Event Report Indian Cooking Workshop

A report by Layla Lebesque, June 2015:

Who doesn’t want to get a peek into the wonders of Indian Cuisine!? And even better… by learning it from somebody that has been cooking Indian food almost every day since she was young!?

This year we decided to add some cultural activities to the Jong TNO repertoire to experience aspects from different cultures together under the motto “Colour your life!”. We started off with the Riot of Laughter event where comedian Russell Peters was able to turn cultural aspects into great jokes. The next step was to learn more about each other’s cultures by learning how to cook each other’s favorite food…

On the 23rd of June, around 15 young TNO’ers travelled to a small cooking studio in the The Hague to learn a little more about Indian Cooking. Dushyant’s mum, who was visiting the Netherlands from India, was so kind to prepare an extensive menu together with her son which we would be cooking under her supervision.

We began our morning workshop with preparing some Chai (tea). We took  out time to get to know each other over tea, and then we started with the big main course consisting of four dishes and a Tak (a yoghurt drink similar to lassi). The spices were flying around everywhere to make the Tadka Dal (lentil soup), Baigan Bharta (egg plan dish), Hari Bhara  (dish with beans), Bhat (rice) as spicy as it should be. Think about red chilies, green chilies, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander and the spice ‘asaphodita’ which was unknown to me until then. The smells that swarmed through the kitchen were getting lovelier by the minute and by the time that the dishes were finished, all of us apprentice cooks could not wait any longer to start tasting.

With some instructions from Dushyant and his mum on how to eat the food, (namely by putting all the four components together to mix the flavors) we served up the food on our plates. After that, not a word was said for at least a minute. This indicated how the food was!

However, this was not the end yet. A little bit of sugar and butter was all we needed to finish off this wonderful late morning workshop! It turned out to be a little more sugar and (especially!) butter then most of us were used to cook with, let alone eat, but who cares when it tastes nice?! After finishing the dessert and grabbing some left over spices to take home, everybody left really stuffed but satisfied with the great food we cooked ourselves and the skills we learned by doing that.

Definitely an activity that needs a follow-up! So next time Elizabeth will hopefully teach us all there is to know about the Mexican cuisine. Judging by the experience I have already had with her Mexican cooking skills, this will be another big success! Hope to see you there!

P.s. Curious about the recipes? Let’s see if the participants are willing to share that! 😉

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