Sam Haridas and Rajesh Paul come from Kerala state in the southwest of India – considered one of the major centres of the Indian spice trade. Kerala is blessed with a long coastline and the state is streaked with rivers and streams. Fish and other seafood are therefore common in Kerala’s cuisine, which is also known for its extensive and innovative use of spice. Gandhi restaurant’s menu carries on the Kerala tradition; and with Sam and Rajesh’s arrival to the country, it also brings together pure and fresh Icelandic ingredients with spices personally selected and imported by the chefs. The results are simply amazing. Sam and Rajesh’s secret lies in the perfect combination of spices, or masala, which provides unique flavours and textures.
A cooking competition was held at Hotel Secret Garden in Kerala state and after a hard-won fight it was Sam Haridas and Rajesh Paul who were selected to come to Iceland and share their talents. The two friends are specially trained tandoori chefs; but Sam is also a masseur and Rajesh a former soap opera star – truly interesting people with colourful backgrounds!