Ramadan, The Month of Giving

Compassion. Generosity. Discipline. Honesty. Selflessness. Tolerance. These principles lie at the heart of Islam. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are bound to give, share and take care of others – whether those joined by family bonds or by friendship, or simply those less fortunate than themselves.

Faith doesn’t just mean believing in God – it means tangible actions and rituals, built around the Five Pillars of Islam. Carrying out these Pillars (Iman, serving god; Salah, prayer five times each day; Sawm, fasting during RamadanHajj, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, and Zakat, charity) is the foundation of each day and is like a compass to guide one through life.

Thus, as a Muslim, charity is not just something to be carried out when the mood strikes you; it really is a lifelong duty. There are even rules on how much each person should donate from their earnings each year. Giving generously and regularly, and offering aid to those less fortunate – both within and outside the community – is part of the essence of Islam.

During Ramadan, this essence is alive more than ever. Alongside the rituals of prayer and fasting, giving is a natural element of this auspicious month. It is a time for sacrifice and self-discipline; and parting with hard-earned money for the benefit of others is a reminder that we are not defined by our possessions, but by our purpose.

Whether you are fasting or whether you are of a different faith, Ramadan is an opportunity to honour the universal values of love, giving and unity. In doing so, we just might remind ourselves that we all have much more in common than we think. In these troubled times of extremist madness and lazy scapegoating, such a celebration of our universal spirit seems good and right.

So – wishing you all Ramadan Mubarak! May your prayers and fasts be accepted.

During Ramadan, the month of giving, we are privileged to be supporting two wonderful charities: Magic Breakfast, in London, and Akshaya Patra, in India. Both charities provide nourishing, free school meals for children who don’t get enough food at home. So, for every guest who eats with us this month, we’ll feed another two in need, meaning every meal we serve equals three full bellies.

Every evening at the time of breaking fast – which falls around 9.20pm – we’ll be serving the traditional dates and refreshing Nimbu Pani to anyone waiting outside for a table, to keep you going until dinner!

UPDATE – MAY 2017

After reflecting on these partnerships, we felt inspired to do more. So at Diwali the same year, we committed to providing a meal for a child in need for every guest who dines with us, ongoing. A meal for a meal.

We are absolutely thrilled to share that since Ramadan 2015, thanks to your kind support, we’ve now donated OVER 2 MILLION MEALS to children in the UK and India! We are beyond grateful to you all, dear patrons, and to our brilliantly big-hearted team.

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Dishoom's Bacon Naan Roll Recipe

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.

How to make Dishoom Chai with your Naan Roll 'at-home' cookery kit

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.

Reflections from Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, CEO at Akshaya Patra UK

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.

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.