Monday, 26 April 2010

Altruistic curry and cake

As well as our usual quest for good times and gluttony, this weekend we wanted to raise a bit of cash for a good cause. We invited guests to bring a dish of their choosing along with a tenner to put into the pot for our chosen organisation, Providence Row, an East London homeless charity who focus on offering rehabilitation and training.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Rani and Saira of Joginder's Supperclub, who brought along saag paneer, chicken curry, Indian corn bread and lovely fragrant rice. Rani makes her own paneer which was fresh, luscious and lactic, and along with the delicately spiced spinach made for a totally yummy dish. The chicken, cooked slowly on the bone to an old family recipe, was equally delicious. Side dishes were lovely, with the cornbread giving a salty lift to the whole thing; throughly enjoyed!

My savoury contribution was a Malaysian tofu curry with lots of lemongrass, galangal, ginger, garlic, dried chillis and coconut; a dish I've cooked a great deal and which always goes down well.

On to desserts!A delicious dark chocolate and cherry cake from Nadia, who runs her own professional catering business. The cherries were blended and mixed into the chocolate, making the cake really moist, with a hint of sweet/sour cherry. Topped with a sweet vanilla and cream cheese frosting, the cake was entirely devourable and a chocoholics fairground.

I adapted a recipe from the Ottolenghi book to make a rhubarb, honey, orange and polenta cake, which I served with Greek yoghurt. Now, much as I love the big man himself - and his team of talented chefs - I think I prefer this to the original (though it doesn't look quite as pretty), and will definitely be making it again very soon.

We then had some intriguing 'raw' chocolate bars which were essentially ground nuts, sweetened with dates and honey and encased in deliciously dark chocolate...a real treat served with a strong black coffee. Mr Shed's contribution was homemade beer, which needless to say was enjoyed by all.

Due to cancellations and a no show we were a little down on numbers, but had a great afternoon and a decadent feast regardless. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who came!

Most touchingly of all, two of our regulars who were unable to attend sent a tenner for the cause along with a lovely card; what a generous and inspiring act of kindness, especial thanks to Chris and Dave.

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