Thank you for waiting patiently. I have many excuses for delaying my cooking challenge. Nevertheless, I managed to do another letter and another country.
Romania was the chosen country for R. Only eight more countries and dishes to go. Don't get too upset. At this rate, I will still be going until 2020.
When I looked online as well as asking friends and colleagues, the results were not too encouraging or exciting. This was mainly due to two words: Cabbage Rolls.
I do like cabbage but I wouldn't order this dish on a menu if I saw it. I like stuffed vine leaves, it's just this sounded a bit dull. Don't judge me, I am learning.
Two sources I used for help were from Jo Cooks and Traditional Romanian Food blog. I always try to use a few sources just to make sure I have the correct recipe. As well as, just incase, if I do not have all the ingredients, I can see what else is done.
The essence of this dish is rice and pork stuffed into rolled cabbages, cooked drenched/drizzled with tomato sauce. My pictures do not do this dish or recipe justice and I thoroughly recommend looking at the two blogs above for true Romanian cabbage rolls.
Well seasoned, softened cabbage via boiling, is a vessel for flavoursome pork with garlic and rice. Forget the calories with a tortilla or wrap, this is healthy delights for you and yours.
Pork, onions and garlic are all a good base and start for a good dish. Add to that some rice and herbs and spices, what is there not to like?
I know you are capable to read the blogs above, but a quick summary of how to make the rolls:
Quite time consuming near the end, so start cooking this early and not at 9pm like I did.
I actually had my first bite at 11:30pm that evening. It was tasty, moist and filling. A dip or sauce with it, would add more, but it isn't a necessity. The good thing about this recipe is that you can experiment with the flavours and spices and even go vegetarian too.
Thank you Europe and specifically Romanian.
I would like to avoid FOMO and the best way to do this is to try out new restaurants. Chai Thali is a new restaurant, starting from street food stall to now permanent location in Camden.
Voted Best Indian Restaurant by Resident Magazine 2017, meant that I was very happy that Oran suggested we try Chai Thali. A few more words below by the restaurant themselves to provide some background.
"From the chaotic streets of Old Delhi to the bustling metropolis of Mumbai and on south to the glittering seashores of Kerala, we scoured the sub-continent to bring you the very best of India’s street food. Rooted in tradition, bursting with aromatic spices and brought to you with a contemporary twist, Chai Thali is a nation of street food all in one place.
Blending the old with the new, Chai Thali is all about India’s traditional and modern street food cultures. Our authentic kerb-side snacks and sharing plates are delicious paired with a craft beer or one of our spice-infused signature cocktails."
As a restaurant the premise is small plates to share, but they do so larger mains which are ideal for feasting.
Curry club is all about sharing. Chai Thali offers this and the way we ordered and asked the restaurant to accommodate made this easier. So between the four of us we ordered:
Since I went to Chai Thali, a lot has happened in the month Mainly that I have become a father. Because of this, I have had to enlist the help of my fellow curry club people for their feedback as my memory is a bit hazy.
Here is some of there feedback below:
Chai Thali is a restaurant I would definitely recommend. Slightly hidden away in Camden you will most probably get a seat. Go as a group or a couple, hell, go alone. Big a few dishes, be rave and I'm confident that you will be satisfied.
OMG: sharing is caring
WATCH OUT: I can't complain to be honest
GOOD TIMES: lovely lamb chops