Jit Patel & Jag Minhas cordially invite you to -

in association with our good friends:

Network Appliance
in partnership with Cisco Systems

with special season's greetings from our equally good friends at Computacenter:


Also proudly supported by our new friends at:

Nortel Networks and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young

Rice affected by the weather or turned (a man) must not eat, nor fish that is not sound, nor meat that is high. He must not eat anything discolored or that smells bad. He must not eat what has been crookedly cut, nor any dish that lacks its proper seasoning. The meat that he eats must at the very most not be enough to make his breath smell of meat rather than of rice. As regards wine, no limit is laid down; but he must not be disorderly.
- The Analects of Confucius

Food and eating are taken quite seriously all over Asia. In fact, "Chir-fan le may-yo", a standard greeting in Chinese, means "Have you eaten?" The idea is that if you have eaten, you must be feeling fine. Likewise - it is customary when (even fleetingly) visiting Indian households that you will not be allowed to leave without eating something.



This combination of dishes has been especially designed to not only cover the traditional and universal favourites of mainstream UK-Asian cuisine - but provides an exploration into tastes from all over Asia! Jit and Jag will be more than happy to explain the origins and regional influences of each dish.

This is NOT a menu that you will be asked to choose from - ALL of the following will be served (like servers from Computacenter) in stages and you will be expected to eat everything if possible!













































Stage 1

served at approximately 12:30

  • papadums
    large crispy crackers sometimes made with ground lentils and whole pepper

  • kheema* cutlet
    lamb mince with potato balls deep-fried in breadcrumb coating - Granny's special!

  • vegetable cutlet
    a vegetarian version of the special Kheema Cutlet

Stage 2

served at approximately 13:15

  • chicken* manchurian
    chicken pieces cooked in spicy chinese/indian fusion sauce - a perfect balance (like Nortel Load Balancers) of taditional Indian and Chinese tastes

  • vegetable manchurian
    vegetable pieces cooked in spicy chinese/indian fusion sauce

  • sheekh kebab*
    minced lamb marinated in spices, rolled on to skewers and barbecued

  • somosas
    packets (like Cisco IP packets) of spicy vegetable wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried - in India, street pushcarts and roadside vendors sell their delicious samosas to passersby who enjoy immediate gratification from these satisfying snacks - there are many regional variations an tastes

Stage 3

served at approximately 14:00 (with pilau rice, nan and condiments)

  • chicken* - jalfrezi style
    chicken pieces "dry fried" to a thick sauce with peppers - originally developed by a Bhuddist tribe called "mog" who were recruited as cooks by the British in the days of the British Raj period of rule in India

  • kheema* mutter
    lamb mince curry with peas - a traditional Punjabi dish

  • prawn coconut masala
    prawns cooked in a hot sauce with coconut - a traditional lunchtime dish in Goa - the smallest state in India

  • mutter paneer
    vegetable curry made with peas and fried, home-made cheese - similar to Chinese tofu - this dish originates from northern India where Punjabi and Rajasthani farmers ate this with parathas for lunch in their fields whenever they managed (like a Cap Gemini Ernst & Young managed service) to take a break.

  • tarka dhal
    a thick split-lentil soup with tarka masala - popular all over India - but probably has its roots in the far North - near Kashmir - where arduous travelling meant that meat could not be stored (like NetApp storage) for very long - dhal with rice was the everyday daily lunch dish.

Stage 4

served at approximately 15:00

  • pistachio kulfi
    an indian ice-cream flavoured with pistachio nuts - the origins of this dessert can be traced back to the times when Islamic Mughal empire ruled most of the Northern half of India - kulfi is thought to have been invented during the rule of Emperor Akbar - when innovations into making ice were first pioneered.


* All meat used will be halal

"Bon appetit!" from all at NetApp, Cisco & Computacenter


Event Details


The event will take place at a restaurant venue in Ealing. The name of the restuarant is Trusha - which is on the corner of Uxbridge road & Woodgrange road (It doesn't appear on the Map but you can get the general idea by clicking here).

