My first official “Cooking lesson – Indian dinner for 8” was as an auction item at Bollywood Night – a fundraiser for the Tibetan Children Fund. I had no idea who won it. I just knew somebody had, and that they would call me sometime.
When I finally heard from Mary Harsh I was overjoyed. We chatted for half an hour and she graciously invited our family to join in for the dinner for 8 as well. Our family had met Mary and her husband Dave earlier.
Dave is a pastor and Mary his wife had had our family over at the church for a talk on Sikhism. They were extremely hospitable and had even cooked an Indian dish with baby potatoes in it. I had taken a rice dish along and we had started of that evening with a prayer and langar (community meal).
My cooking class – students did all the chopping and the cooking, while I talked. I talked the whole time about spices, and cooking process. Starting with Masala Chai, which boiled over a bit, while I was passionately roasting spices, which was embarrassing!
We washed the Masoor dal to eternity as it was frothy and soaked it and did the same with the rice. Everyone, but me chopped all the veggies for Alu – Gobi (Potatoes – Cauliflower) and the seasoning for the daal and Raita (yoghurt sauce)
Dave enjoyed making Alu- Gobi while the others chopped away with professional ease. In about two hours we had just about everything ready but the rotis- flat bread, which are the hardest to make.
Again, I was impressed by how well everyone dived in to knead the dough. They rolled it out, all flat, even and circular. Here we ran into trouble with the cooking, we tried to use the grill but it wasn’t hot enough, so we switched to another pan on the cooktop, they were ok but could have turned out better.
My son who normally does not even know I exist at home was busy participating, he grated the cucumber for the Raita and he took all the pictures.
Then he started rolling out the dough for rotis. He and Dave had an adventure of sorts cooking rotis on the grill, as they didn’t quite get cooked and they slapped more butter on it, surprisingly they turned out just fine and tasted good too. We were having so much fun that we forgot to take more pictures, so we don’t have any of the meal all ready…
I forgot to mention the raita that required yoghurt to be blended with grated cucumber. We had so much cucumber juice to contend with, so we added some to the raita. It makes a good facial cleansing mask with some clay and garbanzo bean flour added to it, however tempted we did not embark on that venture.
Just have pictures of daal and no pictures of the other prepared dishes….but it was a delicious meal. We had great conversations about different cultures and more food especially Lefsa – Norwegian bread and the ever so decadent Lutefisk with a wonderful group of people, it turned out to be a memorable evening.