Sidney and I went spent our Friday night at an Aurora rec center where we learned how to cook Indian food. I’m always on the lookout for new experiences so when Sidney said she was down for going to this with me, I signed us up.
This three hour class was not what I expected. I had expected that we would pair up, or even be individual, and we would all cook the same thing, i.e., we all cook our own grilled cheese sandwich and a small portion of tomato soup, and then we all eat it. That was not the case. We all chipped in on making one big meal. While I think that makes sense, I was bummed because it meant I missed out on making two dishes since I was over here making something while the other group was over there making something else. This was my first cooking class so I’m not sure if this is normally how these things go or not.
The instructor was a bit overbearing, and perhaps too strong, at times too. She basically took over some of our cooking instead of stepping to the side and encouraging us to do it ourselves. I’ll chalk it up to her wanting us to enjoy the food but we got to the point where we didn’t feel comfortable doing anything without her approval because otherwise she would criticize that we did something too early or incorrectly. To be fair to her, I learned later that this was the second class she ever ran, so she’s still getting the hang of it. I bet if you give her a few more sessions and some coaching from the other staff, she’ll be great. She has lots of knowledge of Indian food that is interesting and useful for those of us who want to make more of it. She chose really good recipes that were relatively easy to make too. She definitely has promise and I hope Aurora keeps her around ’cause I can see that being a really popular class in the future.
There was another staff member with us who was awesome and helped push us along when the instructor didn’t know quite what to do. I could tell she had done these classes before (possibly even taught them?) and she helped make the evening go smoothly. Really glad she was there as she kind of helped keep me sane when I would get frustrated with the instructor.
We didn’t get to eat anything until around 8:30pm when we had finished all of the dishes. I had figured we would have gotten to eat something way earlier than that so lesson learned, I’ll bring myself a snack if I ever do this again. Once everything was prepared, we sat down at a very nice dining table (we even had cloth napkins) and ate our tasty food. I really liked the paneer masala and samosas. The paneer was spicy but totally manageable for me and I was so proud that I had made it as it would have been something I would have been too wary to make at home. The samosas were fried and delicious and it was, again, a proud moment to know I had a part in making those too. I had rolled out dough and stuffed it. I’m not sure I would make these at home because it’s pretty time consuming. However, these homemade ones were so good that it is tempting.
While the evening wasn’t what I had expected, and I didn’t get to chat with Sidney as much as I had hoped, in the end I did have a good time. So much so that I came home and immediately looked for other classes I wanted to take. Nothing quite yet but I’m pretty sure there’s something out there!