cooking classes in india
I am planning a trip to India in March and would love to take a cooking class or two. I'm not interested in a full "culinary tour" of the country or a long stay at a Kerala resort with classes though I've seen lots of these advertised. We'll be there for a wedding and will need to fit in the cooking classes with a full roster of other events! Right now we're planning to be in Mumbai, Delhi and possibly one other city. Can anyone recommed a class or at least tell me where to start looking?
It may be too late to be helpful, but the homework you do before you go is really important. I just spent a year in Sri Lanka and traveled in China and India, and was delighted to try to understand the complexities of food in India. There are important geographical, cultural, religious, and other issues in many languages, so I can't urge you strongly enough to start reading. One of the good news items is that equipment is simple--don't let anyone sell you any elaborate pans. Generosity with spices is breathtaking, and liberating at the same time. I learned by watching street vendors, who cook in front of you and will often be friendly and answer questions if you buy a snack. My treasure from the trip is a spice box, a large tin holding smaller ones for quantities of favorite spices, all with tight lids. Just forget the puny 0.75 ounce bottles we have in the U.S.! Good luck.
obviously this will not help the OP but in Delhi, the proprietress at Delhi Bed and Breakfast, where we stayed, is a very good cook and offers cooking classes as well as shopping trips and dinner, if you stay there and reserve.. style is punjabi - most of the food is vegetarian altho the mother-in law cooks great meat dishes as well.
There are several places in Udaipur that offer cooking classes, with guidebook listings and even signs on the street. It would probably be a good place for a day class.
This is not as trodden a path as you would think it was. Maybe because, in India, cooking is mostly done in the home and there are a lot of religious strictures around it in terms of who is allowed in a proper kitchen, etc.
that said, Ive heard of the following places where one might have cooking lessons - I am sure there are others and that if you stay in homestays, heritage accomodations, etc they might be arranged elsewhere:
*Nimmy Paul in Kerala - http://www.nimmypaul.com/
*also in Kerala but this time the muslim keeralan cuisine, *Ayisha Manzil, a heritage hotel in Telicherry -cooking and accomodations here are reputed to be very special - here is a blog entry about it http://traveling.inthekitchenwithlisa...
*intrepid tours out of Australia offers personalized culinary tours from Delhi to Goa - could do pieces of this, I think - they start with classes at Bajaj Homestay in Delhi.
*The lady at Delhi Bed and Breakfast in New Delhi offers cooking and shopping classes.
*The Spice Box in Udaipur is run by a chef and offers day-long cooking classes, Ive heard good reports.
*in Bundi, Rajasthan - RK Haveli Guest House, a simple family guest house, Ive heard reports the proprietress will demonstrate/teach some cooking in an informal way (if you search online you will see some accounts of a visit here
)*As previously mentioned, some heritage hotels will offer a class or demonstration if you ask - for example Rohet Garh in Rajasthan (near Jodhpur) is known for this
good luck, and I hope you will post back as you find out more