I have no tickets, I have no official merchandise, and what’s more, I have absolutely no inclination to spend my summer glued to a sporting event of any kind. But, like it or not, ‘the games’, like a particularly determined teenage boy, will touch us all in some way. And imbibing a rainbow selection of lassis and a hearty Indian feast is surely the least objectionable manner.
Namaaste Kitchen has taken the Olympic ideals and run with them (arf arf), offering a menu of balanced, healthful dishes alongside brightly coloured, themed lassis- each representing one of the five rings. As concepts go, it’s an easy sell- certainly easier to swallow than some of the misty-eyed, part-time patriotism exhibited by many of our fellow countrymen.
When it comes to lassis, though, no-one could accuse me of being a part-time patriot. So it’s the classic mango that takes the gold, with the pistachio a worthy runner-up. I’m not so sure of blueberry, a red cherry-pom-cran blend, or a startlingly inky blackberry and grape combo, but hey- they’re fresh, they’re fruity and they sure as heck are more fun than selling your kidneys for a lukewarm cup of The Real Thing at a packed stadium.
Those elite athletes are a fussy bunch, but I’d like to think they let their hair down and neck a few crispy-tangy-zingy pani puri now and again. They’d also enjoy the Goan mackerel, what with all that omega-3. I know I did. Chicken tikka masala might put the kaibosh on chances of beating that personal best- but at least Namaaste packs its version with organic meat and serves it alongside wild rice- aka the ‘worthy-but-worth-it’ grain.
I’m not sure what claims could be made for Lucknowi lamb shanks, what with all that unctuous, gloriously gelatinous meat, but it does make one feel in rather rude health. Healthy enough, anyway, to afford another few forkfuls of a fish quintet featuring seabass, mackerel, cod, tilapia and squid (there’s those rings again), packed with pak choi and sauced with a light coconut gravy.
The power of five persists with Namaaste‘s colourful dessert of ice cream served with rainbow fruits- mango, kiwi, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries- sprinkled with chaat masala (or farty salt, for those in the know). But don’t let that deter you. As all true Olympians would attest, even letting one go occasionally is perfectly healthy.
Namaaste Kitchen’s Olympic 2012 Menu is available for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.