Author and Publisher. I work in academic publishing. I live in London and am currently writing my second novel. I can be contacted at @gurdeepmattu and and would especially like to hear from literary agents interested in representing my work.

Category: Food

Peaky Blenders, Leytonstone Tube Station

Today I had occasion to visit Leytonstone, E11, and noticed a new place in the station called ‘Peaky Blenders’.  They are originally from E17 – yes, that’s right, Walthamstow.  Dog tracks, Brian Harvey and hipsters who can’t afford Hackney. The man making the coffee had a trilby on, and so you can kind of see what they did there, right.

Here is a picture:-


I had a ‘Long Black’ which seems to the be new name for ‘Americano’.  I agree with this, given how much brand USA has been trashed recently.  In any case, it was £2.50, which is pretty pricey for a station coffee.

I tasted it as I rattled into London on the Westbound Central line and it was good.  It was strong, and it had a pleasing amount of coffee oils in with the hot water.  There was that sour, citrus taste that you get with short to mid-extraction upscale coffee – although sometimes really what you want is a roasted and burned to shit Starbucks (as I enjoyed in Birmingham New Street, served by a woman who could. not. have. been. less. interested.)  It’s different strokes for different folks.

They also operate a scheme where you can ‘donate’ a coffee – put it in ‘reserve’ for people in need, who then just ask for a reserve coffee and are given one, no questions asked.  It is remarkable if this scheme works without being exploited, but Leytonstone might just pull it off.  It’s unlikely that people won’t take the piss – they did at Waitrose, and then they had to stop.

I enjoyed my short experience of Peaky Blenders and on their website they have links to their academy, training courses and all sorts of other things including mail order coffee and merch.  So get to it.


Review : Waitrose Banana

Today I had a Waitrose Fairtrade Banana. Bananas are a yellow fruit that it eaten by peeling the exterior ‘wrapping’ off to expose a soft off-white fleshy protuberance. This particular banana had been in my bag for two days and was rather bruised, but the interior had survived relatively unscathed. Sadly, it was not sweet, or pleasant, nor creamy, like some of the best bananas are. This was a tepid, phlegmy affair that I felt almost too sad to continue with. I ate it all though as I was hungry. I would not give this more than four stars out of ten, perhaps only three. Bananas are rich in antioxidants and potassium. This was a banana rich in regret.

Breakfast on a skillet

Inspired by Laura’s rustic style, today I made breakfast in a skillet and served it that way.



Fairy Cakes

NOT cup cakes! Those unwieldy top heavy baubles have no place here in E6.

100mg butter, 100g flour self-raising, 100g sugar, maple syrup to taste, 1 egg, a bit of milk – whizz in the food processor.




And then boredom set in so I made one big one with chocolate buttons inside it. Lush:


And so there it is. Gas Mark 4, maybe 10 mins & let cool. Decorate at will, friends!

Next week : pashmina reviews.

Nice Drop, That

2006 Jumillah. Tastes nice. Oak casks have conditioned it too close to a port-like profile, but it is thin and clear enough to have other flavours. Bit distracted as I was sewing a button on and I stabbed myself leaving a tiny blood stain on the inside out-facing placket.  I managed a good strong button stitch though. Now for another sip. Yep.


It comes with all the fancy wire but I pushed it aside and didn’t even take the foil off, why bother. It’s not a restaurant, mister.


For the wine people out there here’s the back of the bottle.


Can I file this under food? I think so. It’s fruit, basically.  Just processed a bit. Here are some shrooms.



So, I’m trying out Wright’s Premium White Bread mix as a stop gap and to learn some kneading techniques with a premix. The baker is still suffering.from a cold and is fresh from a two-man moshpit in Leytonstone last night (to a cover of ‘Paranoid’ by the Sabbath). We also watched.”Gravity” which is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Lumpen, cliched script and *huge* gaps in the science.  Anyway:


And in the tray:


So now I just have to let it rise a but and then cook the shit out of it. Might add some of the missus’ poppy seeds.

Here’s where I’m letting this bitch rise while I play “Hitman: Absolution” (PS3) which is maybe 5 million times better than Sandra Bullock’s simpering damsel in distress phone in on “Gravity”. Best Actress my arse.


Finished article later.

Soda Bread

Inspired by a recipe from Tom Kerridge and as a nod to the Irish methods of making bread, I decided to make soda bread. This is bread without yeast, which uses buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda.  So, here it is.


