Holi party in King's Cross

Holi at Dishoom

Holi’s great, isn’t it?

Cast your sins into the fire. Throw colours with random strangers, and random abandon. Laugh freely and joyously. Dance. Laugh again. Try to shake the colour out of your hair and try to beat the colour out of your clothes. Enjoy the sight of elderly grandparents, tiny children and everyone in between – all doing the same thing, all covered in glorious technicolour. Enjoy how surreal it is. Enjoy how magical it feels.

In our case, all in a big shed in Hackney. For all of you who were there, you’ll know how much fun it was. There was no actual bhang in our lassi, but everyone seemed as high as kites. People who had never met before were rubbing powder paint in one another’s faces, dancing and improvising a conga. And in a way, I think this is exactly what we need more of in London.

One thing is for sure; London is growing. Our city is getting busier and more crowded. We Londoners are forever moaning about accelerating property prices, and more flash sports cars seem to be racing pointlessly up and down Knightsbridge. And as the city grows, I’d like to think we can make sure that it’s truly a shared city. That all of us find ways to have fun together, to break down barriers, to leave aside differences and celebrate each others’ culture. Even if it’s only for a few short hours, it’s really important. A city that doesn’t do this becomes a nervous and divided city, full of suspicion; a sad dystopia. Let’s never let that happen to London.

So, in that spirit, we promise to keep throwing our Holi parties, if you’ll all keep coming!

Enjoy our little video of this year’s Holi, see the (massive) photo gallery – tag yourself if you were there. And, most importantly of all, come next year!

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Thoughts from Rachael Anderson, Head of Schools at Magic Breakfast

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.

Children sit cross legged at school

10 million meals for children

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. 

Dishoom Uttapam Stack Recipe

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.

How to Serve the Permit Room Old-Fashioned

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.