The future’s bright – or at least, November certainly will be, with Diwali dos commanding the calendar, fireworks lighting up the night, and more Indian events occurring than there are days to do them on. From piquant pop-ups to
community celebrations, feast your eyes on the below and get ready for a very merry month.
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.
Until Feb 2016 Darjeeling Express at The Sun & 13 Cantons, London
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..
Pop to Shrimoyee Chakraborty’s pop-up for a Friday night feast of vegetarian delights and Bengali bites at Woodlands: luscious luchis and alur dam, dhoka dalna and paratha, and fat platters of street food for sharing. Wash it down with a cheekily-titled ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ cocktail or few.
Thurs & Fri nights in Nov Devi’s Street Food at The Old Nun’s Head, London
Devi’s dishes up Indian food with attitude; filled with big bold funky flavours. I’m a North London lass but this sort of stuff could tempt anyone down South. The pub pop-up gives dirty food a Desi twist with a list featuring Indian Nachos, Cheesy Chutney Chips, and a ‘Proper POW Bhaji’ that proises to pack a punch.
Dates throughout Nov The Spice Angel’s Indian Veg Christmas Cookery Classes, Surrey
‘They tried to make me eat a nut roast, I said no, no no.’ If that’s a familiar Christmas cry, check out The Spice Angel’s suggestions for a meat-free menu: Batata Vada with Spouts, Moti Pulao, and Shahi Vegetable Kadhai. At this class, you’ll learn to cook it all – and take it all home with you afterwards.
After a summer of supperclubs and restaurant activities, Find Your Feet’s Curry For Change campaign culminates in a sensational soiree featuring demos and masterclasses from the charity’s celebrity chef ambassadors, sweet’n’savoury canapés, cocktails, an auction… and v. good goodie bags.
Bengali food is officially Having A Moment. Get a taste of the region’s distinct and delicious cuisine and support a cause as you sup your supper at host Borun’s pop-up, where he’ll reveal authentic flavours over multiple mouthwatering courses – and then donate the profits to Curry For Change.
Bengali food-lovers will be in seventh heaven with this seven-course spectacular, timed to coincide with the festival of Dussehra. The menu is the real deal, commencing with bitter veggie dish shukto and closing with tea and nimki, with dhoka dalna, kosher mangsho and much more in between.
7th Nov Ren’s Kitchen’s Curry in a Hurry cookery class, London
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.
7th Nov Ren’s Kitchen’s Dinner Party Delights cookery class, London
7th Nov Jenius Social’s Indian Street Food cookery class, London
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.
Get an early fix of fine food and festivities at Bromley’s brightest – indeed, only – Michelin-recommended Indian restaurant. The Sunday before Diwali, diners can dive into a three-course buffet whose dishes rove the regions from the Punjab to Gujarat. Candlelight and traditional music are also on the menu.
8th Nov Ramayana On Stilts, London
Brent Cross Shopping Centre might not seem like the most likely setting for a dramatic Diwali performance, but that’s just the case this year. In the only show of its kind, six stilt dancers in vibrant attire play out the epic adventures of Rama and Sita; featuring the fearsome demon, Ravana.
8th Nov Dishoom’s Diwali, London
Dish’s big fat Diwali do promises to be free, family-friendly and flippin’ fantastic. Held next door to the Kings Cross godown, the Sunday afternoon celebrations include Vayu Naidu’s spellbinding storytelling, dandiya dance workshops, arts, crafts, eats, sweets, and many more treats.
Did you know that East Ham is home to an ornate South Indian temple? Shared City’s guide Manju will reveal all as she introduces you to the area’s streets and the wider Hindu art scene. The tour includes plenty of snacking and shopping stops and culminates in a traditional thali feast at one of the host’s favourite local restaurants.
If you wanted a decadent Diwali, you’ve come to the right place. Monisha’s mammoth menu features over fifteen items – all authentic, all vegetarian, and all of equal appeal. From dosa and dhokla through to shrikhand and halwa, you won’t want to miss a thing. The only problem will be fitting it all in.
Forget silly supermarket packs of essential aromatics – why not grow your own? At this workshop and supperclub co-hosted by Ms. Marmite Lover and Zia Mays, you’ll eat a lovely lunch and learn to cultivate curry ingredients like ginger, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, kaffir lime, and curry leaves.
After expending effort in international expert Michael Bartelle’s yoga session, one can tuck into Mira Manek’s meal guilt-free. Not that there’s anything much to feel guilty about where this chef is concerned – Mira’s all about decadent Desi flavours with a hyper-healthy spin. Indulge without the bulge.
Pratap Chahal is leaving London to share his incredible ‘Edible Scent’ experience with a whole new audience. Food gracefully fuses disparate cultures and esoteric ingredients alike – sniff out tickets for this feast, featuring the fragrant flavours of bergamot, pachouli, tobacco, myrrh and more.
France & Noonan’s fab food means you won’t just be here for the beer – but rest assured, the latter is going to be as good as the grub. Over five surprise courses, pro beer sommeliers Phil Harding and Charlie Pountney from The House Of Boda pair sophisticated sips with sleek Indian eats to explosive effect.
Lead by two of Vivek Singh’s main men Hari Nagaraj & Rakesh Nair, you’ll get to explore a Michelin-starred restaurant kitchen before learning some spicy secrets in a meaty masterclass and finishing with a feast and a fair few glasses of wine. You’ll also head home in possession of your very own swag bag.