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this week: Tamales and curry 

The first known mention of a tamale was recorded in 5000 B.C. The dish was portable and could be fixed in advance, making it ideal sustenance for soldiers warring in the Pre-Columbian era.

File photo by D.L. Anderson

The first known mention of a tamale was recorded in 5000 B.C. The dish was portable and could be fixed in advance, making it ideal sustenance for soldiers warring in the Pre-Columbian era.

With corn husks and marinated filling and masa, the perfect tamale is not for amateur cooks to tackle. And you don't need to. Eat your fill at the Raleigh Tamale Festival, March 15, from 1–4 p.m. at Peach Road Park, 911 Ileagnes Rd. In addition to a tamale competition, the event celebrates Latino culture with music, dancing, games and soccer scrimmages.

Nothing says spring like sugar, and DaisyCakes, (401 Foster St., Durham) is celebrating the equinox by opening its dessert room later this month for four nights: Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, and Friday and Saturday, March 28 and 29, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Seating is by reservation only, at 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m., with limited bar seating for walk ins. Cost for the chef's three-course dessert tasting is $15; the menu will be posted on the eatery's website March 17.

On these evenings, guests will vote for one of three charities. At the end of the month, DaisyCakes will donate a portion of its sales from the dessert room evenings to the winning charity. Reserve your slot online at or call at 919-389-4307.

Is it the ghee? The turmeric? The cardamom pods? Whatever the secret is to Indian cooking, I want to know it. At Whisk (Waverly Place Shopping Center, 316 Colonades Way, Suite 214, Cary, 919-322-2458,, Chef Shruti Parikh demonstrates how to make aromatic Indian dishes at home. Please tell me Parikh will clue me in on gulab jamun, a wonderful dessert that tastes like pancakes and is shaped like a golf ball.

The class is Thursday, March 20, at 6:15 p.m. Price is $49. Register at

If Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, State Rep. Verla Insko and Orange County Commissioners Penny Rich and Renee Price show up at your door next week, they are not campaigning. Instead, they are among the dignitaries participating in the March for Meals community Champions Week, sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels, March 17–21.

The four elected officials will deliver meals to the community's homebound and hungry seniors .

March for Meals is a national campaign that seeks to raise awareness of senior hunger and to encourage action on the part of the local community.


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