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Atul Kochhar: Defining Spanish Fusion Cuisine

Tapas might have a firm foothold in Spain but there’s a popular Indian cuisine movement under way in Madrid.

by 14 February 2017

Although the Indian community of Spain make up one of the smaller populations of the Indian diaspora, their influence on the restaurant scene here has been steadily spreading over the past years. The earliest Indian settlers were the Sindhis who settled in the Canary Islands at the end of the nineteenth century. As the diaspora grew, they slowly began to introduce the famous Indian cuisine into Spain’s various regions. Nowadays more and more Indian restaurants are beginning to pop up across Spanish towns and cities.

Atul Kochhar arrives in Madrid

Today Madrid has a selection of impressive Indian restaurants serving some of the best Indian food in Europe. Spaniards have most certainly become more open to ethnic food over the years and Indian cuisine lends itself nicely to creating an original fusion of the two cultures and cuisines. This is something that Atul Kochhar decided to explore further.

Benares MadridBenares Madrid

One of the pioneering chefs of Indian cuisine, Atul Kochhar has recently opened a restaurant in the capital. He has won two Michelin stars in different restaurants throughout his creative journey on this planet and is without doubt the chef who has changed how to live and understand Indian food. Atul takes his inspiration from different areas of his native India and contributes to the research of new local dishes. He combines his origins and traditions with his love for varied ingredients to create a unique and innovative Indian cooking which has become renowned across the globe. His unique understanding of Indian tastes and the way in which he mixes them with modern Western cuisine are features that have brought him worldwide recognition.

Following the success of his restaurant Benares in Mayfair London, Atul opened a Benares in Madrid less than a year ago. It is on the upmarket street of Zurbano, considered to be one of the best streets in Spain’s capital. On the menu we see a selection of Indian-style tapas. Atul has enjoyed experimenting with the tapas concept, and intertwining this with the street-food concept from India. His restaurants always use locally-grown produce, which gives this restaurant a different take with respect to his other venues across the globe. At Benares Madrid he plays more with flavours than with spices, and above all he ensures that he puts himself into the Spanish mindset with all of the innovative dishes he creates.


Calle Zurbano 5 28010 Madrid

+34 91 319 87 16