It is exactly six months since I scribbled “Darjeeling Express” in my diary. What started as a doodle on a train journey is now a successful supper club series in London that has seen over 100 guests! Today I look back with amazement, and gratitude, at how much has happened since that Spring morning.
One of the events closest to my heart is the Supperheroes fund raiser for the Love Food Give Food campaign by Action Against Hunger. It was the first supperclub held at my home and felt like the most auspicious start to my new venture..
The evening was billed as: Indian Street Food Mela - An evening of Bollywood music and authentic flavours of Indian street food for a really good cause. Come dressed as the dance diva of the 70s Helen or King Khan Shahrukh Khan! And if dressing up is not your thing…then just come for the food!
And what a fabulous night it turned out to be! My guests made every effort to recreate the glamour of Bollywood in my living room and the music had them all swaying all evening. Take a look at the photograph some of my stunning guests that evening! The freshly made Puris were a big hit that night and so was the Papri Chaat. See the entire menu and guest feedback here.
The icing on the cake for me was that we raised £800 for such a great cause that night. The comment by Cassy Olszewski (Food Related Fundraising Coordinator for Action Against Hunger) put it all in perspective. She wrote, that the money raised at the Darjeeling Express Indian Street Food Mela supperclub was “…enough to provide a month’s supply of therapeutic nutritional products to nurse over 20 severely malnourished children back to health…“.
A few days after the Supperheroes supperclub I went to the “Can blogging end child hunger?” workshop organised by Action Against Hunger at the Good Agency. I was intrigued to hear how social media could be used to promote awareness of issues related to child malnutrition. It was very clear from the discussion in the room that food waste, food price speculation and food distribution were central to the debate.
One small step we could take to help children understand the link between waste and starvation is by cooking with them. The conversation about waste then becomes not just an academic discussion but a practical one where children play an active part. Let’s eat together as families more often! Let’s make that commitment for the future of our children.
I am sharing a simple recipe which is an easy dish to prepare with a child. The Salmon and Dill Masala Kabab was one of the starters at my Indian Street Food Mela supperclub. It is very mildly spiced and will taste as delicious even without the chillies. The ingredients are familiar to an average British child and I even managed to get a group of 5 year olds to help me prepare this at my son’s Primary School! I am thrilled to report that they ate the kabab very happily. (I have to add though that we had to offer ketchup on the side to the reluctant eaters)
SALMON AND DILL MASALA KABAB
- 400 gms cooked salmon (Tinned Pink or Red Salmon can also be used)
- 4 medium sized boiled potatoes, mashed
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (groundnut or sunflower are best)
- Thinly sliced onion (half a medium brown onion)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Chopped fresh dill
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli or cayenne powder (optional)
- 1 small egg
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
Drain all the liquid from the fish. In a bowl, mix the fish and mashed potatoes and set aside.
Heat 4 tablespoons of oil and fry the onions until they are caramelised and golden brown. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on a plate. In the remaining oil add the turmeric. Fry for a few seconds and then remove the pan from the heat to prevent the turmeric from burning. Add the fish and potato mix to the pan and let the spice thoroughly coat the fish mixture. Return the fish mixture to the bowl and add the remaining ingredients, the caramelised onions, breadcrumbs, egg and chopped dill. The mixture should be firm (add more breadcrumbs if it seems too moist). Shape into little patties 2 inches in diameter.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat on medium heat. Fry the patties until they are golden brown.
For more information on the #LoveFoodGiveFood campaign by Action Against Hunger log on to http://www.lovefoodgivefood.org