Ep1 : The Suriani Kitchen

Ana Mathew, Sahil Khan (Instagram, Twitter), Suraj Menon (my husband) and I (Instagram, Twitter) met at our apartment on Saturday evening for our very first cookbook potluck.

This was a first for most folk present and nobody had ever met anybody, except Sahil and I (we’ve known each other for a few years now, and we had to start *somewhere*, right?). Okay, I’ve known my husband for a while too, of course. Heh.

Why we picked The Suriani Kitchen? It just seemed liked something homely, yet out of our comfort zones. When I met Sahil over coffee sometime last week to discuss the idea, I took along with me a bag full of books that he could pick from. Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook, while being something of everyone’s dreams, wasn’t quite going to get our confidence levels with this cookbook club idea anywhere, so we kept that away after a few page flips and a photograph. The other book in contention was Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, but we wanted to have at least one dinner or lunch at short notice to get this thing going; and curing or pickling wasn’t quite our smartest bet.

Sahil put out a tweet and also put a story up on Instagram. We had several people from Bombay enquiring, and some obvious trolls. But Ana saw his story on Instagram and asked him, just like that, out of the blue, if she could attend. That’s how the whole thing happened.

We agreed on a BYOB scene and decided on who’d cook what. And before we knew it, it was Saturday evening. I’d put out a calendar event for the blog and scheduled it for 8 pm to 11 pm. What started at 8:30 pm that evening ended at 2 am and I think that’s enough reason to believe it went well.

Sahil brought in a Keema and Potato Fry, while Ana got some Kerala Chicken Curry. Suraj made a Chicken with Green Herbs and I made some Mussels Pickle and some Tender Coconut Pudding.

We devoured the Keema and Potato Fry with Budhani Wafers, it was so so so scrumptiously good! Dinner was pretty good too. Though Suraj’s green chicken was a little dry that evening, we managed to fix it the following morning, and get it to a thick gravy like consistency, thanks to some domestic skills. Needless to say it tasted far better at lunchtime on Sunday. Ana’s chicken curry was so homely and comforting, it just put a big smile on your face. My mussels pickle turned out pretty good too, and I must add, it should have because I waited an hour at our local fishmonger’s to get my hands on that afternoon’s fresh stock of mussels. All that, with loads of white rice and store bought idiyappams.

We spoke about everything – food events that Ana has organized and more that she has lined up, Old Monk tetra paks, beer snobbery, anecdotes from when we were little, how kittens compare to human babies and why my tender coconut pudding bombed.

While Sahil’s keema and potato fry was hands down the winner of the evening, in my book, my tender coconut pudding was a complete bummer (more on that in a separate blog post when I’ve fixed the booboo).

All the recipes from the book are in the slideshow below (click on any image to enlarge and then use the forward and backward arrows to navigate).

 

I’m mighty excited about the possibilities of a second meet up, new people perhaps, another great book to cook out of and more good times.

And here’s what we posted through Sunday, possibly hungover on the alcohol and the surprisingly fun evening we’d had.

Last Night was a tantalising mix of high spirits(Pun intended), new amazing people, quirky conversations, moody cats and incredible food!
@cookynomster & @sahilk88 came up with this amazing concept of a potluck-dinner. So the idea would be to pick a Cookbook, choose a Recipe that you'd cook, show up with your Food, have real-ass Conversations over food and leave enlightened. And boy did that happen! I'd say last night was a success 💜. So the lovely Meha aka @cookynomster and Suraj, were our gracious hosts for the evening.
The menu Kerala Chicken curry(Kozhi Karri)
Ground Lamb & Potato Fry(Kotiyerachiyum Kezhangu Olathiathu)
Pickled Fresh Mussels
Prawn Pickle
Tender Coconut Pudding
Chicken in green herbs (Thengayum malli ella Chertha Kozhi)
Iddiappam
White rice All the recipes were adapted from Lathika George's The Suriani Kitchen. We started off with Lamb and Potato Fry. Digging into every bite felt like a symphony playing in your mouth. The potatoes, simmered along with the ground Lamb and HAND-GROUND spices, were spot on. Dinner was Chicken cooked in Green Herbs. The fresh Mint & Coconut used as a base for the Chicken was refreshing, clean on the palate and had the right amount of heat from the chilly. The Kerala Chicken Curry was a Mild coconut based curry make with fresh spices and Chicken and finished off with a coconut oil, curry leaves, garlic and onion Tadka.
The pickled Mussels were make out of fresh mussels💚💚 We finished off dinner with a sweet and mellow, Tender Coconut Pudding made from scratch. Perfect way to end dinner!
Can't wait till the next POTLUCK! #dinner #potluck #cookbook #surian #kitchendiaries #kerala #mallu #food #chicken #curry #green #coconut #pudding #lamb #potatoes #pune #india

A post shared by Ana Mathew (@ana.bawarchi) on

Made some pickle with mussels yesterday – a Syrian Christian recipe called Kallumekka Achaar from Lathika George's The Suriani Kitchen. I also made a shrimp pickle but that wasn't half as good. And a tender coconut pudding where I did a big booboo – I heated coconut water to melt some gelatin. Yay for awkward tasting, not-quite-there-yet toddy. And a terrible after taste on the pudding. Bummer. 😦 I'm going to try and put all of this up on my blog soon enough. My first attempt at organizing a "Cookbook Club" in Pune. There was a delish chicken curry that @ana.bawarchi made and an insane keema and potato fry that @sahilk88 did. Suraj made a half decent chicken in green herbs. All in all a lovely dinner. A lot more fun than I'd thought it would be. Hopefully there will be more. And hopefully my food will not let me down.

A post shared by °•° (@cookynomster) on

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