Category: Blogger Event (invited by Tilda Rice)
Sometimes it’s really worth having a food blog (apart from satisfying your creative side of course and from having a great excuse to eat out all the time for research purpose) and that is, when you get invited to events. Very often these events are boring, you get uninspired food and they are not worth talking, let alone write about. Once in a while though you have one of these very enjoyable experiences, that you know you would never have if you hadn’t put a big portion of your non-working life in obsessively writing and maintaining your little baby (=blog).
When I got the invitation from The London FoodieÂ Â for the Tilda Diwali Supper Club, I immediately said yes. Luiz aka The London Foodie has done something incredibly brave recently. He said good bye to his high flying city career and devoted his life to his passion, that is food.
Naturally I was very excited to attend one of his first supper clubs (he has done several Cooking Clubs before) and I was very happy to hear that there are more to come. So watch this space! He is in Japan at the moment, refining his recipes, and I am sure he will be back with a vengeance in the New Year to wow us all with his culinary creations.
Luiz lives in aÂ beautifully decoratedÂ house North of Old Street tube and is a warm and welcoming host. Invited were a selection of bloggers and cooking at this occasion was not Luiz himself, but the Indian private chef,Â food blogger and cook book author Maunika (aka #curryinahurry), who, sponsored by Tilda, created this Diwali feast.
Tilda Diwali Supper Club
Deep fried tomato and mozzarella rice ballsÂ
My good intentions to refrain from drinking where immediately shattered by the amazing and highly alcoholic Orange and CardamonÂ Martini. Then, while we were gathering in the living room, we were served Deep fried sundried tomato & mozzarella rice balls as an amuse bouche. While I like risotto balls usually, I was absolutely not convinced by this Indian inspired version. I think this dish just needs to be done with proper risotto rice, in this case Tilda basmati just failed and it tasted wrong together with the dried tomatoes. Nice though was the mint yoghurt dipping sauce.
Tilda PR lady and The Host LuizÂ
It got much better after this. Luiz had set the table in his new kitchen equipped with a cornucopia of cooking books that would make any medium size Waterstones proud.Â Before the feasting began, the beautiful, talented and charming Maunika used the time to explain us a bit about her philosphy on about Indian food. I often tend to avoid Indian in London, as I always feel so stuffed and bloated after eating it. Maunika’s cooking is different. It uses the plethora of flavours, herbs and spices from the subcontinent while tasting so much lighter, healthier and more sophisticated. Apparently this is ‘Indian home cooking’ though – I wonder where all the restaurants went wrong then, drowning everything in heavy sauces, cream and oil?
We started with the Paneer Haraa Tikka. The grilled Indian cheese was nice, but what really rocked and made us all terribly excited was the pineapple and black pepper chutney. Even I liked it and had about 4 helpings, and I don’t even like pineapple!
Tilda and honey 075.JPG
All the other dishes were arranged buffet style in the kitchen. We indulged in:
lamb yakhni pulao – succulent lamb chunks cooked with Tilda rice and a lot of spices was a piece of Indian comfort.
Keralan fish curry – my clear favourite of the mains, moist and tender fillets of sea bass were cooked in a light and fragrant coconut sauce with curry leaves and ginger.
bainhan ka bharta – charred aubergine were cooked ginger and this was the only dish that was actually rather spicy (in a nice way).
haraa masala chicken – this is the green stuff below. Tender cooked chickens in a gravy of mint and coriander were a bit disappointing and I needed to add salt and pepper to pep it up.
and of course there was nan and raita en masse.
I only had time and space for one dessert, the bengali bhapa doi. It tasted like cardamon infused panna cotta and was served with ripe and sweet mango.
Â This home-cooked Indian was better than what I had at most mid-range Indian restaurants in London and even though I ate loads, I did still fit into my jeans the next day, unheard of with Indian food. A successful evening indeed.
Other bloggers’ reports:
The Skinny Bib
Hot & Chilli
Rice & Pickles