Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mari mari, try my Tandoori!

So cooking isn't exactly my forte. I can make a decent meal if i really, truly have to and, you'd be surprised to know, I actually enjoy being in the kitchen. The cleaning up bit kinda sucks though. On Saturday I was offered a chance to 'brush up' my cooking skills at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort. And not just ANY cooking class mind you - i was about to discover the world of Indian fare at the award-winning Naan Restaurant.

We started off with an introduction to India's many spices. And BOY OH BOY do they have spices. I kinda lost track after spice number 623.

They mispelled my name not once but twice (see last photo for evidence).

Super Chef Rajju of the day who hails all the way from India, briefing us on cooking do's and don'ts. "This is a knife. Please do not be putting your fingers between board and blade."

Getting down to basics. I was given the task of dicing up tomatoes for the day.
Chef: Just cut here, and cut here. You think you can do that?
Me: *there goes my French manicure*

Azlinah, bless her soul, stood beside me throughout the process, making sure my fingers stayed intact.
Me: Slice, slice, slice...Hey I'm getting the hang of this!
Azlinah: *this is going to take forever*

Hooray, Mel can dice up tomatoes! The world is alright again!

One of the reporters, Joe, taking a whiff of the delicious chicken which has just popped out of the tandoor (the huge coal-burning cooking thingy). Ok Joe, step away from the chicken...
The best part: Chowing down! The chicken tikka was my favourite. We made several dishes, including chappati from scratch. Impressive eh?
Indian cooking is no walk in the park. One dish uses at least 6 spices, half of which I could not pronounce. There was also loads of oil, butter (mmm), yogurt and cream. Not for the cholesterol-conscious, I can safely say. But the explosion of flavours and the heavenly aroma are out of this world. Do you know what torture is? Standing in the kitchen, sniffing away the delicious scents and realising we have another three dishes to go before we get to eat ANY of it. Sigh. Just to let you guys know, the cooking class is an ongoing thing organised by the resort and anyone can join. It's RM120.00 per head and includes the three-hour cooking class, lunch and a certificate.
So did Fridaycat have a good time going Indian?

I think so.

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