I recently took a trip to Mukti’s Kitchen in Brooklyn for a three-hour Indian cooking class. Knowing that Indian food is difficult to make, I was nervous signing up for the class. But, I tapped into my curiosity and love for Indian food and decided to give it a try.
When I arrived at Mukti’s welcoming and cozy home, I was greeted with Indian Chai tea. Mukti explained that she made the tea herself using homemade spice mixes. She then spoke about all the different spices that go into Indian food, including fenugreek and nigella seeds, and taught us when to use them. She then allowed the small class to grind our own spice blends, and their aromas filled the room. Now that we had our blends, it was time to start cooking.
We began by making a chutney that was used as a base throughout the class. We then made onion fritters. They were absolutely delicious and even better when they were dipped into the mint chutney we made. The onion fritters allowed us to snack on something until we got to the meal at the end of the night.
Next we made Raita, a mixture of yogurt and cucumbers. The fun didn’t stop here! We then moved to the stove top to make some rice, which we later mixed with onions, carrots, peas, cashews and raisins. This rice dish is called vegetable pulao, and it tasted as good as it looked!
After the pulao, we moved onto the chana masala, which I was looking forward to the entire night. This chickpea dish is my favorite Indian dish. After getting scared from the pressure cooker’s whistle a few times, we finally mixed the chickpeas with chutney, onion, ginger, garlic and our special spice mixes! Lastly, we made alu gobi, a potato and cauliflower dish. After mixing the potato and cauliflower for some time, we added some of our special spice mix to the wok.
Finally, Mukti prepared everything in beautiful dishes and told us to dig in! Obviously, I was first. The food was delicious and perfectly accompanied by the Indian chai tea. We then all moved into Mukti’s living room to talk about how we liked our food. Mukti, during and after the class, made sure to answer any questions we had. We all left without own recipe book so that we can replicate our delicious dishes at home.
Overall, I loved the class and the three-hours went by so quickly. Mukti kept the class busy at all times either by teaching us new cooking techniques, where to buy spices, or just starting conversation among the friendly class. She also made me much more confident in cooking Indian food at home. I would love to take another one of Mukti’s classes when she gets back from vacation!