Brick Lane is famous for many things: for being home to the biggest Bangladeshi community in the UK, for its curry houses and Bengali sweet shops, for its graffiti, its long-running market and its beigel shops. Now, its also increasingly well known for its thriving art and fashion scene and the incredible street food available there.
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 her first book, she celebrates Brick Lane’s diverse food cultures: from the homestyle Bangladeshi curries she grew up eating to her own luscious and indulgent cakes, from Chinese-style burgers to classic Buffalo wings, from smoothie bowls to raw coffee brownies. 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.
“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.” -Ghillie Basan
“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.” -Sumayya Usmani
“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.” -Felicity Spector