The Welcome Dinner Project

Meet Your Neighbours Blogged by: Highpoint 10 Aug 2016 View comments
Dana Banana, the curry queen
Blogged by: Highpoint 10 Aug 2016 View comments
When Dana, or Banana as she’s more commonly known, first moved to Melbourne, she knew the West was where she should be; it’s authenticity and cultural diversity was a huge part of the appeal. After attending her first Welcome Dinner over a year ago, she knew she wanted to be more involved

“It's such a simple idea to bring people together and build support, friendships and community. The project has got me out of my bubble of friends and work to make connections with other people in my community. I think it can be hard to make these connections unless you have an avenue to meet people. People with children often establish community connections through school; for me it was TWDP!”

As a fan of spice, Dana often whips up her famous dhal and saag curries for loved ones.

“A friend's mum taught me how to make this dish years ago. My friend's mum didn't speak English and I don't speak Punjabi so our cooking sessions were a way for us to get to know each other”.
Dana’s recipes will have you becoming the curry king or queen of your household in no time. The best part about them (aside from being delicious!) is there's no measuring required - amounts are always guess work depending on how many people you cook for. 

Dana's Dhal & Saag


Spice base: Garlic, onion, ginger, garam masala, cumin seeds, cumin powder, chilli, salt and pepper
Chopped Tomatoes
Optional: Coriander, Roti, Naan, Rice


Cook spice base ingredients over a low heat until garlic and onion is translucent, then separate the paste into 2 pots 

Add spinach and chopped tomatoes to one pot for the saag. Cook over a low heat for about 45 mins - 1 hour

Add lentils, water and turmeric to the other pot for the dahl. Cook over a low heat for about 45 mins - 1 hour. Top up with water if lentils absorb all the water and are still a little hard

Add fresh coriander and serve with roti, naan, and/or rice
Dana - The Welcome Dinner Project



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