Cook & Eat- The Spice of Life


Just as rice symbolizes good fortune in India, six members of AWGLR (Pam, Gretchen, Rosie, Denise, Kim, Orla) had the good fortune to come together on Wednesday 23rd February, to prepare and share a vibrant and delicately spiced Indian-themed meal, catch up on news, chat about upcoming events and enjoy some time together again as a group. 

Spices are the heart and soul of Indian cooking and knowing how to use the spices is the key that unlocks the secrets of alluring aromas and magical flavors of Indian cuisine. We used an array of spices including coriander, cumin, cardamon, mustard, nigella and fennel seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, and garam masala, which is a specific mixture of up to fifteen, in our dishes.


The menu was as follows: 


Vegetable Samosas, hot lime pickle, mango chutney, salad



Aloo, Chana, Saag (Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry)

Konju Varutharaccha curry (Kerala Prawn Curry)

Basmati Rice



Pistachio and Rose Kulfi with Chargrilled Mango


The recipes can be found on the AWG website if you would like to try them at home. 


Denise and Rosie set about preparing the vegetable samosas which contained a spiced filling of potato, cauliflower, and peas. While the recipe provides the method for preparing the dough for the samosas, we took a little shortcut on the day and used brick pastry which I thought would be easier to work with, but was actually quite tricky as was not very sticky, but the samosas turned out great in the end! 

Pam and Gretchen prepared the vegetarian curry, (Aloo, Chana, Saag -potato, chickpea and spinach). The spinach and fresh coriander leaves are added just at the end of cooking so that the curry has a freshness about it; and also enhanced it with chopped fresh tomatoes to boost the zing.

Kim and Orla prepared the Kerala prawn curry which originates from southern India and chosen for this menu as it is very simple and quick to prepare. The balance of flavours is exquisite. It is tangy from the tamarind, creamy from the coconut milk, and distinctly hot from the moderate use of bird’s eye chillies.

The curries were served with fluffy basmati rice and garlic and parsley buttered naan bread (not homemade).

Neither curry was very spicy and we could have perhaps used a different variety of chilli in the veggie one and maybe added an extra bird’s eye in the seafood one or left a few more seeds in.

Orla had prepared the rose and pistachio ice cream the evening before, but unfortunately took the pots out of the freezer too early prior to serving so they were no longer frozen, but were still a subtly perfumed accompaniment for the mango (we didn’t chargrill- Pam expertly cut the fresh and juicy ripe mangoes). Additionally, Orla had fortuitously prepared an emergency cake the night before, in the event that the ice cream didn’t work!  The cake contained similar flavours to the ice cream; rose, pistachio, and also had apricot and cardamon.

It was wonderful to be back doing activities in person, and we thoroughly enjoyed ‘Cooking and Eating’ a delicious meal together. There will be another Cook&Eat activity at the end of March with a Spring theme, so please sign up if you think this activity is something you would like to try.