Hello! Indian food is one of my favorite things to eat, but is something that I have never tried to cook before. Sure, I have recipes for some of the dishes I like on Pinterest, however, I never took the plunge to buy the ingredients. Some of them are pretty expensive and I could never justify it before because Johnny isn’t an Indian food fan (He never tried it and never wanted to!). This all changed this past weekend, however, because I learned how to make some Indian dishes at a cooking class and, surprisingly, Johnny loved the leftovers! With this newfound knowledge, maybe I will prepare Indian food at home yet! Check it out:
On Friday, my aunt and I both attended a three hour Indian cooking class at Stir Studio Kitchen in Hudson. There were ten students in total and we were taught by a very skilled chef named Zack. During our class, we learned how to make naan, tikka masala, and palak paneer. We were also treated to kulfi ice cream for dessert made by our teacher. The class was amazing and while it was fun to cook, it was even more fun to enjoy the meal we made together – we were all starving by the time everything got plated up!
To begin our class, we prepared the dough for the naan, which was incredibly easy and moved onto veggie prep while the dough settled. While we all had our individual naan, the veggies we chopped would go into the tikka masala and palak paneer for us to share. For these dishes, we chopped up onion, garlic, red pepper, chili pepper, ginger, and tomato. Zack also taught us about the proper techniques for using a chef’s knife as well as tips and tricks for easier, more efficient veggie prep. My mind was blown when we set the garlic underneath the knife blade, hit it, and it unpeeled. 😀
As our veggies cooked, Zack introduced us to all of the spices that we would be using. We had to try and guess all of them and while the group was able to identify several, there were many that left us stumped! This was a very interesting section and one of my favorites. Zack was such a knowledgeable and fun teacher and it was cool to learn about the spices and where they came from and why they are used. Throughout the class, Zack taught us all about the chemistry that makes the ingredients activate with each other and it was so neat to learn about food in a completely different way.
Once our crash course on spices was complete, it was time to roll out our dough for the naan and bake it. To do this, we fried them on a completely dry cast iron pan with a bit of flour on it. Then, we spread a mixture of butter, chives, and garlic over top to create the final product. While other students were baking their naan, I got to help Zack out by using an immersion blender on the tikka masala and that was a hoot! As a vegetarian, I got to taste test it before chicken got added and a special dish was set aside for me so I could have it with chickpeas. It was delicious and made me even hungrier!
While everyone finished up with their naan, Zack began to plate up our food with jasmine rice and all that was left to do was eat! When it comes to my Indian food order from my favorite restaurant, The Saffron Patch, I always get the same thing because it’s too good not to. I have tried palak paneer and tikka masala before, but it has never been as yummy as this! The tikka masala was spicy and bold and the palak paneer had a cooler heat that paired beautifully together. I liked the palak paneer the best and, of course, the homemade naan was divine.
By the time our dessert of kulfi ice cream was passed out, everyone was bursting at the seams partially from fullness and pride at our handiwork. Under Zack’s expertise, we created a meal together that was better than any restaurant I have ever been to. I enjoyed my experience at Stir so much and would happily take another class there again!
Have you attended a cooking class before? What did you make? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah