Friday, February 01, 2008

Cooking in Udaipur

Our plan for Udaipur was simple: to take cooking classes. Our guidebook recommended a couple places, but upon arriving in Udaipur we realized that every restaurant and spice shop in town offered their own courses. Luckily for us, this meant that we had plenty of options... We ended up taking four classes, in a very-packed three days. While there was some overlap between the dishes that we learned, we definitely benefited from seeing the different styles and techniques that each cook used.

The first class was with a mid-thirties man who owned a spice shop. He did a really good spice demo, gave us recipes to make our own spice mixes and taught us some of the more time-consuming curries like malai kofta.

The second class (by far our favourite) was taught by a late-thirties widowed woman. Her overall personality and the quality of her cooking and food were fantastic. We also learned some different things like chutneys and sweet coconut parantha (which is SO tasty). Unlike the other classes, we got to actually get involved in cooking.

The third class, wasn't a complete course. We had amazing banana and pumpkin curries at a small restaurant, run by a charming elderly couple. They were so good that we HAD to learn how to cook them.

The last course that we took was with the wife of the owner of our guesthouse. She also taught us a number of dishes, mostly focusing on Rajasthani specialties and desserts.

We made enough food at each class to cover breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner that day. Mmmmm...Tasty food...We wrote down all the recipes and so we hope to be able to put on a fantastic Indian feast when we get home!

Between classes, we also managed to see some of the city, including the City Palace and an old haveli (mansion) that had been converted into a museum. We also watched Octopussy, which was filmed here (and shown nightly at every restaurant). In the mornings, we attended a drop-in yoga class, which felt really great. All in all, we had an incredible time in Udaipur.

No comments: