Angeethi Indian Kitchen and Lounge, lives up to its namesake. The restaurant was named after the traditional small clay oven widely used across India for centuries. As the name “Angeethi” suggests, restaurant owners Priya and Ravi Mishra value tradition and authenticity when it comes to Indian cuisine and they deliver this authentic experience to all who dine in their Gateshead restaurant.
Neither Priya or Ravi had previous restaurant experience before opening Angeethi in November 2012. They were however both dissatisfied with the westernised offerings available in UK Indian restaurants. Their passion and determination to enjoy more authentic Indian cooking led them to open a restaurant and offer something “Authentically Different, Unmistakably Indian” for their guests.
A journey into the world of Indian spices
On arriving at Angeethi, Priya welcomed us by decorating our foreheads with a Tilak. I started to feel like I was not only going to taste India but I was being transported there for a few hours too.
Once seated we were served refreshing mango lassi, poppadoms and a selection of dips whilst Priya explained what our Angeethi spice journey would involve. We were told to expect an Indian street food experience and a lesson in spices before finishing with a main course Thali. What a marvellous way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Gateshead!
We were then provided with an authentic Indian street food experience and queued at the stall to sample a variety of dishes. They each tasted as good as they looked! Admittedly I’m not usually very adventurous with Indian cuisine, yes, I like a chicken korma! However, this experience was really opening my mind as well as my taste buds.
I asked Priya whether Angeethi normally offers these experiences in the restaurant; it is undoubtedly a great idea. I was thrilled to hear that they have had school children visit and learn about nutritionally balanced, authentic Indian cuisine. Both Priya and Ravi’s passion to offer authentic, high quality and healthier Indian cuisine is clear and both admirable and inspiring.
An Angeethi education
Our spice education took place at the dinner table, with the lesson led by Priya. Spices were passed around the table for us each to handle and smell as Priya and Ravi shared their passion and knowledge. In addition to enhancing the flavour of food, spices offer a range of health benefits and include antioxidants which are good for your immune system, fighting inflammation and may even reduce the risk of chronic disease. Spices can also potentially assist with weight loss if spices are used to flavour food in place of salt and sugar. Flavoursome foods are also considered more filling than bland food, which can lead to smaller portions.
Priya affectionately reminisced about her childhood and how her mother would use a paste made from nutmeg to help her sister’s pimpled skin. Priya clearly learned a lot about spices from her mother, reinforcing again the values of tradition, authenticity and this genuine passion to educate others about the power of spice and real Indian cuisine. This is further demonstrated by Priya on Angeethi’s website;
My Indian upbringing has shaped and defined my entire outlook towards Indian food. I do not believe that Indian food is just a ‘curry’ – to be enjoyed on a Friday night after a few pints. To me, it is an amalgamation of the tastes and flavours of the diverse cuisines, cultures, traditions and rich heritage of India.
Angeethi boil all the spices to extract the goodness, so you can expect your meal to be good for you as well as tasting fantastic. If you prefer your Indian meal artificially coloured and swimming in grease, this is not the restaurant for you.
Read more about the health benefits of spices:
The main course
We were treated to this delightful Thali; admittedly, most of us could not finish it all, but we certainly indulged and thoroughly enjoyed experiencing a range of dishes.
The bottom line
Angeethi Indian Kitchen and Lounge is a much-welcomed addition to the British Indian restaurant scene; I certainly appreciate what Priya and Ravi are delivering and I’m sure I’ll return on my next visit to Newcastle. In the meantime I’m going to continue to learn more about spices and go stock up, so that I can integrate even more spice into my diet.
Disclaimer: I visited Angeethi last month following attending Traverse 14, a conference about travel blogging. Angeethi Indian Kitchen and Lounge partnered with Newcastle Gateshead to offer a limited number of Traverse 14 conference delegates this Indian experience. I have not been asked to write this review but I was absolutely delighted by my experience and I encourage you to visit and sample this authentic experience for yourself.