Needless to say, I have been dragged to countless Indian restaurants and we even sampled some Bangladeshi curries and sweets! Boy oh Boy… the very first night in London, we went to Southall to sample some authentic Indian/ Pakistani food! Turns out it is more of a Pakistani neighbourhood than Indian one! Imagine walking down some alien streets in the dead of the night with gangs of rugged looking young men hanging at every street corner…No we aren’t talking of a western flick here! I was petrified walking down the streets of Southall especially with Anders walking beside me! Kept imagining that someone would walk right up to us and hurl abuse or hit me for being seen with a ‘white man’ and a Christian at that!!! I sure was nervous that night…you would be too if you casually picked up the newspaper on the local tube and found it full of crime from the first page to the last…especially many racially charged crimes!!! By the time we got off at the tube station I was a bundle of nerves…even asked Anders to walk a foot in front of me!!! Turns out, it was a relatively quite night and our high point was walking into a local Pakistani restaurant and ordering enough food to feed an army and then running out of the restaurant choking, gasping, clutching our throats and begging for some water in a hard to find shop!!!
We arrived in the restaurant and ordered loads of naan, rice, biryani, chicken tikka masala, mango lassis, onion Bhajjis and potato bhajjiyas. We got the rice, naan, tikka and the bhajjiyas quickly and dived right into it. We hadn’t seen authentic Indian food (UK style) for more than a year so we were slightly greedy!
Midway we both started to sweat and feel the pain of the spice… It was sooooo spicy! We continued to eat heroically despite it being too spicy for us… couldn’t talk… mouth burning…tears streaming…but food was sooo good…had to continue eating… finally we received the last dish, the biryani. And I asked the waiter, “ Please tell us that this is less spicy!!! We can’t take anymore spicy food!“ He answers, “Don’t worry! This biryani is not at all spicy , this is just medium spicy.” We were both relieved and were eager to cool our mouths off with the delicious looking biryani…
Suddenly, it strikes me, “Wait a minute, waiter. How spicy was the food we were already eating??”
His answer: “Oh, that was just medium spicy too”