A Bombay Feast at Christmas

Christmas Turkey. Now be honest. Does the thought of it fill you with excitement? Does it make your taste buds stand to attention?

Probably not. Everyone seems to have a memory of a Christmas dinner that turned out appallingly – insipid meat, flabby sprouts – and the mere idea of cooking a roast fowl can send some people into a decline.

So naturally, we felt it was our responsibility to rescue Dishoom-wallas from this pit of turkey despair. A noble mission to turn this uninspiring meat into something amazing. Something that friends would squabble over the scraps of. A Bombay Party in your mouth, so to speak.

One of our absolute favourite Indian dishes is Raan, a whole leg of lamb, slow-cooked until the meat is so tender it’s falling off the bone. Much-celebrated and more than a little lavish, and therefore quite fitting for Christmas. And in a slightly inspired (read crazy) move we decided to try it with turkey instead – and the results were absolutely phenomenal. Our chef Naved Nasir could actually be a genius. Perhaps a superhero, like in that new Sharukh Khan movie. That’s going a bit far, but you get the idea…

Unlike a traditional roast, we marinate the meat and cook it slowly over a whole day to keep maximum moisture and flavour. We cover the turkey leg with a dry rub of salt and chilli followed by ginger and garlic paste, then allow it to rest and absorb the flavours. The marinated meat is braised over several hours in a rich stock spiced with star anise, black cardamom and bay leaves, before being grilled over charcoal. Finally, it is tossed with butter, lime and black pepper.

Rich, moist and packed with flavour, Flaming Turkey Raan is the antidote to every disappointing Christmas dinner you’ve ever had…

And let’s not forget the accompaniments – the turkey comes with a fiery-sweet chutney made with cranberries and red chillies. And zingy Bombay Potatoes and Masala Winter Greens round off an altogether pretty spectacular dish.

And no matter how full you feel, it will be impossible to resist finishing off your feast with a glass of Naughty Chai.

So this Christmas say no to dull-as-dishwater dinners, and come and try a Bombay Christmas feast in London.

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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.