Indian Cooking Class

I first ate Indian food in London, with Peter’s brother and family. I thought I liked it but it was so intense and rich – I found it overwhelming. Then we  lived in Singapore for two years where there are many wonderful Indian restaurants, and that’s when we grew to love it. And visiting India a few years ago was a wonderful culinary experience.

Sur la Table moved into the nearby mall last year and I have been checking out their classes for something fun to take. Indian caught my eye – and – the main dish on the menu was Butter Chicken – my favorite. I was a bit skeptical about cooking an Indian dinner in two hours. I was also wondering if it would be spicy enough. I don’t claim to be able to eat Indian food like a native, but I don’t like what most American Indian restaurants serve.

First up were pakoras. We usually don’t eat appetizers, but I have had these before and love them. You may remember that I am quite fond of fried food. {Oh to have a deep fat frier!} ;-D

Frying pakoras

I always wondered what the flavor was in pakoras and it turns out that they are made of chickpea flour. The batter is quite simple and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. We also made a delicious mint and apple riata to go with these.

Pakoras

Next up was getting a mango chutney going. I didn’t realize how simple chutneys are to make and it was delicious!

Mango chutney

And then we made naan…..mmm… We baked some on a pizza stone and some on a baking sheet and surprisingly the ones on the baking sheet puffed up better. I ate the one on the right and I think we rolled the dough too thin. Although delicious, it was more the texture of a cracker.

Naan

We did get everything made in two hours. Below you can see the main course. The butter chicken looks pretty and the taste was okay, but as I feared, it was not spicy enough. Another lady and I kept salting the dish, which didn’t seem to help. In thinking about it, as I write, when I make this butter chicken, I will double the spices. Adding salt made it saltier, it did not improve the flavor. The chef kept throwing in butter, which I’m not sure helped either. If you eat Indian food you know that if it’s too spicy, you put a dollop of yogurt or riata on the top. And drink more beer! It was a fun class and great cuisine to eat on a night that was 4 degrees.

Butter chicken

Chicagoland is finally getting some measurable snow today. I think it’s been close to a year since we’ve had this much. We have been busy trying to keep the birds fed!

Hungry birds!

Hope you’re keeping warm in this bitterly cold weather!

Lounging

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