Our Indian Diva Gala evening is fast approaching (25th March), for those of you that don’t already know this is a very rare occasion when Atul will be joined by three fantastic female Chefs to create an exclusive 4 course dinner. Money raised will go the Indian Charity Be! Fund.

Click here for more information and to reserve a table at the event.

The Chefs joining Atul in the kitchen will be Romy Gill, Monisha Bharadwaj and Manju Malhi, who has shared one of her special recipes with us for the Benares Blog.

Bombay in western India is now called Mumbai but this Indian restaurant perennial served predominantly in the UK can be made quite easily at home in place of jackets or chips.

Serves 4

4 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
1/4 tsp brown or black mustard seeds (rai)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
400g potatoes, peeled, boiled and cut into 4 pieces
1/4 tsp chilli powder, chilli flakes or 3-4 dried red chillies

Heat the pan on a medium setting and add the oil.
To check that the oil is hot enough, add a few mustard seeds. If they pop, the oil is ready. Then add the remainder of the mustard seeds.

Tip in the turmeric and salt. Mix well.

Fry the pungent mixture for about 30 seconds and then add the potatoes. Fry for about 4-5 minutes until the potatoes are smothered in seeds and appear to have crispy edges. They will look quite yellow in colour. Add the chilli powder, chilli flakes or chillies and mix well. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for a few minutes more if necessary.

Serve immediately with pitta breads and a crisp green salad.

Bar June 2013

4 Stylish Fashion Week Cocktails

London Fashion Week is almost here again which means the town will be full of glitz and glamour. Fashionistas all over London will be dressing to impress and outdo each other with the most radical and exciting outfits yet, but it isn’t just the fashion conscious that are fighting to compete. London’s hottest bars will be creating a plethora of stylish drinks inspired by this year’s fashion trends, of course Benares wasn’t going to let the season go by without a good go at it, and so the talented bar team have created 4 decadent cocktails inspired by each city participating in Fashion Week. Presenting…

New york
Vodka infused with strawberries, Visciolata cherry wine, passion fruit puree and Gomme syrup
New York
Gin infused with cardamom, star anise and black pepper
Campari, grapefruit, fresh lime, fresh ginger, home syrup and homemade bitters
Milan 1
Martell Vs, chocolate liqueur and chocolate infused with chilli
All of the above are available from 6th February – 5th March in the Benares bar or in the main restaurant. Which one do you fancy?
Make your reservation here.

Turkey Biriyani

Turkey being a big bird, it is almost impossible not to have leftovers after Christmas Day. Ever since I landed in England, I have been invited around to a friend’s house on Boxing day rather than Christmas Day – I almost always got invited to use my culinary skills to “Re-chauffe” the left over Turkey. I have used various ideas of turkey wraps, turkey coconut curry, turkey Tikka Masala, etc. But this recipe of Biriyani is a Star Recipe of mine. One needs to remember, that turkey is already pretty much over cooked, so the sauce and rice has to be almost cooked. The turkey is to be reheated and mixed with the rice and sauce, garnished and served at once!

1 Kg of cooked Turkey meat, diced, kept warm in a steamer

400 gm basmati rice, boiled or steamed to just done, kept warm

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 star anise

1” piece of cinnamon stick

1 tsp cumin seeds

4 medium size onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 green chilli minced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1⁄2 tsp black pepper powder, freshly crushed

1 tsp aromatic garam masala

4-6 medium size tomatoes, blended to a paste

200 ml coconut milk
salt to taste

2 tbsp coriander leaves, freshly chopped


Heat oil in a pan, add cloves, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. As spices crackle in heat, add sliced onion and add a pinch of salt, sauté until golden brown in colour. Stir-in ginger, garlic and chilli, sauté for 2 minutes or until cooked. Add turmeric, coriander, black pepper and garam masala then sauté for 1 minute and add tomatoes. While stirring, allow it to simmer and cook for further 2-3 minutes, then add coconut milk and simmer for further 2-3 minutes. Check for seasoning.

When it is ready to serve, stir the turkey into the sauce and heat for a minute, add rice and mix lightly with a rice fork. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with cucumber raita.

Romy Recipe

Recipe from Romy Gill

Indian Divas takes place on 24th November, for one evening only Atul will be joined by 3 fantastic female chefs (Romy Gill, Manju Malhi, and Monisha Bharadwaj)  to create a very special 4 course dinner to raise money for the truly brilliant charity Be! Fund. Tickets are still available so please buy now before it’s too late! Here’s the first of three recipes from our Indian Divas, we’re starting with Romy Gill, chef and owner of Romy’s Kitchen in Bristol.

Coconut & Potato Balls

To Make 8 Balls you need the following ingredients

1 medium Potato peeled and grated

6 tbsp desiccated coconut

4 tbsp peanuts

1tbsp gram flour (chick pea flour)

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 green chilli finely chopped

3 tsp fresh fresh coriander

1 tsp grated ginger

1tsp crushed cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander powder

salt to taste

Cooking oil for deep frying

Cooking Method

In a bowl grate the ginger, then grate the peeled potato, then add the other ingredients and mix well. Make into golf size balls. Make them all before deep-frying in the hot oil from all sides properly for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with a chutney loved by all…

veg mains low

3rd November marks the Hindu Festival: Diwali ‘Festival of Lights’. Celebrate this special occasion at Benares where you can enjoy the warmth of candle light and our tranquil pond of flowers. From 22nd October- 2nd November Benares will be offering an exclusive Diwali Tasting Menu available at £75 per person; this boasts some of Atul Kochhar’s finest vegetarian creations. Dishes such as his Tandoor Baked English Courgette, Spiced Vermicelli and Coconut Sauce are featured on this special menu. A Vegetarian À la Carte Menu is also available during this period; you can view both of these on our website.

