We’ve been taking a break in Singapore. But the cooking hasn’t stopped. Khana Commune went on a little holiday this summer…..
It felt like November 2010 all over again. The thrill of decorating and transforming your dining room for a supper club for the first time. Discovering pretty crockery in the kitchen cupboards…. bowls and jugs you never use but which now suddenly look quirky or kitschy. It was a little different this time, of course. In November, I prepared a dinner for 8 all by myself. I had no clue what I was doing, just going with the flow and following my instincts. This time, in a fresh new setting, I got to share the experience with my sister for the first time, bringing in what I’ve learnt from throwing almost 20 supper club dinners. Last Friday, Khana Commune ‘popped-up’ in a small corner of Whitechapel, East London. My sister and I hosted 9 Londoners, some old friends, some completely new. This is what was on the table:
oven baked whole chilli mackerel — I take special pride in this mackerel as it was the first time I properly slit open and gutted two whole fish (well, other than at school camping trips). Gross and slimy, but strangely therapeutic and satisfying. I knew I was born to be a carnivore.
As an added bonus, my brother-in-law, Abdul-Rehman, rounded up the evening with a fun coffee tasting session. A coffee connoisseur and the first person I go to whenever I have a coffee-related enquiry, he demonstrated to us all how to use an aeropresse and we got to taste some of his unique and hard to find bean collections. The beans you see in the pot above are Yemeni coffee husks, known as kisher/gisher. The husks of the dried coffee fruit, neatly broken in half by the action of the millstones, are used to make a sweet, light drink. The husks are combined with spices and boiled. The resulting beverage is cooled to room temperature and drunk in the afternoon as a thirst-quencher and pick-me-up. Yemenis drink roast-and-ground coffee only in the morning, when, after bathing and prayers, they line up at coffee houses for a quick morning cup of coffee boiled with sugar in Middle-Eastern fashion.
(more pics soon to be up on Facebook)
(Pssst. Methinks my sister should officially open a London ‘branch’ of Khana Commune. If this happens, not to worry, you’ll find out about it here first 😛 )
What’s the most important thing I’ve learnt supper clubbing/khana communing across two continents?
And a smile.