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Khanapados: A kitchen run by immigrants in Delhi's troublesome neighbourhood Khirki Extension

Humidity from recent rain lingers. There is no air-conditioning in the two-room flat with whitewashed walls. A steep flight of stairs in dim light ends on the third floor. It takes a moment for the eyes to adjust to the sudden relative darkness of the building. A single fan works hard to keep everyone cool in the front room of the rented flat. There is laughter coming from the second room in the back. Here, the wall is light blue but old, and they have pasted some drawings - sunrise, sunset, animals - for children.

If not for the table laden with thermocol plates and bowls over a floral cloth that looks like from a wedding, the flat could be mistaken for someone’s home. Handwritten in blue ink on white sheets of A4 paper taped to the utensils are the unfamiliar names of dishes from Africa and the Middle East.

The food comes from a kitchen run by refugee women from Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo and Somalia. They serve a buffet every other Sunday morning for Rs 500 per person. The menu also…

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