>> Thursday, 26 July 2012
It all started with a cuppa tea....
A cuppa tea one inspired evening on the phone dreaming up menus that were authentic to our Gujerati roots and seasonal here in the UK. Meena from @ChaiLounge is a South African born Gujerati and I, Urvashi, am a Tanzanian born @GujeratiGirl. Same continent. Same language but would our tastes work together? We were both keen to try.
The theme this year was 'The 2012 Olympics'. For me this represents Challenge, Competition and Camaraderie.
I was excited to meet the other competition entrants. There was a wonderful mix of world cuisines - a truly Olympic variety but already the rivalry had begun!
The biggest challenge we faced was living hours away from each other. How would we agree flavours and and combine our tastes? It wasn't ideal but we agreed our menus and set about practising each other's recipes. Meena lives in Edinburgh and I live in London so it was impossible to meet up. We found similarities. We found differences. We had a few more cuppas and all was well again.
Competition day came around too quickly. We arrived at Cookery School's cosy HQ to the warmest of welcomes and a breakfast of champions.
|Gorgeous Oatie Breakfast Biscuits|
|Yummy cheese scones|
|Competition toughing up!|
|Marylebone Farmer's Market|
And the chickpea flour, that this wonderful chap in Waitrose helped us discover hidden in the ethnic foods aisle.
|Smiles and excellent service at Waitrose|
Back at base, we kicked off with a health and safety briefing from the fabulous Rosalind Rathouse of Cookery School. Something as important to us aspiring chefs as to all the Olympic athletes who'll be competing this week.
|The lovely Rosalind Rathouse from Cookery school|
On your marks.....get set.....go! The cooking countdown began!
Not even five minutes in and we encountered our first hiccup. Meena's pressure cooker could not be used on the induction hobs. Eeeeeeeeeek! This was essential for our dhal as our lentils were unsoaked!
|Pressure cooker kaputt!|
|Lovely Cookery School Team|
|Green chillies stuffed with chickpea flour, yoghurt and spices|
Potatoes were chopped. Spices were added. Oil was heated. Tomatoes were sizzled. Chappatti dough was made. Oil was spilled. Rose kulfi was stirred. Rose kheer was stirred. Rose flaooda was tasted. And then drunk. And then made again.
Chickpea tins were opened. Tomatoes were cubed. Coriander leaves were torn. Onions were chopped. Onions were rechopped more finely. Coriander chutney was whizzed. Stop seasoning was misssed!
And so before we knew it! It was time to plate up.
Our starter was a chickpea, potato and tomato 'chaat' with mangoes, onions, fresh coconut and coriander chutney.
|Gujerati Girls Starter|
|Gujerati Girls main courseAdd caption|
|Gujerati Girls Trio of Rose|
A tiring day. A fun day. A loooong day!
CamaraderieWhat would the judges decide? At this point I wasn't really bothered. I was enjoying the glass of white wine from Natural Wines and the sense camaraderie as we all chatted about the day's events and challenges.
There are lots of ways to get involved. As a first step, why not buy some virtual raffle tickets for some amazing cookery and food related goodies. As the judges deliberated, we all sat down to the fruits of our labour.
The wonderful Cookery School chefs had taken our dishes and created an enormous buffet with them all so we could taste everything from each team.
Meena and I took the Bronze medal so to speak with Silver going to the Singaporean delights of Singply Sensational and the Gold to the fabulous Chorizo Chica.
|Scooping third proze|
|Fabulous Goody Bag|
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