Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cooking in Cochin

While on my own in Cochin, I signed up for a cooking class at one of the Homestays not far from the Cherimel where I was staying.  Homestays are like B&B's elsewhere and typically are converted family homes, often very large homes that used to accommodate extended families.  The Cherimel is such a home and Bernard and Sally's place was also though he has extended his original house and built on extra floors and rooms. 
Originally, both Richard and I were going to the class but, knowing that his interest in cooking is unquestionably in the outcome not the process, I rearranged to do it after he left.
We were a group of seven, 2 young couples and 2 single girls, one 19 and the other early twenties like the two couples.  They were all quite serious and eager and we sat on chairs in the kitchen of the hostess, Lelu, equipped with paper and clipboards.  We watched Lelu's cook do the chopping while she dictated and explained her recipe and instructions for the process.  When the ingredients were assembled, we followed her to the stove and watched the sequence of sauteing and stirring etc.  What was interesting to me, as a long-time maker of all kinds of curries, was the fact that she first of all cooked the vegetables and then made the sauces, the "masala" separately and then put the two together to simmer.  She referred to all the sauces as the 'masala', the Hindi word for spice.  She made a fish curry and aubergine, lentil and squash curries, all different and very tasty without being spice hot. The last item was the chapatis and while we had been spectators of the rest of the cooking, we each rolled out the dough prepared by the cook and fried our own chapatis to eat with the rest of the dishes.  The evening ended with our feasting on all these dishes!
Very successful - interesting and fun.  She strongly recommended making the curries the day before you plan to eat them.  There is a website on which she has posted a selection of recipes - she said she is not eager to put many on the site since that might discourage people from taking her class!
If you are interested: is the home site then follow links to: experience  then: cuisine  then: non-vegetarian for her videos

No comments:

Post a Comment