For many, travelling to new countries is all about experiencing new foods just as much as experiencing new cultures. And there’s no better way to get to learn about local foods, than learning first hand from a local cookery pro, like our friend Rahul.
I’ve joined a few different cookery classes over the years, most recently in Zanzibar and in Vietnam, but it was my first class in India that made me realise how much I enjoyed these classes. Ironically, Adam is the chef at home and I am the human dishwasher, but I’ve grown fond of these fun learning experiences. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to casually whip up a curry like a pro.
Whilst Gemma and I were beach hopping along the coast of Goa, it was in Palolem Beach that we stumbled upon a notice pinned to a coconut tree (true story) that would lead us to Rahul, and his cookery classes!
Set back from the beach, we wandered through the palm trees amongst several local houses looking for our new friend Rahul. Our class was hosted in the kitchen area of Peter’s Bar and Restaurant, which could be found behind the Brown Bread Bakery. No road name, just a vague location based on the bakery.
We had the choice to cook either a meat or veggie menu, and we were part of a small group with roughly 5 or 6 others. The kitchen had been adapted especially for the cooking classes, so there were several burners along the wooden work surface. The group split up into pairs so we could all get involved working alongside each other.
Our menu for the day included; Mushroom Butter Masala, Palak Paneer, Dal Fry, Stuff Paratha, and Chapati.
Course by course, Raoul explained what ingredients would be involved, how we would cook each item, and then following his guidance, within our pairs we would cook each course ourselves. We cooked with so many spices that I can barely remember what half of them were, but you soon realise how complex a simple looking Indian dish really can be to cook.
Cooking the chapatti was surprisingly easy as they were placed over the naked flame of the burner, taking less than 30 seconds each. These were super quick to cook and tasted amazing when still fresh and warm.
Once we had cooked the five different items on our menu, it was time to enjoy our hard work. This was definitely the best part of the morning – being able to eat everything, knowing that it had been handmade by us!! If you get a chance to join a local cookery class, then I’d highly recommend it – even if like me, you are most likely to forget how to recreate all the amazing dishes! 🙂