There are no Indian restaurants in town.
But, this Friday, you can enjoy puri, dal, saag paneer, kolfi and more.
Rani Derasary will share her family recipes at the “Feast of India”, a fundraiser for Canyonlands Community Recycling(CCR). A cash bar will be available this year at the Grand Center.
Derasary learned to cook with her father and two aunts, who were raised in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in Northern India.
“My dad’s whole family is still there,” Derasary said.
The idea for the feast began with Dersary’s family recipes, but then it branched out to friends in Moab who are willing to cook, and a few who have spent time in India and had their own recipes to share.
Fritz Bachman, who spent two years in Punjab serving in the Peace Corps, will share his saag paneer recipe, a dish made of spinach and cheese.
“It can be very labor intensive, but Fritz is taking it on,” Derasary said.
While most Americans are familiar with naan, a flatbread often served at Indian restaurants, Derasary will share puri, a staple from Gujarat.
“You roll the dough thin, fry it and it puffs up,” she said.
Derasary said she enjoys cooking “old-school”, which includes handchopping lots of vegetables.
“The menu is mostly vegetarian, because we come from a vegetarian region,” Derasary said. “The raging carnivores might be a little underserved.”
One dish will feature chicken. Many of the dishes are dairy-based, but there are three that vegans would enjoy, plus the rice and puri.
“People always concerned whether it is going to be spicy. You kind of have to try to go to the middle,” Dersary said. “For those who want it spicy and opportunity to spice it up: We’ll have a spicy mint chutney.”
The “Bollywood Moab” Dance Troupe will be providing entertainment.
CCR will also being sharing the latest version of an educational film Miso Tunks put together called “Moab Recycles: It Starts with You!”
“We edited it down to the key messaging relevant to how and where to recycle and reduce waste in Moab,” Derasary said.
All proceeds from the evening will go to support CCR’s education and outreach work to promote recycling, reuse, and waste reduction in the community.
CCR hosts a paper drive on the third Saturday each month with the U.S. Postal Service. They also just completed an electronic waste and battery recycling drive earlier this month with WabiSabi.
“We do it twice a year,” Dersary said. “November and May.”
Feast of India is sponsored by Zions Bank and the Moab Brewery. Those interested in attending are encouraged to make reservations by Thursday, so they have a good headcount and have enough food. Tickets available at WabiSabi Thriftique & Warehouse, Moab BARKery and Back of Beyond Books.