What was I thinking when I booked a cooking class for December? Actually, I was thinking that if I didn’t book the class and get if done, I might forget about it until the coupon for the class had expired. Therefore, when I called to book and the only day available was December 4, I decided the time was right. The class I’m referring to is a 3 hour class at a restaurant called Glory of India. I went with my friend, Sherry, and we had a delightful day out. We had a bit of difficulty finding the class location – partly due to those darn Google maps that show you an area about 3 blocks in diameter, and partly because I didn’t bother to read the course description which happened to mention the exact location. Live and learn. The class was taught by chef and owner Jassie Bakhshi, who was charming, full of information and totally encouraging about cooking East Indian food at home. He explained that by changing how spices are used (whole, crushed, ground etc.) and exactly when they are added to a dish, you can make an endless variety of recipes. The recipes he prepared were rich and flavorful and totally enhanced by the inclusion of historical tidbits (and more than a splash of whipping cream.) This was a demonstration class, but a couple of us jumped in to get some hands on experience. I had an easy time stirring the butter chicken, aside from the popping and splattering of sauce that I tried to dodge. (The mess around the pot was enough to make you appreciate eating out.) So glad I wore a black shirt!
After about 2 hours we were treated to a visit to the kitchen to see the tandoor clay oven in action. Jassie showed us how to shape the naan bread like a leaf and press it against the side of the oven to cook. Unfortunately this isn’t something that can be replicated at home. Then there was nothing to do but help ourselves to the delicious buffet. This was a fantastic way to spend a few hours, learn about an interesting cuisine and partake of a very tasty lunch.