Sunday, January 27, 2013

Learning Indian Cooking - Mushroom Masala, Aloo Gobi

I have always had a craving for Indian food, but have had to resist the urge due to the extreme level of spice used in most Indian restaurants I have experienced. Having taken a step into the world of cooking, I decided it was time to learn to cook some Indian food for myself, where the spice level would be in my direct control. In my earlier online research, I had found I Heart Curry, an Indian cooking school. Perusing the website and seeing Fharzana's (the teacher) excellent cooking philosophy, I decided to enroll in a class.

Entering Fharzana's home, I was greeted with a hot chai... which I refused to drink due to lactose intolerance ;). Anyhow, in the class Fharzana took the time to teach us about knives, oil, nutrition, ingredients, cutting, spices, shelf life... really everything there is to cooking. As we cooked, Fharzana gave us the opportunity to ask questions and take an active role in the class. Not only this, she took into account everyone's sensitivities, particularly bringing the spice level down and keeping separate non-dairy portions for me. By the end of the class, we had created Masala Toast, Aloo Gobi, and Mushroom Masala. All three dishes felt very good on my system, with Masala Toast being my favorite. Overall, I felt very comfortable in the class.
Apprentice Chef Amil in Fharzana's kitchen
Knowing that practice makes perfect and that we remember recent things better, I decided to replicate these dishes on my own as soon as practical.

First, Mushroom Masala. With the help of some spices Fharzana gave me and an Indian market,I successfully replicated the dish. It turned out quite well.
The ingredients for Mushroom Masala (note the coconut milk)

The finished product
The mushrooms were begging for some rice on the side ;)

However, I didn't stop there. No... I became hungry again. The time was right for Aloo Gobi (Potato Cauliflower). Using fresh ingredients from the farmer's market, I took a shot at it. Aside from the improperly cleaned stainless steel pot in which my corn oil caught on fire (hey, I'm still new to this!), everything turned out well.
Fresh Farmer's Market ingredients

The finished product... resting on top of Fharzana's top-secret recipe ;)

I'm really enjoying learning how to cook. It's an Art. Yet, at the same time it is a survival skill... fulfilling our fundamental need for food.

1 comment:

  1. Its very worth reading this blog, i liked it... thanks for sharing and if you are cooking lover than check one link of India food network cooking channel, its awesome & helpful.


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