11 May 2011

GUEST BLOG: Spice girls

By guest blogger ADELE JORDAN

Cracking Good Food were recently back where they started a year ago at Chorlton’s Big Green Festival (Saturday 16 April). This time Harjinder, of Hairy Bikers fame, Juliet and Avril were on Cooks On The Hop duties, cooking up a Punjabi feast. With regular slots letting eight festival-goers at a time cook under the familiar wooden gazebo, Harjinder led each group through the processes involved in making stuffed parathas, lentil dhal and chapatis. Who’d have thought that the spices don't need to be cooked before being added to the mashed potato for the paratha stuffing! And what incredible smells come from Harjinder’s special spice box indeed - and you could just sit back and listen to her talk about spices all day!

Next the group made dough for the flatbreads, kneading and shaping it to the right size, then covering each piece with the filling and firmly pressing another piece on top to create a round sandwich. After lightly oiling both sides with a pastry brush, these were then cooked on a traditional Tava, a cross between a frying pan and a wok. It was incredible to watch and inspiring to learn.

Harjinder will be running two separate Punjabi cooking classes on Saturday 2 and Saturday 9 July. The first is vegetarian, the other is using fish and meat. Please see the Cracking Good Food website for booking details. Places are going fast!

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