Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Curry Class!

Hello, my friends! Remember that delicious Aloo Keema recipe I posted in January? And remember how you wanted to learn how to make such a tasty (and actually, pretty easy) dish? Well, here’s your chance to learn some of the secrets of one of the world’s great cuisines!

That Aloo Keema recipe, as I told you, basically came from Mrs. Sahar Khan, of Jefferson City’s SK Kitchen Store. She hosts occasional cooking classes, which is how I got her recipe.

Well, I just found out she’s hosting another class! It’s one night only! Put it on your calendar! There is limited space available, and Sahar is signing up people right now.

A lot of the “mystery” of South Asian cuisine is in the technique, and she shows you: How hot should the oil be before you add the spices? Is there a faster way to grate ginger? When has the masala cooked enough? (What is a masala, anyway?)

Also, in case you’re nervous about any kind of cultural divide, relax! Sahar is gracious and very welcoming, and her enthusiasm is contagious!

Here’s the info you need to sign up:

Place: SK Kitchen Store, 1709 Missouri Blvd. (Schnucks Plaza), Jefferson City
Date: Friday, May 30, 2014
Time: Arrive between 5:30 and no later than 6:00 p.m.; demo starts at 6:00 and will probably last until 8:00. (See explanation below.)
RSVP: Please call and sign up (they want to make sure there’s enough food, recipes, and seating for everyone): Mrs. Sahar Khan, 816-210-1097.
Cost: $40 per person.

Sahar says we’ll be making a dinner entrĂ©e this time—a meat-and-vegetable curry. She didn’t tell me details, but I’m sure it will be delicious. (Even the aroma will be enough to make you flip!)

The cooking demo will start right at 6:00, but you’ll want to arrive early to meet Sahar and the others in the class, see the ingredients up close, and look around the store (if you haven’t been there yet).

They don’t have a big exterior sign, just a banner in the front window. SK Kitchen Store is in the same shopping plaza as Schnuck’s, next to the “Great Clips.” (It’s where “Movie Gallery” used to be.)

The class will last about two hours. You’ll get to eat the food at the end, and I’m pretty sure you’ll get to take some food home, as well. (“Mmmm! Taste some of what we made tonight—I know how to make this now!”)

In previous classes, Sahar invited volunteers to help with some of the cooking, and I bet she will do that again. But if you prefer, you can just sit and watch. She’ll give everyone printouts of the recipe, but I suggest you bring a pencil or pen so you can take additional notes.

If you’re not familiar with South Asian cooking ingredients or techniques, but you want to learn how to cook their mouthwatering dishes, it’s essential to see how it’s done and have someone who can answer your questions. Like, what do you do with kalonji?

It’s the same as when you were young, and your mom or grandma showed you the cooking techniques you take for granted today. (When do you take those scrambled eggs off the heat? How do you sear a roast prior to braising it? What’s the basic ratio of oil to vinegar in a salad dressing?) Once you understand the basic principles, and what they look and feel like, you can cook from written recipes with greater confidence.

Here’s your chance to learn some authentic Pakistani home cookin’, and to make friends in the process. It’s great fun—I hope I see you there!

(Just so you know: Sahar called me a few days ago and asked if I’d mention this forthcoming class on Facebook—she doesn’t have an account, and I don’t think she’s entirely comfortable with computer stuff. She mainly contacts people using the phone. But even without her request, I’d want to tell you about this class, anyway!)