Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Something to spice up the New Year...

I had a little epiphany the other day whilst carefully preparing lemongrass skewers for my dining club.  I had been thinking about how the higher costs of fine dining are often in the time it takes to apply multiple (and sometimes complex) processes as well as the cost of ingredients.  I know many people, myself included, are feeling the financial squeeze these days and the post christmas excesses are more than likely going to make us all feel that even more.

So I had a think about what kind of food I could make that could be delivered in a more cost effective way.  For me this would be Indian food every time.  The ingredients are accessible and affordable, especially for vegetarian food.  The other key component is the number of guests.  My usual dining club is set in a beautiful open plan Edwardian dining room and contemporary garden room.  Expensive and complex dishes that require meticulous presentation then limits the number of guests it's feasible to cater for (not to mention sets of relatively expensive plates).

By now I had moved onto trimming banana leaves, and that's when it hit me.  Traditional thali cafes across the Indian subcontinent, and indeed in parts of SE Asia, are usually pretty cramped affairs with stools and benches around ramshackle tables, serving AMAZING food on banana leaves.  Well I could certainly do that!  I adore Indian food, both cooking and eating it, especially the more traditional regional dishes (rather than what you see in most restaurants these days).  I will cook some mouth watering delights from Punjab and Mumbai, as well as from more far away corners such as Orissa and Tamil Nadu.   

We have plenty of room to double the number of diners for one evening (I'm not sure I could cope with doing this on a regular basis in my own house).  And that's if you don't mind sitting on benches, Indian cafe style, and eating delicious thali served on banana leaves.  Thali normally consists of several curries and dals served with rice, flatbreads and pickles. Allowances would also need to be made for mismatching glasses, cutlery, chairs and the like.  But I can guarantee you an evening of exceptional traditional Indian food for this one off event, and a New Year treat at half the price of the usual dining club (so that's £15 per person).  I reckon it will be a rather fun evening.  Email to book

1 comment:

  1. I would probably prepare something different from the usual recipes that I make on Christmas and New Year's Eve making sure that family would really enjoy it.

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