13 May 2013

GUEST BLOG: Walk this way

By guest blogger VICKY HOWELL

What better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon than learning about the wonderful array of spices, vegetables and other ingredients used in Punjabi cooking from Cracking Good Food’s very own Harjinder Kaur. 

The group of Spice Walkers gathered outside Ahmed’s Cash and Carry on Clarendon Road in Whalley Range and were quickly warmed up with a treat of aubergine pakoras, freshly cooked by Harjinder that morning. After these had been devoured, the discussion moved on to the extensive range of vegetables on display, from familiar items like peppers, aubergines and courgettes, to the less well-known karela, tinda, which works well in lamb dishes, and radish seed pods, which can be added to vegetable curries for an extra peppery kick.

Moving inside, we came across jars of pickles in every possible flavour, and Harjinder gave us some tips on how to use these as a starter. Round the corner, we came to the spice aisle and Harjinder explained that her own spice box contains just 11 different spices, which can be used to make almost any type of Punjabi dish. She gave us a quick rundown on how to make your own garam masala by grinding together cinnamon sticks, black cardamom pods and whole cloves, and pointed out some more unusual items, such as pomegranate seeds - it turned out that these were one of the key ingredients in the pakoras we’d enjoyed earlier. 

All the Spice Walkers left with bulging bags of ingredients to take home, so it’s a safe bet that homemade curry is on the menu soon!

There are more photos from the Spice Walk on our Facebook page.

Harjinder is leading a session in authentic Punjabi cookery at our Altrincham Cookery School on Saturday 18 May. Desi Punjabi Khanna means "tasty home-cooked food" and shouldn't be missed! See the Cracking Good Food website for details.


John Johnstone said...

My family and I were on this Spice Walk and had a wonderful time. Harjinder certainly knows her stuff and she provided very practical advice on how to make use of the staggering variety of ingredients on display. Her home-made pakoras to accompany the walk were superb!

I would recommend this walk to anyone wanting to extend their repertoire of cooking.

Certainly food for thought!

Harjinder Kaur said...

Thanks John ! So glad you enjoyed the Spice walk and Pakorahs.... it was lovely meeting you all.

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