Inside the kitchen: The Balti House, Heathcote Street
WALK into the Balti House, in Heathcote Street, Hockley, and you don't need to look far to find Sabbir Hossain's love of cricket.
In the menu is a two-year-old picture of Mushtaq Ahmed and the rest of the Sussex side. Current Notts captain Chris Read and former Notts captain and current Essex man Jason Gallian are two other cricketing guests that spring to mind as cricket fan Sabbir thinks of the diners his family's restaurant entertained over the years.
Now though, he's hosting a special group. And he's come up with a special menu just for them.
The flags in the Balti House window reveal Sabbir's twin allegiances. Union Jack and flag of St George images speak of the love of the place he's called home for most of his life. Next to them hangs the green flag centred by a large red circle. Bangladesh.
Landlords let us advertise your property and find you vetted tenants quickly. Our let only service is £195.
We offer full management services as well as rent guarantee and rent advance. Call us
Terms: No hidden charges, you will be informed of all costs in advance. The letting agency you can trust.
Contact: 0115 8969582
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
A former league cricketer who played for a number of years with TI Raleigh, Sabbir is now an associate of the UK Bangladesh Cricket Association.
He's raised funds for Bangladeshi cricket, helped in the organisation of the Bangladeshi cricket, attended meetings about Bangladeshi cricket. And at the moment, he's doing something even more basic for Bangladeshi cricket – he's feeding Bangladeshi cricketers.
The team, Sabbir said, has made his restaurant their home-from-home kitchen while in Nottingham.
And that means he's worked hard to put on a menu of appropriate summer foods for world-class sportsmen who weren't quite able to add to their giant-killing CV in the ICC World Twenty20, but who still entertained plenty of Bangladeshi fans with their frenetic style.
Now he's adding a selection of Asian summer salad dishes to the regular menu.
"The cricketers love it," Sabbir said. "With hot spicy food they get heartburn... they keep drinking water just to get rid of the spice.
"They said 'This is good for us; (we can) go to the field not weighed down with all those spices."
The dishes, which include salmon, meat or aubergine lightly cooked with olive oil and served cool with garnishes and flavourful mashed potatoes, knock back a number of stereotypes about Asian food.
There are no spicy, stodgy, ballast-giving curries here. Rather, these are the sorts of dishes that are popular in the summer months on the sub-continent but rarely get a look-in on British-Asian restaurant menus.
They're inexpensive - the salmon and meat will sell for £5.95, the vegetable for £5. If you're making them at home, they keep well in the refrigerator or freezer. And they're light and healthy. Sounds good... even if you didn't have to take on India at Trent Bridge.
Take 10 tomatoes and an aubergine. Fry the tomatoes in garlic. Cut the aubergine into roughly inch-long pieces and fry in olive oil. Garnish both with chopped tomatoes, garlic and other garnishes to taste.
Mash potato with more mellow Asian spices to taste.
Serve arranged neatly on a plate with plain boiled rice. Lentils work well as a side dish.