11:41AM, Wednesday 19 September 2012
The normal routine for most people to enjoy a slap-up Indian meal is to visit their nearest restaurant or wait half-an-hour for it to be delivered at home.
But members of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Sudan had to wait a little longer as their spicy delivery was cooked up at Maidenhead's Papaya restaurant and then shipped 3,000 miles on three different flights.
The £1,800 order, which included crocodile curry, was flown out from White Waltham Airfield yesterday. It was paid for by Maidonian Rohmel Aulad, who runs an aircraft recovery business, who wanted to treat his cousin and colleagues who are 'craving a good curry' while serving in Darfur.
Sham Ali, owner of Papaya in Wessex Way in Cox Green, was happy to help with the unusual request and delivered the food to Rohmel at the airfield before it was flown by light airfield to Gatwick. It was then jetted to Dubai and transferred to the final flight to Darfur, arriving nine-and-a-half hours later.
Sham, of Treesmill Drive, delivered 20 chicken tikka starters, 20 lamb biryanis, 10 saag aloos, 10 Bombay aloos and 10 bhindi bhajis. He was also asked to whip up 10 crocodile tikka masalas as a surprise addition to the order. The food was cooked and then frozen, ready for the hungry peacekeepers to pop in the microwave on arrival. Sham, 44, said he had to scour the country for the crocodile meat and it was one of the most unusual requests he has dealt with. The six kilograms of crocodile meat cost £180.
"Rohmel is a regular customer and fan of our food," he said. "Our most expensive order though was for Bangladeshi international cricketer Shakib al Hasan, when he was captain, to Dubai which cost him £2,400."
The restaurant regularly receives overseas orders and previous clients include Soul II Soul while they were in New York.