“It’s My Chapati (I’ll Cry If I Want To)” at El Fogon, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

James (“JimJam”) and Jamila Janmohamed couldn’t have chosen a better date for the Poppy Appeal Dinner at El Fogon on Saturday night even had they spoken to me first. Why, well yesterday was Rose’s birthday (38 again if you must know – she has Dorian Grey traits!) and a four course Indian meal was just perfect to make it an extra special day.

When we lived in London we had an Indian take-away (take-out or carry-out for non UK readers) virtually every week from our local Indian (actually Pakistani) restaurant called the Lahore Kebab House. It’s a no nonsense, no frills establishment that doesn’t sell alcohol (you bring that with you if you want it) but it draws customers from miles around.

So to say that Rose and I miss our Indian meals is a gross understatement and it’s why we so look forward to the annual Poppy Appeal Dinner here on Ambergris Caye. And with a menu like this I’m sure you can understand why.

I’d made reservations for the 20.00 hours sitting as soon as the event was announced – it’s an extremely popular dinner and tickets sell out fast,really fast – and we , Rose, Chrissy (Chrissy is a member of the British Army and serving as a member of BATSUB) and I got to El Fogon around 19.45 hours for a pre-dinner tipple.

We eventually were seated at our table at 20.20 hours so it wasn’t quite a pre-dinner tipple but it wasn’t a pre-dinner torrent. Let’s just say that we were lubricated. Very nicely lubricated.

James (“JimJam”) Monmohamed OBE making sure our table was ready.

The effects of the pre-dinner tipple are there to be seen! Chrissy on the left and Rose (birthday girl) on the right.

Time for the first course.

Potato Champs (otherwise known, I believe, as Potato Chops). A really tasty starter.

The table service was impeccable and the plates were taken away and replaced with the second course.

A very tasty daal lentil soup.

And then the course arrived that I had really been waiting for

Beef Rogan Josh and Aloo Gobi with Pilau Rice.

Now this course really got my taste buds dancing. They didn’t know whether to do the Cha-Cha-Cha or a Kathak! In fact I think they did both!
And then it was the turn of the Dessert course, Carrot Halwa. Now I’m not a Dessert person (already sweet enough I think) so the photographic honours (sic) go to Rose!

I understand from those that ate this course that it was exquisite so sadly the photo doesn’t do it justice.

At the end of the day I lent across to Rose, held her hand, and asked her if she had enjoyed her special day.
The tears well up and started to stream down her face. “Please don’t be upset”, I implored.

Wiping the tears from her cheeks she looked at me and pleaded ” It’s my chapati and I’ll cry if I want to” ( I know it’s terrible but …).

The headline for today’s edition is based (extremely tenuously I admit) on the single released in 1963 by Lesley Gore which reached number one in the US Billboard Hot 100.


  1. Kristina H Nadreau says:

    the Indian food looked wonderful!!!!

    1. It was Kristina. And apologies for taking so long to respond.

  2. Emily says:

    Looks like a wonderful birthday dinner. Happy belated birthday Rose!

    1. It was a great dinner Emily. And Rose says “Thank you”.

  3. tacogirl says:

    Happy Birthday Rose sounds like you have a nice Chapati 🙂

    1. Thank you Laurie. Rose really enjoyed her day.

  4. Peter Oberhaus. says:

    Happy Birthday,Rose.

  5. woof4treats says:

    Happy Birthday Rose! Not a day over 29. 😊

  6. Susan says:

    Happy Birthday Rose!

    1. Thank you Susan. The non link was an error. All will be revealed at a later date!

  7. Erik says:

    Happy Belated Rose, I know that your husband took very good care of it.
    All the best,

    1. Thank you Erik. And I did. Oh I did!

  8. Jane says:

    Yes, corny, John, but a great tale of a fun night. Hope Rose had a happy, happy day!

    1. She had a great night (day actually) thanks Jane.

  9. robert says:

    I think Rose looked more like 36 , please wish her a belated Happy Birthday from the two of us. I remember missing a good Indian on AC, luckily the top restaurant in Rodney bay is a superb Indian and a couple more within a mile. Looks like Jim did a blinder , talk him into opening up a Curry house . Take care PS, Have you been down Pedro’s water slide yet ?

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