22 May 2012

GUEST BLOG: Talking about a revolution

By guest blogger HELEN ROADHOUSE

As part of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day on Saturday 19 May, we set up a stall outside the Alexandra Worsley Health & Wellbeing Clinic in Bramhall just at the entrance of the Square shopping precinct - in prime position to catch the Saturday shoppers!

Harjinder was demoing how to cook tarka dhal and chapatis from scratch and it wasn't long before the lovely smells from the spices were wafting through the streets and starting to entice people to come and see just what was making their tummies rumble!

The point of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day is to promote healthy eating that is cheap, simple and tasty, and tarka dhal is a perfect recipe. The passers-by were impressed by the fact that it only takes 12 minutes  to cook once the ingredients are chopped and a family of four can be substantially fed for as little as £1.90! Most people have the spices already or they can be bought very cheaply and, as we all know, lentils are a very cheap staple that goes a long way. As we are all hit by today's austerity measures ways of stretching budgets are welcomed by everyone.

A few people had preconceived ideas about tarka dhal and believed it to be very oily, and one lady dismissed it immediately saying she had high cholesterol. Once Harjinder explained that the whole meal could be prepared with no oils or fats whatsoever, the lady was very pleasantly surprised as were most of the onlookers!

We struggled to finish on time as the shoppers kept coming up asking for samples and wanting more info, and how could we refuse when there was such enthusiasm for what we were promoting! Harjinder's deft skill with making and charring the chapatis had people enthralled and the demo was great entertainment for children, who loved to try the food and ask questions.

It really was a successful session and the people of Bramhall seemed keen to take on board the Food Revolution ideal and the cooking-from-scratch ethos of Cracking Good Food too. The girls from Alexandra Worsley were brilliant allowing us to use the facilities in their lovely clinic and they too loved the tarka dhal. I can only imagine any other future Cracking Good Food projects would be welcomed with open arms in Bramhall.

You can see more photographs from this event on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page. Feel free to "like"!

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