Butter Chicken at DASTAAN is the Best in the World (..and so much better than my Dad’s!)

Butter chicken masala curry at Dastaan restaurant Surrey, garnished with cream and coriander

Monday

So Dad decided to make a curry tonight. He called it “leftover curry” because he made it out of vegetables left over in the veg box that he didn’t know what to do with. Like swede. He reckoned if he put it in a curry, perhaps we wouldn’t notice. But when it’s big and orange and tastes disgusting, there’s no way we wouldn’t find out.

You see, me and my big brother are always one step ahead. Nothing gets past us. And if Dad thinks he can sneak onions into a curry, then he’s got another thing coming!

 

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Eggy Dates at NANDINE – From Kurdistan to Camberwell

Eggy dates at Nandine in Camberwell is the perfect breakfast to showcase Kurdish cuisine

I was born by the mountains. I was born in the mist. Who knows exactly how or when I came to be. All I know is that it was long ago. And that time is best measured in generations and not in years.

I was born from people’s lips, as they gathered around the fireside, my words spilling out in the same breath as their old stories and tales. Words that mingle as they drift over the flames, forming and reforming. And in this way, I am forever being renewed.

And so it is. Generation to generation. From village to village. I am cast through space and time like pollen sailing in the wind.

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Togetherness and Solitude at Tooting UNWINED

Unwined in Tooting Market combines a food kitchen with a wine retailer

There are times in life when it’s just you. Whether by choice or circumstance, you are going it alone. It’s how it is.

And then there are times when someone joins you for the journey. It could be a relatively fleeting moment, a momentary crossing of ways, a connection that somehow touches you and makes you take notice of something you’ve not noticed before, or helps you along your path, whatever that path might be.

And then sometimes there are those that are with you for the long haul. Through thick and thin. Through richer and poorer. Till death do us part. View Post

Potato Latkes at BUBALA; Tackling the Climate Emergency

Potato latkes are the epitomy of Chanukah - and latkes at Bubala are the finest in London

“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope, I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic, I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act, I want you to act as if you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire, because it is.”

Greta Thunberg, Davos World Economic Forum, 2019

 

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The year is 160BC. The temple is on fire. The Seleucid Army is threatening to annihilate the Jewish community in ancient Judea, whose existence is poised on a knife-edge. But then come the small plucky band of Maccabees. Through their dedication and self-sacrifice, they manage to repel the might of the empire. Yet when they discover the temple all wrack and ruined, hearts turn from joy to sorrow: there’s barely a drop of oil to keep the sacred flame alive.

But this drop miraculously ends up lasting for a whole eight days. And so this story is celebrated – year after year, century after century – as Chanukah, the festival of lights. To remember how a community saved themselves against extinction. And how one little light fought against the dark for so long. View Post

KAKI, One Year On

Kaki, review of a restaurant in London serving Sichuan and northeastern Chinese food

Entering this place, it feels like a crime-scene. Except there’s been no crime. Victims maybe, but technically no crime. There was never a police cordon or chalked silhouette on the floor; forensics never dusted the furniture for fingerprints.

After all, the incident never happened here, not within these four walls. Instead, it was committed over the austere pages of a national broadsheet, in a review of this restaurant published this time last year.

If nothing else – and what a lot of angst and hurt and anger that phrase just circumvented – the review told me about Kaki, this place across town that specialises in the cuisines of Sichuan and northeastern China. But to be honest, that really seems the least of it.

It’s not often that a restaurant review gets embroiled in accusations of racism. The first I heard of it was through the maelstrom of distressed and angry tweets that had quickly formed in its slipstream, and which compelled me to read the article for myself to see what the furore was about. View Post