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Spice House Indian restaurant, whose team pays special attention to the quality of products and spices

Spice House

3 Han Asparuh str., Sofia, Bulgaria
+359 87 614 5372
12:00 - 23:00 (Mon - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Multi Kulti Recommended
  • Vegetarian friendly

Tags: indian restaurant, spice house

Going to a restaurant is like going to the doctor, says Sudhir, one of the owners of Spice House. The right spices in the correct quantity and dosage sustain a healthy body. It is of the utmost importance that we take care of our bodies. Sudhir has just returned from India, where he attended the beautifully named World Spice Conference and has some thoughts to share. Good chefs should know and utilize the effects of spices, says he. Turmeric for instance has a proven anti-carcinogenic effect. Turmeric is the most important spice in Indian cooking. You are scarcely likely to encounter a dish without it. Ginger cures all sorts of ailments too. If you serve good food with quality ingredients and spices, people will be healthy and furthermore, will enjoy it.

(scroll down for the interview)


Spice House opened in late 2013. It is a collaborative effort between Sudhir and two of his friends, an Englishman and a Dutchman. Sudhir has extensive background in restaurant management – this is his eighth venture into the business – and over twenty years experience as chef. He was born in North India and arrived in Bulgaria as far back as 1988 to be an exchange student. He remembers his time at the Technical University in Sofia as fun and when asked about his favourite Bulgarian dish, lets out a hearty laugh in recalling how students used to celebrate the availability of grilled chops in the canteen. He learned how to cook during the holidays, which he spent in London learning the ropes in various Indian eateries while simultaneously saving money to sustain himself through his studies.

He rarely misses India. He acknowledges the distance between Sofia and his homeland only when he needs rare spices or papadums. There is always someone at hand to mail them though.

It is well worth visiting Spice House because the team puts special emphasis on the freshness and quality of the ingredients – butter, meat and naturally, spices. Many of the best come from London. It is very important for a restaurant to keep spices in small quantities so that they are always fresh and pungent, says Sudhir. He admits to having once made the mistake of importing a whole container directly from India, but the quantity was so great they began to go stale and he had to throw them away.

His favourite childhood dish is okra. He loved having it every other day or so. The new menu is on the way and he promises okra will have pride of place on it.

In the kitchen of Spice House we meet a kaleidoscope of people – Bangladeshi, Indian, English, Dutch but in the dining salon too the variety of customers is quite impressive. One sees many nationalities united in appreciation of good food. The cooking is not adapted to local tastes and Sudhir is pleasantly surprised that Sofia is home to so many vegetarians who prefer healthy eating and choose dahl and chickpea dishes.

We end our conversation with a piece of free advice to always remember the five main spices of Indian cuisine: turmeric, coriander, cumin, curry and paprika. Should we ever decide to prepare a tasty dish, it is very easy. Sudhir taught his onetime student roommate from Mongolia to quickly fry onion, garlic, turmeric, coriander, paprika, red peppers, and then add tomato, rice, a little chicken and some water and bring it up to the boil for a while. So it is that to this day a husband and father in Ulaan Bator cooks the Sudhir dish for his children.

Interview: Bilyana Pancheva
Photos: Stefan Suchev
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Illustration: Kremena Cholakova for Compote Collective
May 26, 2014