Indian Cooking Class and Recipe

On Saturday I went to an Indian cooking class with my hair stylist/friend LeeAnn. It was a lot of fun. I think the teacher, Savita Puri, is in her late sixties/early seventies and she was very sweet. Her husband of 51 years (!) was assisting her and kept cracking up the class with jokes and stories. They were adorable.

The class was conducted demonstration-style, so we watch them cook Murg Makhani (butter chicken), Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower), Dal (lentils), Zeera (cumin) rice, naan (flat bread) and a mango mousse dessert while following along with the recipes. Then we ate everything--it was delicious.

I love Indian food but have only cooked it from scratch once and that was in the pre-E days. It has seemed daunting to gather all the spices and specialty ingredients needed. But the teacher gave us the address of a good Indian grocery store not too far from my house and so I think I'm going to go stock up on supplies and then try out the recipes at home.

If you're interested in the class, it's held the last Saturday of every month at Thanksgiving Point from 11 am to 1 pm. It costs $40 and different recipes are showcased every class. I don't know if I'll be able to make it a regular thing, but I might go back in July because Mrs. Puri said that they might make one of my favorite dishes, chicken saag, that month. Yum!

In the past (i.e., that one time) when I've made Indian food I've just serve short-grain rice like I use for Korean food, but having the Indian rice really adds a lot to the meal.

Recipe: Zeera (Cumin) Rice
Serves 4

  1. Wash the rice 4-5 times, then soak for 15 minutes and drain the water.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add cumin seeds, when it starts crackling add the rice. (Be sure not to let the cumin seeds burn!)
  3. Fry the rice for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the rice, salt, and water to a rice cooker. Stir well and then cook until done.

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