Monday 15 April 2013

Return to Sanmini's, Ramsbottom

Sanmini's, Ramsbottom
We adore Sanmini's. The friendly family who run it, the small dining room, the home made South Indian cuisine... it's a place to go when you're in need of a little TLC. The last time we went was after an exhausting day of organising and running our Summer Fete, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Literally. The owners are both medically trained doctors!

My husband planned this trip to Sanmini's after I had been working all weekend on a particularly heinous IT project. And relax... We were soon seated in the five table dining room, and were munching our way through a pile of poppadoms with the most amazing dips. Our favourite, as always was the warm kidney bean one, closely followed by the tangy fruit chutney.
Sanmini's, Ramsbottom - Starters
Our starters were absolutely stunning. My husband had the sauteed madras prawns, which came with a shredded mango and coriander side salad. This was very hot but had depth of flavour, and was cooled slightly by the mango. I was brave and picked a vegetable starter for the first time ever! Mine was a lentil bite made from spinach, cabbage, ginger, onions and green chillies and came served with tomato and vegetable and coconut dips. These were crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside with the odd crunchy vegetable. The dips were a perfect accompaniment.
Sanmini's, Ramsbottom - Starters
For mains Paddy had the mutton kozambhu and I picked the virudhunangar kozhi kuruma. There are often mutton dishes on the menu at Sanmini's, which makes a nice change from lamb. It's generally got a much deeper flavour and is softer in texture. I think he picked it because the sauce was described as gravy... this was 'blow your socks off' good. A rich tomato based sauce was given a kick up the jacksie by lots of spices finished with fresh herbs. My dish was chicken in a creamy coconut based sauce. It was delicately sweet but still had that little kick. We also had the lemon rice and two chapatis.
Sanmini's, Ramsbottom - Mains
We had already decided not to have dessert, but strangely found ourselves asking for the menu? Not sure how this happened. It was decided that the best course of action was to share one, which turned out to be for the best. The small, unassuming desert which arrived was probably enough to run a family of four plus a dog for an entire weekend! The Badam delight is a mix of almonds cooked with milk, saffron and cashew nuts to create a buttery dish which was similar to a very rich frangipan.
Sanmini's, Ramsbottom - Dessert
Please don't go to Sanmini's expecting a standard curry house. They are making authentic South Indian cuisine whose names you will not recognise, but you will adore all the same. The Sankar family do this as a hobby, and their hard work has seen them recognised in the Michelin and Good Food Guides in recent years. Go and enjoy the peace, the great hosts and the outstanding food.

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