Dishes of India and their spices

There has been a lot of interest in Indian cuisine in the last few years and we know that dishes from India are known for their bold, flavourful spices. From the warm and earthy aroma of cumin to the bright and pungent notes of coriander, Indian spices add depth and complexity to every dish. But did you know that these spices also offer a wide range of health benefits? In this article on Indian spices, we will explore their history, health benefits, and culinary uses.

Introduction to Indian spices and their history

India is known as the land of spices, and for good reason. The country has a long and rich history of spice trading, dating back to ancient times. Spices were not only used for culinary purposes but also their medicinal properties. The spice trade was so lucrative that it attracted traders from all over the world, including the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs.

Indian spices are prized for their unique flavours and aromas, which are derived from their essential oils. These oils contain compounds that may have health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Some of the most popular Indian spices include turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon.

The health benefits of Indian spices

Indian spices have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. For example, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to aid digestion and reduce inflammation.

Cumin is another spice that has been used for its health benefits. It is rich in iron, which is important for healthy blood cells and contains antioxidants.

Coriander is a staple in Indian cuisine and is known for its digestive properties. It can help reduce inflammation in the gut and may even help prevent food poisoning.

Cardamom is a popular spice that is used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Another spice used to reduce inflammation.

Cinnamon is another spice that is known for its health benefits. It can help regulate blood sugar levels and may also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Types of Indian spices and their uses in cooking

Indian spices come in many forms, including whole, ground, and paste. Whole spices are often toasted in a dry pan to bring out their flavours before being added to a dish. Ground spices are used to add flavour and colour to dishes, while pastes are used as a base for curries and other sauces.

Indian spices are used in a wide range of dishes, from mild and creamy kormas to fiery vindaloos. They are often combined with other ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, and tomato, to create complex and flavourful dishes.

The most popular Indian spices: turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon

Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is known for its distinctive flavour and colour. It is often used in curries and rice dishes and can also be used to flavour soups and stews.

Cumin is warm and earthy and is often used in spice blends such as garam masala and curry powder. It is also used to flavour rice dishes and lentil soups.

Coriander has a fresh, citrusy flavour that is often used to balance out spicy dishes. It is perfect in chutneys and pickles.

Cardamom is sweet and floral and is often used in desserts and sweet dishes. It is also used added to coffee and tea.

Cinnamon has a warm, sweet flavour that is often used in sweet dishes such as rice pudding and chai tea. It can also be used in savoury dishes such as biryani and pilaf.

How to incorporate Indian spices into your diet

Incorporating Indian spices into your diet is easy and delicious. Start by experimenting with different spice blends and adding them to your favourite dishes. You can also try making your own spice blends at home.

Another way to incorporate Indian spices into your diet is to try traditional Indian dishes. From butter chicken to biryani, there are countless dishes that showcase the rich flavours of Indian spices. Getting to know your spices and trying different dishes is an excellent start to using them in your own recipes.

Indian spice blends and their uses

Indian spice blends are a key component of Indian cuisine. They are often made up of a combination of spices, including cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger. Some popular spice blends include garam masala, curry powder, and chaat masala.

Garam masala is a blend of spices that is often used in savoury dishes. It typically contains cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper.

Curry powder is a blend of spices that is often used to flavour curries. It typically contains cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chilli powder.

Chaat masala is a tangy spice blend that is often used to season street food. It typically contains cumin, coriander, mango powder, and black salt.

Traditional Indian dishes and their spice profiles

Indian cuisine is known for its complex and diverse flavours. From the spicy heat of vindaloo to the sweet and creamy taste of butter chicken, each dish has its own unique spice profile.

For example, butter chicken is made with a blend of spices that includes cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom. Vindaloo, on the other hand, is made with a blend of spices that includes cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and chilli powder.

Where to buy authentic Indian spices

Authentic Indian spices can be found in speciality stores and online. Look for brands that specialise in Indian spices and check the labels to ensure that the spices are pure and free from additives.

Indian spice substitutes

If you can’t find a particular Indian spice, there are several substitutes that you can use. For example, if a recipe calls for garam masala and you don’t have it, you can use curry powder instead. If a recipe calls for cardamom and you don’t have it, you can use cinnamon instead.

The power of Indian spices for your health and cooking

In conclusion, Indian spices offer a wide range of health benefits and can add depth and complexity to any dish. Whether you are a seasoned chef, or a beginner cook, incorporating Indian spices into your cooking can help elevate your dishes to the next level. So why not experiment with some of the spices and blends mentioned in this article and discover the wonders of Indian cuisine for yourself?

