Sunday, October 26, 2008

October Book Club Tea

NOTE: excuse the funky layout of the pictures. I suck at formatting with multiple photos. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

We've been doing this book club thing for a few months now and it's turning out to be a lot of fun -- and a nice excuse to cook yummy foods and eat!

This month's selection was "The Palace of Illusions," by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, who just happens to be a fellow Bengali. Perfect excuse to make this month's tea-time theme a Bengali tea party!

Among the yummy selections to nosh on were keema patties (my contribution), potato and veggie shingaras, muri, and aloo tikkis. What exactly are all those?

The keema patties are pretty self-explanatory -- spiced ground turkey filling inside puff pastry sheets. The keema can be made from chicken, turkey, beef, whatever. You can even make it with potato, but I like keema the best. Very easy, very indulgent, very yummy. Oh and you have to say "patties" with an exaggerated Indian accent. That's the rule, okay?

The shingaras are very similar to samosas, except in my experience the crust is thicker and the fillings are vegetarian only. I may be wrong about this though. Either way, these were excellent!

Muri one of my favorite Bengali-style snacks. You make it with puffed rice, mustard oil, chopped onions, chopped green chilis (optional), and channachur. We also added some ginger to round things off. This stuff is addictive and I am ashamed to admit I went for multiple helpings of this and ended up finishing off the bowl. :(

Aloo tikkis are spiced fried potato patties -- can't go wrong with that combo! They can be made plain or with fillings. The spices used to season them can vary, our friend used a spice mix that had a very intriguing tanginess to it that made them irresistable to me.

And of course, there were some cookies and mango sorbet for the sweet side of things, although we forgot to eat the sorbet because we were so full.

We'll have to skip November because none of our schedules work out, so stay tuned to find out what we cook up for our December meeting.

NOTE: I probably should have said that the descriptions of the food are in order of the pics. But apparently the pics show up as a square in edit mode and for some people and then in a straight vertical line when I view it as a page. Okay, so the rectangular thingies are the patties, the triangular thingies are the shingara, the stuff that looks like puffed rice is the muri, and the round discs are the aloo tikkis.

No comments: