Well what can I say? We had a terrific first supper club on Saturday. We had such a mix of guests ranging from teachers to a theatre director to a food blogger! Here is a little account of the evening; I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have done, particularly of the food or our infamous masala chicken. I will be more camera happy next time!
Friday had been our prep day and we had also paid a visit to Kingsbury to pick up the fresh meat and the Indian sweets from our friends at ‘Sweet & Spice’ on Kingsbury High road. We also managed to stuff ourselves on Parathas and Daal at the Rose, a fantastic vegetarian Indian restaurant also on the High road. I digress….back to the day in question.
Unfortunately we had a cancellation at 3pm on Saturday afternoon. I couldn’t fill the places and I felt really frustrated that people would cancel so late without giving any sort of reason. The library room table was reset for seven people instead of ten. This meant that later on in the evening there was room for me, Mum and even Dad to pull up a chair to chat and have a drink with our guests! Pulling myself back from disappointment I set to work on the first room that people would enjoy a glass or two of cava and the Pakoras in. My Dad ended up co-hosting the first part of the evening with me and he was fab to the point that it is now three of us running Joginder’s supper club not two! My dear friend Melissa came along for moral support as did Mum’s friend Sonya. The door bell went at 7.15pm on the dot and by 7.30pm all our supper club guests were seated in the drawing room enjoying the roaring fire and getting to know each other. I hadn’t anticipated that people would be so prompt (don’t get me wrong though, I like promptness!). I was now thinking that 8pm was too late to serve the starters. The conversation was flowing and I needn’t have worried as two bottles of cava were consumed in half an hour.
We had two vegetarians so we added to the menu especially for the evening. The spicy haddock curry and cornish sardines in a masala sauce went down well. I am told that even the meat eaters helped themselves to a taste of the haddock. The kitchen was calm; Dad had retired to watch the football with a plate of pakoras. One by one the main dishes came out. Lamb followed by chicken masala, basmati rice, tarka daal, channa…the list goes on and fortunately so did everyone’s stomachs! Mum set to work making the roti (which is a light Indian bread). The best thing about the way we serve our food is that our guests help themselves to how much they want and when the bowl is empty it is more often than not refilled. We believe in seconds! I just want to add at this point that I found out from Mum later that two out four of her hobs packed up and she was cooking with only two for the whole evening. I’m going to find a suitable medal for her to wear.
I also encouraged people to venture into the kitchen to say hello and Mum ended up giving an impromptu lesson in cooking with spices! You can see the kitchen from the table so we can be seen preparing each course. This is something that people liked about the evening.
By 9.30pm we had poured ourselves a glass of Pinot Grigio and were chatting to our guests who were keen to ask Mum lots of questions about her Indian heritage. A pencil drawing of my grandmother, Joginder, hangs in the dining room and she too became a talking point for my Mum who recounted stories of cooking in East Africa.
For dessert we served a spicy fruit salad in a homemade masala sauce with vanilla ice cream. For me, this sort of dessert if perfect after an array of curries as your palate is refreshed ready for the next course. Coffee, homemade masala tea and Indian sweets were next on the menu. I had turned away for second and when I turned back some sort of contest was being set up. Helen, one of our guests had asked if we were serving shop bought masala ‘chai’. It is in Mum’s cupboard and mine. However, no, we weren’t going to be serving shop bought tea….unless people would prefer it. Helen then suggested that we all do a taste test. The ‘Masala Chai Challenge’ at Joginder’s supper club was born! Mum prepared the tea we were serving anyway and I made the shop bought chai. Well I say made, I put two tea bags in a pot and poured in the hot water. Our homemade tea doesn’t require you to add milk as it is made with milk in the pan. If you need sugar you should only add a small teaspoon so the slight spicy taste doesn’t get lost. Everyone now had a cup of each tea and there was a brief silence as we sipped our teas. I can tell you now that our homemade tea won but it was an interesting comparison as Kathleen and Din (two of our guests) said that they would have been happy with either as Indian tea in general has a nice taste. The Indian sweets went down very well. We ended up using the whole box.
Things wound down by 11.30pm and our guests left feeling full but happy, we were told. They liked the small number of people as it created a cosy intimate feel around the table. We all agreed that it felt like we had known each other longer than one evening.
We are looking forward to our next supper club on 12th December which promises to be as lively and fun as this one! Thanks again to all our guests who made the evening really enjoyable for us.