Cold, rainy morning, not very long ago in a comfortable booth at Dishoom on St Martin’s Lane.
A motley crew of Dishoom-wallahs, mulling over ideas for Christmas.
ST: (staring intently at glass of Chai) I know I sound like a scratched Mohamed Rafi vinyl, but our Chai is rocking. There is no better Chai this side of Colaba Causeway. (That’s in Bombay. India. By the way.)
BT: (Wearing black hat and Wayfarers, inappropriately, for the setting is indoors) Can’t beat it. Drives away the blues, when you got dem blues…(pulls out sitar and breaks into a blues riff…)
All: (murmurs, wise nods of agreement)
CB: Ah yes. Drives away dem blues….like a bottle of the good stuff….
ST: OMG. LOL. That’s it!
ST: Yaar. That’s totally what we should do for Christmas. The only thing better than our Chai, would be our Chai….with benefits.
BT: (eyebrow raised) Like, pimp my Chai?
ST: Well yeah, but more like naughty chai. Sexed up Chai. You know.
CB: Hmm. It’s gonna have to have a bit of a kick for it to be Christmassy.
BT: Or… how about Bailey’s and Chai…
CB: How about Chai with Dark Chocolate Syrup, chocolate shavings, a little Bourbon, cream.
All: (sharp intake of breath, followed by glances of admiration)
BT: I love it when a plan comes together (chomps cigar…)
And so it came to pass that the Yuletide season brought forth our naughty Chais.
That very same evening, the hot bar-wallahs took a few drams of good stuff (Bourbon, Rum, Cognac) and stuck them in Dishoom Chai. And they saw that it was good and it pleased them.
They dare you not to be tempted by Naughty Chocolate Chai – with dark chocolate liqueur, chocolate shavings, Bourbon and Chai.
And Bailey’s Chai is an outrageous treat. Warm, luxurious, and topped with a layer of fresh cream.
Or Chai Egg Nog – as festive as it gets. With Hennessy VS and dusted with nutmeg and cinnamon.
It’s like a warm hug from a familiar friend. Who you suddenly realise is really pretty sexy. (So then, naturally, you’ll want another one.)
And if for any reason you don’t fancy a Naughty Chai (Hello? Anyone?!?), you can also keep out the chill in the air with a gorgeous Winter Pimm’s, served warm with Calvados and cloudy apple juice, gently spiced. Or sip on our Desi Mulled Wine, infused with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and black pepper.
Try them. They’re outrageously good. Seriously, if your Christmas isn’t merry after these naughty Dishoom treats, we’ll eat our slightly old and dirty Indian Christmas party hats.
Available from 14th November.
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.
Since 2015, for every Dishoom meal you’ve enjoyed (whether in the cafés, via delivery, or as a meal kit), we’ve donated a meal to a child that might otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. This month, as we reached the milestone of donating 10 million meals, we had occasion to catch up with our dear friends and long-term charity partners, Magic Breakfast and Akshaya Patra. The work both charities do to end hunger as a barrier to education is simply incredible and we’re extremely proud to be able to support them and the communities they serve in the UK and India, respectively. We kindly invite you to take a moment to hear their reflections on our partnership and on the impact of the very important work they do.
Uttapam are a fluffy savoury dosa, made with rice. They're usually enjoyed with savoury toppings but we particularly like ours with lashings of jaggery syrup and a thick, strained yoghurt. Chef Naved has shared his recipe for making an extra fluffy stack at home.
Our Old-Fashioned bottled cocktail takes its name from the Permit Room bar, found in every Dishoom and so named after the official term for all Bombay drinking establishments, in which, according to the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949, only permit-holders may consume alcohol. Herein, liquor can be sold and imbibed, but only for the goodness of one’s health.
Though the doors of the Permit Room are closed for now, you can still enjoy our tipples in bottled form at home. Follow our lead to achieve the perfect pour, and transport yourself back to a cosy corner of the bar.