The Comforts of Winter: Cooking Class Week 2


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.

Kohlrabi, cilantro, celery root and butternut squash.

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.

Green garlic

We also prepared a chicken curry dish with green (or immature) garlic and spinach.

Ingredients for two curry dishes

After getting all the ingredients ready, Tom started cooking.

Stacks of freshly fried papadums

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.

Indian Feast

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

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:


Be sure and visit Tom Hudgens site, Whole Hog Blog, where you can find all the recipes for these dishes and many more!

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!


Filed under Cooking

5 responses to “The Comforts of Winter: Cooking Class Week 2

  1. Carson

    Delicious! You know I bet those Papadums ship really well.

    • Sadly, I’m afraid that the papadums wouldn’t ship well at all. But…Tom bought them packaged and all we did is fry them up. So when you decide to cook up a wonderful Indian dinner, look for them in specialty shops.
      This is from Wikipedia: Papad is often associated with the empowerment of women in India. Many individual and organized businesses run by women produce papad, pickles, and other snacks. This provides them regular income from minimal financial investments. Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad is an organization owned and run solely by women that produces large quantities of papadums on the open market. It started as a tiny, failing business in the late 1950s,[4][5] and now has an annual income of over Rs. 3.15 billion, or just under $80 million US dollars.
      So you can empower women of India by purchasing packaged papads and frying them at home.

  2. Mom

    Our dinner was really delicious and we didn’t have to fix it! We also got to keep the leftovers.

  3. j.

    Yum! Good food and powerful women!

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