Friday, November 21, 2008

"Cooking may be as much a means of self-expression as any of the arts."

Post by: Beth

NOTE: 3 posts so far today... trying to get caught up before my trip home where I'm sure I'll take many more photos! :) This is the first of three.. keep scrolling for the others.

For every challenge presented to us in India, there is a unique experience that serves as a balance and keeps our little life here moving in a forward motion. The chance to make friends and learn more about the area has brought along the opportunity to try different things, and I hope to take advantage of these more and more during our time here.

I'd been planning to visit the city of Powai as one of my friends, Sarah, lives there. Sarah and I met at an American Women's Club coffee morning and shortly after, she came to Bandra for an afternoon to visit and see the area. We immediately planned a day's trip for me to Powai, which is about an hour away by car. A few days before my scheduled trip, Sarah emailed me and said she'd found out about a Rajasthani cooking class that would be taking place in the hotel next to hers, on the day I was planning to go see her! We enrolled right away and were excited to see how this would pan out.

When we arrived, we learned that this class only had 2 people, so we would be able to receive pretty personalized attention. We met our chef, Bhairav Singh Rajput , and he was immediately welcoming and so friendly, despite the high designation of Master Chef and a long list of accomplishments under his belt. We got started right away, with a book of about 7 recipes he was going to make while we watched, helped, and asked questions. All of the dishes were authentic Rajasthani dishes, and it was so much fun to watch how many spices and flavors he used in the recipes. He made a small portion of each dish so we could learn, and Sarah and I got to try everything as we went along.

After about 2 hours of cooking, we'd made small portions of all the dishes and it was time for lunch! We were carried to the bar area where a mixologist taught us how to make a traditional Rajasthani cocktail, and Chef Bhairav cooked our lunch. After the cocktail lesson, it was time to eat, and Chef Bhairav came out and sat with us and chatted while we ate. All of the apprentices, waiters, and assistants were so nice to us during our lesson and meal, and it was a great experience. They offer a different type of class each month, so maybe we'll get to go back and learn a different style of cooking as well. :)

Here are some photos from our day:

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