Try adding some Indian spices to your next dish and see how they can take your cooking to the next level or, next time you are dining out, try a different dish with new spices and seasonings.


Indian food at its best at Seaford restaurant

Explore Indian food at it the best when dining with us. Choose from traditional dishes to innovative cuisine which is unique to the Bengal Palace in Seaford.

If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like the flavours and aromas of a well-prepared meal. But have you ever thought about exploring beyond the traditional dishes you already know and love? At the Bengal Palace Restaurant, you have the chance to do just that. We offer innovative Indian cuisine from traditional family recipes.

Twice the choice with two menus

Our chefs offer not one, but two menus for diners to choose from. The first is the traditional Indian food menu, which features classic dishes like chicken tikka masala, lamb rogan josh, and vegetable biryani. These dishes are all prepared with the utmost care and attention, using authentic ingredients and cooking techniques that have been passed down through generations.

Adventure in Taste Indian menu

But for those who are feeling a bit more adventurous, there’s also the “Adventure in Taste” menu. This menu is designed to take diners on a journey of discovery, introducing them to new and exciting flavours and combinations that they may not have tried before. From Murgh Muntaj – Thin slices of rolled chicken marinated and stuffed with herbs, spices and seeds and cooked in the magic of the tandoor oven to Salmon Moilee – A mild Keralan curry using generous chunks of carefully selected salmon, cooked with fresh crab meat and garlic sauce. There’s something for everyone on this menu.

Family run restaurant with passionate staff

One of the best things about this restaurant is that it’s family-run, which means that the staff are passionate about what they do and are always willing to offer recommendations and advice. Whether you’re a seasoned Indian food fan or a first-time diner, you’ll feel right at home here.

So why not take a trip to Seaford, East Sussex and experience the best of both worlds at this innovative Indian restaurant? With two menus to choose from and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends.



Supporting the local community during lockdown

At the Bengal Palace Restaurant, we are proud to be part of the Seaford and Seahaven communities. We have a strong commitment to the locality and as a response to the current crisis, we had to take the decision to move over to takeaways. After 32 years running our our Seaford restaurant, this was a very difficult decision.

However, in doing so, we also want to show our appreciation to all the NHS key workers for what they have been doing so amazingly. We have discounted our takeaways by 20% to those frontline workers as our thank you.

We also worked with Flex from Brighton to deliver 50 meals to the ICU unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital to bring them some tasty Indian dishes at the end of a shift.

We continue to work closely with local businesses and charities and believe it is important to support them and our community.

Looking after our customers is our number one priority so we offer all our dishes for takeaway even those on our exclusive Adventure in Taste menu. Both menus are available here.

In Seaford we offer free deliveries for orders over £20 for takeaways and only a nominal charge to deliver to Newhaven, Denton and Alfriston. We wouldn’t want our customers to miss out on their favourite Indian dishes during this time.

To place your orders, please ring us after 5pm any day and you can pay by card and collect. There is a discount of 10% on takeaways over £15 for collection – so it’s worth popping by and we are adhering to all the health and safety measures required by the government.



Bengal Palace sponsoring Best Customer Service at this years Seahaven Business Awards

As a family-owned restaurant, which opened in 1987, we know that the combination of first-class customer service and excellent quality innovative Indian cuisine has kept us at the top of our game for nearly 40 years. With this in mind, we have decided to sponsor the Best Customer Service Trophy at the Seahaven Business Awards this year.

Many local businesses use our restaurant and we know we are fortunate to have some great competition in the town which means we continue to improve and put our customers first.

This award is open to all types of businesses and will be judged, like the six other awards, by local MPs, Maria Caulfield and Lloyd Russell-Moyle, The Mayor of Newhaven and the Presidents of Newhaven, Seaford and Peacehaven Chambers of Commerce. As a family, we keep striving for excellence and felt that sponsoring this award is a reflection of our team spirit and customer service.

The annual Seahaven Business Awards are organised by the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Peacehaven and Seaford Chambers of Commerce.

There are seven Trophy categories: Business of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Best Customer Service, Best Environmental Business, Best New Business, Best Eatery and this year, the President’s Award is for the Best Health, Wellbeing and Beauty Business. Businesses in the BN9, BN25 and BN10 postcodes are eligible to enter as well as those that trade within the Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven area.

