Our second week of cooking class was an Indian Feast. Before we tasted anything, Tom Hudgens, our instructor, started grinding spices in a small grinder and the aroma was amazing. By the time we sat down to eat I think everyone in class had worked up quite an appetite from the tantalizing aromas alone.
We peeled and diced and cubed a variety of vegetables that I don’t have much experience with: fennel, celery root, butternut squash (I love it but don’t fix it that often) and kohlrabi which I don’t think I’d ever had. It is in the upper left of the photo, above. The peeled flesh of the kohlrabi is something like broccoli stem though a bit milder and more sweet. These were all combined in a Winter Vegetable Dal with Coconut Milk.
We also prepared a chicken curry dish with green (or immature) garlic and spinach.
After getting all the ingredients ready, Tom started cooking.
Purchased papads or papadums fry up in seconds. The crisp, lentil wafers were delicious and I found it hard to resist snacking on them as the rest of the meal was completed.
A crisp papad at the top of the plate, and next moving clockwise: Chicken Curry with Green Garlic and Spinach, garnished with thin slices of red onion and lemon. Basmati rice combined with red quinoa is in the center of the plate with the Winter Vegetable Dal on the lower left with a dollop of Yogurt Mustard Seed Raita.
Blood Orange Gelee was the lovely finale. It is a sophisticated and elegant combination of blood oranges with their juice and zest with whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods plus orange flower water in a softly-set gelatin. NOT the Jello we grew up with! Here is the whole menu:
- CHICKEN CURRY WITH GREEN GARLIC AND SPINACH
- WINTER VEGETABLE DAL WITH COCONUT MILK
- BASMATI RICE AND QUINOA
- YOGURT RAITA WITH MUSTARD SEED
- BLOOD ORANGE GELEE WITH SPICES AND FENNEL CANDY
I have been having so much fun in cooking class that I prepared dinner for my parents using some of the dishes we’ve made in class: Bitter Green Salad with Roasted Beets, Feta Cheese and Pecans (instead of the walnuts as we used in the class), Basmati Rice with Red Quinoa, a Chicken Stew with Winter Vegetables (after a recipe in his cookbook), Orange and Red Onion Relish and the delicious Fresh Ginger Cake from week one plus Honey Vanilla Ice Cream (also an adaption of one of Tom’s recipes). No pictures though – I was too busy cooking!