Food for Thought


Diverse dishes to be showcased in first ever city cook book

It’s one of the most culturally mixed cities in the UK and now a new first-of-its-kind cook book is being whipped up to celebrate Birmingham’s diverse food heritage.

The book will feature 20 mouth-watering recipes for Afro-Caribbean, Algerian, Afghani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, English, Gambian, Irish and Pakistani inspired dishes from people living in the city.

Dishes will include Afghani dish ‘Chappali kebabs’, Gambian dish ‘Benachin Jollof rice’ and Irish favourites such as ‘Boxty’ (an Irish potato cake) and ‘champ’ (mashed potatoes and chopped scallions).

The book is being cooked up by housing association and charity Bournville Village Trust as part of the Government-funded Near Neighbours project which aims to bring different communities closer together.

Shabnam Mughal, Community Development Officer at Bournville Village Trust, said: “For the first time ever Birmingham will have its own cook book by people from the different cultures, religions and ethnicities that make up our fantastic city.

“Not only is it going to be packed full of delicious dishes but the process of developing the book and a shared love of cooking is bringing neighbours together to build new relationships and work together.”

Pryanka Maulik, whose recipes for Doi-Maach (a fish & yoghurt curry) and a Payesh (a type of rice pudding) will be published in the book, said: “It has been a delight and honour to have shared my family recipes in this cook book along with people from different corners of the world who live here and have so generously shared their cuisine and a slice of their culture with us.”

Tim Burton-Jones, Communication Officer at Near Neighbours, said: “Near Neighbours is all about bringing people together and building up new and positive friendships.

“This group has developed a fantastic way to bring together their community and we are proud to be a part of this. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the diversity of this community and we are excited to see what the outcome will be.”

The finished cook book will be launched at a special community event at Bournville Village Trust’s community centre Phoenix Hall in Bordesley Green in October.

All proceeds from the sale of the book, which has been funded through the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Near Neighbours project, will go back into providing services at Hall.



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