Cooking Club Report – 28 March 2015

2015-03-28 11.04.15

The mural in the Community Centre

The new monthly Cooking Club met for the first time at the Marlpit Community Centre on Saturday.
Mahesh led this first session, selecting produce from the Marlpit Community Garden and sharing his cooking know-how.
As you will see, adding a few store cupboard staples to the freshly harvested vegetables created a nutritious main course with endless variations possible.


From MCG

2015-03-28 11.01.06

Osaka leaves

Purple / White Sprouting broccoli (PSB)
Osaka Purple leaves (mild spicy taste)

Indian Mustard

Indian Mustard

Indian Mustard leaves (spicy)
Curry plant leaves
From store Cupboard
Chick peas (dried & soaked in water overnight to reduce cooking time)
Root Ginger
Ground spices
Cooking Oil

2015-03-28 11.13.54The meal was to be based around rice and lentils with a number of vegetable side dishes.

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Testing the lentils (after skimming)

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Frying chopped root-ginger

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Ground ginger added to taste

2015-03-28 11.33.15Curry – (Chickpea, potato and Mustard leaf)
Firstly, the chickpeas in a pan of water were put on to simmer for an hour.
Finely chopped ginger was fried in oil for a few minutes, then chopped onion added, followed by potatoes (left in sizeable chunks) and a dash of ground spices (cumin, turmeric & chilli)
Once cooked the chickpeas also went in. Whole mixture stirred regularly and finally torn Indian mustard leaves.
The curry can be made richer by adding yoghurt.
Red Lentil Dahl
After soaking in water, the lentils were put on to simmer until soft, then some ground ginger, salt, olive oil (butter better) and pepper were added. To serve, some finely chopped curry plant leaves were added.
The dahl can be made as thick as preferred by adjusting liquid / cooking time. For a richer variation Amy suggested adding tomatoes and stir fried ginger, garlic and onion.
Basmati rice soaked in water and simmered until tender.
The PSB and Osaka were lightly stir fried (separately) 10 minutes before serving – a little oil heated in a pan and then vegetables added with and some salt and pepper. Alison suggested an alternative of steaming the vegetables.

2015-03-28 12.42.49On the plate…
a filling and tasty meal shared in good company!
Plus the bonus of being nutritiously balanced – carbohydrates (rice and potato), protein (chickpeas and lentils), vitamins and minerals (green veg). Also this version would suit vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free diets.
The basic idea can be adapted by adding different spices, using different vegetables – whatever is in season. The quantities can be scaled up or down – Mahesh suggests a guide of 200g of total ingredients per person. Any surplus can be refrigerated or frozen for later – (Caution – cooked rice should only be reheated once to avoid any risk of food poisoning).

2015-03-28 12.44.00

There were eventually eight of us around the table, and I had stopped snapping photos!


Alison F.

For the April Cooking Club – nettles, rhubarb should be plentiful. If you have any ideas for recipes or just want to share a social occasion – don’t forget to book your place – open to all.