My mum never cooked like this, but when I step into Sangita's kitchen at school, I feel like I've just come home after a long, hungry time away.
The fifth session of the Tastes of India classes has just started up. Sangita has been away in India working on projects and visiting family for six months, and she was missed. She and her husband, Arijit, form a great team, making the classes a multi-media presentation that stimulates all our senses, and enlightens and enlivens the evening.
This week she taught us to prepare Alu Makha (seasoned mashed potatoes, Bengali style), Moong Dhal (thick dhal soup made from split green gram), Sada Bhat (plain rice, also Bengali style), Mach Bhaja (Marinated spicy fried fish), and Ghoogni (Garbanzo beans cooked in spicy sauce).
The fragrances from the spices being heated, as well as the sauces and cooking rice were intoxicating. From the first bite to the last morsel cleaned from the pan, we were all glad to be home again.
I was inspired to try and replicate it a few days later at home. Practice, practice, practice.