The suggestion is that many of us all leave together from Hammersmith.

Nearest tube

In any case - the nearest transport point to the venue is Ealing Common tube station - which is just 2 stops (9 mins) from Hammersmith on the westbound Piccadilly.

When you get to Ealing common station: turn right out of the station. Trusha is approx 300 yards down the road.

Arrival time

Please aim to arrive at the venue between 12:15 and 12:30. Plan to be there until 16:00 if you wish to make the most of the celebration.

"Hey - don't forget: We'll all be leaving at the same time from Hammersmith"

Leaving Hammersmith

A party will be leaving from Hammermsith to catch the tube at 12:00 (midday) PRECISELY that day - and there will be no hanging around for stragglers who are dealing with "just one more email" - so if you want to be certain of getting there - please make sure that you are in Hammersmith building reception at midday precisely.

"Remember: no stragglers please - work can wait until Monday yaar"


The cost of the celebration is exactly £20 per person (to be paid to either Jit or Jag before Friday 6th December). The propietor of the venue is doing the food and service at "cost" for us - so trust us when we say that this is good value! This includes the use of a "private" room and a bar (where drinks will be normally priced.)

"Yes honey - the food is prepay -
but drinks are
pay as you go"

"but my best friends Jag & Jit are working on getting corporate sponsorship for some of the drinks and the awards ceremony"


There is no specific dress code and there will be no loud music. The occasion is very informal - and a great opportunity to just chill out the afternoon over a few hours with loads of tasty food of many different varieties and as much beer and wine as you like (and can afford.)

Jit and Jag will be conducting an alternative awards ceremony for O2 "heroes" during the event - and we will be expecting award-winners to make a speech - so please have some idea of what you might say if you get an award.


  • All food served must be eaten. Nobody will be allowed to leave until every bit of every dish is consumed.

  • There shall be no rowdy or drunken behaviour.

  • Note to sponsors: this is not an official O2 event - this is a "Jag Minhas and Jit Patel" production. Sponsorship is therefore about brand association with the enormous goodwill of said persons ;-)
    All guests are (mostly Hammersmith-based) friends of Jag Minhas and Jit Patel.
Play by MY rules:
"Hum jahan khade hote hain, line wohi shuru hota hai"

("Wherever I stand, the line starts from there" - a famous line by Amitabh Bachchan from one of his films)



Some background on Asian Food

You can eat a different Indian dish everyday, but still not repeat it for an entire year! Indian food is as diverse as its culture, its religions, geography, climatic conditions and traditions. All of these combine to influence the preparation of Indian food. Essentially spicy, the cuisine is, however, not always hot. It is the different combination of a handful of spices that produce the most delectable dishes in the world.

In India, preparation of food is an art, perfected over time and passed through generation by just word of mouth. Food is also an important part of Indian festivals and traditions; no festival or celebration is complete without a feast. Special preparations are a must during festivals.

Range of Cuisine

The food of India offers a staggering range of dishes to the gourmet with an adventurous palate. The character of cuisine in India is essentially regional; reasons for this must be found in the sheer size of the country which forced every area to develop a style of cooking of its own. As a result, not only dishes, but flavors, colours, methods of cooking, down to even the style of cutting the vegetables prior to be cooked changes as often as the landscape does.

What has helped along this diversity is the amazing number of religions and the sects and sub-sects within them; each of them often have strict dietary codes. For example, Hindu Brahmins may not eat onions, ginger and garlic which meant that a special cuisine came up around that bias and so on.

The most striking contrast in eating habits shows up between the meat-and-bread eating northern regions and the pulse-and-rice southern regions. For example Dal (lentils), the all-time favorite across India, differs in cooking style from region to region. The dal makhni of the north is made with liberal amounts of butter and cream, while in Gujarat, the western part, it is a sweetish preparation. In the south, it is cooked along with countless vegetables.

