In Britain, we’re forever talking weather. In September, talk turns to whether we’ll have an Indian summer or whether it’ll be more like monsoon season. But whatever we get, rest assured that there’s a hundred percent chance of me showering you with a deluge of Desi events for the month that, come rain or shine, will make you feel just fine.
Until 30th Sept – 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 Vishnu Natarajan’s menu comprises signature tandoor dishes, tiffin tins and small plates – perfect accompanied by a few Indian-influenced cocktails and those river views.
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.
2nd Sept – Mirabelle Spice Dinner with Cyrus Todiwala
If you’d still like to be beside the seaside at the start of September, head for the Mirabelle Kitchen in Eastbourne, where Cyrus Todiwala will join resident chef Gerald Roser to create a glorious banquet of rather epic proportions.Starting with a selection of Bombay bites, the menu moves on to a pair of Parsee classics and closes with kulfi. Pairing each course with wine ensures you’ll leave feeling fine.
4th Sept – Neeta’s Food Kitchen Indian Summer Evening
Host Neeta curses the British summer for typically being a bit of a washout, and there are few who’d disagree. Her spicy supperclub menu promises to heat things up considerably, starting with streetfood and ending with fine French fancies. Whilst the food brings the fire and flavour, live jazz and glasses of mango bellini will provide marvellously mellowing influences to guests and ambiance alike.
4th September – Crouch End Secret Supperclub Curry For Change supperclub
Hurry to support Curry For Change at this edition of the Crouch End Secret Supperclub’s pop-up diner. With over half of your ticket price going directly to Find Your Feet’s fantastic cause, your own feasting will help feed others in communities who are less fortunate. The mouthwatering menu starts with a Masala Fizz and chilli paneer skewers, followed by a full five courses of spectacular, spiced fare.
17-19th September – Rajiv’s Kitchen & Conflict Cafe Nepal pop-up
You’ll often find genial Rajiv teaming up with like-minded foodies to bring his eponymous Kitchen experience to even more lucky Londoners. Conflict Café uses food to break down inter-cultural barriers and foster dialogue; and Rajiv’s Nepalese fare is a guaranteed conversation-starter. Hosted at the House of Vans in Waterloo, Rajiv’s sharing banquet includes his famous momos – Nepal’s very own inimitable dumplings.
6th Sept – London Mela
Music, dance, fun, food – it’s all a crucial party of the Mela melee. The festival is family-friendly and sufficiently vast and varied to cater to everyone from tiny tots to the greatest of grandparents. Nine themed zones have focuses as varied as sports, fashion, arts and Bollywood, and the single-day shindig will close with a firework finale. Last year, seventy thousand people flocked to Gunnersbury Park for the festivities – so prepare for crowds.
8th & 20th Sept – 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.
10th Sept – Mira Manek’s Yoga & Evening Brunch
Stretch your body in an invigorating yoga session, then stretch your stomach as you munch on Mira Manek’s healthy Indian spread. Vegan and superfood-stuffed, the menu includes many dishes that’d be more frequently spotted at breakfast than supper, but which go down as happily at dusk as at dawn. Naturally gluten-free chickpea flour pancakes are loaded with chilli beet and coriander chutney, and cacao coco protein fudge sates sweet teeth.
12th Sept – 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.
12th Sept – Holi Festival of Colours
The wrong time of year, the wrong country, no cultural connotations…. Nonetheless, these global colour-chucking events have become hugely popular, with the British installment attracting over fifty thousand attendees. This year it hits Queen Elizabeth Park, and guests should expect a full program of music, much mayhem, and mess – be sure to dress for fun and frolicks, rather than dressing up to the nines.
21st-23rd Sept – Indo-British Fashion & Crafts Fair
Looking to Desi-fy your decor, diet and wardrobe? The Indo-British Fashion and Crafts Fair prepares you to do just that, featuring thirty five Britain- and India-based makers whose diverse disciplines range from textiles and fashion, to jewellery and art, through to crafts and food. Once you’ve shopped, drop into a workshop and try your hand at block printing or Bindi art – or just have that hand hennaed.
The Forest of Dean might seem like an unlikely location for an introduction to Indian cooking, but Versha Patel is on a mission to take on the takeaway and make its most famous dishes accessible to home cooks. Students will learn to turn out onion bhajis. ‘The Nation’s Favourite Dish™’ – aka chicken tikka masala, saag aloo, and chutney. Fans of naan will be delighted at the opportunity to master the art of Indian bread baking.
- To read more about That Hungry Chef, click here
- To read more about Cyrus Todiwala’s Parsi cuisine, click here
- To read more about Rajiv’s Kitchen’s Nepali cuisine, click here
- To read more about Darjeeling Express’s Calcutta cuisine, click here