Whether you’re a rookie in the kitchen or a bona fide chef, there’s always room to improve – or at least have some fun with food and friends. Here, we put the latest cooking classes to the test.
Indian Cuisine – “Everyday Indian … Nutritious and Delicious!”
Time, place and cost:
Held at The Providore Cooking Studio at PasarBella @ The Grandstand (200 Turf Club Road), this four-hour class (10am to 2pm) costs $125 per person, inclusive of a copy of Cooking with Indian Spicebox (worth $25).
Daal, fish curry, masala bhindi (okra), saag (spinach) with mushrooms, and methi pulao (rice).
Namita Moolani Mehra started the class by telling us about her background, her cooking experience and why she started Indian Spicebox. The concept is simple yet effective; instead of having to source all the different spices you need for Indian cooking, you get a box of nine individually packed, organic spices from small farms in India.
She then went on to a more in-depth explanation of the various spices – whole cumin seeds, ground coriander, black mustard seeds, ground turmeric, red chilli powder, whole cinnamon, ground cumin, green cardamom and the garam masala blend – all of which feature in her beautiful Cooking with Indian Spicebox recipe book, which we used for the class.
With no time to waste, we paired up and started washing, slicing and preparing the ingredients. Teamwork was key in making sure we were all on schedule, as we had a full-on feast of five dishes to prepare. While waiting for each dish to cook, we would return to Namita’s station where she would explain and demonstrate the steps for our next dish.
The recipes were simple and time efficient, with clear and straightforward directions. Many of the ingredients can be substituted with whatever’s available – for example, you can use many types of fish (salmon, dory, snapper or tilapia, for example) in the fish curry recipe.
Apart from how informative and in-depth each explanation was, the class was also fun and engaging. I loved the casual atmosphere, too; we even got to enjoy a traditional Indian breakfast of freshly made poha and chai that Namita whipped up in no time! As all the recipes in the class are featured in the cookbook – which was ours to keep – we could easily refer to it and follow the steps. Also, Namita walked around regularly to check on our dishes while we were cooking, so beginners like me were in good hands.
What’s more, I love that US$100 from the proceeds of each class goes towards providing hot dinners for 300 to 400 impoverished kids in India! – Anthia Chng
Grab your apron…
Indian Spicebox classes are held two to three times a month, with varying menus and themes. Check out indian-spicebox.com/cookingclasses-by-namita or email Namita at email@example.com for upcoming class dates.
Indian Spicebox also offers private and corporate classes, as well as cooking classes for children from five to 10 years of age ($80 for two hours).
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