What’s on in August: Indian events in London and beyond

In August, we find ourselves deep into silly season. Business emails are greeted with gleeful out-of-office auto-responses from those jammy sorts who’ve jetted off to far-flung destinations, the newspaper is wafer thin and its skimpy stories really scrape the bottom of the barrel, and the temperature veers queerly between ‘oven’ and ‘fridge’.

But don’t resent being left in London this summer – because there are enough Desi delights both in the city and within easy reach of it to see you through to September with spice and style. With Indian Independence Day mid-month, there’s even more excuse to get a culture fix. And, as the old proverb (almost) has it, ‘If the Londoner won’t come to India, India will come to the Londoner!’


Curry for Change Find Your Feet charity rural community women

Throughout summer: #CurryForChange Supperclub at YOUR OWN HOME

There’s still time to get involved with Find Your Feet as an at-home host, helping raise vital funds for the eponymous charity’s anti-food poverty campaign, #CurryForChange. The menu, venue and attendees are up to you – just make it a spicy supperclub to remember.

For supperclub hosting tips, click here

To sign up for a great event pack packed with goodies and inspiration, click here

Until 31st August – Tony Singh’s Road Trip at the Apex Hotel, Edinburgh

If you’re attending the Edinburgh festival, you’ll want food that’s as arresting as the entertainment. Tony Singh’s pop-up will keep you topped up with tip top, always ‘#Tasty‘ takes on global street food made with local, seasonal ingredients – don’t miss his haggis pakoras.

For a review of Tony’s ‘Tasty’ cookbook, click here

Until 30th September – Carom’s Spice Garden at Butlers Wharf Chophouse

Fittingly, Carom’s three-month Spice Garden pop-up is housed a former spice warehouse on the banks of the Thames. Chef Vishna Natarajan’s menu comprises signature tandoor dishes, tiffin tins and small plates – perfect accompanied by a few Indian-influenced cocktails and those river views.

Asma Khan

Until Feb 2016 – Darjeeling Express at The Sun & 13 Cantons

If you come dine with Asma Khan, you’ll be in great company – the supperclub-host-turned-pop-up-purveyor was recently lauded by esteemed food critic Fay Maschler; her residency named ‘Restaurant of the Week’ in the Evening Standard. Arrive hungry, leave stuffed – and still wanting more.

1st August – Chit Chaat Chai’s Indian Street Art & Chaat supperclub

Indian food, Indian drink and Indian street art – what more d’you want? The latter’s from the cities of Mumbai and Delhi, and the former’s from all over, with a healthy dose of innovation from the triple-C crew in items like rum’n’Baileys spiked mango lassi.

21st August – Inders Thali & Wines pop-up, Cambridge

A thali is the perfect platter for the greedy and indecisive diner, affording each guest their own perfectly-portioned, multi-dish meal. At Sticky Beaks Cafe, chef Inder (of her eponymous Kitchen) will create a feast of her favourites, paired with wines from across the world.


Jenius Social Taste of India cookery class

1st, 19th & 30th August – Jenius Social’s Indian Street Food cookery class

Street food is social by its very nature, as are Jenius Social’s cooking classes. Led by the resident expert head chef, you’ll learn to handle knives (and yourself) in the kitchen, marinate meat like a master, and bring balance to your flavour combinations. The evening ends with a shared-feast-cum-spicy-social-mixer.

8th August – Ren’s Kitchen’s Curry In A Hurry cookery class

This intimate North London half-day crash course is small on numbers and big on hands-on participation. Starting with a Spice Masterclass, you’ll also cook kebabs, bhuna chicken, and Goan fish – and learn to make rice to really entice. Love what you’ve learned? Good, because you’ll head home with enough food for two.

15th August – That Hungry Chef at The Science of Spice night, Leicester

Leicester’s National Space Centre is the interesting location for a spice-led evening of discovery. Part of the venue’s ‘A Taste of Science’ evening series, the event examines the history, mystery, and indeed science of spice – and That Hungry Chef Pratap Chahal will be on hand to facilitate new discovery and sell sauce.

To read more about That Hungry Chef, click here

15th August – Ren’s Kitchen’s Dinner Party Delights cookery class

Master the contents of a masala dabba with Ren’s renowned whistlestop tour through an Indian spice box before commencing the cooking part of this half-day course. Along with the host’s chicken-curry-with-the-most, you’ll get to savour saag aloo, vegetable pakoras, and chapattis – all created with your own fair hands and hard labour.


Full of Spice Festival Kew Gardens London

Until 6th September – Full of Spice at Kew Gardens

Phew – things are hotting up at Kew. The Gardens’ spice season has already seen Indian masterchefs Alfred Prasad and Atul Kochhar host piquant pop-ups, and things stay spicy with a programme from which masala-making workshops, plant tours, rickshaw rides and a gin garden are just a few highlights.

To read about cooking alongside Alfred, click here

1st & 21st August – Club Kali

The ‘World’s Biggest LGBT club’ celebrates summer in a typically fabulous manner twice this month, promising to tempt you onto the dancefloor to strut your stuff to all manner of music – from Bollywood to Bhangra and Arabic tunes, along with whatever else DJs Ritu and Dilz see fit to spin.

5th August – Indian Independence Day at The Bhavan Centre

If the anticipation of Indian Independence Day is getting too much, warm up with The Bhavan Centre’s celebrations, which occur ten days ahead of the actual date. The evening involves refreshments, music and dance, speeches and patriotic performances, with all welcome to partake in the occasion.

25-28th August  – Ghulam Rasool: My Eyes Are Witness at Asia House

Pakistan’s diverse geography gives rise to some incredibly arresting landscapes, further shaped by diversity in its cultures and communities; flora and fauna. Ghulam Rasool’s photographic showcase offers an insight into the country’s most secret splendours.

London Darbar Dinner & Dance Bollywood Aaja Nachle

28th August – Bollylicious Dinner & Dance at London Darbar

Expect to eat, drink, and make merry during this dinner’n’dance, billed as fun for all the family. The evening features a four course Indian veg meal, all-you-can-sip soft drinks, and lively live music and DJ sets that’ll make the refreshments very necessary.

29-30th August – Edinburgh Mela

Any Mela’s a great excuse to  timpepass with friends and family, eat too much, dance until your limbs ache, and get a Desi culture fix. Edinburgh’s event is set to be an especially exciting knees-up, featuring world-class music acts, a Kidzone, global grub and stalls galore.

30th August – Bollywood Showdown at the O2

Love jolly good Bollywood bangers? Dance yourself in the direction of the O2 for a one-night stand with some of the industry’s hottest performers. For four hours, you’ll have your socks rocked by everyone who’s anyone – including Atif Aslam and Bolly Flex.

30th August – Bengal Sage pop-up at Graze Festival, Twyford

Not-for-profit organisation Graze Festival has curated a programme which uses music, food and arts to raise funds for local charities and causes. Miff Kayun’s Bengal Sage will bring both spicy fare and a fine flavour of its restaurant experience to the event.

  • To read more about Find Your Feet and #CurryForChange, click here
  • To read more about Tony Singh’s ‘Tasty’ cookbook, click here
  • To read more about ‘That Hungry Chef’ Pratap Chahal, click here
  • To read more about Asma Khan’s first Darjeeling Express pop-up at Cinnamon Club, click here



One response to “What’s on in August: Indian events in London and beyond

  1. Pingback: Terrific tiranga – The best tricolour recipes for Indian Independence Day | Culinary Adventures of The Spice Scribe·

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