The month of Ramadan may be a period of fasting but it’s equally synonymous with feasting. Iftar – the evening meal with which Muslims break their fast – is an occasion for eating favourite dishes and indulging in the naughtiness of moreish snacks after a day of abstaining.
In India, mealtimes are very much a family affair and everything is shared which makes these cheese-and-pastry twirls perfect for making together this half-term (they’re very tempting though so sharing may be optional). They’re incredibly easy to make plus you only need ready-made puff pastry and a handful of store-cupboard ingredients, which make them just right for keeping little hands happily occupied during the holidays. There’s also a cinnamon sugar variation so we recommend you and your budding chefs make both, to satisfy sweet and savoury tastes. Be sure to dip them into hot masala chai for extra enjoyment.
1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry (320g), about 35 x 23cm
Flour, for dusting
1 egg white, beaten
For the topping
1¼–1½ tsp chaat masala
40g mature Cheddar, finely grated
4 tsp chopped coriander leaves
Cinnamon sugar sticks: For the topping, mix 4 tsp white granulated sugar with 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Roll out the pastry and cut into strips as above. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar (there’s no need to press it in with a rolling pin), then twist and bake as above.
For other Dishoom recipes, please see Dishoom: from Bombay with love, our cookery book and highly subjective guide to Bombay.
The origins of chintz can be firmly – and humbly – traced back to 16th century India. The word ‘chintz’ is derived from the Hindi word ‘chint’, meaning spotted or splattered. These intricate designs and endless patterns were traditionally hand-printed using wooden blocks - kalamkari - and brilliantly coloured natural dyes.
We often find it too easy to hurtle through the days, in an attempt to outpace the bustling city – be it London or Bombay – which always seems to be running away like a steam-engine train on a rickety track. Occasionally, it does us good to pause for thought, to disembark the carriage and sit on the platform awhile.
How does one create a space where people can truly connect over food? How can a host make their guests feel relaxed, at ease, and suitably cared for? Since launching our all-new Dishoom Crockery, we have been pondering the answers to these questions even more than usual. We recently discussed them with Creative Director - and frequent dinner party hostess - Kirthanaa Naidu when we invited her to create a first-class tablescape in our Canary Wharf café.
Each year, the spring equinox – when day and night are equal length – marks a transition in earth’s relationship with the sun. This event, sacred to many cultures throughout history, today thrives as a new year celebration for hundreds of millions.
In Bombay, London, and throughout the South Asian diaspora, you’ll find many folks of the Zoroastrian faith (amongst others) celebrating this new year, or Navroz as we like to call it.