Six cities in the UK will take part in the first-ever ‘National Samosa Week’ next month where participants will make, sell and consume the popular Indian snack to raise money for charity.
The event, to be organised from April 9 to 13, is the brainchild of a Leicester-based media personality who believes that the popularity of the triangular-shaped savoury snack transcends all barriers and can become a means to unite different communities in the UK.
“It is a tea time snack in the subcontinent but it can be so much more than that. We want to use this week to draw attention to the rich culture and food heritage of South Asia,” said Romail Gulzar, who launched the concept in Leicester in the East Midlands region of England. “This triangle-shaped delicacy is said to originate from the Middle East and was eaten by travelling merchants. It is likely that this is how the tasty parcels made their way to other parts of the world including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh,” said the editor of Pukaar News, a Leicester-based news service. Birmingham, Manchester, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Radlett have come on board with the idea, which involves a range of activities including samosa-eating contests, pop-up samosa shops and tastiest samosa awards.
The proceeds from the sale in Leicester are aimed at two charities — mental health charity LAMP and Care of Police Survivors (COPS) — dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. “We want to encourage people all over the UK to buy or make their own samosas this week and sell them at work and school to raise funds for their local community or charities. “If you’re feeling competitive, you could offer a prize for the best samosa, we think this could be the start of something really popular,” said Pakistani-origin Gulzar, who migrated to the UK from Dubai.
In 2016, he founded the ‘Leicester Curry Awards’ to celebrate the hundreds of curry houses in the city with their roots in the Indian subcontinent. While he believes the world’s best samosas are to be found in Delhi, he is determined to bring some of that flavour to the UK with the samosa week, set to become an annual event. “We want to encourage people to experiment with this fried snack, traditionally stuffed with spiced potatoes, onion and peas, but it can have meat and other options too. You can have vegan samosas as well,” Gulzar said. Some of the winners of the National Samosa Week’s prize draw will win tickets to the Leicester Curry Awards 2018, to be held in Leicester on April 22 where over 30 of the city’s shortlisted restaurants will compete for the top prize