I love cooking classes.

We are huge fans of Indian food around here, but I’ll admit, my ability to cook it just falls short.  We all got pretty excited when we heard The Charlottesville Cooking School was offering classes on that speciality.  I have taken a few cooking classes and certainly learned some tricks in them, but I have to say, this one was by far the most amazing I’ve ever taken.  Sudha Khare taught it and all I can say about her style is that it was like learning to cook from the Indian grandmother I never had.  First up, she unveiled what she called ‘The Spice Box.’

 I want one.  All her essential spices were right there and she knew which was which by the color.   Right there, I was amazed at the cooking skills she’s amassed during her lifetime.    In that box was roasted ground cumin powder (which she made right there in class by roasting cumin seeds and the smell was divine), dried red pepper, turmeric, cumin seed and a few different masalas. 

And then she started dicing the potatoes for the Samosas.

 As she talked to us about what she was doing, I’m not even sure she was watching her hands as she diced potatoes just like that, in her hand.  I’d seriously have part of myself in that bowl if I attempted to do that. 

She led us through making Samosas, which is sort of like a dumpling, filled with potatoes and peas, if you’re not familiar with them.  I’m definitely going to have to get my assistant to help me roll out the dough to make them, as rolling out any thing is a weak spot for me.  Sudha had this sweet little wooden rolling pin and made it look so easy.  Maybe I just need a new rolling pin?  That’s it….

When she mixed the Pakora batter, she did it by hand, until it felt right.  Someone in the class described it as being like pancake batter, with stuff in it.  I definitely feel more secure about my ability to whip these up at home.  They are really an Indian version of a fritter and if you know us, you know we love fritters around here.  So, an Indian version?  Yes, please.
The pakoras made in class had potatoes, onions and spinach, but Sudha included notes to add other vegetables.  I can’t wait to get jiggy with it.

Ta-da.  The final result.  Samosa, Pakora, Mango Chutney and Hot Cilantro Chutney, which for the record, is wicked easy and oh, so, so, good.  I definitely learned a few tricks and I definitely have more confidence in my ability to cook Indian.  I can’t wait for her next class in a few weeks…..North Indian Breads.

3 thoughts on “I love cooking classes.

  1. Michele says:

    This sounds fabulous. Hot Cilantro Chutney…I think I'd need a cigareet after that. How cool, Becky. I think I'm going to comb the internet to see if I can find a cooking class around here. I want to learn to cook Indian, too.

    BTW: That spice bowl is beautiful. I want one too.

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