The Indian influence on how the world eats can be illustrated by the popularity of roti. From its Indian origins, roti has become a firm favourite in places as far apart as Malaysia and Guyana, so much so that it's considered a national dish in both these countries.
I'm quite familiar with Malaysian roti canai but until recently I'd never tried the Guyanese version. And nor was I likely to until I stumbled across a bright blue caravan in the shadow of Brixton Recreation Centre. Sadly, Guyana Roti was closed when I first came across it, but I made a mental note to return.
And I'm glad I did. For a mere £4, I tucked into chicken curry with roti. The soft flaky roti was a fine accompaniment to the hot and spicy chicken curry. The chicken was on the bone, just how I like it (one thing I'll never understand is why so many people prefer bland chicken breast meat off the bone). Before the roti was plated up, it was put in a plastic container and given a good shake. Why is this done? My guess is that's how the roti is folded but can anyone confirm this?
Other choices include goat curry, pumpkin curry, and jerk chicken, which are served with either rice or roti. None of the dishes cost more than a fiver, and there are a couple of tables outside the caravan if you want to 'eat-in'. If you love street food then you really ought to check out this stall.
Having finished my roti, I went for a stroll around Brixton Village, which is turning into quite a foodie mecca. There are loads of decent looking cafés and restaurants in this covered market that I'd like to check out. I was particularly intrigued by some of the South American eateries but these would have to wait for another day.
In the meantime, I satiated my curiosity by buying some chorizo Colombiano from Carniceria Los Andes. This Colombian sausage consists of coarsely ground pork and beef with quite a bit of fat. The amiable butcher kindly passed on some tips on how to cook these beasts; he recommends bunging them in the oven at gas mark 4 (180C for electric ovens) until golden brown.
I followed these instructions, and they turned out a treat! These sausages are very juicy and quite garlicky. I'm not sure what other seasonings are used in chorizo Colombiano but who cares? All you need to know is that this is one mighty fine tasting sausage. Highly recommended.
Guyana Roti, Brixton Station Road, London, SW9 8PD
Carniceria Los Andes, 13 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PR