Tamil Feasts, Ceres, Stewart St & Roberts St, Brunswick East.
Tamil Feasts have been run at Ceres Community Environment Park in Brunswick for about eight months.
They are held on Monday (pescatarian friendly with vegan options) and Tuesday (vegan friendly) nights every week.
I arrive early on the Monday night I attend, which gives me plenty of time to take in the set-up and meet several of fine folks involved.
There volunteers working hard but the main heft of the cooking and its inspiration falls to a half-dozen or so Tamil asylum seekers.
My understanding is that these wonderful cooks are still seeking refugee status but are free to live and work in the community.
After years of being detention, being able to prepare food for hungry guests not only earns them income but a whole lot of satisfaction.
Though, as event co-ordinator Molly points out, two days hardly provides a livable pay packet.
But still …
The tables for a sell-out crowd of 70 are beautifully set.
And as more guests start arriving, it strikes me – this party is just like a Consider The Sauce Feast or fundraiser for West Welcome Wagon!
The people and the food (see menu below) are very familiar.
And that’s a good thing!
Our feast starts with bhajis of onion, silverbeet, curry leaves and spices served with a mild tomato-coconut sambal.
These are magnificent – crisp on the outer and quite moist and juicy on the inner.
Then follows our waonderful main fare, served upon thali plates.
A super, spinachy dal.
A green bean and carrot curry.
Unusually flavoured roast garlic with sugar.
A salad of roast eggplant spiced with coriander, lemon, chilli and more.
And another salad of parsely, coconut and chilli.
It’s all very good and well worth every cent of the $30 we have paid.
The evening has been an unalloyed pleasure and the event has been very well run.
Many thanks to Goya and her friends for inviting me!