Cooking Classes in Udaipur
Udaipur is definitely on the tourist trail – in our 5 days here we’ve seen plenty of people come and stay for one, maybe 2 nights, and then move onwards into Rajasthan. We have been here seemingly so long that the shop touts now just smile, say “hi, how are you?” and have given up trying to get us to buy anything.
Not because we’ve been lured in by the beauty of the place, although it is undeniably stunning, but because we came to learn more about Indian food and cooking from the highly recommended Mary Thomas. From the start, Mary welcomed us into her home, found out what we wanted to learn and tailored our sessions accordingly. Husband Robin was sent out in search of the freshest ingredients from the market every day and took David along for the ride; literally as he was off on the back of Robin’s scooter.
Market places tell you a lot about a place and David has been taken to vegetable, chicken, fish and goat shops to see how they do things here. It’s different. If you want your meat prepared in a super hygienic environment with the highest standards of animal welfare, this is not it. But if you want fresh meat you’re in the right spot. Pick a happy looking goat and minutes later it all bagged up and ready to go.
Naturally bread was high up the list of things to learn and we’ve made, amongst others, chapattis, parathas, puris and naan. We also made something we’d never heard of before: khamman – a bread made from chickpea flour and yoghurt, then steamed and served with coconut, coriander, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Sounds interesting but in fact one of the most delicious things we’ve tried especially with a fresh chutney of coriander, mint and chilli.
We’ve also made dals, chicken curry, fish curry, mutton curry, spiced aubergines and potato dishes – all using a similar range of techiques and spices but in different combinations.
And to top everything, we’ve had a fabulous Indian dessert to finish off every day – 2 kinds of halva and gulab jaam, deep fried cardamom doughnuts served hot in a saffron sugar syrup. A little piece of heaven on a plate.
So if you ever find yourself on the Rajasthani tourist trail in lovely Udaipur, take an extra day here to take a cooking class with Mary and Robin – time out well spent. You might also want to stay in their guest house which is beautiful; you’ll be well looked after.
We’re about to take a 3 hour (or thereabouts) public bus from Udaipur to Chittorgarh where we’ll be staying inside the fort complex. Time for another adventure.