Sunday, September 07, 2008
Another episode of Tastes of India cooking class with Sangita and Arijit, last evening at La Mesa Community Center, Monterey, California.
The appetizer course consisted of Keema Ghoogni, tiny, tender Indian garbanzo beans with minced chicken in spicy broth; Ada Chaa (Indian ginger milk tea). As always, we arrive at 6 for class, hungry and excited for the evening's taste adventures. The appetizer was stunning, flavorful, and complex. The ginger milk tea was the perfect counterpoint, and demonstrated once again that hot, spicy foods and beverages are actually very cooling and refreshing during hot weather.
While we fortified ourselves with the appetizer dish (and seconds), Arijit showed some very interesting videos about the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, and an historical site in the southeastern state, Orissa, called Konarak.
We then followed Sangita into the kitchen area and learned the process for making the main dish, which was Patisapta Pithe, delicate, tender-thin pancakes stuffed with a mildly sweet coconut stuffing, and when we couldn't eat another bit, the remaining coconut stuffing made into Laddu (coconut balls) for a final treat. The coconut mixture has to be formed into balls while it is still blazing hot, and we all expressed awe at Sangita's apparently asbestos-lined fingers...how does she do that?