We’re heading for high summer and, if you’re not already aware, it’s high time you found out about Find Your Feet – a tiny charity making a big difference by working proactively with its partnered rural communities in Africa and South Asia – all of whom are struggling with food poverty.
This month, Find Your Feet is encouraging supporters to host spicy suppers to raise funds. If you’re struggling to find your feet with a creative Curry for Change menu, why not change the curry you classically cook for something spectacular?
I’m not talking your common korma or your Tuesday night tikka masala. No – I want you to conjure the kind of authentic Indian dishes that will widen eyes and fill senses; make jaws drop and tastebuds tingle; swell hearts and bellies; and, crucially, get your guests digging deep for the cause.
Your Curry for Change night can be more than a mere meal; it can be a tasty tour – an Indian state on a plate, if you will. And I order you, don’t order in – the only takeway your guests should leave with is the recollection of a fantastic feast.
Still not sure what you’ll be cookin’, good lookin’? Read the region-roving edible inspirations below and choose the cuisine that makes your mouth water the most. Next, request a free fundraising pack from Find Your Feet.
When it drops through your door, you can be sure that you’re one step closer to cooking Curry for Change – and a big step closer to changing lives…
Go to Goa
Goan grub will curry favour with anyone who’s had the World Cup open their eyes to a whole world of Brazilian bites, as the Portuguese presence in both places means similar flavours find favour in the food.
For the perfect primer, check out Cyrus’ Todiwala’s terrific ‘Taste of Goa’ festival at Assado and mouthwatering menus from supperclub hosts Kei Freitas and Damn Good Curry’s Nilanjani Pai – who respectively champion Eurasian and Goan Hindu cuisines.
Goan food, especially Christian khana, often eats like splendidly-spiced Mediterranean fare. It’s a million miles away from the violent vindaloo of the Brindian curryhouse – and miles better. So go on – take Goan inspiration for your Curry for Change event.
- For more on Portugal’s influence on Goa, click here
- For more on Assado’s Goan food, click here
- For more on Damn Good Curry’s ‘Goa On Your Plate’ supperclub, click here
Take a bite of Bombay
If snacky, streetfood dishes appeal to your senses, it makes sense to make your Curry for Change event a bit of a Bombay banquet. Think comforting creations like ragda pattice and pau bhaji, the crunchy munch of Bombay bhel, and those bursting bombs known as pani puri.
That city’s chaat dishes are comprised of layer upon layer of contrasting textures and tastes – a simple case of assembling, serving to your assembled masses, and receiving a rapturous reception.
For these and more Maharashtrian munchies, check out Bombay-themed Damn Good Curry menus; visit Spice Monkey’s cookery school; research recipes from Cook In A Curry; and beg, borrow or steal a copy of Mr. Todiwala’s Bombay cookbook.
- For more on Damn Good Curry’s ‘Bombay Meri Jaan’ supperclub, click here
- For more on the Spice Monkey cookery school, click here
- For more on Mr. Todiwala’s Bombay, click here
Nosh on Nepalese
Nepalese food pleases with its clean, fresh and fiery flavours. The cuisine derives its supreme savour from mustard oil and the blackened fenugreek seeds that impart a roasty-toasty, meaty flavour wherever they’re found.
Mountain herbs like jimbu add perplexing, irresistible aromas, and a sprinkle of Sichuan pepper prickles lips, priming your diners’ tastebuds for another mouthful. The country’s cuisine combines elements from India, China and Tibet – and you can bet it will be big with your guests.
Explore the nosh of Nepal’s Newari community as served at the Rajiv’s Kitchen supperclub, get into Gurkha food with veteran soldier and chef Pemba Lama in ‘The Ultimate Nepalese Cookbook’, or combine the two like Babur did on the brilliant ‘Save The Indian Tiger’ Nepal menu.
- For more on Rajiv’s Kitchen’s Nepalese supperclubs, click here
- For more on Babur’s ‘Save The Indian Tiger’ Nepalese menu, click here
- For more on ‘The Ultimate Nepalese Cookbook’, click here
You can go two routes with Rajasthani food, too – a lavish banquet in the manner of the royal Rajputs, or something less rich and more rustic from the Marwaris – the North Indian state’s tribal community. A Rajput repast will meet with meat-lovers’ approval, whilst vegeatarians will go mad for the marvellous Marwari dishes Ishita Unblogged writes about here.
Rajasthanis relish ghee in almost every dish – that gorgeous golden substance enriching everything from the state’s endless sweetmeats to the legendary game recipes that are the legacy of the Shikar (hunt) finally outlawed in 1972. To truly appreciate the specialities of the state, do as Greenhill Kitchen did at the ‘Rasovara’ pop-up and mix up Marwari and Rajput dishes.
