Indian Spice

September 11, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Now those of you who know me well, know that I like a really good curry and not only does it need to be a good curry but it needs to be a very spicy curry too, but that's just my personal preference.

Living in Paihia in the Bay of Islands, we are very lucky to have 'Greens', an authentic Indian and Thai Restaurant offering specific chefs dependent on the cuisine that you prefer. Now I must admit that we eat there quite a lot, you could say too often if there is such a thing but when we want to get out of the editing studio at the end of the day, after very little debate we usually end up at our favourite Indian restaurant.

So we were thrilled when we heard that the owners were expanding their empire and opening up 'Indian Spice' in Mangonui. Now it couldn't get much better than that, our favourite Indian in one of our favourite places. We were very honoured that the owner invited up us to their opening yesterday and we weren't disappointed with the location, the ambience and the food. The building dates back to 1861 and has been decorated with a modern and tasteful design and now seats up to 32 diners.

One of the rituals in Hinduism when opening a new business is praying to' Ganesh', immediately recognizable as the elephant-headed God, He is the God of wisdom and learning as well as the remover of obstacles and consequently the sign of auspiciousness. Now the family gathered round and offered up their prayers and the owner asked if I would be kind enough to break a coconut open on the steps at the entrance. Now I was a little non plussed at first but found out that this is a common ritual in Hinduism too...coconuts are broken before an activity of any magnitude is undertaken. The only thing was that it must be broken in one hit and I must admit to a little nervousness...what if i didn't achieve it? I gave it my all, on the count of three, and the coconut smashed covering the owner and myself in coconut milk!! The coconut was then peeled out and cut into small slices and shared out to the small gathering. The significance is symbolic of annihilating the ego and humbling oneself before God. The actual 'doer' is God and humans are merely instruments in his hands.

The restaurant was alive with lots of the owners family, well wishers and local diners who had come in to try this tasty fayre. Everyone was chatty and happy and the buzz was abound that the food was indeed excellent. The Kashmiri naan was one of the best I have ever tasted and I can tell you I have eaten quite a few.

So we wish the owners all the best in their new venture, if you are ever up that way make sure you pop in, we can assure you, you won't be disappointed.


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