A Night With A Cook in a Curry

Have I mentioned that I don’t cook? I’m sure I have.

It’s sort of an ongoing difficulty. Combine my lazy eating habits with my history of growing up with a meat-and-potatoes dad who didn’t encourage much creativity in the kitchen, and you get a person who is perfectly happy with cheese, crackers and grapes for dinner four nights a week, and vegetable soup the remaining three.

I fall into my simple food habits for months at a time, and then BAM. I want to learn how to make stuff. Brian has learned to encourage these little bursts of food experimentation because he usually benefits from the results.

Usually. There have been failures and we usually make strangled faces, have a good laugh, break out the cheese and crackers and then go out for dinner the next night to make up for it.

Well, just like we Americans have adopted Italy’s pizza as our favorite food, the UK has adopted India’s curries as it’s own favorite. You can find some kind of Indian dish in almost any restaurant around, including the pubs, and I can’t even count the number of Indian restaurants just within five miles of us.  I love it.

I also know that there are very few Indian restaurants in Brazil, so if I want to continue stuffing myself with masalas and kormas, I better learn how to throw one together.

So, while exploring our new home both on foot and online I stumbled across a cooking class which was offered in the city center and quickly signed up.



What I knew is that the class was offered in a local restaurant’s workshop space by Maunika Gowardhan, who is an Indian chef and food writer. What I didn’t know is that she is amazing, internationally known and so passionate and knowledgeable about her food.


She’s also an excellent teacher who made seemingly complicated dishes look easy to pull off, and she’s stunningly beautiful as well.

The class felt like dinner at a friend’s house. We not only learned how to make some fantastic dishes, we swapped restaurant stories, travel stories,  and laughs.

Pomegranate. So pretty!

And of course there was food. Oh, the food!


We learned how to make four dishes and an appetizer, we learned about the differences in food from different regions of India, we learned that your spices expire and that most of the spices you have in your kitchen right now probably need to be replaced.

This was a vegetarian class, so everything she made was quick and meatless. We’re not vegetarians, but we probably only eat meat once or twice a week. All of these dishes were so good, and very adaptable if we want to add in some animal protein.


I am slowly learning not to be afraid to try new things in the kitchen.


I am slowly learning to me more afraid of missing out on having meals like this at home.


Beats the hell out of cheese and crackers any day.


After two hours our little group of nine was stuffed with good food and good information. We all made some new connections, we all learned something new, and we all had a great night out with total strangers.


If you ever have a chance, take one of Maunika’s classes, attend one of her events, or at the very least, steal some recipes from her website and make them at home. Go on, you know you want to stick those beautiful photos all over Pinterest!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go make myself a potato masala. Mmmm.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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