The Singer, the Cook, his Kebabs and a Box of Ready Made Masala.
If you’ve ever seen Qawwali singers in action you can easily imagine them working up a serious appetite. A Qawwali ‘Party’ comprises of a main singer and his ‘support – other male singers who provide a clapping accompaniment. The performance is charged with energy and the whole effect is mesmeric. Once ‘in the zone’ they can sing their devotional songs of praise for hours and Nusrat Fateh ali Khan remains the most famous exponent of recent times.
Nusrat was a man with a large appetite for devotion… and food. After his concerts, particularly at the Hackney Empire in London, the eatery of choice for Nusrat was the Lahore One Kebab House (218 Commercial Road). The owner Mohammed Anjum is, in his own way, a patron of the arts and was always delighted to host Nusrat and his band of singers. I’ve visited several times and am happy to see his restaurant is well reviewed. If you ever go, try the kheer; I’ve never really been a huge fan of rice pudding but theirs is truly delicious – incredibly thick and creamy.
Of course in this part of London it’s all about the kebabs. Mohammed’s is one of several Pakistani restaurants in the area – the most well known being the Lahore Kebab House on Umberston Street.