Saturday, 21 February 2015

Our Three Hundredth Post - Now we are a Team

For the last two years I have been running Terpsichore on my own though I have had great contributions from Joanna Goodman, Mel Wong and, most recently, Peter Groves. Now I have a partner in the blog and other activities that we are about to launch under the Terpsichore sign. The well known chef - Gita Mistry whom the distinguished food critic Jay Rayner described as "The greatest Indian cook in Britain."

Gita is not quite a newcomer to this blog. Inspired by his performance as Wilson in The Great Gatsby she created the most humongous pavlova in honour of Isaac  Lee-Baker which I mentioned in Food and Ballet 20 Nov 2014.

But Gita also loves dance. Watching it and doing it. She has danced for years years in different styles  She has done  bharat natyamkathakalidandiya rass  and an old Gujarati style of folk dancing called garba.  Between the ages of 9 and 13 she performed contemporary dance at on the stage in Bradford.  A few years ago she performed in a Bollywood musical at the West Yorkshire Playhouse which ran for 30 nights. Other styles she has enjoys include latino, salsa and even the can-can, Most recently she has taken up ballet and had classes from Annemarie Donoghue and Ailsa Baker.

In the next few months we shall run a series of talks in Leeds and Manchester with dancers, choreographers, teachers and others on the lines of those in London run by Danceworks and the London Ballet Circle. We shall invite top speakers from Northern Ballet, Phoenix and visiting companies. Wherever possible, we shall try to offer some Gita Mistry goodies at those events.

Now that there are two of us there will be a lot more contributions to this blog, Facebook group and twitter streams. There will be just as much ballet but also posts on Indian, street and jazz.

There may be posts on food. Cheryl of Ballet News offers cup cakes to her dancers.  Gita can offer those and a whole heap more.

If you want to get stared why not try these scrummy delights: Mushroom Bajias

(Serves 4)
14 tbsp gram flour
3 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp green rocket chilli
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
A pinch chilli powder
2 tsp ground nut oil
150ml luke warm water
750g whole medium sized chestnut or button
Ground nut for oil for deep frying
Grate the ginger and finely chop the green chilli.
Prepare the mushrooms by cutting the larger ones in half and keeping the smaller ones whole. Wipe them clean and
avoid soaking them in water as this will make the mushrooms limp.
1. In a bowl, sieve the gram flour and add the ginger and green chilli. Add a little water and using your hand beat
the mixture to form a paste, making sure to avoid lumps. Mix in some more water and continue to beat.
2. Once you have a smooth thick paste consistency, add the dry spices, 2 tsp oil and salt, and beat. Cover and leave
the batter somewhere warm for 1 hour.
3. Approximately half-fill a heavy bottom Lowu or a heavy bottom wok with groundnut oil, and heat.
4. Take the batter and add a little more water to loosen the mixture to form a batter consistency. Mix in the fresh
coriander leaves.
5. (Test the oil by dropping a little batter into the oil if it rises to the top within a few
seconds and becomes crispy then its ready.) Dunk the mushrooms into the batter and
then place them in the hot oil. Give them a few seconds then frequently turn them until
crispy and golden brown, drain off the excess oil. Serve while still hot and crispy.


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