Closing date is Friday, 29th March 2019. Winners will be announced at a special Gala Dinner in Peacehaven, on Friday, 10 May 2019.

Restaurant Manager, Saif Hussain said, ‘We are extremely fortunate and thank our customers for their support in 2017 and 2018 when we won Best Eatery and came runner-up in the Best Customer Service category. This year we are enthusiastically behind the Best Customer Service Award and wish everyone the very best of luck with their entries.’

The Gala Awards Dinner, at the Jerrom Hall, in Peacehaven will be attended by over 100 dignitaries. Winners will not be revealed until the evening which is a very special occasion and in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, local MPs, Presidents of the local chambers, local Mayors and the Vietnamese Ambassador.

You can enter the 2019 awards here



This year is the 20th Anniversary of National Curry Week, and what better excuse do you need to enjoy a delicious curry?

What is National Curry Week?

It’s a week-long celebration of everything related to curry. Everyone loves a curry whether it is the gentle tikka masalas and kormas or the stronger madras and vindaloos that you enjoy.

National Curry week first started back in 1998 by Peter Grove, who decided to celebrate Indian cuisine and raise awareness of the wonderful dishes that are served up by chefs from the Indian continent while raising money for charity.

Peter was a food journalist with a terrific love of curry and ethnic food; he was a sports journalist for ITV’s World of Sport, the Daily Express and the Daily Mail.

When is National Curry Week?

This year it starts on 22nd October and runs until 28th October.

What are England’s most popular curries?

The UK’s three most popular curries are said to be Chicken Tikka Masala, Korma and Jalfrezi with pilau the number one rice and garlic, the most popular naan.

Indian food was first introduced to England in 1809 during the Victorian Era and the period of British rule in the Indian subcontinent.

According to the first curry shop was opened in London over 200 years ago, and Indian Food is now among the most popular cuisines in the UK.

It is alleged that Chicken Tikka Masala was invented in Glasgow in 1971.

What is Balti? Balti is the actual term for the metal bowl or bucket your Balti dish is served in.

The largest naan ever made, according to the Guinness Book of Records, was made in Canada in 2016 and weighed a colossal 32 kg. It was 4.96 metres long and 1.26 m wide!

Did you know that London has more Indian restaurants than Mumbai or Delhi?

Did you know that the Portuguese introduced chilli peppers (native to Mexico) and tomatoes to India?

Each region of India has many traditional dishes and distinct flavours for example, in Kerala, in the south, you are likely to be served sadya which are dishes presented on banana leaves and seafood curries, while in the north-west, around Rajasthan, the cuisine is mainly vegetarian.

If you want to try some very different curries, the take a look at our menus. You can find the finest fish curries, the unique Achari curries from the Punjab as well as a plethora of dishes from mild to very hot.



Michelin chef, Chris Galvin, presents top prizes to Bengal Palace staff

Congratulations to Saif and Reea Hussain who have just been awarded prizes for Hospitality in the Welcome Skills national training awards. The prizes were presented by world-renowned chef Chris Galvin. Saif was presented with Manager of the Year Award (Level 3) for the student showing the highest level of commitment to their studies and excellence in Leadership, Supervision and Management. Reea was awarded Food & Beverage Student of the Year for showing the highest commitment to their studies and excellence in service standards.

Guests of Honour, at the Welcome Skills Awards Ceremony, were Lord Bilimoria, Chairman of Cobra Beer, one of the most highly awarded beers in the world and Chris Galvin, acclaimed chef and owner of a large portfolio of restaurants. Chris’s career has spanned 30 years working in some of the finest restaurants and hotels on both sides of the Atlantic. The two most recent restaurants are Galvin Dubai and La Chapelle which are part of the portfolio Galvin at Windows, Galvin HOP, Galvin Demoiselle (Harrods), The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Galvin at the Athenaeum, Galvin at Centurion and Galvin Green Man pub and restaurant.



This month is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, and as Muslims, we undertake a fast for 30 days which ends in mid-June.

Muslims around the world will, together, adhere to the 30-day period of fasting and abstinence.

The dates of Ramadan change each year with the coming of the new moon. Because of this, come countries observe the fast on different days, but in the UK, Ramadan 2018 began on 15 May and finished on 14 June.

Most people are aware of the fast, which means that practising Muslims are not allowed to eat between sunrise and sunset. This teaches ‘self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity’. It is common to have a meal just before dawn and another directly after sunset.

Young children, the sick, people with mental health illnesses and the elderly as well as those who are breastfeeding or pregnant, do not strictly have to fast. Fasting can affect people in different ways such as becoming irritable or tired.

