essential in any Indian-Pakistani restaurant, the crunchy poppadums were used to scoop up a cooling yogurt dip (raita) and a sweet chutney.
Warm, oven-fresh naan breads — with varieties including butter, garlic and nigella seed — are the ultimate comfort food served with classic curries. Customary in Pakistani cuisine, chicken and meat curries are made and served in terracotta bowls or metal bowls that lend a rich smoky flavor to the curry. We tried the chicken karahi which was served with generous amounts of ginger slices and coriander leaves, lending a crisp fresh taste to the curry. The mutton korma was cooked in traditional style with a thick rich gravy.
Vegetarian options included the heartening, classic lentil curry (daal tarka) and a thick, creamy spinach curry cooked with cottage cheese. The barbecue items are a specialty at The Spice Village and with good reason! The chicken boti and seekh kebab, marinated with mild spices and grilled to perfection, are popular customers’ choices.
No discussion of Indian-Pakistani food is complete without a mention of the quintessential biryani. The Spice Village’s mutton biryani was done perfectly with the right spices, producing a fragrant aroma and mildness.
As a finale to the scrumptious spread, we opted for the king of all Indian desserts — the shahi tukda. Deep-fried slices of bread, immersed in a condensed-milk mixture and topped off with nuts and raisins. It does not get better than that!
[email protected]

MORE FROM Food & Health