Meet the Trader: Restaurant celebrates Holi with MasterChef finalist 

Babur collaborates with BBC MasterChef finalist for Holi Pic: Krisha Valia 

Babur, the Indian restaurant in Lewisham, takes pride in “always trying something new”.

For this month’s Holi celebration, it decided to collaborate with a BBC MasterChef finalist, Anurag Aggarwal to create a colourful five-course meal.

Aggarwal was always passionate about cooking, but never explored it much early on. He spent years in the corporate industry, as the Vice President of Finance. He decided to go on BCC MasterChef in 2023, and became a finalist in that season, kickstarting his culinary journey.

Holi is the Hindu festival of colours celebrated all over India and in Indian communities around the world with much enthusiasm and love. The festival is often referred to as the festival of colours. Conversations with Aggarwal led Babur to assign a colour to each dish.  

According to M Hasim, Babur’s restaurant manager, the Head Chef, Jiwanlal, was responsible for making this collaboration possible.  Hasim told Eastlondonlines: “He’s always tried to bring in new ideas.” 

This year, the festival will be celebrated on March 25. The Holi Party will take place on this day, with tickets starting at £70. The celebration menu will be available from March 26 to March 31 for £49.95.  

The tickets for events can be purchased from their website

Restaurant manager M Hasim at Babur Pic: Krisha Valia 

The Holi menu consists of a five-course meal that includes all the much-loved Indian food enjoyed during Holi.  Some of these items include Faldhari Chaat, Tiger Prawns, Methi Chicken, and a lot more.  For those who would prefer Vegetarian options, there is Methi Paneer, Rasam Spiced Cauliflower and jackfruit.  This will also be followed by dance and song, along with drinks.  

Pic: Babur 

Babur believes that this collaboration has increased their customer base, and has made more people want to come and visit their restaurant.  

Good over evil

Culturally, Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is celebrated by putting colour on each other, accompanied by drinking and dancing.  

Hasim told Eastlondonlines: “ We’ve lasted 35 years because of our clients, our guests, and because we always do something new. So, every festive season like Holi, Diwali, Christmas or anything else, we always come up with something new to give, new dishes, new tastes to our customers.

“The collaboration with Aggarwal, of course, does good for us. If you see our online views are coming really high, we are in many newspapers, we’ve got many achievements, many awards, and we’re really happy, in fact, that our business is prospering.” 

The preparations for the big day have been in progress for a while, with several teams, such as marketing, operational, and cooking, coming together to plan for the event.  Aggarwal has visited the restaurant several times to see how everything works, plan strategies and ideas, and take test runs to make sure the dishes are worthy of being put on the menu.  

For Babur, collaborating with a chef at such a high level means that they must maintain the high quality of dishes that the customers are expecting and need to keep up with the customers’ demands moving forward.  

“I think this is all quite unique; it all went well,” Hasim added. 

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