In Udaipur, somehow cooking classes have become all the rage with tourists. Everywhere in this town, at many restaurants and hotels, we’ve seen signs for cooking classes. There’s no telling which ones are good or bad, and even though our guidebook recommended a few places, it felt like perhaps the writers didn’t necessarily test out all these possibilities to know which class is the best. So when a couple we knew from Jaipur told us about the amazing experience they had at a cooking class in town, we stopped in there and signed up.
We took the class at Shashi’s Cooking Classes, in the home of Shashi and her sons. The class consisted of three couples, and Shashi introduced herself as a widow from a nearby Rajasthani village who got the idea to teach from a visiting tourist staying with her and her sons a few years ago. She actually learned English in the past few years as she went along to be able to teach, which is pretty amazing. The best thing about the cooking class was that she had print-outs of the recipes, which were created for her by the travelers who took her classes – and available in 5 languages!
The menu was pretty extensive, and the details and tricks shared by Shashi as we went along were valuable nuggets of information that I jotted down on my recipe pad. She shared some additional recipes that we didn’t try in class, but I will most definitely be trying at home – like the lassi recipe. For a non-dairy-person, I have enjoyed every cup of lassi we’ve had on the streets. Throughout the class, Shashi narrated her actions as she went along, but she also got us all to take turns doing some hands-on cooking (I got to do most of the naan, I can die happy now), which was nice.
In the end, the feast we had was pretty impressive: we started with chai (another item we will be making at home, I’m sure, as Alex is addicted), pakoras, aloo gobhi and the basic curry sauce that works for veg and meat dishes, vegetable pulao (more veg than rice, unlike biryani), naan, chapati, paranthas, and a tomato sauce and garlic cheese spread to go with our naan. Oh, and coriander chutney (which our classmates agreed would go perfectly with Doritos, lol), and mango chutney. It was delicious, and I’m excited that I have the recipes to tinker with, and possibly share on this blog in the future!
And now, a feast for your eyes…
I think Alex and I will be taking a nap and having fruit for dinner after this feast.