Cornwall and India has more in common than you would expect says Penryn restaurant

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report.


The owners of an Indian restaurant in Penryn say people might be surprised to learn Cornwall and India has a lot more in common that they might expect.

Jasmine Sharma moved to the UK 13 years ago and has spent the last decade living in Cornwall with her husband Ben Martin and their son Isaac.

Jasmine says she's seen similarities in the importance of community and family life for people in Cornwall just like her upbringing in Rajasthan.

"Cornish people are proud people, they love their heritage, they love their county, they have a strong belief in their roots and they have a have strong sense of love and duty towards their family."

Strong connections with relatives, especially grandparents, are important to Jasmine and Ben. Credit: Family handout

She says that connection to family was particularly apparent when her grandmother-in-law knitted the first item of clothing her son Issac wore after he was born.

"Granny-Martin knitted a jumper, a blue cardie for Issac. And when Isaac was born that was the first thing he wore and that immediately to my mind was exactly what my grandmother would have done had she been alive."

She's also noticed strong connections big similarities with Cornwall's connection to local produce.

"In India, the notion of local and seasonal does not exist in the same way as over here, you only get what's local and seasonal. And that connection to what is growing right on your doorstep to what you're going to be cooking in your kitchen is really strong."

Isaac has been sharing the fun of Holi Festival with his classmates Credit: Family handout

As part of our series on South Asian Heritage Month we've been speaking to Jasmine and husband Ben Martin who are the chefs and owners of Daaku in Penryn.

They love bringing their Cornish and Indian heritage together in their cooking, and have created many fusion dishes like hogs pudding pakora.

Their son Issac Shivrutha has also been sharing his extended family's traditions to school by bringing the fun of Holi Festival, the Festival of Colours, to the playground.

Jasmine says she's felt nothing but warmth from the Cornish community but Ben says there's still the odd myth they need to dispel like who does the cooking.

"There's definitely an assumption that's made about who does the cooking. In fact we both cook and we develop all of our recipes together.

"But certainly the notion is that because Jasmine is from India she does all the cooking - which is nonsense because we've both got our strengths and we've both developed our own specialisms."