Agherton parish enjoys a taste of India

Tuesday May 12th 2009

Liz Hanlon, Judith Hegan and Grace Bowers help prepare the Indian meal at the Agherton Parish Curry Party.The second Agherton Parish Big Curry Party attracted 85 hungry people to Agherton Parish Centre, Portstewart for a mouthwatering melee of authentic Indian food.

The repast was prepared by volunteers from USPG Ireland, along with some ladies of the parish who spend the early evening peeling and chopping, frying and boiling.

In total 60 onions, 8kg of basmati rice and 50 naan breads, plus lashings of everyday ingredients such as carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, broccoli, sweet peppers, lemons, bananas, cream and yogurt went into the dishes. The more unusual ingredients included: 50 cloves of garlic, 28 inches of fresh ginger, 121 cardamons, 121 cloves, 5 tablespoons cumin seeds, 5 tablespoons fennel seeds, 7 tablespoons coriander seeds, 7 tablespoons mustard seeds, 7 tablespoons onion seeds, 14 inches cinnamon stick, 24 tablespoons curry powder, 6 tablespoons garam masala, 4 tablespoons cardamon powder. The cooks also used 2kg red lentils, 1kg of aubergines, 1kg of courgettes, 1.6 litre of coconut milk, and 1 litre of chutney; curry leaves, mint leaves, coriander leaves and saffron; almonds, raisins and of course fresh chillis and chilli powder.

Jan and Linda from USPG at the Agherton Curry Party.Serving the food was a slow process, as guests studied the dishes, and were reassured that they were full of flavour, not of heat. Royal shahi lamb, chicken curry, Bombay potatoes, dahl and vegetable korma were accompanied by basmati rice, carrots with onion seed, banana raita, mango chutney and naan bread.

Some of the ladies donned saris and salwars, and not to be left out, the clergy of the parish looked stunning in their kurta pajamas. Excellent music was provided by Jimmy and Jesse from Limavady making it something of a traditional music curry party.

Jan de Bruijn, USPG Ireland’s volunteer “master chef” commented: “It was great to work in this magnificent new parish kitchen, many ‘F’ words were used like ‘Fantastic’ for the work done by Judith, Grace, Liz and Belryl,  ‘Fabulous’ for the support of the parishioners, ‘Fun’ which was had by all who came, and ‘Funds’ for the work of USPG, which is what it was all about.”

Support for the event came both from within and beyond the parish and many who came last year returned again for the great food and lively atmosphere.

A total of £600 was raised for USPG Ireland.

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