Friday, May 15, 2009

Cooking with Monisha

Monisha ("The UK's Hottest Cookery School") met us at the Houndslow West train station and we walked to her local market place where she talked to us about Indian food and introduced us to some of the seeds and spices; like cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander seed powder. She talked about the regions of India and the fruits and vegetables used in dishes from those areas. Of course a large majority of people in India are vegetarians so freshness is a key and lentils and rice are served with every meal. She has written many cookbooks and is also a dancer...check out her website at

The menu we prepared was -
Jeera Pulao (cumin flavored basamati rice);
Murgh Tamater (red chicken curry with fresh coriander);
Goan Prawn Curry;
Tarka Dal (red lentils with spices and garlic);
Vantana usal (green peas tossed in coconut);
Red Onion and Tomato Raita (yogurt salad)

It was a great day and we all learned a lot about Indian food and spices. I must admit that we stopped back by the market and bought spices to fill our new tin AND a jar of ready-made garlic ginger paste....don't tell Monisha! I realized when I got home that I reeked of onions and garlic - we probably just added to the "perfume" of the underground tube, no one seemed to notice!

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