It wasn’t that long ago that I was asked the question, “What does food mean to you?” The answer is easy; it reminds me of family, happiness and home. Recently I was approached by the charity “Rough Edges” which provides food for the homeless in Sydney. They asked me if I would prepare food for people who do not have these three things that most of us take for granted.
The instructions were simple. The food had to be vegetarian and could feed over 60 people. My good friend Samantha Martin offered her kitchen for the day and after several hours of cooking, we had made enough food (well, I hoped we had).
I decided to start the three course meal with a bang and prepare Pakora. This is a deliciously spiced vegetarian snack filled with cauliflower, potato and onion, coated in chickpea flour batter and deep fried. This was followed by two of my all time favourite curries, Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato) and Bhutan (eggplant and potato) served with vegetarian Biryani and Cucumber Raita. I finished off with a warming Semiya for dessert which is a noodle version of creamed rice served with coconut and sultanas. When Devinder’s mum made this, I could not stop sneaking to the fridge for more.
I met such wonderful, giving people, Rani, her daughter and George Harder who every month cook and feed people who need a friendly face, somewhere to rest, someone to listen and something to eat. Sam, Devinder and our good friend Warren Faulkner joined us. We started service at 7pm and finished around 10pm. The food was a hit and a number of our diners came back for seconds.
What a huge pleasure it was to prepare food for these wonderful people who repaid us with warm smiles and empty plates. It was also an opportunity for me to meet the dedicated volunteers who regularly give up their time to help support and serve from the kitchen in Rough Edges.
We came away from the night, thinking about the people we had fed, wondering how they had got there and just enjoying their company and quick wit. Not only did we put smiles on their faces but they put smiles on ours.
The Charity Rough Edges is based in Darlinghurst, Sydney: Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JubTUaTejIo
I would like to extend a special thank you to REBORN (www.reborn.com.au) who generously donated all the food for the night.
If you would like to get involved by hosting your own evening or simply donating food then go to the Rough Edges site. Website: http://www.roughedges.org