It takes some confidence to wrestle in on Birmingham’s curry scene. Birthplace of the balti, locals will know instantly if your food isn’t up to scratch. But that’s exactly what Dishoom did when it opened its Birmingham branch in 2021. It hasn’t looked back since. Paying homage to the Irani cafés which were popular in India in the 1960s and serving delicious Bombay-inspired dishes, Dishoom has become a household name across the country since it opened its first café in Covent Garden in 2010. With locations now across London, as well as in Manchester and Edinburgh.
The Birmingham location, along with Manchester and Kings Cross, will now host a series of events. Marking the 75th anniversary of Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan. Dishoom co-founder Shamil Thakra has teamed up with Kavita Puri to tell the stories of those caught up in the aftermath. Individuals from Kavita’s book ‘Partition Voices: Untold British Stories’, and their relatives, have been invited to speak at the events and share their experiences.
In August of 1947, India and Pakistan gained their freedom from British reign. And while it was a cause of celebration for many, it also sparked one of the largest migrations in human history. Millions of Muslims travelled to West and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), as millions of Hindus and Sikhs went the other way. 10 million people made the life-changing journey. With up to a million losing their lives in the process due to the violence caused by these mass movements.
On August 8 and 9, we will hear the stories of those caught up in this unimaginable moment in history at Dishoom in Manchester and Birmingham respectively. This is before a final evening event at Kings Cross on the anniversary of Indian independence, August 15. Attendees will finish each event by breaking bread with the other guests and tucking into delectable Bombay dishes.
Dishoom was inspired by the Irani cafes that were once very popular in the Bombay area. People of all classes, cultures and religions used to share their time and meals at these places. Celebrating everything from Eid to Diwali together. This makes Dishoom the perfect setting to commemorate this moment that affected so many people from all walks of life.
Tickets for the Birmingham and Manchester events are £50 per person, and £30 for the Kings Cross event. For more information on the events click here.