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Monday 7 November 2011

Grazing Asia - Diwali Supper Club

To celebrate Diwali this year, the most popular festival in the Hindu calendar also known as the "Festival of Lights", I was invited to host a special Diwali Supper Club sponsored by Tilda Rice.

Image Courtesy of Nutmegs Seven

Celebrated around the world, Diwali symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and marks new beginnings. It is a festival with food at the heart of the celebration with families and friends getting together for long, sumptuous feasts.

At my home in Islington, private chef and food blogger Maunika Gowardhan of Cook in a Curry was in charge of devising and executing the Diwali-themed, delicious menu using Tilda Rice for most of the dishes. We spent a lovely day together as I assisted her in the preparation of her dishes and learnt about her impressive career in the food industry.

Image Courtesy of Nutmegs Seven

To kick off proceedings I prepared a delicious but lethal Indian-inspired Martini made from vodka, Cointreau, cardamom and orange marmalade as a welcome drink and to accompany Maunika's Indian interpretation of Italian arancini - deep fried sundried tomato and mozzarella rice balls served with a mint dipping sauce.

As with most of the events I host, I normally don't get to eat much, but this time I managed to have a mouthful or two of some of Maunika's delicious dishes. My favourite was the Keralan Fish Curry. This was a fantastic dish also known as Meen Moilee, made by infusing lightly fried sea bass fillets in a coconut gravy with fresh curry leaves, ginger and zesty lemon juice. It was so delicious, I could have eaten that all night and nothing else!

Image Courtesy of Nutmegs Seven

The Paneer Haraa Tikka was also excellent, and another dish I would love to cook in future. What really made this dish was the addition of Maunika's homemade pineapple and black pepper chutney to  grilled pieces of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) marinated in green herbs, garlic and fresh chillies.

Image Courtesy of Nutmegs Seven

The Lamb Yakhni Pulao was good and surprisingly mild in flavour making it a good accompaniment to the other fiery curries. Maunika slow-cooked chunky pieces of lamb,  also making a delicious stock from it. She then fried the succulent pieces of meat with whole spices, Tilda Basmati rice in plenty of ghee, finally adding the lamb stock to cook the Pulao.

Image Courtesy of Nutmegs Seven

Other lovely looking dishes were the Haraa Masala Chicken (The Skinny Bib's favourite dish of the evening!), Baingan Ka Bharta (charred aubergines cooked in spices and fresh ginger), and Bhapa Doi, a Bengali dessert of cardamon infused, sweetened yoghurt served with mango puree and chopped pistachio.

To accompany the food, we had Santa Rita Gran Hacienda Reserva Sauvignon Blanc and Carmenere, which I thought were robust and fruit-driven, and therefore good choices for the style of food we had on the evening.

Image Courtesy of Hot & Chilli
I thoroughly enjoyed hosting this event with Maunika Gowardhan for Tilda Rice; the experience has inspired me to learn more about Indian cuisine and cook it more regularly at home. For more information about Maunika's fantastic recipes, visit her website (Cook in a Curry) here.

Image Courtesy of Nutmegs Seven

For more eloquent accounts of this lovely evening, please visit the following blogs:


  1. Thank you Luiz for your kind words. Also for being a wonderful host and letting me take over your kitchen. It was an absolute pleasure!

  2. Gutted to have missed it! It looked absolutely fabulous!

  3. did you let the council know. I work for the local council and have no record of this

  4. Dear Superchick,
    have you seen 'The Lives of Others?' Since when, outside of East Germany in the 1960s, did we have to ask the permission of 'the local council' to have people round to our houses?
    Mr Truffle


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