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Edinburgh’s annual Mela kicked off on Friday night with a stunning fireworks display in Leith Links, along with the story of Rama and Sita told through shadow puppetry. After an enchanting evening, I had one thing on my mind – tasty Indian food. And lots of it.

Leith Links was transformed into a bustling hive of festival activity, with heavenly scents wafting from each stall where chickpeas sizzled and fresh mango lassis were dispensed. Colourful scarfs and traditional Indian dress fluttered in the light breeze, while the infectious low beat of drums topped off the festival atmosphere.

After a little African storytelling it was time for lunch. I made a beeline for the Goan curry stand and opted for a deliciously spiced lamb curry with rice, salad, yoghurt dressing and lime pickle.


My friend picked a paneer dosa – like a pancake with cheese inside – along with some dipping sauces and some veggie bhajis with a yummy mild sauce. Everyone sat around eating on the grass, and the Mela had a really relaxed feel to it, with plenty to see for everyone.

Big tip for the Mela next year? Don’t arrive too late – as we left at around 4pm the queue was enormous!

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