A Diwali gift from Benares

The first 50 guests that book for the Diwali Tasting Menu will receive one of our special Diwali candles, please quote ‘Diwali Candle Offer’ when booking.

Don’t forget that Benares offers 4 very different Private Dining Rooms to suit all party sizes, book now to avoid disappointment.

Please note that Benares is closed on Sundays.


To all of our guests, my team here, and the Michelin guide 2014, I sincerely thank you all. The support, friendship and recognition we get from you helps us to go on to achieve, and retaining the Michelin star again this year is the icing on the cake. It’s been a great year at Benares – can you believe we celebrated our 10th birthday this year? Time has flown by, but I have loved every moment at Benares.

Thank you all so much, and I hope to welcome you back to Benares again soon.


Atul 2 2013

Two weeks ago we opened the floor to our Facebook followers, giving them the chance to ask Chef Atul any cooking question they liked and these came in thick and fast! Since there was such a great response we’ve selected two questions for Atul to answer.

Greg G Emmerson

Are there any dishes that include Octopus?

Chef Atul

Our new dish Samundri Khazana Do Pyaaza consists of King Prawn, Scallop, Squid with Tangy Onion and Tomato and it’s a favourite amongst our regulars. We can get such a great variety of seafood in the UK and the quality is fantastic – it makes my job very easy!

Vicky Vass

Where is the second best place to eat curry in London? We all know Benares is the top!

Chef Atul

Lahore in Whitechapel! The food here is exceptional, and I always get such a warm welcome. It’s where I send people who want a really authentic Indian meal.

As promised one of our followers has received the prize of Chef Atul’s wine – Congratulations to Vicky Vass!

For details of how to claim your prize please contact louise@cottrellandklar.co.uk

If you haven’t already then Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with all of our latest news, events and competitions.

back bar (2)

Benares has welcomed some of London’s best bars to join them this year as part of the Blend season, and September is no exception. We are very pleased to announce that on the 12th September Evans & Peel Detective Agency will bring their unique style, technique and cocktails to the Benares Bar.


Guests can enjoy their own personal masterclass with the Evans & Peel team, two of Evans & Peel’s delightful cocktails and one Benares Fashion Week cocktail for the price of £35 per person. It makes the perfect gift for those looking to learn how to perfect cocktail making in a relaxed environment.

Evans & Peel Beverage Inspector  

Marlowe Harris

Marlowe Harris is a Los Angels born barman based in London. His cocktails have made the pages of the Wall Street Journal, the Metro, the Evening Standard, Square Meal and countless blogs.

Oenological Manhattan  

A Sweet Manhattan made with the addition of oenological tannins. This Manhattan has all the flavour of the sweet vermouth, but turns into a Dry Manhattan in your mouth as the tannins go to work.

Ponge Nuage (Cloud Punch)

A twist on the classic Milk Punch. The Clarified Milk and Coconut Cream soften the drink and provide a unique mouth feel. This cocktail has all the intense flavour of coconut cream but with a texture that is soft, silky and incredibly quaffable.

Booking is essential. To reserve your place at Benares Blend this September click here.


As you may or may not know, once a month at Benares we invite one of London’s finest cocktail bars to host a week-long event in the Benares bar, to shake up their speciality drinks for a willing crowd.
On 17th July, quirky Mayfair newcomer Mr Fogg’s became the latest bar to join forces with the restaurant. Head bartender Francesco Medici from the Around the World in Eighty Days inspired bar shook up three of his most popular concoctions, including the Platinum Pocket Watch, consisting of Wyborowa Vodka, Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice, Cointreau and Briottet Maraschino Liqueur.

The Benares staff also took to the stage to share their very special recipe for the Benares Fashion Victim, mixing Diplomatico Reserva Rum, Domaine De Canton, Ginger Liqueur, Old Spice Syrup and Aphrodite Bitter.
The real crowd pleaser of the evening was Mr Fogg’s Bombay Punchet, a very impressive smoking cocktail consisting of Martell V.S. Cognac, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Fresh Lemon Juice and Amontillado Sherry.

Guests were also treated to a selection of Atul’s delicious canapés throughout the evening, including Seabass Kofta, Minted Paneer, Wheat Bubble with Chickpea as well as many other impressive bite-size combinations.

‘Outrageously good Atul Kochhar canapes @Benaresofficial.’ Mr Hyde
‘@Benaresofficial and @MrFoggLondon have struck gold with their liqueur infused cherries.’ Square Mile
The cocktails remained on the menu for a further week, allowing the public to sample these very special creations.

Benares Blend will continue next month with another popular London bar…


Last month, Benares welcomed Michelle of the Greedy Gourmet food blog into the restaurant kitchens to put some of Head Chef Sameer’s recipes through their paces.

The latest delicacy to get the Greedy Gourmet treatment is a traditional Punjabi vegetable samosa. Fancy creating one in your own kitchen? Then take a look at this step by step guide, from making your filling to folding your dough into perfect samosa-style triangles.

If you do give it a go, show us how you get on by tweeting your pics to @BenaresOfficial – we look forward to seeing your best efforts!