It’s not yet been open a year in Manchester, but Dishoom has already won over a legion of fans who can’t get enough of its Bombay comfort food.
Like the branches in London and Edinburgh, the Manchester Hall member of the Dishoom family pays loving homage to the old Irani cafés of Bombay, and offers all-day dining and drinking.
And it’s become famous for one dish over all others: the bacon naan. The ultimate in fusion food, the breakfast dish sees smoked streaky bacon crisped and piled high in freshly baked naan bread with cream cheese, chilli tomato jam and fresh herbs.
And now, Dishoom devotees will be able to recreate it themselves when the restaurant group launches its first cookbook in September with over 100 recipes.
As well as the bacon naan, Dishoom: From Bombay With Love also contains recipes for the restaurant’s other classics: Black Daal, Okra Fries, Jackfruit Biryani, Chicken Ruby and Lamb Raan, along with Masala Chai, coolers and cocktails.
And fans of the creamy Black Daal, Dishoom’s signature dish and their version of daal makhani, will be relieved to learn that the cookbook version takes four to five hours rather than the full 24 hours it takes in the restaurant.
The recipes, stories and beautiful photography in the book aim to transport readers to Dishoom’s most treasured corners of Bombay, with a day-long tour peppered with much eating and drinking.
You’ll discover the simple joy of early chai and omelette at Kyani and Co., of dawdling in Horniman Circle on a lazy morning, of eating your fill on Mohammed Ali Road; of strolling on the sands at Chowpatty at sunset or taking the air at Nariman Point at night.
“With this book, we’re trying to locate the food in its proper cultural context,” says Shamil Thakrar, co-founder of Dishoom and co-author of the new book.
“We’re trying to say, ‘this is the food of Bombay, this is the city of Bombay, walk around it and see it with your own eyes, understand it, celebrate its history’.”
And one of the biggest joys, say the authors, is discovering the best of Bombay’s comfort food.
“The food in our restaurants is the real Bombay comfort food you’ll find in those cafes,” says co-owner Kavi Thakrar.
“But it’s also the food you’ll find in people’s homes and on the streets. And the book is about bringing those recipes and those stories to life, and then you can share those dishes with your friends and family.”
And the owners are generous when it comes to giving away their secrets.
“Our chef Naved would say that in every cookery book he’s read, the recipes aren’t the real ones,” says Shamil.
“But we’ve been very honest. We’ve brought it down to your kitchen rather than on an industrial scale, of course, but this really is how we make things.
“These recipes are the real ones.”
We won’t have to wait much longer to try them for ourselves.
Dishoom: From Bombay with Love by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir is published by Bloomsbury on 5th September 2019 priced £26, and is available for pre-order now.