Some friends and I have a tradition of doing a joint Christmas dinner in mid-December, so that we can all enjoy a Christmas meal with friends before going back to our demented families. One person hosts and cooks the turkey and gets the condiments, and everyone else brings sides and desserts.
Giddy on six different kinds of potatoes and mulled wine, we agreed that this is a Great Idea and that we should do it more regularly. Dinner: it’s not just for Christmas!
So last weekend a few of us got together to do a joint dinner again, with Indian food as the theme this time. Three of us cooked, and the others brought desserts and some interesting jars of chutney and whatnot.
Our menu was a little elaborate as I am obsessed with Indian side dishes, and we ended up doing five sides along with rice; but it could of course be much simpler.
Take a look at our other Indian recipes for more inspiration. And I highly recommend Peshwari Naan from M&S for €3.
Here’s what we did, for six people:
Chicken Tikka Masala
- 5 chicken breasts, chopped into large chunks
- 3 tablespoons Tikka Masala sauce
Brown the chicken in a wok. Add in the Tikka Masala sauce, stir and simmer for a few minutes. Add some water and simmer for a few more minutes. Add the cream and stir through just before you’re ready to serve.
- Brown basmati rice (you could use white basmati as well, I just prefer the brown). I find half a mug per person works well.
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
Boil the rice with the spices for about 10 minutes, until tender but not soggy. Drain and serve.
My friend Fiona cooked these by parboiling them, then roasting them with a prepackaged spice mix. You could get the mix in a halal shop, or make your own by mixing mustard seeds, chilli and turmeric.
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower and Broccoli
Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets and toss them in a roasting tin with a teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander. Roast until crispy at the edges, about 15 minutes.
These are extremely easy and very tasty little coconut pancakes. Mix equal amounts of white flour and dessicated coconut (you could start with 150g of each). Add a small amount of water, and mix until it forms a dough-like consistency. If it gets too wet, add in some more flour. Once the dough is right, roll it into satsuma-sized balls and roll out each ball with a rolling pin (or empty wine bottle). Make them as thin as possible. Heat up a dry frying pan and cook them for a few minutes either side, till golden brown.
I also cooked the Sag Aloo and Moghlai Spinach that I wrote about here before.
It was all bleedin gorgeous. We had lots of fun cooking and trashing my kitchen. I’m a messy cook at the best of times and every surface in the kitchen was covered with dishes and spices when we were done. But it was worth it. And the cost? We fed six people a huge meal for the price of about 2 main courses from an Indian takeaway:
This doesn’t include dessert, and one of the attendees brought a delicious garlic, habanero and plum relish, but couldn’t remember how much it cost. It came from Fallon & Byrne’s, if anyone wants to try it out. But even taking those into account, it was still only about €40 for a giant meal for six.
So Supper Club is go! And now we have a few things to ask of you, our lovely readers:
- Let us know if you like the idea and think this is something you’d like to see more of.
- Do your own version of Supper Club and send us your recipes, opinions and even photos – we’ll post them all.
- Send us suggestions for menus and themes.
- Help us think of a better name than ‘Supper Club’.
- Feel free to make badges, membership cards and develop a secret handshake. We will.