Difficult to write about this recipe because of there being so so much to say about the Khora kitchen, which I don’t quite feel up to writing if I am honest. Khora Community Centre in Athens is quite an incredible place and movement, where I met the most creative, patient, understanding and intelligent people I think I am likely ever to meet. Sharing food there and learning from the techniques and habits of the different chefs and kitchen coordinators every day taught me more about cooking for hundreds of people than I think I would be able to write down.
Khora is a community movement made up of refugees and volunteers who travel to Athens from all over the place, as far as New Zealand (while I was there). There are projects, classes, healthcare and legal initiatives taking place in a towering building in Exarchia, close to the squats that are housing refugees with nowhere to live, offering a short term solution out of solidarity and the time, ideas and hard work offered by hundreds of local and international volunteers. I would recommend a visit to Khora’s website here to get an idea of how much is going on, good and bad, and how exciting the possibility of hundreds of people coming together to create enjoyable and inclusive solutions can be.
So, the kitchen. This is from Fahad’s recipe, one of the first days I was volunteering in the kitchen and when I was still so used to commercial kitchens that I expected everyone to be angry, all the time. This was not the case, although there is always far too much to do in an ad-hoc kitchen space that is catering for 600 meals a day, at least.
We had this as the centrepiece at lunchtime, and I’ve eaten it as such since, too. However, it would be a really fun way to combine your two veg, side veg and potatoes, with whatever else you’re eating.
1 large tomato
Sunflower or vegetable oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon dried coriander, or a few fresh coriander leaves
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
Slice the potato, onion, tomato and aubergine into rounds.
Using a pestle and mortar, grind together the garlic, curry powder, cumin seeds, turmeric and coriander
Cut out a large square of silver foil, and brush one side completely with oil.
Lay about 4 of the potato slices in a square on the foil. Cover this layer with onion slices, and sprinkle evenly with the garlic spice mixture. Continue to layer, next with tomato, then aubergine, then more spice mixture.
Repeat this process until you have used up all ingredients, top with any extra spice mixture and drizzle with a little more oil.
Wrap the foil around the little tower so you have a tight package, and place in the oven. Cook for about half an hour.
Unwrap to check that the potatoes are soft- if they are, it’s ready to serve.