Clearly getting a bit burnt. Time to.remove from oven.


Hurrah, bread!

Makin’ Bread: 2

So, I tried making bread again. Came out better this time.


Here’s a cross section


Next week I will add more yeast and use a touch more salt as the ‘brake’.

Making Bread

In the footsteps of our author Paul Hollywood, I made some bread.  The dough:


My workspace. Before cleaning it. Coffee everywhere in this kitchen.


And then I remember I forgot the fucking butter! This is all I have:


State of this!


Looks okay now. More later after all the proving stages. Easier just to go to the fucking shop and buy a loaf!

Bread goes in oven. It has failed to rise.


Posh Chicken Dippers

One thing I haven’t really posted about on here is food.  My monologues, poetry and general observations seemed to me to be the interesting things.  Eating (we eat most days and cook most days) seemed to be secondary.  I work for a large publisher and we have a cookery/food list.  They are nice and they win awards and stuff.  Over the last few weeks and months, I have seen more cook books than I usually would do.  I began to think: maybe I could work on my own, very limited, collection of recipes?

I have had for a long time the ‘Vegetarian Cookbook’ and in a burst of optimism about the grocery situation in East Ham, I bought the Leon cookbook (the first one with the lists of cheeses and fruits).  You can get almost nothing they mention in my local Tesco Express.  So, I have muddled on, slowly developing a repertoire of base ingredients, spice mixes and ways to cook them.  I thought I would share my lunch recipe here in case you lack inspiration to make your own.

‘Posh Chicken Dippers’

Serves 1


Seven/eight Birds Eye Crispy Chicken Dippers (don’t use the own brand ones!)
1x brown onion, medium sized
2x charlotte potatoes
Mustard seeds, half a teaspoon
1 tsp of salt
Crushed chilli seeds
Garlic, 1 clove
Ginger powder (use fresh ginger if you can be bothered, makes a lot of difference)
1x lime
50g sweetcorn, frozen

Okay, so it’s pretty simple.  You first need to add the Chicken Dippers to the oven, gas mark 7, and cook for 20 minutes.  The first ten minutes, you can relax, read a book, listen to some music.  I would recommend maybe the new album by Metz, although it is pretty hectic.  Maybe try the Beach House album if you are a moody sort, or there’s the Twin Shadow album ‘Confess’ which works well for hipsters.

Finely chop garlic, after peeling.  Add to bowl.  Add your 1 tsp of ginger powder.  Add the salt.  How much salt?  Up to you buddy.  You like salt?  Go for it.  Just don’t come to me when you’re adding cruet sets full to your fish and chips.  Add the crushed chilli seeds, vary amount according to taste.  Add mustard seeds. This is your base. [not a cooking term]

Peel the Charlotte potatoes and dice into pieces thinner than a julienne, maybe 2/3mm cubed.  Keep bigger if you like crunchy uncooked potatoes or are a bit of a cack hand with the knife.  Halve the onion, peel, and then slice 3mm thicknesses for each half.  This will fall apart nicely in the pan.

Add a little bit of oil to the wok or pan.  Put up on high heat, the hotter the better.  This should be done around five minutes before the Dippers are cooked.  Put your base into the pan, it will sizzle.  Absorb aroma – good, eh?  It’s nice.  You’re doing well.  So, turn the extractor fan on, and then add the potatoes and the onions.  Do this before the mustard seeds pop – if they pop before you will end up with hot oil-coated missiles flying everywhere – this is not good.

Keep stirring.  When you achieve a little bit of browning on the onions, add the sweetcorn.  At this point you can add a bit of Lea and Perrins if you want, but it’s up to you.  Keep stirring, high heat.  Cut the lime in half and add the juice of half a lime to the dish.  You can use the other half for a garnish/dressing or in a gin collins or G and T. I would use it to make a drink if I am honest, otherwise you are just wasting a good lime.

Get the chicken dippers out, and they should be crispy and golden.  Add whole to the pan, stir until they are coated with the stuff in the pan.  The lime juice should be making the sides of the pan go a bit grey as it boils off.  This is your cue to serve up, and go and eat.  You can add chilli sauce if you find it bland but depending on the quality of the ingredients you used, it should taste just fine.  Next time why not add a few beansprouts and maybe some peas to differentiate and add some roughage?  You can use torn chicken breast if you are a bit posh.