Thursday, November 11, 2010

Indian Cooking Class

Sticking with the "cooking theme" I seem to be doing lately on my blog, today I went to an Indian cooking class. I never had Indian food until I moved here. I have found that I really like it. We have been to an Indian restaurant several times with some of our friends from the UK (did you know that Indian curry to most Brits is like Americans ordering pizza?) and I have cooked it a few times at home. However, what I have cooked at home comes from a jar and isn't anything like the real-deal. Today's class was the real deal.

When I first started eating Indian food I thought it was all curries and samosas. However I was wrong. There is so much more. Today's class was a variety of recipes –– Butter Chicken served with Nan bread, Palak Panir (creamed spinach with cheese), Aloo Tikki (a lightly fried potato pancake with green chilies and peas), samosas and mint chutney.

Taking an Indian cooking class really makes me appreciate the food so much more. Cooking Indian food from scratch is very labor intensive as there are so many spices and steps to some of the recipes. For example, the butter chicken dish was fantastic, but is very time consuming.  However, all the hard work pays off when you taste the food. Yum-my!

The Palak Panir required us to make the panir cheese from scratch. I was surprised at how simple it was to make. Just boil high fat milk, add vinegar and then strain off the liquid and form the cheese.

This cheese is then added to the spinach portion (spinach, tomatoes and spices) of the recipe.

We learned how to make samosas from scratch (although we did take a shortcut for the covering and used spring roll paper).  Filling the samosas was quite a chore, and let's just say I won't quit my day job to be a samosa filler. Mine were not all that attractive.

Mint chutney tastes awesome on the samosas. It is a simple mixture of blended onions, fresh mint, lemon juice, chili powder and salt.

I didn't think I would like the Aloo Tikki very much, but I was surprised at how good it tasted. And considering I married a man who would eat a potato for every meal if he could, this will be a great addition to my recipes.

I would have to say it wasn't the prettiest food I have ever eaten, but it was definitely tasty. 

1 comment:

DeeDee said...

Alexis...When we lived in Albany Ga. a few yrs ago..our upstairs neighbors were Indian. She taught me the nack of their flat bread..oh my, it took me so long to do it just right. Steve n I decided that although their veggie dishes were good, we don't have the taste buds for most of their dishes. Your last pic ...I have had this exact dish before. Turmeric was our worst spice to get use to. Most Indians are pure vegetarians so I am thinking that Chicken dish sounds great. You are so right every meal prepared from scratch is very labor intensive. So glad you are enjoying life in Japan. GO BUCKS!