Javid is 17 years old. He arrived in Birmingham two years ago, since then he has been living with fellow Afghans. He applied for asylum but then disappeared when he was told that Afghan applicants were all deported back. He was 15 but social services didn’t believe him.
He spend four hours a day cooking and cleaning the house in exchange for a free bedsit in the living room. His housemates enjoy Javid’s cousine.
Interviewer: Do you like cooking?
Javid: This is what I can do and it keeps me going for now.
Interviewer: What can you cook? What is your speciality?
Javid: I can cook all meat dishes, vegetable dishes rice and my speciality is Afghan Rice. Everyone says it’s the best they had.
Interviewer: Did you learn this in Afghanistan?
Javid: No, I learn it here.
Interviewer: How do you cook it?
Javid: I put the rice in the water; I then wash it several times. Put the rice pot on the gas, add some oil in, dice onions and add them in with a can of mashed tomatoes. When the onions and tomatoes change colour I then add my mix spices which I mix and add water to the pot and let it cook properly. I then put the washed rice into it and let it cook for about ten minutes. I then drain the water from the rice and then put it on a slow fire. I then cook sliced carrots, dry grapes which I then put on top of the rice.