I often pop into this place called Chatkhara just opposite Clapham South tube station for a cheap bite whenever I’m in the area. They serve delicious food, give great customer service and have some seriously cheap options for lunch, what’s not to like?!
The old guy who runs the place always greets you with a friendly smile and makes every effort to make you feel welcome. In fact he joviallly told me off for getting out of my seat to ask for something, and made a point of coming to my table to cater for my request instead. There is a vast selection of curries on offer, they do a lunchtime deal where you can have any curry with pilau rice and fresh naan bread for £3.99, now that is what I’m talking about (without sounding too much like Jamie Oliver….). I’ve tried a couple of the curries on previous visits and they were sensational. Another cheap deal is their kebab roll, which consists of 2 spicy lamb kofta type kebabs, with salad, sauces and fresh naan for only £2.50, total bargain I hear you say.
I ordered a Chapli Kebab which comes with salad and dips for £2.99, and a fresh naan bread for an extra 70p. A Chapli Kebab is made of minced beef, onions, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt, black pepper, lemon juice or promegranate seeds, eggs, cornstarch and coriander leaves (according to wikipedia, buggered if I know), and basically looks like a huge spicy burger which it kind of is I suppose. They’re popular in Pakistan and Afghanistan in case you were interested.
Straight away I got a huge kick of chilli and the kebab was full of flavour, the dips were a tangy chilli sauce that had some sweetness to it and a minty yoghurt dip. The naan bread (I like to pronounce it like a sheep saying ‘baaa’) is made fresh to order in a tandoori oven right in front of you as you wait. The combo of the kebab, salad and dips is delightful and makes for a nice filling for your naan as you tear bits off.
If I were you I’d check them out next time you’re in the area, they also have restaurants in Tooting and Elephant & Castle. Visit their website, if for nothing else it’s worth checking out for the easy listening grooves, wahwah guitar and bongos.
17 Balham Road, London, SW12