Brick Lane Cookbook
by Dina Begum
Photography by Peter Watson, Illustrations by Want Some Studio
Brick Lane is famous for many things. Not only is it home to the biggest Bangladeshi community in the UK, crammed with curry houses and Bengali sweet shops, it is also the site of one of London’s most long-running markets. Located in a part of East London that has seen many waves of immigration over the centuries, Brick Lane certainly wears its history with pride. Huguenot townhouses butt up against mosques that were once synagogues. The oldest beigel bakery in the UK still serves hungry punters 24 hours a day. The pavements throng with city boys, art students, curry house touts, models and tourists. And there are restaurants and street food stalls serving them food from every part of the world.
Dina Begum has been a regular visitor since she was a little girl eating lamb kofta rolls with her dad at the Sweet & Spicy cafe. In this, her first book, she celebrates Brick Lane’s diverse food cultures. Whether it’s the homestyle Bangladeshi curries she grew up eating or the classic Buffalo wings from award-winning restaurant Sticky Wings, Dina has a recipe for you. With contributions from street food traders and restaurants including Gram Bangla, Beigel Bake, Blanchette, Chez Elles, St Sugar of London, Cafe 1001 and Moo Cantina, the Brick Lane Cookbook is a culinary map of the East End’s tastiest street and a snapshot of London at its authentic, multi-cultural best.
Dina Begum is a British Bangladeshi food writer whose work has appeared in Metro, The Telegraph and Huffington Post. She also sells her delicious, Asian-fusion jams and chutneys at markets around London. Follow her food journey at www.dinabegum.co.uk.
Ghillie Basan, author and broadcaster:
“Brick Lane is global. It is organic in nature, it showcases flavour and community camaraderie, it offers street food at its best. Dina guides us through the market, bringing the aromas and atmosphere to life with Bangladeshi home-cooking, traders’ recipes, her mother’s dishes and her own twists on classics. She describes the book as a ‘labour of love’ and it clearly is; she shares that with a generous heart.”
Sumayya Usmani, cookbook writer and broadcaster, author of Summers Under the Tamarind Tree and Mountain Berries and Desert Spice:
“Dina takes you on a personal journey through this iconic area, highlighting its culinary evolution as a multi-ethnic and migrant food hub of East London. Dina’s stories and modern Bangladeshi recipes are mouthwatering.”
Felicity Spector, food writer and broadcaster:
“This is a wonderful book – I’m so thrilled to see all the traditions and cultures which have sprung from Brick Lane celebrated together through these recipes. My late father was born just off Brick Lane in 1922 and spoke often about the traders who sold herrings in barrels and bagels out of sacks, and wrote a book himself about growing up as a young Jewish boy there in the 20s. He was always so excited to see how much the area changed, and yet stayed the same – its food scene reflecting that multi cultural diversity, the embracing of new people and their traditions, with those already there. I know he’d have loved a book like this – Dina has brilliantly captured this vibrant, dynamic and welcoming part of East London.”
Brick Lane Cookbook is the third of our London Markets series, following on from Recipes from Brixton Village and The Greenwich Market Cookbook. Get acquainted with London’s wonderful and varied markets today!