Imagining the future

In summer 2019, I was on panels discussing Decolonising Culture (Royal Academy) and Reimagining Britain (Queen Mary, University of London/ Wasafiri Magazine’s 35th anniversary). Many themes ran across both these experiences, foremost among them: Imagination can be a revolutionary act, and revolutions never end. Imagination and revolution are about words, voices, ideas, and actions; they’reContinue reading “Imagining the future”

Cabbage Soup

Those two words – Cabbage, and Soup – are usually enough to strike fear into the most courageous hearts. Fear not dear reader. Cabbage is uninspiring. Yes, it’s full of minerals and vitamins. Yes, it’s good for you. But it’s cabbage! In Britain it’s most commonly eaten with disdain as an accompaniment to a SundayContinue reading “Cabbage Soup”

Indian Water Pickle and Paratha

I used to love my Mother’s Indian Water Pickle, eaten as a child with freshly made, flaky, buttery Paratha and a daal. It’s a North Indian classic. Like most pickles, it’s a way of preserving  veg into the winter months. But let’s face it, it works any time of year. This particular pickle uses carrotContinue reading “Indian Water Pickle and Paratha”

Indian Food

Authentic Indian and South Asian food in the UK is on the up. Reflecting the authentic flavours, techniques and regional differences of India is something younger chefs and entrepreneurs excel at, and are going all out for. Not before time. So much Indian food in Britain was junk, and outside our bigger cities, still is.Continue reading “Indian Food”

Spaghetti alla Norma

It’s a classic dish, Spaghetti alla Norma. Yet too often I’ve had versions which are bland, with aubergine undercooked, and rubbery. Vile.  I encountered Italian food as a child. One of Kenya’s hidden secrets is its long-standing Italian population, resident there since the 1920’s – some fleeing Mussolini’s fascism, others a legacy of Italian misadventuresContinue reading “Spaghetti alla Norma”

The History of a City is Rubbish

Really?! Yes. Look at it this way. Humankind has been throwing things into rivers for thousands of years – rubbish, talismans or coins, items which accidentally fall in or which are dramatically dumped, and we all know about the ubiquitous shopping trolleys right? River beds are a microcosm of human history and chart the developmentContinue reading “The History of a City is Rubbish”

Odds and ends

Rifling through the fridge. It’s a weekday evening. Life is busy – barely had any time to shop and get food. You’re ravenous … A mismatched array of things came out of cupboards and the fridge; smoked mackerel fillets, purple sprouting broccoli, brown rice, some seasonings. The major food groups are all present and correct;Continue reading “Odds and ends”