Mehrunnisa Yusuf and Darjeeling Express


I'm Mehrunnisa. My cooking and writing is inspired by my Pakistani-Polish heritage. My background in human rights invokes a curiosity in the shared heritage of food and its ability to bring people together. A visit to Delhi and Udaipur in 2005 reinforced the similarities in culinary customs in the Sub-Continent. I have always wanted to join hands with friends from across the border to celebrate our commonalities so when Asma asked me to do a gymkhana tea with her I instantly said yes. Our plans were hatched over a large pot of Earl Grey (a dark brew laced with milk) in line with how we 'Sub-Continentals' take our tea and warm scones. We chose to call it a gymkhana tea to honour our shared tradition.

I'm Asma. I am half Bengali and half Rajput. I grew up in Calcutta, Hyderabad and Madras (yes...I know I am using the older names of two of the cities...I prefer them!). I am excited to cook with someone from "across the border". Like Mehrunnisa, I believe the Sub-Continent shares the same food roots and traditions. This is a tea celebrating what unites India and Pakistan!

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by Mehrunnisa Yusuf and Darjeeling Express

Asma and I are delighted to be serving our guests ‘Gymkhana Tea’. The Gymkhana is an Anglo-Indian establishment. The name itself is derived from the Urdu/Hindi word ‘jamaat-khana’ which refers to a... Read more



Twitter: @asmasaidkhan


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Rating: 10

teafortwo attended Gymkhana Tea in May 2013, reviewed on 25 May 2013

Special mention for the garlic chilli cheese toast. A true Calcutta institution!


Rating: 10

teafortwo attended Gymkhana Tea in May 2013, reviewed on 25 May 2013

We had a lovely time! The jams were the star of the show. Such innovative flavours, strawberry and rose water...rhubarb and cardamom. The scones could have been crumblier but the jams made up for it.
The kebabs were excellent, so were the sandwiches and the papri chaat. The lemon loaf cake was divine. The Newby teas were an excellent complement to the menu. On the whole a fantastic initiative carrying on a rich tradition. Please do more! Excellent value for money. To quote one guest..."we would have paid £22 just for the jams!".

Indo Pak classics fused together seamlessly

Rating: 10

Coco attended Gymkhana Tea in May 2013, reviewed on 19 May 2013

The tea conquered up memories from both India & Pakistan, however during the course of the tea, you lost sight of what was Indian or Pakistan, it felt like one menu from one region.
I lost count how many tengri kebabs I had, i think last count was 5, my favourite was the chutney and the cheese and chilli toast, which again I had many pieces of....
Loved the Darjeeling tea complimented the menu very well.

The food was well thought out, delicate and the lovely array of people made this a special afternoon tea with a difference.

I think you should cater this as a private event, as there is a huge demand for it... I will certainly recommending you ladies.

Thanks a lot
Saima Khan
The hampstead Kitchen - @hampsteadkitchn