Curry king helps city's homeless
Published 23/12/2010 | 09:06
A restaurateur renowned for making one of the hottest curries in Scotland is to bring some heat to the capital's homeless this Christmas.
Assader Ali, who owns three curry houses in Edinburgh, intends to become a spicy Santa for the city's homeless on Christmas Day.
He is cooking up a massive batch of turkey jalfrezi for his staff to hand out, to help keep them warm amid one of the coldest Decembers on record.
The Muslim chef doesn't celebrate Christmas, but he is still set to join in the seasonal cheer by shutting up shop on the 25th and taking his curries around the city.
He said: "I've really noticed how cold it is this year, especially since my car was taken out of action by the terrible weather.
"You don't get the same sense of how cold it is when you're driving around, but for the last week I've had to get the bus and I've been shocked at how many people are out on the streets in the freezing cold.
"I'm not doing anything on Christmas Day and the takeaways will be closed so I decided to put my time to good use and do something for others. I'll have four delivery cars out in the city centre handing out the curries.
Mr Ali, who owns Eastern Spices and Bollywood Bites in the Canonmills area of the city and Bombay Feast in Drylaw, carries out regular charity work.
However, he intends to make something a bit more tame for his Christmas treat. He said: "I've decided to make a turkey jalfrezi to make it a bit seasonal, and also a wee bit spicy to warm up the insides."
His bid was praised by city homelessness charity Streetwork, which will also be running its own Christmas Day meals at its crisis centre in Holyrood.