One of the more glorious traditions that has emerged during Lockdown 2020 for our family has been Dishoom Sundays.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dishoom is a legendary Indian restaurant in London with equally legendary queues (this was in the Before Inside Times, obviously, when we could do amazing things like eat in restaurants). It really didn’t matter what time you strategically decided to arrive to avoid the queue. You were going to have to stand in it, whether you liked it or not. But it was absolutely worth the wait.
Dishoom specialises in the food of Bombay, now known as Mumbai. Its cookbook provides recipes for all the Dishoom favourites, but also gives a hat tip to all of its favourite restaurants in south Bombay. As it happens, Tim lived in this exact neighbourhood for three months in 2017, so he was lucky enough to visit many of the restaurants and street vendors highlighted in the book (and we got to try a few too, when we visited). The Dishoom cookbook was published in September 2019 and was an immediate hit. Tim gave me the cookbook for Christmas, knowing how much we all love Indian food.
Kirstin and I even discussed the possibility of choosing “Dishoom” for one of our months, but it fell at the final hurdle, which was, “Are there plenty of recipes that we can make on a weeknight.” The answer to that is a categorical NO because while they are all utterly delicious, they also represent a serious investment of time. Like Grandma always said: It’s worth the wait!
But now that time feels irrelevant and weekend time in particular is just a construct, we’ve got all the time in the world to tackle some of these delicious gems. It also helps enormously if it’s a team effort, because like I said, it’s a serious investment of time. We’ve now made Awadi Lamb Biryani several times now. I mean, sure, it takes the entire afternoon, but this is what Dishoom Sundays are all about. Every time we have it, we all swoon at its deliciousness. (Needless to say, right now, that’s a very nice thing.)
In addition to some sort of main dish, we’ve also become dab hands at some of the Dishoom side dishes, including Raita, Chapati and Kachumber. They’re all excellent.
So now when we’re going to have Dishoom Sunday, we don’t even get into specifics of what we’re going to be making. Instead, we just announce the joyful day and settle in for a very delicious meal.
Dishoom Sundays: A lockdown tradition that will continue well past lockdown.