- For more on Greenhill Kitchen’s ‘Rasovara’ Rajasthani pop-up, click here
- For Chef Ashish Bhatia’s Rajasthani game recipes, click here
Bring on Bengal
Bengal is a state whose food gets me in one. The capital city Kolkata has a cosmopolitan culture that comes through in the cuisine, showing influences from every people that has ever populated it – Portuguese, Chinese, and Brit bits all remain popular. A classic Bengali banquet is served in strict succession, beginning with bitter and ending on sweet, taking in terrific tastes throughout.
Want to cook a proper Curry for Change for your do? Try maacher jhol (sweet-water fish in a thin gravy), or prawn malai with its rich, sweet coconut sauce. Mustard oil is a must, its sweet pungency punctuating most meals. If you’re up for a challenge, bring on a Bengali biryani – cracking fare for communal consumption.
Still not salivating? Admire Asma Khan’s khana at her Darjeeling Express supperclubs, and eat up belly-rumbling recipes from this terrific triumvirate – ‘Bong Mom’s Cookbook‘; ‘The Bengali 5 Spice Chronicles‘; and The Calcutta Cookbook that Angus Denoon sent my way, making me love the Everybody Love Love Jhalmuri Express main man even more.
- For more on Darjeeling Express’ Calcutta food, click here
- For more on ‘The Bengali 5 Spice Chronicles’, click here
- For more on ‘Bong Mom’s Cookbook’, click here
India’s many, many millions of food-lovers also love to absorb every single culinary influence that comes their way. For something surprising that mixes two of the UK’s top takeaways, explore the Indo-Chinese cuisine so popular in metropolitan Mumbai, down South, and across the country in Kolkata.
Or for fancy feasting, pick up on Pondicherry’s Indo-French fare. The refined repast is made up of refined recipes blending East and West, excellently exemplified by Chef Ashish Bhatia’s innovative Indo-French Fruit de Mer and on the menu at London’s La Portes des Indes.
Indian-accented, ‘Brindian cuisine’ is big business up and down our green and pleasant land. Delight your Curry For Change chums with a surprise appearance from ‘Incredible Spiceman’ Tony Singh – at least in the form of food from his ‘Tasty‘ tome, which brings to life all that’s brilliant about modern Brindia.
More globe-roving? Be inspired by Indo-Turk fusion food as served by the Kebab Rehab team at Roti Chai…
- For more on Indo-Chinese cuisine, click here
- For more on Darjeeling Express’ Indo-Chinese supperclub, click here
- For more on Ashish Bhatia’s Pondicherry recipe, click here
- For more on Indo-Turk ‘Kebab Rehab’, click here
- For more on Tony Singh’s ‘Tasty’, click here
What’s Cookin’, Good-lookin’?!
If you’re itching to get into the kitchen, a band of bloggers has created Curry for Change recipes using ingredients supplied by Find Your Feet’s official partner Natco Foods. For starters, feast your eyes on Urban Rajah’s Spiced Crumbed Carpaccio and Cashew and peanut butter pakoras, or the beautiful bowl of Indian Powa Fuel in the above image by Tori of Chilli & Mint.
Tori takes the reins when it comes to mains, too – with a fulsome Phool Makhana Curry and her Dried ginger and lentil balti chicken recipe. Feeding the Cat puts the same protein in her Reshmi chicken with mint and cucumber raita, whilst ‘The Young Domestic Goddess’ Ellie Matthews suggests Spiced roast lamb with butternut squash and spinach dhal.
If you’re mental for lentils and potty about pulses, keep an eye out for a Curry for Change video of Deena Kakaya‘ making her Black-eyed bean pakoras and coconut kadhi. Another vibrant veggie dish is Manger Sans Frontiers’ ‘Nice. Rice. Baby.’ – curried wild rice with paneer, spinach and spiced roasted cauliflower.
Everyone loves a good pud – so introduce India to your dinner party dessert with Asma Khan’s phool makhane ki kheer, or my very own creation – The Spice Scribe’s Bombay Bad Boy chocolate cheesecake. And, for petit fours to make guests go ‘phwoar’, bring out a batch of my dairy-free Bombay Mix chocolate truffles.
- For more on The Spice Scribe’s Bombay Bad Boy chocolate cheesecake, click here
- For the dairy-free Bombay Mix chocolate truffles recipe, click here
Happy #CurryforChange-ing from all of us in the Damn Good Curry kitchen! 😀
- For information on how to host a Curry for Change event for Find Your Feet and to order a free event pack, click here.