Indian Accent serves up this magical dish of makhan malhai, a golden dome of cream bedecked in all manner of opulent finery.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

Time. Goodness me, how on earth do I go about talking about Time? On a food blog!

A science blog perhaps – yes, that’d be more fitting. Perhaps a post written by that amiable if ubiquitous Brian Cox chap who pops up on the radio now and again, and who looks way too young be a professor. And a physics professor at that.

(And am I really now at that age when everyone starts to “look too young to be.. a doctor? A teacher? A leader of a nation state?” But I guess that’s time for you – as Einstein said, it’s all relative.)

View Post

In Winter, what could be better than this bone marrow varuval curry, a star turn by Hoppers.

 

“The White Witch? Who is she?”
“Why.. it’s she that makes it always winter. Always winter, and never Christmas..”

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis, 1950.

 

“At this moment you should be with us,
Feeling like we do.. like you love to
But never will again.
I miss you my dear, Xiola.
I prepared the room tonight with christmas lights,
A city of candles…”

Three Days, Jane’s Addiction, 1990

 

My childhood winters were cold Northern affairs. Stretching across the horizon, the distant Pennines lay dark and brooding, looming over Bury like a dormant dragon, its arched back frosted with fairy-dust snow. There, we’d take our sledges and run them down those Lancashire slopes, fast and true: the icy air stinging our watery eyes, the sledge barely skimming the snowy ground below. We were Peter Pan, we were Tinkerbell.

Of all the seasons, Winter kindled the imagination the most: a twilight zone where reality and fairytale would come together before waltzing off into a blur. Each evening, with the garden shrouded in dusk and the air stifled by unearthly silence, we’d joyously roll about in the crunching snow, crafting igloos out of ice-bricks, crawling into these dens safe and snug from the creatures lurking just beyond..

..Then comes a mother’s call. A warm embrace. The sound of water splashing in a distant room. Steam slipping underneath a bathroom door. I’d leap into the bath, my goose-bumped skin ablaze with the sudden heat.

View Post

Kricket, where the diverse ingredients in this thoran has me reflecting on diversity more generally.

Religion. Do I go there? What is to gain? What could I lose? And yet here I am. And here beside me is the territory of ritual, history and God. And here’s me stepping into it..

I think most of us have our stories of religion. Whether we grew up with it or not. Whether it was found or it was lost. Mine begins in a Jewish family, quite Orthodox in fact, until I discovered I was possibly atheist, but let’s call it agnostic, but always felt connected to Jewish culture if not belief, now living in and raising a mixed-faith family, rewarded by the richness and challenges that brings, living in a city that’s probably the most diverse on earth. I love that my neighbours are also mixed-faith; in fact between our two houses there are four religions, a fifth if you include our other neighbours. In our local neighborhood, there’s a friendly Sikh gurdwara, a serene Buddhist temple, a vibrant synagogue, the oldest mosque in London, churches from myriad denominations, and probably lots more besides.

I’m constantly intrigued by religion. I revel in its rituals, its festivals, its music, its community, and of course the centrality of food. It can transcend the individual, traversing time and space, helping people in their search for meaning. But as for dogma, division, rigidity and intolerance – well, who needs those unfortunate bedfellows… View Post

Gunpowder

Many things are said about what it’s like landing in India for the first time. People say it’s an assault on the senses. People warn you about the heart-breaking poverty. And of course there’s the sweltering heat.

Stepping out of Delhi airport as a young backpacker in the 90’s, it was of course all of these things. But first things first: I had to deal with a more unnerving, if revealing, introduction to this incredible, if often unfathomable, country. Collapsing onto the hot sticky seats of the airport bus, an array of alarming signs accosted my tired jet-lagged eyes:

India View Post

Apollo Banana Leaf, where the devilled mutton is one of London's best curries.

Some restaurants aspire to three-Michelin stars. Others set their sights on glowing press reviews, perhaps a Fay, Jay, Grace or Giles. A TripAdvisor Certificate or perhaps a Time Out award.

However, in the bustling saturated world of restaurant evaluation – what with all those annoyingly excitable bloggers armed with camera phones [eh humm cough]– there is still one code of merit which rises above them all. What is this cherished accolade, you may wonder, that make countless eateries across the land festoon their frontages with its myriad shiny green labels.

Scores on the F**king Doors. What is that about? View Post