In spite of her apparent youth, Aman Dosanj is a veteran of the Kelowna food scene. Her family had one of the most interesting restaurants that city’s ever seen. Poppadoms was pure Indian in style but pure Canadian in its ingredient choices. It was the go-to place for dinner for many of the region’s chefs…when they wanted a night away from their own restaurants. Aman’s brother, Harry, is an outstanding bartender and has always been a strident advocate for B.C.’s best wines.
But Aman’s path has diverged. She is passionately devoted to her series of SOURCED dinners where diners travel to the farms/vineyards that produce the food she serves forth. For her it’s all about seasonality and hyper-local ingredients. It’s all about Canada.
For Food Day Canada 2020 she hosted a special 6-feet together FDC pop up dinners at Roche Wines in Naramata. Winemaker/Owner, Penelope Roche. Their stories have always kind of synced up, so it was the perfect pairing for this dinner.
Aman is also an extraordinary story teller so I’m going to print her FDC letter to me verbatim with great thanks and admiration. BTW…she’s eating one of her Scotch Eggs in the image at the left.
Two Rivers Scotch Egg with Okanagan Tomato & Plum Chutney
The first course was all about my childhood memories of playing football and my English roots. One new addition to the Roche vineyard this year were chickens, so I soft-boiled the eggs the old school way with a 6-minute egg (because runny yolks are a must). The BC Pork mince was mixed in with grated apple from my garden, fennel tops from my friend Chloe’s garden and my Royal spice mix, then the breadcrumb was Anita’s Organic Flour and my leftover sourdough ends and day-old bread in the freezer for zero waste. Pickled some shallots to cut through the richness and served it with a ‘ketchup’-style chutney using all-local ingredients, including the Pacific sea salt, honey and vinegar. Can I also add that another red and white team won the FA Cup Final yesterday, too – CHAMPIONS! Paired with Roche Wines oaked Pinot Gris – the wine that was the first of their varietals on the Poppadoms wine list. It was a super cool pairing and Penelope’s favourite food and wine pairing
Kadhai-Spiced Charred Carrots with Mint Yoghurt, Hazelnuts
A mix of Unearthed Farm and Puzzlegrass Farm Rainbow Carrots, spice-rubbed with my Kadhai spice (savoury with fennel, cumin and coriander seed), then charred and smoked using pruned vines, bringing us a sense of place, sense of time and taste of place. The mint yoghurt was made using BC milk and mint from the winery. Hazelnuts are also local and from Jenn CK’s place which she shared with me when I came for a catch-up – so a true sense of Naramata. Paired with the 2019 Roche Wines Rosé.
Cache Creek Natural Beef Keema with New Potatoes, Ramano Beans and Chapatti Roti
I won a scholarship with Les Dames Escoffier a year or so ago and visited the ranch and their natural environment. With FDC starting with the boycott of beef way back when and now there being COVID outbreaks in factory-raised plants, I wanted to use beef to share stories about the good side of the meat industry and how giving the animals the life they deserve is important. The Keema is a mince with last season’s roasted and frozen tomatoes to get people thinking about stocking their freezers and pantries during the season for later on (especially if there’s a second wave), Unearthed Farm and Roche Wines onions, slow-cooked with Roche Wines red. When you add in the spices during the tempering stage of Indian food, the dish usually clumps together. The French would de-glaze the pan using wine, but in India, you’d use the acidity in the tomatoes. As we’re telling Penelope’s and my story, I added tomatoes and then the wine for added richness. When I did a site-visit to figure out the menu and what was growing in their property, Penelope mentioned adding mushrooms to the soil, so I added my mushroom powder for added umami. Then gently smoked the mince with pruned vines as we heated before plating. Garnished with Unearthed Farm Salad Greens and a Roche Textures Pinot Gris Vinaigrette.
A ground dish doesn’t have much texture, so I made farro crackers using Gold Forest Grains in Edmonton and added nettle powder as they were fried. Roti was made using Anita’s Organic Whole Wheat and the Okanagan’s finest tapwater – the clever Indians created a flatbread which uses two ingredients and takes all of 5 minutes to make, in terms of the dough. Again, another seed was planted for my guests to take with them.
New potato season has hit. Usually, Keema is just ground mince and roti, but that’s boring and the rancher’s fave was steak and potatoes. So, campfire potatoes with Roche garden garlic, organic Canola Oil and Sauteed Romano Beans, finished with BC butter and a few sprigs of fir for a little citrus without the citrus. To cut through, beets were pickled to bring out the earthy-qualities in the Pinot Noir that we paired with.
Sable with Hung Yoghurt and Raspberries
Taking it back to Penelope’s French roots, I made a sable using BC Butter, Anita’s All-Purpose BC Flour, instead of icing sugar, I made my own using my Nova Scotian Maple Sugar blended into a powder, then Roche eggwash and a sprinkle of granulated maple sugar.
Raspberries two ways – fresh and collected from the Farmer’s Market that morning from Khun Khun Farm. Plus, a forest compote using last season’s organic raspberries from Green Croft Gardens in my freezer with labrador tea, Uni of Guelph Honey, PEI dehydrated Cranberries and Spruce to bring in my cross-country adventures and my love for foraging.
With the hung yoghurt, I wanted to add in acidity using a different way. So, I used a culture from QB Gelato’s Bavarian Yoghurt, which was already tangy. That helped to cut through the sweetness of the sable biscuit. Topped with Unearthed Farm edible flowers and garden mint.