With the weather changing and the cold creeping in on us, its getting more and more depressing. Diwali is coming up, so that's something to look forward to, but come November and then we are in that awkward state, where you know Christmas is a few weeks away, but not close enough to start planning or shopping for. So we at Bloggers' Buzz thought we should do something to bring the colour back into gloomy London by hosting an Indian #chaiparty. Yup, a traditional afternoon tea party with an Indian touch. Its going to be held in a leafy bylane of SE10, conveniently located for everyone to get to and we've collaborated with some fabulous brands which we shall be revealing in the next couple of weeks. You can call it a supper club of sorts, cos we are going to be cooking and serving the food we serve at the event, but we are not following the traditional sit down supper club format. I don't want to reveal too much now, but i promise this is going to be a super duper fun event.
What's a chai party without some steaming hot, well chai? Tea India, with their exotic range of rich, flavourful teas have gladly agreed to be part of the #chaiparty and will be providing us the tea for the afternoon. We will be serving a tea inspired cocktail as welcome drink and there would be unlimited glasses of masala chai doing the rounds.
If thats not enough, we also have in store some fun festive games, mehendi corner, music and dancing to get the party going. The tickets will go on sale soon, and spaces are limited, so you might want to jump in and book one off right away. I shall be back with more details but till then, leaving you with a lip smacking canapé.
Since we are on the whole fusion food topic, here is a recipe for the traditional Khari biscuits (spiced puff pastry biscuits), but with the addition of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, it takes on the form of cheese sticks, that, needless to say, no one can stop with just one. Topping 2, with a South Indian twist, were my absolute favourite. I cant explain the aroma while these were baking.
Makes around 20 long cheese sticks
Puff pastry- 1 pack, thawed
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese- 1 cup, finely grated
Dried fenugreek leaves- 1 tbsp, crushed
Pepper- around 1/2 to 1 tsp
Red chilli flakes- 1 tsp (optional)
Sea salt- to sprinkle
Oil- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig, fresh ones
Shallot- 1 small, finely chopped
Salt- to taste
Preheat oven to 176C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper
If your puff pastry is not ready rolled, then roll it out to about 30 cms, 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut this sheet in two and sprinkle them both with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese . Generously
Sprinkle all the ingredients for topping one, one after the other on top of the cheese and using a rolling pin gently roll over the pastry sheet, just to put the ingredients all in place and to make sure they don't fall off.
Cut into long strips and carefully place them on the baking tray 1/2 inch apart.
For filling two, heat oil in a small pan and throw in the cumin seeds and curry leaves
Once they turn crisp, in about a minute if the oil is perfectly hot, add the finely chopped shallot and keep sauteing till they turn crisp.
This could take a while, but make sure you don't burn them, or else its could taste bitter.
Once the mix turn crispy, drain them on paper towels and leave to cool.
Once cool, crush them with a pestle and mortar, not to paste like consistency, but leaving a bit of bite to it.
Season with salt and sprinkle this mix on top of the puff pastry.
Cut them in strips and place on the baking paper.
Take out of the oven, cool for a few minutes and bite into the crispy puff sticks warm.
Serve with a cup of tea and its perfect.
Sending the Cheese Sticks for the Parmigiano Reggiano #dinnertogether competition in association with London Restaurant Week. Wish me luck :)