18 June 2012

GUEST BLOG: A right curry on

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

The Dandelion Food Community's Tree Of Life centre in Wythenshawe is a space used by St Mark's Church and the local community. It is a venue for classes for relaxation and exercises for older people, a meeting place for carers' groups, and the location of a furniture shop and cafĂ©. There is also a regular stall selling mixed vegetable and fruit bags of varying sizes. 

On Thursday 14 June, Harjinder was there demonstrating how to make her delicious curries. This evening's vegetable jalfrezi and rice was a huge success, and a group of participants helped chop the ingredients for this wonderful dish: onions, spring onions, red peppers, courgettes, garlic, green peppers, mushrooms, fresh coriander, aubergines and fresh ginger. Tinned chickpeas and tinned tomatoes were the other main ingredients, and all together make up the base for 95% of curries. The rest of the ingredients are the all-important spices. After adding these to the wok, Harjinder passed around her spice box so we could all see, smell and discuss the flavours and Harjinder told us about the medicinal values of a lot of spices. She also informed us that the word jalfrezi actually means a method of cooking like stir-frying, and it was traditionally a way of using up potatoes and meat to make another dish.

With the rice cooking, and the vegetables in the wok bubbling away, it was just a matter of time… The table was set and as the smell wafted past our noses, anticipation filled the air. After dishing up, yoghurt was added as the final ingredient, then the feast began. Clean plates all round! I even encouraged someone to just lick their plate, rather than chase the last grain of rice - we were among friends. A satisfied table of people, all of us inspired to cook this again, made possible by recipe sheets for everyone to take away. I am sure this dish will be made at home very soon.  

You can see more photographs from the evening on our Facebook page

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