Nik Sharma's Season
Joravar and his wife, Priyanka, own 11 East Street Cafe (and a few other restaurants in Pune) and are also part of the cookbook club in Pune. They were having a Bring Your Pets Boozy afternoon at their restaurant and decided to host some of the Pune folk there.
They decided to cook out of Nik Sharma's Season because it had been on their backlog for a while. We also learned that it was a whole year since Nik launching his first book (Season), so there were two reasons at least to cook out of the book now.
The first meet for Pune happened on October 13th and there's another one planned for later this month. Joravar's drinks were a smash hit - a watermelon and elderflower granita along with a ginger and tamarind refresher. There was even talk on our group of trying to do a watermelon and basil granita because elderflower (or its syrup) can be difficult to source this part of the world. Priyanka made an elderflower and ghee cake.
The folk started off with a toasted naan with chicken soup that Priyanka Anand made.
Husein brought some spiced lamb kebabs while Amita brought in some ground Lamb and Potato Chops. Beef is usually buff here and we have some members who don't eat it (for religious reasons or otherwise) so Husein's substitution for lamb instead was spot on.
Jahnavi kept it simple with potato chouriço salad and was bummed that her potatoes were raw. Priyanki also brought in a salad because the food was too meat-heavy - a roast cauliflower salad with lentils. Leela, on the other hand, made a curry leaf popcorn chicken that would give any Chicken 65 a good run for its money.
Taruna made some rookie mistakes but kept her title of roast chicken queen nevertheless by bringing in the hot green chutney roast chicken.
Varun got the meatloaf and Shubhra made hand pies for which she painfully rolled her own puff pastry. They said the hand pies took way longer to bake (almost double the time) but that was possibly because they using a convection microwave instead of a good old 60 lit (or more) oven that most North American kitchens have as part of their cooking range.
All in all, everyone had a great time and ate their hearts out.
On Sunday, Oct 20th a handful of the remaining folk met at Dhanashree's place for the second meet of the month. Adit was nursing a flu from the bad weather and couldn't make it. Dhanashree wanted to make pulled pork tacos but had trouble sourcing a good cut from her regular guy, so she made the Ground Lamb and Potato Chops with Sambal Oelek. If you remember, Amita had made them the weekend before that and getting a chance to compare notes on them would have been good fun. Reva made a Crème Fraîche Chicken Salad. She'd initially thought she'd make spicy chocolate chip hazelnut cookies but her oven went kaput, so changing her dish seemed like a wise thing to do.
Ravi made a Roast Lamb leg earlier that week and made some again for the lunch. He also brought in some coriander gravlax (he said he should have used Himalayan pink salt as mentioned, but ended up using the same quantity of table salt, so the gravlax was understandably a tad salty). He also made a pineapple serrano gin, which everybody loved.
Neha brought in some Roasted young carrots with sesame and nori. Keya's Pork Bites had crackling that had crisped up really well and she had fun making the sticky glaze. All in all, she was proud of how the dish turned out and was glad everybody liked it too.
Siddhi made an eggless version of the Apple Masala Chai Cake along with the kind stated in the book and the eggless version was polished off in no time. Ravi even woke up craving the chai cake for breakfast, so that's reason enough to say everything went off well.