DISHOOM co-founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar, along with the popular restaurant’s executive chef, Naved Nasir, released their first cookbook earlier this month.
Featuring their most sought after recipes, including the Bacon Naan Roll, Black Daal, Okra Fries, Jackfruit Biryani and Chicken Ruby, Dishoom: From Bombay with Love is something of a love letter to the Indian city.
Besides recipes, the reader is led around Bombay as the co-authors describe the surroundings and its feel, as well as their favoured eateries. The cookbook has an added bonus – a takeaway map of the city.
For Shamil, it was an opportunity to bring food and culture together.
“I think they are often quite disconnected from one another,” he said. “In London, we are extremely fortunate that you can go to wonderful restaurants, and you can eat so much food from so many countries, but I think that one downside of that is that we consume just the food instead of understanding that underneath the food, there are decades, or even centuries, of tradition, heritage, culture and stories.”
“Ultimately, it is a really nice thing to have together.”
Shamil spent some first few months of his life living in Bombay (now Mumbai) with his mother. The introductory chapters of the book recall his life there, as well as his visits to see his grandmother (whom he called baa).
The mix of food and family has always been a part of life for him. In particular, he recalled his grandmother would “always be cooking up a storm” in the joint house where he and his family lived.
“Wherever she was, there would be a big table full of food,” he reminisced.
“It was pretty central to me.”
Dishoom: From Bombay with Love (published by Bloomsbury) is out now.