A couple of months ago, I read a news article and watched an accompanying video published by CBC highlighting the reasons not only why some individuals choose to visit this rugged land, but also why they decide to make it their home. We are known to be some of the friendliest people in the world, but the piece was so informative as to the [sometimes unintentional, yet nonetheless ignorant] comments that people experience when their skin is frankly anything other than white in our province. I have friends in this situation who are constantly asked where they are from and when they say they were born/raised in Toronto or Corner Brook, it is followed with “okay, but where are you really from?” I would like to think that most experiences in Newfoundland and Canada are positive for all, but uneducated and hateful comments still occur. It is 2019 and I love the diversity that exists in terms of culturally vast activities in the St. John’s area. I grew up never once eating sushi or curry which are now two things I cannot imagine my life without. I definitely do not hold the answers on how to transform the mindset of every person, but I do think it is time to highlight a local business owned by some of my favorite NBCs (Newfoundlanders by Choice) – Curry Delight.
Curry Delight is owned by husband-wife duo Nasir and Afiya who were born in Karachi, Pakistan but moved to St. John’s to study Computer Science at Memorial University. They fell in love with the province and decided it is where they would stay to one day raise a family. At the time, the cultural food scene had not yet expanded and the two missed a taste of home, specifically the homemade meals of Nasir’s mother. After she showed them some tricks of the trade, they began cooking for friends, which led to some special events, and then finally to setting up shop in the old St. John’s Farmer’s Market. The first time I ever tasted Curry Delight was a couple of years ago when the market was still housed inside the Lion’s Club Chalet. I remember Nasir being one of the friendliest vendors I had ever met, urging me to split my rice half basmati-half curry style. Fast-forward to today and, although still serving weekly at the Farmer’s Market, they have also opened a headquarters location in Mount Pearl.
In Mount Pearl, the situation is much the same as the market where you can fill a container with whatever options you wish from their menu. There is plenty of seating available for eating inside, or you can take it to-go. During my most recent visit, the friendliness within the space was amazing. Regulars and new-comers floated through the doorway, chatting with the owners, and interacting with their two beautiful children. This is ultimately what Nasir and Afiya want: an inviting space for the community to come and enjoy authentic Pakistani/Indian Cuisine. They are constantly looking for new ways to cater to the palates of Newfoundlanders and source ingredients both locally and organically whenever possible. Many of their options are gluten-free and they have also hosted events such as a celiac-friendly week to ensure that even those with restrictions can enjoy their delicious food.
I must also mention their recent collaboration with Saucy Mouth Food Truck to create “Curry On My Wayward Spud” – a curry-style poutine sold inside Landwash Brewery. You may have thought there would be no reason to go to Mount Pearl, however, I just listed THREE. Pair that with the city’s most recent smash hit and you may never leave.
Their menu varies somewhat from week to week, but may contain any of the following:
My list of running favorites includes butter chicken, lamb curry, chickpea curry and my most recent addition – sour potatoes! Simply put, their food is real and composed of authentic ingredients, prepared from their own recipes, and always with amazing quality.
You can try their food at:
1.) St. John’s Famers’ Market on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
2.) Mount Pearl location from Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 8:00 p.m. or Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Did I mention that Nasir continues to work a separate career while Afiya oversees company operations as she is currently on maternity leave? They are complete powerhouses of entrepreneurs, and we are lucky to have them in this province. The pair explain their experiences best by saying: “At the end of the day, we want to be contributing members of Newfoundland society. No matter what language you speak, what country you were born in, or where you live now, food is one thing that has the ability to connect us all.”
Perhaps instead of asking “Where are you really from?”, we could simply say (to everyone) “Thank you for being here.”
Facebook: Curry Delight