Monday, 11 January 2010

An Indian afternoon in the snow...

VBs supermarket, cheap, full of Indian products and spices...absolutely jam packed on a Sunday

Bought myself a roti board and rolling pin

Pickles and chutneys

Jaggery loaves in hessian

Beautifully laid out fruit and veg

There are many kinds of basmati, they will give you advice which is the best

Once more my blogging friend Bellaphon takes me on a trip...this time to the Sri Lankan 'Oxford Street' between Alperton and Wembley.
What a wondrous place it is... you can get a makeover as an Indian bride for £200 in one of the beauty shops...fantastic pound shops...I bought me plenty of kitsch kitchenware for The Underground Restaurant... exotic fruit (baby clementines!) and vegetable shops laden with mirrors and shrines...enormous and cheap Indian supermarkets. I was told off for taking pictures at the latter...a small squat Indian woman said to me very crossly
"Photographs are forbidden"
"Why?" I argued.
I mean, really, how can taking pictures of jaggery in sack cloth be wrong?
She carried on "This is private property"
I continued to argue back "It's not like I'm going to say anything bad about this place...I love it!"
She started to relent, saying, more doubtfully cos basically it sounded like she'd made up this rule... "I'm sure my bosses wouldn't like it.."
"Bring me your boss! I'll talk to him" I said cheerfully.
She followed me around a bit then gave up, and showed me the amazing buckets of pickles that you can buy by weight.
We ate at Jashan which is a kind of fusion restaurant, very cheap, of Chinese and Indian food. I spoke to the waiter who was Nepalese, but brought up in India.
"Indians think Chinese food is too bland, so we like to add spices" he explained.
This led to some very odd concoctions like dumplings with curry, Chinese battered fried mushrooms in a sort of chilli sauce. Not all of it was successful but there were some excellent dishes in the complicated and extensive menu.

Makai paneer ke Pakore
Sweet corn and cottage cheese fritters with yoghurt. Absolutely delicious, especially with coriander and mint chutney; mango and turmeric chutney.

Dahi Batata Puri
Outstanding, mini puris and potatoes covered in yoghurt, ice cold, a typical street food in India.

Pudhini paratha, mint bread. Very nice.
Plain pilao: beautifully saffron coloured rice topped with cashews.
Kesar Badam Bahar: almond kulfi with saffron sauce. Nice.

OK but not for me:
Chilli mushrooms.

Chinese/Indian fusion: cheese pao bhaji, supposed to be dumplings but in fact was a sloppy veg mix with melted cheese and two hamburger buns. Odd.

Kaju Mutter: cashew nut and pea curry. Too hot at 'medium' and I like hot food. Not sure cashews and peas go together.

About £15 -20 a head.

1-2 Coronet Parade, Ealing Road, Wembley, London, HA0 4AY
Telephone: 0208 900 9800


  1. Oh, love Ealing Road- and it's ages since I've been now. Brill cash and carrys, etc.
    And I don't think the pao bhaji is any kind of chinese derivative. The pao bit is a bread roll (from the Portuguese) that you normally have toasted with loads of butter, and the bhaji bit is a potato curry. Think it's really popular in Bombay as I'd never even heard of it until I went there.

  2. Hey MsM, TFI is right, I misled you, pao just sounds like bao in Chinese for buns. I love the place and the Nepalese Gurkha manager was, you've gotta admit; a dude.

  3. tee hee, i think us South Asians are just a bit paranoid, we make up rules, but there is no logic behind it. i SO want to eat those daihee puris! regrettably, my stomach cant take street food in pakistan anymore :( typhoid is not what i want to get, anytime soon! ouch. interesting post and brava for insisting on taking photos- why not? it's a shop and they are not carrying any dresses which you are photographing to copy!

  4. Looks like the best supermarket! Take me with you next time you go please!

  5. oooh, thank you for posting this! It's 9 hours since I got back from Sri Lanka and I'm craving the food already (actually, I've been staying in a posh hotel with European breakfasts the past few days and I'm really craving milk rice, roti, dal and sambal for my breakfast today - sadly, not going to happen). I brought some ingredients back with me but needed to find somewhere in London where I can buy other Sri Lankan ingredients! If I could find red rice I'd be really happy.

  6. ps I've already had my Indian bride(smaid) makeover... photos to come once I can bully them out of someone who had a camera with them on the day (turns out a DSLR can NOT be hidden in a sari). My henna is still there, but very faded!

  7. Sounds fantastic afternoon. I'm lucky to live near Leicester, and I love an afternoon in the supermarket and lunch at Bobbys or somewhere like Kayal. The prices are always amazing compared to somewhere like Tesco.

  8. I have just got back from Sri Lanka (and discovered jaggery!) so looks like I will have to head here.

  9. reading this blog was a terrible idea. i am starving.

  10. Black Raspberries:


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