Breaking down barriers

DISHOOM BREAKS DOWN barriers, just as the old Irani cafés of Bombay did. They were the first places where people of any culture, class or religion could break bread together. And shared spaces and experiences mean less violence and less hatred. During Partition, Bombay was spared the bloodshed of Delhi and Calcutta, thanks in part to shared spaces like Irani cafés.

Today, more than ever, we believe that breaking down barriers is hugely important work. We get Muslims and non-Muslims to celebrate Eid, and Hindus and non-Hindus to celebrate Diwali. We tie Knots of Protection on each other. We bring people from all cultures and all walks of life together in our restaurants, and we feed millions of children.

At Dishoom, food is a way of breaking down barriers, and this is at the heart of what we do.

DISHOOM BREAKS DOWN barriers, just as the old Irani cafés of Bombay did. They were the first places where people of any culture, class or religion could break bread together. And shared spaces and experiences mean less violence and less hatred. During Partition, Bombay was spared the bloodshed of Delhi and Calcutta, thanks in part to shared spaces like Irani cafés.

Today, more than ever, we believe that breaking down barriers is hugely important work. We get Muslims and non-Muslims to celebrate Eid, and Hindus and non-Hindus to celebrate Diwali. We tie Knots of Protection on each other. We bring people from all cultures and all walks of life together in our restaurants, and we feed millions of children.

At Dishoom, food is a way of breaking down barriers, and this is at the heart of what we do.

Food For Education

A meal for a meal

For Ramadan 2015 (as our ‘zakat’ or act of charity) we supported two wonderful charities – Magic Breakfast in the UK, and The Akshaya Patra Foundation in India. At Diwali the same year, we made this partnership permanent. For every meal we serve, we donate a meal to a child who would otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal.

When hunger is a barrier to education it also becomes a barrier to social mobility. A child that is not fed can become a teenager that did not learn and an adult that stays in poverty. We care deeply about breaking down these barriers.

We’re overjoyed to announce we’ve now donated over 7 MILLION MEALS (and counting!). Sincerely — thank you…

Read more

Raksha Bandhan

The Knot of Protection

For Raksha Bandhan, we invite all our guests to tie a rakhi (thread) on someone of a different faith, nationality or culture. This gesture of solidarity was inspired by Tagore, who used it to unite the Hindus and Muslims of Bengal in 1905.

Last year, you tied 7,485 rakhis, and for every rakhi, we donated £1 to Seeds of Peace, a charity that helps teenagers from conflict regions to learn how to make peace. This year we hope to see many more of you joining us to strengthen the bonds that bind us together….

Read about Tagore and Raksha Bandhan

PICTURED: Tying a rakhi (thread) as a knot of protection – a symbol of peace and compassion.
Read the café stories

Suggested Reading

See the journal

The Dishoom Bacon & Egg Naan Pizza

Its not often you get the chance to make 1 + 1 = 3, but if you ever do - you should grab it with both hands. Because these are the moments you will remember, the ones you will cherish, the ones that makes it all worthwhile.

Too Many Critics

On Monday 18th March, Chef Naved enjoyed a well-deserved break from the kitchen. For this one very unusual evening, his chef’s whites remained pristine and pressed in his locker.

A visit to Seeds of Peace

In July, four Dishoom-wallas went to Maine to visit the Seeds of Peace summer camp. We’ve been working with this amazing charity for three years now, and this was an opportunity for us to learn more...

Unlimited Food For Education

Bhawani Singh Shekhawat is the CEO of Akshaya Patra – an extraordinarily brilliant charity that we first linked up with during Ramadan in 2015. At Diwali the same year, we made the partnership permanent.