Various forms of milk products like, curd, cream and paneer (cottage cheese) is used in cooking in the north. In contrast, the south Indians use this sparingly. Instead, they use coconut in almost every dish. Here, it would be apt to mention that even the cooking medium differs as, the north Indians use mustard or vegetable oil, while the south Indians use groundnut or sesame oil. Keralites use coconut oil for almost all the dishes.

Northern India

The 'Roti' or 'Chappatis' or 'Parathas' (unleavened bread fried on a griddle) accompanied with a wide assortment of "curries", which include spicy vegetables and lentils is the typical north Indian food. Punjabi food is a lively mixture of varied spices, with a tempting aroma. Punjabi 'tandoori' cooking is popular throughout the world. Huge earthen ovens are half buried in the ground and heated with a coal fire lit below it. Marinated meat, chicken, fish, paneer, rotis and naans of many types are cooked in this novel oven. Another popular combination is the 'makki ki roti' and 'sarson ka sag'.

The food from North India also traces its descent from Persian ancestors and then more definitely from the 16th century Mughals. The Mughals brought with them Persian and Afghan cooks who started North Indians on the rich and fragrant Persian rice dishes, such as pilafs and biryanis (meat-based pilafs). Garnished with pounded silver (vark), these dishes along with spicy kormas (braised meat in creamy sauces), koftas (grilled spicy meatballs) and kababs used to grace the tables of emperors.

Western India

The original cuisine of western India is principally vegetarian. This is largely due to the enterprising, but strictly vegetarian, Marwari community from Rajasthan, who have now spread all over the country. The Marwari cuisine is a good example of how the best was made of locally available stuff. It is spicy and extremely rich with almost everything being doused in ounces of ghee (clarified butter) and is famous for its mouth-watering aroma. Essentially, the cuisine is simple with dishes like alloo bhajis (spicy potatos), karhi (chickpea dumplings in yoghurt sauce), dal batti (lentil dumplings oozing with ghee dunked in dal) which are polished off with rice and pooris (puffed whole wheat fried breads).

An interesting aside here is the Goan cuisine, which effectively mixes local Konkan and Portuguese flavors. The Goan cuisine with its tongue-curling hot vindaloo curries and distinctive sweet and sour dishes is very popular all over the western ghat region. The Indian salmon and Bombay Duck is popular – which is neither from Bombay nor a duck, but a small sun-dried fish cut and sold in strips.

Maharashtrian food offers a variety of crunchy crisp snacks like the 'vada pav', 'misal' and 'pav bhaji'.

Eastern India

Eastern India is close to the sea and gets plenty of rain. Hence rice and fish are staple all over here. The hilsa (a variety of fish) and macherjhol (fish curry) is legendary all over India. Curry is not the only thing with which fish is eaten; it is smoked, grilled, fried, made into pakoras (patties), stuffed into green coconuts and now into burgers too.

The other good thing of the eastern cuisine (Bengali) is their delicate sweets. The difference here is that the sweets of the north India are based on khoya (milk which thickened slowly until it forms a sweet dough), which is quite heavy. However, those of east India are based on milk, curd and chena (light cottage cheese) and hence are much more lighter on the palate. 'Rasogullas', gulab jamuns', 'malai sandwich', 'chena murkhi', 'anarkali' and 'rajbogh' are just a few of the endless delicacies served. The 'mishti dhoi', yogurt sweetened with jaggery, is made in every home.

Southern India

Rice is served everywhere and always in south India and flour-based breads are rare, if at all. Rice is used to polish off the very spicy curries of the south, which are liquidier than those of the north. These curries are often pulse-based and if this sounds restricting, you'll be surprised at what a few spices here and there can do to completely change the taste of things. The south Indians put chillis, mustard, coconut oil and various other spicy seeds to very effective use to conjure up mouth watering dishes like dosas (rice pancakes stuffed with potatoes and vegetables), idlis (rice dumplings served with sambar), and so on.

