[Withington, Manchester] Sanskruti

We’ve been to Sanskruti before and always enjoyed the south Asian vegetarian offerings. This was the first time we’d been on Wednesday when they have a “thali special”, so that’s what we both ordered. Thalis are always an interesting meal as you have no idea what you’re actually going to get served. For those not familiar with a thali, it’s a complete meal – starters, mains, carbs, dessert – all served together so you can mix and match. Google tells me that “thali” refers to the metal tray on which everything is served, with the various dishes in their own small metal bowls.

There’s an onion bhaji and a crisp patty made of potato and lentil to start. Moving round the tray, the next item was an aubergine curry, nicely spicy and not just from chilli, followed by paneer in a thick, creamy, tomato sauce. There was then a bowl of tarka daal – really well made, rich and, again, well spiced. To accompany everything, there was a bowl of very finely chopped salad giving a nice crunch and contrasting well with the soft savoury dishes and a bowl of raita that may just have been yoghurt. For carbs, there’s a small crisp papad, two rotis also nicely crisp round the edges like you hope they will be and a bowl of rice. The dessert bowl was a carrot halwa – again very well prepared, so that it was sweet enough but not cloyingly so.

Although the individual bowls are small, when taken together, this is quite a substantial meal, so bring an appetite with you.