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Indian Thali Supper Club Recap

Thali Time

Yesterday was our fourth ever supper club at the Vegetarian Cookery School timed to celebrate Leap Year with an Indian Thali feast. Our chefs Helen Lawrence and Jo Ingleby did a fantastic job with the menu, but as always, it was our hungry supper-clubbers who made it such a lovely evening.

A few dishes stood out as obvious favourites. Masala dosas are always a big hit and we served these as a starter with the classic accompaniments of sambhar and coconut chutney.

Masala Dosa

The thali itself brought a few less common dishes to the table, with particular praise for the masala vada, dumplings made with chana and urid dal served in a tomato masala sauce, drawing lots of comparisons with malai koftas. They really were heavenly - there's just something about dumplings that's extraordinarily comforting, especially when they come in a rich flavoursome sauce that's just perfect for sopping up with naan bread. (Recipes: masala vada, naan bread)

The chilli paneer with fenugreek leaves also drew lots of attention - Jo and Helen made the paneer themselves, such a difference from store-bought. Several supperclubbers who weren't usually paneer fans said that this dish was their favourite! (Recipe: chilli paneer)

Thali Time

Jo and Helen really pulled out all the stops on the pudding with a trio of mango chilli sorbet, phalon ki chat (Old Delhi fruit salad) and koyakattai (Ganesha festival coconut dumplings) - the presentation alone was just beautiful, and everyone adored the sorbet and fruit salad (feelings were mixed on the admittedly odd coconut dumplings, but we all had fun trying them!).

Beautiful Dessert

Here is the full menu, including recipes where available.

Leap Year Supper Club Menu 29th February 2012

On arrival

  • Panakam (jaggery tamarind drink)
  • Panipuris
  • Tamarind chutney
  • Raita
  • Keralan salad with green mango


  • Masala Dosa
  • Sambhar
  • Mangalorian coconut chutney


  • Baked aubergine with dal
  • Chilli paneer (recipe)
  • Coconut curry with tin dori & mongray
  • Masala vada (recipe)
  • Saffron pilau (recipe)
  • Peshwari naan (recipe)
  • Khadi (recipe)
  • Mango chutney (recipe)
  • Chilli pickle


  • Mango chilli sorbet
  • Phalon ki chat (Old Delhi fruit salad)
  • Koyakattai (Ganesha festival coconut dumplings)

After-dinner tipple

  • Damson gin

We've posted all of the pics from the evening to Flickr:

[AFG_gallery id='1']

Photoset: Indian Thali Supperclub

Thanks so much to everyone who came to our supperclub; the company was just terrific and so many wonderful conversations were had. The only moment of silence was when the pudding was served, the presentation of which left everyone speechless.

Whether you were there, I hope you'll try some of the Indian recipes we've posted from the evening. Let us know if you do!

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