It took me awhile to get here.
We’re Bengalis. And what Bengalis do best is eat fish. My family is also Muslim. And what Muslims do best, is eat meat. There isn’t much space left for vegetables after that. My mum doesn’t even have a single main dish that is purely vegetarian.
So planning this commune was a challenge. In the end, I took a bit from here, a bit from there, a few new recipes from the sister in London, and voila!: my first all-veg commune. Strangely, I had quite a few non-vegetarians present at the dinner! I do hope they come back for one of my carnivorous communes….it just isn’t the same without meat. Life, that is.
Jalapenos stuffed with mushroom and cheeseCreamy mushroom soup with mascarpone and parsleyyam & coconut ‘bhartha’ (mash) on crackersChilli & Pepper Paneer stir-fry: Paneer is a staple of Indian vegetarian cuisine. It strangely isn’t in ours. So this recipe I got from my sister over the phone. I hope I did it justice….It was the only vegetarian ‘main’ I could think of doing that would suit our other Bengali dishes. Mixed vegetable and potato kebabPeanut & Pineapple saladMy onion dahl recipe. Dahl can be made in so many different ways, unique to each chef. My dahl is completely different to my mother’s dahl, which is more watery. This recipe was taught to me by my sister too, over the phone yet again, while living in Cairo a few years back. Living in the ghetto and earning a measly salary, my friends and I survived on this onion dahl and baladi bread for many a month. It’s thick porridge-like nature is a good substitute for meat any day.Mama’s luxurious pulao with almonds, peas and fried onions
The evening had an extra special visitor. One of my guests was Mara Menzies, a story teller from Kenya. (Read:https://khanacommune.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/when-is-the-last-time-you-told-a-story/) She told my guests a beautiful story, one about the women of an African tribe who weren’t allowed to eat meat, and how, one day, they changed this. Ironic, considering the menu of the evening 🙂 Thanks to Mara for a wonderful performance!