Spice Verandah: Customized Indian Cooking Classes
Indian food for the Viennese Soul
The mere mention of ‘India’ rings so many bells all at once; bells of colour, of the hundreds of festivals; of ancient history, of ornate carved temples made in stone; of Panchatantra; of jet black hair and caramel skin; of exotic spices and condiments; of song and dance and of course Bollywood; of snow-capped mountains and coniferous trees or of the valleys and the paddy fields; of shallow streams as cold as ice or of the mighty Ganga, the Yamuna or the Brahmaputra; bells of diversity in terms of soil, terrain, religion, language or ethnicity; of coexistence; bells of incredible cuisine. And I am here to help you out with that last bit (and my forte), right there- Indian Cooking.
A bit about me.
Although I am originally from Kerala (the southernmost State in India), I have been lucky enough to spend a fair share of time in many other parts of the country. This coupled with the fact that I come with the strong backing of a family of utterly brilliant home chefs, my recipes are either pebbles I have picked up in my culinary journey or gems that have been polished and passed on for generations in my family.
I realize Indian food is misunderstood as much as it is loved globally. I also wholeheartedly believe that the world desperately needs to see beyond the adjectives that are popularly associated with Indian food such as ‘spicy’, ‘oily’, or even ‘unhealthy’ for that matter. I believe the world needs to know that Indian food is not in any way simply synonymous to ‘curry’ and certainly not synonymous to the concoction that is produced on mixing store bought curry powder in hot water.
Let me take you on a region wise culinary adventure where we play with spices, cooking techniques, lentils, grains etc. typical to each region in India, while we break down together all the myths that surround this incredibly diverse, wholesome, hearty and balanced culinary realm.
What you can expect
First of all, I do not follow the “one size fits all” approach. Each of my sessions will be tailor made to suit your needs and I make sure the menu for the day is prepared keeping in mind your objectives.
I host these sessions in the warmth of my own home and we will be cooking up delicious fare together in my own kitchen. So, if you are expecting a regular cooking class, where the instructor just talks and you follow suit, you are thoroughly mistaken. You will be guests at my home and this is exactly the reason why I choose to keep the group small. The maximum number of guests for each session cannot exceed 4. This way I feel, we will get to know each other personally, may be have a couple of drinks together while we cook up a storm. This also helps me to personally attend to each of you, answer all your questions, take you through all the ingredients, let you touch and smell and experience the variety of spices and condiments I have stocked up in my larder. And all this before we share a good, hearty meal of everything we cook during our session.
- Location: my home (exact location to be shared at the time of booking)
- Time: 3-4 hours per session (inclusive of the meal)
- Method of instruction: largely demonstrative (although you will of course be trying things out with me, so that you develop enough comfort to work on your own at home)
- Maximum number of people per session: 4
- Language: English (I’m a native speaker – so this may be a good way for you to practice your English as well :))
I have broadly curated a list of sessions for you to pick from depending upon your interests, dietary restrictions and the like. Please feel free to pick one or more sessions that may be of interest to you.
1. Experiencing ‘God’s Own Country’, a Kerala meal
Immensely popular cuisine from the Indian subcontinent. Known for the rich coconut-ty or coconut milk based gravies and stir fries, Kerala cuisine is a hot favourite all over the world. The idea behind this session is to equip you with enough so that you’ll be able to effortlessly cook a full-fledged meal, complete with a rice, two main courses and a dessert from this part of the country, within the comfort of your own home.
2. Exploring riches up-north, a Mughalai meal
The ever famous Murg Makhani, Naan Bread and Chicken Tikka hail from this region; the north of India. This session will be to teach you the condiments, spices and techniques used in this part of the country. We will cook a variety of Indian bread, a main course and again a yummy north Indian dessert.
3. Let’s go veggie, a Vegetarian meal
This session will focus on only vegetarian dishes, just in case you have vegetarians to cater to. I will take you through a homey lentil curry, a rice dish, a dry vegetable dish, a gravy main course and dessert.
4. Discovering the exotic East, a Bengali meal
Heading to the east of India. Known for their absolutely lip smacking flavours typical to that side of the country. We can try out Bengali breads, a bit of sea food, some meat and of course a dessert in the end.
5. A trip by the sea, indulging in Coastal flavours
The coastal cuisine in India is extremely popular and with good reason. Let us experience the flavours form the coast and experiment with different textures and local ingredients from the coasts. We can try out two main courses, a rice dish and a dessert.
6. Vegan all the way!
A complete Indian vegan meal with a rice dish, two vegetables (one gravy and one dry) and a dessert to wrap up.
Price per session per person would be as follows:
- For a group of 4 participants, EUR 50 per person
- For a group of 3 participants (private), EUR 60 per person
- For a group of 2 participants (private), EUR 75 per person
By default, the classes will be in groups of 4 that I will curate from among interested people. If you would like a more private session with a pre-determined group of 2 or 3, please let me know.
- A full-fledged meal together after every session;
- Homemade Indian cocktail that I specially make for the day;
- Homemade dessert;
- A tailor-made recipe booklet to take home;
- Information on how to source all the ingredients in Vienna.
Please make sure you write to me a week in advance with your requirements, dietary restrictions, objectives etc., just so that I can curate a menu specially for you. For bookings please write me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Can’t wait to have you over.