Greetings from the UK! I’m currently back in the old haunt for a few weeks, visiting my sister, catching a few summer festivals (WOMAD, Edinburgh Fringe) and trying to (catch/chase) enjoy this rare English summer. Khana Commune is currently closed in Singapore, but this August, my sister and I will be hosting ‘Khana Commune — The London Edition‘ in her cosy flat in Whitechapel, East London.
My sister, Fareena and her husband Abders often cook up a storm in their small, yet fully-equipped Bengali-Punjabi-English kitchen. My sister, like me, grew up in Singapore, while my brother-in-law is a Punjabi hailing from Toronto, and together they have been calling London home for the last decade. Their home and kitchen is a fusion of cultures just like the neighbourhood they have adopted — their apartment sits in a post-war local authority building, named after a local Jewish family that died in the second world war bombings. To this day, their building is home to numerous world war two survivors, many of whom are old Jewish men and women who have witnessed the transformation of East London from a Jewish neighbourhood to the multicultural haven it is today. This part of the East End is famed for its Indian/Bengali restaurants but I can guarantee you won’t find anything like our menu in any of the multitudes of curry houses on Bricklane (a stone’s throw from where we are). One thing is guaranteed: we will not be serving vindaloo nor our food in a balti.
Theirs is a kitchen I love to cook in — the cold English air coming in through the open windows, the warmth of the oven, my sister’s extensive spice and recipe book collection and a world of ingredients and produce an avid chef could ever want or need available on the street markets of the East End. My sister is the one who taught me my much-loved dahl recipe and I personally believe no other bolognese can rival my brother-in-law’s. Every weekend, this lovely couple trawls the markets of the East End and dines in the coolest new restaurants and cafes — they are an inspiration for my foodie heart and I am so excited to be finally sharing the Khana Commune experience with them. Together we will comb the food haven that is London, concentrating on produce found in the East End, from the flowers at Columbia Flower market to decorate our table with to the local halal butchers.
We will be hosting a dinner for 8 people on August 19th at 8pm. Tickets to this dinner can be bought here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/130383 Once you have purchased your ticket, I will email you our full address details.
The menu for August 19th:
tiger prawn & green bean bhartha (mash)
tender lamb rack with a summer raspberry & chipotle glaze
oven-baked whole English mackerel with our mother’s chilli dressing
traditional chicken curry
tarka dahl with caramelised onion and coriander
spicy mango salad
If you are a Londoner who’s never heard of us, do have a
wander around this blog for pictures and previous menus.