I don’t need to remind anyone of the fact that omnivorous individuals like myself have little or no problem in complying with having a full veg blow-out when the need calleth. And no that’s nothing to do with satisfying the whim of a dining companion who’s vegetarian either. If I were forced into a corner and forced upon to be a veggie then I’ll shall demand that the blindfold be removed and FGS put that damn pistol away from my head, I’ll eat Indian vegetarian for the rest of my life. I’m no health freak but I strongly believe that there is only so much meat (especially red meat) one can consume. So for every one week in five I try my best to abstain from meat; your bod will thank you for that and I don’t care if that hoohah has been mentally derived. I profess that I’m no fan of vegetarian dishes that have been cooked the western way (quite often I find myself lying through my teeth and saying, yes it’s very good when it was actually lacking the essential joie de vivre of eating). The Chinese have the wonderful tau foo (tofu) as an ingredient, but it’s normally intended to be served with meat or fish in a stir-fry, soup, stew and so on. But on its own, tofu epitomises blandness like there’s no tomorrow and even then some vegetarians dismiss it as desperate. Oh I don’t know, give the Indians some tofu and they would surely create a world class dish out of it; but then again they don’t need tofu as they have their own paneer.
I don’t do bland food. If I’m steaming some broccoli or cauliflower then chilli oil is called for. Veg dishes need spicing up and what best then to leave the whole procedure to our Indian friends. They’ve been there and done that, they know how to convert the die-hardest carnivores. And before you start to wallow needlessly, Indian vegetarian is not just about saggy aloo, tessa dhal and aloo gobi desert.
I’ve been coming to Jashan for the past decade. Its location requires an epic trip that involves four bus changes from the Westend, but once reached a rewarding experience awaits. This part of Wembley is hardly photogenic, but it’s home to the Gujaratis, Tamils and Sri Lankans; it’s the understated Southall of North London. Like most Indian veggie restaurants in London, the décor is a pure supplementation- you come here to eat, you’re charged very little for it, so why nag, just carry on. And quite often restaurants like Jashan gets misconstrued for their service, if you wish to witness a bit of grovelling like a certain Mr Winner then this place is painfully at odds with your expectations, go to Bombay Brasserie instead. Oh I must add that tap water in jugs is for the taking and the Nepalese Gurkha manager is a right gentleman.
The menu is long and confusing, there are smatterings of both North and South Indian favourites plus some unorthodox Chinese dishes cooked the Indian way. Just take your time and don’t order too much as you can come back here again and again to complete the task.
Here’s a pictorial rundown of a meal I had recently.
Makai Paneer Ke Pakore- beyond moreish sweetcorn and cottage cheese fritters.
Dahi Batata Puri - mini puris filled with potatoes and drowned with sweetened yoghurt.
This dish is served at below room temperature, it’s coldish and it’s spicy to boot! One of my favourite dishes at Jashan.
Cheese Pao Bhaji (mashed spicy veg and cheese served with buns)
Not recommended, boring but filling.
Mushroom Chilli- Loved it, fried battered morsels. Again very spicy!
I’ve always believed that the Indians and Persians cook the best and most perfect rice. Just look at that bowl of pilau!
Kaju Mutter- Cashew Nuts and Peas curry in background. If you thought vindaloo this and that was fiery well you haven’t tried this. Dish that thrives on the expression, it hurts so good!
Pudhina Paratha- excellent mint flavoured layered bread. The pig as I always am I can never finish the bread once the bowl of rice has been emptied.
Like all Indian vegetarian restaurants, it’s unlikely that you’ll leave Jashan reeling with hunger.
Cursory afters of Kesar Bandam Bahar- saffron infused almond kulfi.
Dosa Mysore Masala- rice crepe filled with spicy potatoes. If you’re coming here for the first time then order this as it’s a dish that bodes well as an intro to what Jashan has to offer.
Fried Haka Noodles- a strange twist on chow mein, eminently spicy but downright acquired!
Jashan replenishes my well being admirably and it ever so gives me wings as well. Highly recommended.
1-2 Coronet Parade
Ealing Road, Wembley
London HA0 4AY