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Welcome to Babajani

Our story

Haji Mala Karim Mahmoud Babajani was born in 1900 in Salas-e-Babajani, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At 16 years old he crossed the border and settled in Northern Iraq, Kurdistan. A successful businessman, he traded textiles within the region and was also know for his liberal views. He was a very generous person, well known for helping others in the community, particularly those less fortunate.

He married Ayesha, a Kurdish girl from Halabja and they had thirteen children. One of their children, Salma, grew up to be an educator and the most wonderful cook. Everything she learned about food she learnt from home. She is my mother.

My mother taught me about food, not just how to cook, but how to taste.
She taught me how to share and to let guests start first.
She taught me how to make people feel welcome with just a plate.
She taught me how to express love through cooking.
After I married, she opened her home to my husband and taught him the same.

Babajani is our tribute to my mother and to her father, her Bowajan, whom she loved dearly.

Ghino & Kristian

Kristian Parker portrait
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The first Mesopotamian Delicatessen in the UK

Our food

Our flavours inspired from the ancient region of Mesopotamia, known as modern day Iraq. Inspiration is also drawn from surrounding regions.

We use fresh ingredients daily to produce a wide ranging deli counter, with something for everyone and all ages. Along our counters, savoury dips, sweet treats, a salad bar and our speciality roasted nut mix. You will also find our signature, sugar free vegan granola, homemade with Basra date syrup. Our shelves are also stocked with our own brand pantry items that we have sourced with the finest attention to taste.

So it begins, with flavours my mother was raised with in my grandfather's house in Northern Iraq. Pomegranate, lemon, dates, rose, turmeric, sesame, cardamom and cumin . . .

The journey has begun. Join us.

Our Drinks

Our Drinks

We have a juice press that will juice pure pomegranate juice or orange juice, or a mix of both.

Babajani also brings you a range of the classics and keeps it real with a traditional manual lever coffee machine. Coffee lovers will delight. Our coffee is Latin, a little further away from our Mesopotamian flavours, but perfectly complimentary to our sweet bites.

Tea is more than just a hot drink at Babajani, it is a conversation with a friend. We have a wide range of Ahmad tea for you to try. For those of you who have the time we have our own Babajani blend made with rose petals and black cardamom tea that is bottomless.

Sit, sip and enjoy over and over.

Our Values

At Babajani we believe that food tastes better with family and friends. Our flagship location on Portobello Road is important to us because it is also our home, it is our community. We were raised locally and both attended local primary schools, now raising a young family of our own we hope to create a legacy for them to be proud of. An extension of my mothers kitchen, a space to make new friends and welcome old ones.

A range of our foods are naturally vegan, this means that we do not try to substitute any dairy or meat items with synthetic man made products. Any dairy alternatives we use are plant based.

The environment is very important to us, therefore all our disposable packaging is recyclable and we do not use plastic straws. Many of our own brand pantry items can be refilled if you keep the glass jars, and we will give you a discount each time.

We select our partners very carefully, our fruits and veg are purchased locally and we aim to support small family businesses like our own whenever we can.

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Our Home