If you detected a faint aroma of toasted cumin seeds in the air last night, it was probably coming from my house! I hosted the first gathering of a new Supper Club that some friends and I have started, and we inaugurated it with an Indian-themed potluck dinner party. Since we all love to entertain, cook, and eat, we figured it made sense to have a regular monthly get-together with whatever theme each host chose. My choice was Indian, as I thought we’re in need of something spicy and exotic to rid us of the late-January blues, and I planned the entire menu and distributed recipes to all the cooks.
Potlucks have been a favourite of mine ever since I was little, attending those good old Protestant church dinners with my family. I’d make a point of taste-testing most dishes set out on the buffet table by the old ladies – except for the jellied salads, of course, which I avoided like the plague, and anything with marshmallows that did not also contain chocolate!
Last night, though, there were no jellied salads in sight; rather, chicken curry, cumin-spiced basmati, carrots and green beans with mustard seeds, lentil dal, potato-filled samosas, butter naan, and real Indian pickles (which seriously upped the authenticity, in my opinion!). Dessert was lemon yogurt cake – not exactly in keeping with the rest of the meal but, when served with tea, could be excused as a remnant of British colonialism in India. (Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch…) Combined with iTunes’ 24/7 “Bengali and Punjabi hits” radio station playing the background, it was a fun way to spend a Tuesday night.