Herbs and Spices

A lot of care and thought goes into the preparation of every Indian dish. A study into their recipes reveals a lot of surprises. Every single ingredient of the dish is there with a purpose and compliments each other. In fact, the succession of dishes also keeps in mind the flavour and 'nature' of the spices, whether hot or cool.

Spices and herbs used in Indian cooking are either fresh or dried – in which case the flavour changes for each form. However, that is not all: the dried spices and herbs are used in various ways. They can be used whole or grounded (more often than not still pounded at home!) and they may be roasted, fried, deep-fried, half-done, well-done … all according to the taste that the cook wants to give to the eventual dish.

Some of the commonly used ingredients in Indian food are: Chilli (hot fiery red or green); Coconut; Garlic; Ginger; Basil, coriander (cilantro), mint and parsley; Fenugreek (methi); Saunf; Garam Masala; Mustard Seeds; Tamarind (Imli); Saffron (Kesar) and Rose water (gulkand).

Indian-Chinese Fusion

It's hot, it's cheap, it's quick, it's satisfying and it's available at almost every street corner. That explains both the appeal and the success of Chinese restaurants everywhere. Add to that their convenience, variety, availability and you have a winning formula.

People like to eat Chinese food because it is nutritious and it has a menu of rice, chicken, fish, meat and vegetables, cooked in pungent, spicy sauces. It has a lot of variety. And as for the Indian community they crave: Fried prawns, chilli chicken, the Bombay-style Manchurian soup, chicken pakoras, vegetable hot garlic wonton and vegetable bazzie in Manchurian sauce and meats with courgettes and onions.

The unique fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine - so typically demonstrated by the rise in popularity of Manchurain style dishes - does actually have some history to it. In the early 1900s the Hakka Chinese migrated to India from Canton to escape the opium warfare and political issues. When they were exposed to Indian cuisine, they borrowed many spices and concepts to incorporate in their own food. And finally perfected the technique.

answers your ...

... frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Kajol (Mukherjee) is one of the best actresses present today in the Indian Film Industry. In her career, which began in 1991, she has done various types of roles, varying from the tender and lovable dulhania in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to the amazingly violent villain in Gupt. The versatility of her acting is just incredible, some examples of this being proved by films like Dushman, where on one hand she is brash, ebullient and fun-loving, and on the other hand she plays the role of a sober, timid type of character. This can also be seen in a recent hit, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where in the first half, Kajol is a cool, college-going, tomboyish girl, and in the second half, she is so graceful, beautiful and mature. The beauty of her acting is sufficient to win the hearts of her audience, which is now a rare quality amongst her contemporaries. She not only has a pleasing achievement in acting, but also has a wonderful character. These qualities seem to enhance her grace and charm, and I guess this is the reason that she is my favourite actress.


Exactly who are Jag Minhas and Jit Patel?

They are my best friends in London! And they both work for O2 - always trying to see what they can do. Jag is an archi-tecchy sort of person and Jit is into technical delivery of multimedia messaging. They are both highly cultured individuals who enjoy Indian/Asian food- and they have a lot of friends.

What was the "big idea" behind this event?

It all started sometime in September when they were with friends in an a pub at lunchtime (having an English) in Hammersmith with mostly folks in Sardar Malcolm Apple-Ji's team - and they hit upon the idea of "going for an Indian" with the Indian/Sri-Lankan members of the team - in an attempt to remember our "roots". So - it started out as an idea to go for a "curry" with a few friends. What they didn't realise was that there was an enormous pent-up demand for this sort of thing amongst many other colleagues working in the O2 office in Hammersmith! It has now turned out to be THE culinary event of the year - and many people of many diverse backgrounds and religions are adopting it as an alternative to the normal seasonal "end-of-term" parties!

How was the venue selected?

