A visit up north is worth the wait when it comes to shopping and food. Bradford is a great city that’s offers amazing curry from all over the sub-continent.
I have been fortunate to have been bought and raised in this fabulous city. Whenever I come home I will always stay at my parents and eat delicious Gujarati dishes. At times I feel it’s like Christmas day when you have eaten too much and you can’t breathe anymore. I promised to myself that I would take things easy and try not to over indulge. Aren’t promised meant to be broken????……
First up was a trip to my local corner shop – Babus. I went to school with his daughters and they still help out whenever they can. The shop is an Aladdin’s cave. It goes on and on and the smell, sights, sounds are like transforming you back to India. I love the fact I can hear languages from the north and south India speaking about the ingredients, discussing food and people just having a good old natter. Whenever I walk into this shop you never know what you will find. My parents used to bring me here with my brother and sister in the back of the mini. My mum would show me how to buy the ingredients and what to look for. This knowledge is invaluable when selecting the finest ingredients for my cookery school and the takeaways I offer.
There were lovely fresh ingredients on offer such as round aubergines, karela, dudi, fresh finger chillies and okra. I will always stock up on these whenever I come to the shop. I met an old school friend too and it was great to see her after 20 years.
There are also many pluses, flour, spices you will never have seen in this shop. My friends have a fantastic knowledge of where everything is stocked but also how to use them.
Also on my journey was a trip to the elderly day centre. I have sampled some wonderful food cooked by the volunteers and thought it would be great to meet them. I found three cooks busy working away preparing and making a thali for all the elderly people who come to the centre.
There were prayer / Aarti being sung in the background and then an offering of the diwo and fruit. Followed by a sweet cup of chai and a biscuit.
My mum and dad play a central part to the Bhajans that were sung ( religious songs) and I was pretty proud of them both. I saw a new side to my shy mum singing infront of her peers. It was great.
It was time for the food to be served and the ladies dished out the Gujarati thali they had been preparing for most of the morning. Dokree, Sambaro, mag ni dhal ni khichdee, athanu, siro and chass were on offer. What makes Gujarati food so amazing is that you can taste every spice and every dish has its own unique flavour. I feel really lucky that my mum has taught me how to cook these dishes from such a young age. It was all vegetarian no meat to be seen.
There was silence whilst the food was eaten satisfaction and contentment by all. For £2.10 it’s a bargain and food made with love.
I left the centre feeling proud that my folks are looked after by the ladies who cook for the elders at the centre and I know my parents have an opportunity to meet up with their friends from the community.
Next stop Manchester… bring back my University days.. Weight gain by eating too many chicken kebabs but like one of my cooks said ‘it was all paid for’ whilst he rubbed his tummy 🙂