As you may know, I grew up with glorious English Sunday roasts and fiery Indian curries and sometimes a combination of the two (take our spicy Indian Roast Lamb for example!).
Every generation brings something new to the table and so for me, my menus weave of all these experiences into something which celebrates this rich culinary heritage whilst simultaneously offers something new. That’s why I was thrilled to be invited to design and serve a three-course menu at the iconic Soho House in New York City this spring.
Located in the trendy Meatpacking District, steps from the High Line, in a former warehouse, Soho House NYC hosts some of Manhattan’s hottest tickets in its members events space, the Vinyl Room.
I couldn’t think of a better spot to bring the fragrant, aromatic, deliciously familiar-yet-different flavours of my style of food to this part of the city and devised a menu packed with delectable dishes that I knew my guests would love.
Infused with a heady dose of Bollywood glamour, the evening was a sell-out with around 180 guests in attendance, some of whom headed to New York specifically for my event (I was told there was even a guest list!)
“When the elevators doors opened in to the Vinyl room, it smelt like home. I knew Chef Saira was about to deliver in a way I didn’t think was possible” – a Soho House guest
Very often, when we dine out in restaurants, we are often kept from the home-cooking experience. But the home cooking is where the magic is. It’s lighter, at times – less ‘try hard’ and frankly put – its honest! Yes, the daal might be runnier and less Insta-friendly – but the gingery brothiness of it is so comforting and leaves us wondering, why we were sold on the notion that Indian food can only be ‘heavy in fats and spices’.
Bollywood Nights was a great success, and I’m so pleased to say that all guests left with a smile on their face after enjoying their choice of dishes. I’m looking forward to bringing my concept to other Houses around the world, including in the UK and Canada in the future.
For now, I’ll leave you with my menu. If it leaves you longing for something similar for dinner tonight, why not browse my recipes to create your own menu inspired by the flavours of India?
Rainy Day Treat; Lamb Samosa with Mint Yoghurt Chutney
Hand pie of ground lamb and potatoes scented with mint
Southall Sundays Alu Tikki Chat (Can also be made Vegan)
Crispy potato patty, topped with chana masala, sweet and tart tamarind and cilantro chutney, yoghurt and sev
Winters in Delhi Butter Chicken With Amul Butter
Twice Cooked Chicken In A Delicate Tomato-Butter Sauce
Comfort Keema Mattar (Vegan)
Comfort personified, ground vegan mince braised in onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, studded with fresh garden peas
Gobi Alu & Home Humble Dahl
It Was A Passionate Mess
Mango And Passion Fruit layered With Elderflower Whipped Cream and Crushed Meringue Cookies