One of Jit's relatives (called "Granny") is the propietor of a restaurant in Ealing - so they figured - well why not organise something around that? It is only two stops up on the tube from Hammersmith - and is an ideal venue from which to stagger home after a feast!

Why is it taking place during the day?

So that everybody could all get home at a time that parents wouldn't mind. Indian parents are very particular about the time that their children come home.

Do I have to be Indian to attend?

Yes - most certainly. Although - since practically everyone in the world is Indian in some way - it shouldn't be difficult to qualify for this attribute.

Can I invite my friends?

Yes. Just click on the "Invite more people" link on the Evite that you got - and you can specify more people to invite. Please ensure that you invite "Indian" people only. And PLEASE ensure that you only invite friends (or friends' spouses) of Jag Minhas or Jit Patel - i.e. those that work in the O2 Hammersmith workplace where Jag and Jit work. If you would like to invite people outside this circle - then please get this agreed before you invite others.

My manager is not happy about me taking the afternoon off that day - what should I do?

This is a tough one to deal with. The best advice is to remind them that they are Indian and ensure that they get an invite. Seriously though - please ensure that the business in your workplace is not at risk of coming to a standstill on Friday 13th December. Do get it cleared with your manager - and ensure that you are booking the afternoon off against your annual holiday entitlement. This event is not being paid for by your employer!

Why are we being asked to pay in advance?

Because that is the Indian way. Like it or lump it - you have to pay in advance. None of this nonsense lark of paying afterwards - trust me; that's just too complicated.

Why is the event being "sponsored"?

Because it is an Indian tradition to not pay for everything (or even anything). And so - Jag and Jit are appealing to sponsors to pay for the drinks in return for promotion of their brand. That way we can continue the Indian tradition of parting with as little cash as possible. This tradition (which has it's roots in Gujurat) - has spread to the Western world as well.

What is the "awards ceremony" all about?

This is to spice(!) up the event really. The idea is to make everyone who attends feel loved and valued. Jag and Jit haven't worked out the details for this part of the event yet - but they are quite keen on ensuring that everyone attending comes prepared to receive some sort of award.

How has the invitation list been put together?

Completely at random. It started with Indians, Sri Lankans, mixed-up types and wannabes - and it has extended due to popular demand to all western and European types as well.

Do I need to "dress up" for this?

Yes - if you can. Girls must dress up in sarees or Punjabi suits or lenghas and must wear bhindi (lashkara) with their chamke (shiny) golden jewellery - and boys must dress up like male Indian filmstars - specifically like Shah Rukh Khan or Horrific Roshan.

What if I don't like Indian food?

You are advised not to attend.

How (and who) do I pay?

Jag Minhas (who is based on the 3rd floor at Hammersmith) or Jit Patel (who is on the 2nd floor). You have to pay in cash - £20 pounds.

What if I don't pay my £20 before 5pm on Friday 6th December?

You will not be able to attend. Simple as that!

Why can't I select what I want from a menu like in every other restaurant?

Because - in the tradition of all Indian families: you will eat what you are given and say "thank you". And you will eat it all up as well - it is considered deeply offensive to not finish everything you are served at the table.

Why is there no "Chicken Tikka Masala"?

Because this is an Indian food event. If you want CTM - you will have to go to an English restuarant - as this is the England's favourite dish.

Will the food be "hot"?

For sure. But this is not a problem. If you are attending then you will be Indian in your heart - so you will really enjoy "hot" food.

What if we don't finish all the food?

There is no answer to this. All food WILL be finished. You will not be allowed to leave whilst there is food on the table.

Just in case you're wondering - don' take some of the answers too seriously.

© Jag Minhas, London 2002

If you are wondering about the music playing in the background: this is an extract from the title song from the soundtrack of the Bollywood blockbuster film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. I have embedded the music as a very high quality MP3 file music inside an invisible shockwave flash object - so that you can enjoy the high quality of the sound (you must have good speakers or use earphones or headphones - it will come out crap in your tinny laptop speakers!.)