The NHS publish tips for fasting on their website as some people have very responsible jobs and need to maintain a balanced diet.

So why is the month so significant?

Ramadan marks the month when Allah revealed the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam prescribed for all mature and healthy Muslims. It is seen as an act of worship, a way to become closer to Allah and more compassionate to those in need.

On the 27th day of Ramadan, Muslims mark the ‘Night of Power’ – Lailat al Qadr; the holiest night when many Muslims will spend the night praying, studying and reciting passages from the Koran.

To mark the end of fasting, a celebration called Eid ul-Fitr festival is held, starting with morning prayers and then a day of feasting with friends and family. As well as fasting, Muslims are asked to give away 2.5% of their wealth during the 30-day festival.

Many Muslims will celebrate Eid by wearing their best clothes and eating their first daylight meal in a month. They exchange gifts and decorate their homes, thanking Allah for giving them strength and self-control.



The 15th Annual Seahaven Business Awards was another great evening for us at the Bengal Palace. Once again we had been overwhelmed with fantastic support for the Best Eatery and the Best Customer Service with over 250 testimonials from customers from Seaford and beyond.

We were very proud to take two prizes – both seconds – in such prestigious award categories of which the Best Customer Service was across all businesses not just Restaurants, pubs and eating establishments.

Our customers had given us amazing feedback ‘Wonderful business, great service, very friendly staff without being too overbearing. Very knowledgeable, good family establishment, always remember my favourite dish, customer service is second to none and best customer service by far in any restaurant/business in the area.’

The compliments about our food were ‘It is the best food in the East Sussex area. Cooked to perfection. Always new and interesting items on the menu plus good old favourites. Delicious food – very high quality. Consistently excellent food. I would recommend to anyone to come and eat here.’

This year Tanim and Afsa represented us, and they were joined by dozens of local businesses for the reception whose guests including the Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex, The Vietnamese Ambassador, MPs from Lewes and Brighton, the Mayors from Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven and Chambers of Commerce Presidents from all three towns.

We were delighted to receive our certificates, and they are proudly displayed in the restaurant for all to see.

Tanim and Afsa pictured with the Best Customer Service Winners and the Best Eatery Winners.



Dine in style at the Bengal Palace Restaurant, Seaford on Wednesday 14 February 2018.

We have an exciting set menu for couples who would like to celebrate this special evening enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company over a romantic dinner for two. 

Our mixed platter starter of Malia Murgh Tikka, Onion Bhaji and chicken wings in a special sauce will delight everyone. This is followed by two speciality dishes our Karahi Murgh and Lamb Dupiaza with Niramish Bahaji, pilau rice and nan bread.

This special menu is available at £34.95 per couple but you must reserve your places early.

We look forward to seeing you!



We just wanted to round up the year by thanking our valued customers for a super 2017. The year has been full of achievements for our restaurant and we want to thank all our customers for their support.

We celebrated our 30th Anniversary in April 2017

Introduced to the delights and intricacies of creating traditional Bengali cuisine by his father and uncle, Eleas Hussain said ‘serving up exquisite culinary delights is one of life’s pleasures’. Read the full blog post about how the family moved to Seaford in 1987 here. The anniversary was marked with a fabulous celebratory Indian dinner at the restaurant with invited guests and VIPs from across Sussex. 

Bengal Palace wins Best Eatery in the Seahaven Business Awards 

In May 2017, we were surprised and delighted to be awarded The Best Eatery in the 14th Annual Seahaven Business Awards at a glittering ceremony which was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, local MPs, Mayors and Mayoresses and VIPs from Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven. Our thanks to our supportive diners and, of course, our family and staff who work very hard throughout the year to produce innovative Indian cuisine and exceptional customer service.

Trip Advisor Award for Excellence 2017

In the summer of 2017, we were awarded Trip Advisor’s Award for Excellence for our outstanding service and high-quality cuisine. Our Trip Advisor reviews increased through the year and it is fabulous to know that diners from far and wide take the time to review our service and cuisine. 

The year has been a brilliant one with the team achieving a Score on the Door of 5, a third place in the Curry Awards across the Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford District and new dishes launched with a sparkling new menu in November. We thank our families and staff for the work they have put on over the year and we look forward to 2018 to see what the new year has in store for us.

In the meantime …

We wish all our customers, friends, family, colleagues and people in the community, a very happy, healthy and successful 2018.