One plus one equals two, that happens every day, that is not magic. That's the grind. That's when you get up, one. Go to work, one. Go to bed, two. But when one plus one equals three, that's when you see everything new, when you are visited by visions. It is the essential equation of love. It's the essential equation of art. It's the essential equation of rock 'n' roll. It's the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible.
– Bruce Springsteen
It's 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 make it all worthwhile.
We first approached Shamil and Kavi, incidentally two of our (and London’s) food heroes, in 2017 with the idea of a collaboration. Our Shoreditch branch is over the road from Babu House, so we often have the pleasure of seeing some of their team having a cheeky pizza on their lunch break. It's always been really clear to me that like us, Dishoom massively cares about welcoming all comers with open arms, and putting their heart and soul into everything that they do – from the food they serve, to the drinks they pour and the welcome of their team. Put simply, love is at the heart of what we do – it's an essential ingredient – and we wanted to find a way to celebrate that.
Needless to say, over the past two years, there have been plenty of discussions, testings, debates and yet more testing. And we were, for lack of a better couplet, ‘dead chuffed’ when we finally got to a place where we all felt we had something special. Thus... the Bacon & Egg Naan Pizza was born. And oh is it a prized dish! Clarence Court eggs and bacon from top-notch butcher, Ramsey of Carluke, atop a base of tomato sauce and cream cheese, a lick of Dishoom chilli tomato jam and a sprinkling of fresh coriander and green chilli.
Whilst on first inspection Indian and Italian cuisines seem a world apart – scratch the surface and you quickly see this isn’t the case. Both have strong regional variations in their cuisine, both rely heavily on chilli and tomatoes in their dishes, both have a strong matriarchal presence in their kitchen culture, and food is a huge part of bringing people together in both cultures. Ultimately, that was our aim in collaborating with Dishoom – to bring people together over delicious food and drink.
This was a great project to work on! A labour of love (and pizza). I have often dreamed of Dishoom’s Bacon & Egg Naan come dinner time – so I was super pumped to finally make that dream a (sort of) reality as we've made the iconic dish available for the whole day for the first time!
Needless to say the reaction has been phenomenal – and people have travelled far and wide to taste the pizza. The team have been massively energised in coming together to make sure every single one is delivered with love – alongside the more traditional Neapolitan options on our menu.
And most importantly – it is all for an amazing cause. For every pizza sold, we will donate two “Magic Breakfasts” to hungry or disadvantaged children across the UK – one from Dishoom and one from Pizza Pilgrims. Magic Breakfast is a truly brilliant charity – their aim is to end hunger as a barrier to education by providing free, nutritious school breakfasts to hungry children – and we couldn’t be prouder or more humbled to contribute to this, albeit it through a slightly barmy pizza/naan mash-up!
So, if that is not 1+1=3, I don’t know what is.
Thanks so much to everyone at Dishoom for letting our little idea become a reality.
Pizza & Love!
The Dishoom Bacon and Egg Naan Pizza was available from 21st October until 17th November. And we're absolutely delighted to share that in total, we donated 10,000 'Magic Breakfasts' – one from us, and one from Pizza Pilgrims – to hungry children across the UK. We're blown away by this. Enormous thank you to all guests that made this possible (by eating our somewhat barmy creation) and extra special thanks to Pizza Pilgrims for hosting such a barmy idea!
The Bacon Naan Roll has something of a cult following; it must surely be our signature breakfast dish. The freshly cooked naan is graced with a little cream cheese, tomato-chilli jam and fresh coriander, and wrapped around a few rashers of smoked streaked bacon from top supplier Ramsay of Carluke.
There are many varieties of Chai. The kind we make at Dishoom is the sort of spicy, sweet chai you will find at Bombay's innumerable tapris (street stalls), normally poured with great dexterity and skill from arm's length into a small, stout glass. The powerful concoction of milk, sugar and caffeine is what keeps the city running.
We began working with the Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in India. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting friendships with the incredible team and had the sincere privilege of visiting many of the schools and communities they serve in India. Last month, we celebrated reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra through our meal for a meal partnership. Akshaya Patra’s CEO and Trustee, Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, kindly took the time to reflect on the impact of the foundation’s life-changing work.
We began working with Magic Breakfast in 2015, supporting them in their goal of ending hunger as a barrier to education in the UK. Over the years, we’ve developed lasting and loyal friendships with the incredible team and their partner schools. This month, we celebrate reaching the milestone of donating 10 million meals to hungry children in partnership with Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra. Magic Breakfast’s Head of Schools, Rachael Anderson, has kindly taken the time to reflect on the last six years of our work together, as well as sharing her thoughts on the profound impact the past twelve months have had.