Meena’s menu for an Indian brunch


Meena

A beautiful green spinach cake was a hot (literally) favourite at the World Kitchen brunch.  Here Meena Bhana shares her recipe for the spicy savoury cake but first she takes us to the bustling streets of Indian cities with her menu for the World Kitchen brunch.

I put together a menu of Gujerati dishes for the brunch and then I spent hours in the kitchen experimenting.  We decided to offer Falooda –  a spectacular mix of milk, vermicelli and flavourings topped with ice cream –  as a complimentary drink for guests arriving  at Out of the Blue.  With at least 80 bookings, how much milk would that take?

THE MENU

Chickpea and Potato Chaat – chaat is a dish that takes you right back to the streets of India. Chaat tastes hot, sweet, tangy and crunchy. It contains, potatoes, channa, chaat masala, onions, chillie powder, coriander, puffed rice and tamarind chutney.

Spinach cake is a savoury baked cake to get the taste buds tingling whilst sipping a cup of masala tea. It is made with methi (fenugreek leaves), semolina, maize flour and corn.

Dokhra is a savoury steamed cake that can be eaten at any time of the day. It is made with yoghurt, semolina, green chillies and ginger and is topped with mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves and coriander. Served with green coconut chutney, dokhra is a perfect accompaniment to a cup of masala tea.

Dokhra topped with seeds and spices

Falooda is a culinary spectacle, a rose infused drink that consists of not only an array of beautiful colours but also numerous flavours and textures owing to the variety of ingredients that go into its making. A gastronomic delight thought to be introduced to the lands of India by the Parsi’s.

(And how much milk? In the end we decided on 10 litres, there was quite a lot left over but Out of the Blue Drill Hall Arts Café was able to use it up.)

RECIPE FOR SPINACH CAKE

Note: Methi is another word for fenugreek. You will get it at one of the Asian stores in Leith walk. It has small leaves on a stem but if you are not sure, the store owner will definitely know what it is. It has a slightly bitter taste but works well in this cake.

Liquidise the following ingredients: 2 bunches methi, 1 cup oil, 1 onion, 1  cup milk, 2 tablespoons green chillies finely chopped, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt

Sift together: 1 cup semolina, 1  cup gram flour, 1  cup plain flour,  2 teaspoons baking powder

Small tin of corn

Add liquidised mixture to the above dry ingredients. Add drained corn and mix thoroughly. Pour into greased pan and bake at 180 degrees for 30min.


What to eat? Bea and Parvez help guests make the difficult choice.

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