When we were in Udaipur we had a cooking class with Shashi in her lovely home. This woman is an incredible cook and teacher and had an amazing story to tell! She married when she was very young, had 2 sons and after 4 years her husband passed away. In her caste which is the highest in India she was required to mourn and remain indoors for a year and is never allowed to marry again. With no income she had to find ways to secretly try and make money and support her children... and one day an Irish guy on his travels became friendly with her son who was working in a restaurant. Her son one day invited the Irishman to his house where Shashi cooked for them. He was blown away and suggested she started teaching cooking classes and with his help she did. She couldn't speak any English, but taught people to cook by showing them what to do and slowly her business grew. When we met her she was fluent in English and in the process of opening her cooking classes at a new premises in the city. She says that she owes her entire business, speaking English, her website and her recipe booklet which is translated into English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian all to her students. Shashi is so beautiful, the most incredible cook and has such a lovely nature, it is easy to see why people have gone out of their way to help and to see why she is so successful at what she does.
We started the class by making a cup of chai. And after that we made masses of food which we feasted on at the end. The class was really hands on so we really got involved in everything, chopping, grinding, mixing, stirring, frying, eating... it was great! These are the dishes we made:
- Masala Chai
- Potato, Onion and Cauliflower Pakora
- Coriander Chutney
- Mango Chutney
- Basic Magic Sauce, which was then used to make:
- Aubergine and tomato masala
- Paneer butter masala
- Vegetable pilau
- Naan with cheese and tomato (AMAZING!)
- Chapatti/ Roti
- Stuffed potato paratha
- Sweet paratha, with coconut, ghee and sugar
I have shared the recipe for the Potato and Onion pakora here is you fancy trying it out...
As you can probably tell, we certainly got our moneys worth... we had an incredible meal, came away with some great recipes and learnt a few new things. If you make it to Udaipur I would highly recommend this class, it surely has to be the best in all of India :-)