Celebrating Spring – Indian Culinary Experience from EYP

Table setting with food during Indian Culinary Experience

Imagine yourself in a fully stacked Indian culinary kitchen, cooking some great recipes with a great chef and then enjoy them together in a nice open ambiance. Indian Culinary Experience is structured to give each participant a complete immersion into authentic ethnic Indian culinary world. The aroma of the spices in the kitchen will excite your senses the moment you enter the kitchen and by the time you’ll be done cooking everybody would be read to devour.

We cook and shared a light casual North Indian meal. It is a fun time sharing recipes and cooking in my home. They also take home a pre-made ingredient kit of one of the recipe to try it out by themselves.

Menu of the Day

A typical daily Indian family meal is very different from the selection we usually find at Indian restaurants. The menu presented here consist of easy everyday recipes that take 30-40 minutes to cook and if you make multiple dishes in parallel, then whole spread can be cooked in less than 90 minutes. Usual everyday Indian family meal comprises of protein, vegetables & fruits, dairy and carbs. A combination of all these components make a healthy and balanced vegetarian meal for the whole family.

Menu of the Day for Indian Culinary Experience

Menu for this Culinary Experience included the following recipes:

  1. Chickpeas Spinach Curry (Chola-Palak)
  2. Okra Colored Bell Pepper Stir-Fry (Bhindi-Shimla Mirch)
  3. Greek Yogurt with Cucumber (Cucumber Raita)
  4. Paneer-Cilantro Parantha
  5. Vegetable Salad

Menu with detailed recipes for each of the items were prepared to handout when the participants arrive.

Preparations (prior to your session)

To make sure every recipe prepared during the session gave participants a memorable sensory experience, all ingredients for each of the recipes were pre-cut and prepared ready to cook.

Kitchen Preparation for Enhance Your Palate
Ingredients Ready to Cook

Attractive dinner table setting for five was ready to welcome and invigorate the sensual desire to enjoy a meal with close group of friends or other participants. 

Overall Table Setting for Indian Culinary Experience Session II

When it comes to table setting, fresh flower add a whole new dimension to the table setting.

Fresh Flowers

To go along with the multi-color flowers in centerpiece, each plate setting also had different colors making the overall ambiance more colorful, fun and casual. For an informal Indian meal a typical plate setting includes a dinner plate, soup bowl, another small bowl and a spoon. Knifes and forks are note required in Indian plate setting, unless you are serving a salad as a meal course. Napkin is folded and put in a napkin ring to be placed on the center of the dinner plate. The drinking glass for water, wine or juice are placed at the top right corner.

Colorful Plate Setting
Colorful Plate Setting
Colorful Plate Setting
Colorful Plate Setting

Participants were encouraged to do some internet search around Indian family meals and cuisine prior to class. This just allows for more informed participation and ability to ask questions during the session.  

Participant Welcome   

As the participants arrived, they were first served a homemade Indian Chai Latte and Falafel. He Chai latte was infused with cardamom, cloves and black pepper to excite the palate and get it ready for the memorable flavors. Falafels, were warm and crispy, just enough to satisfy the immediate hunger but still leaving participants wanting for more with curiosity to explore.  

Welcome Snacks - Falafel and Hummus

This provides a casual setting to do a round of introductions and put on the aprons.

Participants were introduced to the menu and each recipe was discussed. We went over the cooking process and techniques to be used for each recipe. This was a god opportunity to answer any initial questions.

Menu of the Day for Indian Culinary Experience

Cooking – The Fun Begins

I started with the recipe that takes the longest time to cook. As we progressed, we had multiple recipes going at the same time. This is where we worked as a team and learned. This is the most fun part of the session.

Bhindi Masala being cooked during Indian Culinary Experience

During this session, the part that attracted the most curiosity was my spice box. It was the center of attraction and conversation. I explained how different spices helped in bringing out best flavors in each recipe.

Spice Box

Participants were also watching with astonishment as I rolled the cilantro paneer parathas. Some tried their hands on while other preferred to just watch.

Participant getting hands on experience of rolling the flat breads

Participants were also watching with astonishment as I rolled the cilantro paneer parathas. Some tried their hands on while other preferred to just watch.

Participant getting hands on experience of rolling the flat breads

As the session progressed, participants became more confident in taking over and managing different steps of the cooking process. It was now my turn to step back and watch.

Recipes we cooked are shown below:

I also included a dessert from my side for everyone to enjoy as it was not possible to make one in the short time we had.

Famous Indian Dessert – Rasmalai

Casual Indian Family Meal

After cooking and watching for 2 hours, everybody was ready to taste the delicacies and cherish the food.

Participants Enjoying food after Indian Culinary Experience

Final plate setting looked something like below. Gravy dishes were served in the bowls and dry vegetables go directly on the dinner plate along with bread and rice.

All participants sat together and enjoy the results of their hard work.

Participants Enjoying food after Indian Culinary Experience

Hope you join us next time to explore and experience the Indian Culinary World.

Fresh Flower Arrangement

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