Join me in the kitchen for an Indian cooking class and market tour with Shashi Cooking Class in Udaipur, India.
With the abundance of gastronomic delights found all over India, it’s easy to take meals for granted. We often forget that the buttery naan and velvety palak paneer found at most restaurants was conjured up with the dexterity of a person all too familiar with how much spice is too much. To fully appreciate the labor of love that goes into preparing these gorgeous dishes, I took my research to the place where it all begins: the kitchen. This was my first ever cooking class, and I was grateful it was Indian cooking class.
There was an insane amount of food on the menu to the point it felt a bit overwhelming. More of a kitchenette then a full-blown kitchen, the participants circled around a surgical table in the middle of the space. Besides Tim, Solen, and I, five other attendees accompanied us: a British couple living in Spain, a Canadian couple, and a Belgian lady. Shashi’s oldest son and his wife served as her apprentices. Cooking and cleaning was a family affair. The son acted an extension of Shashi, even leading the class at times. It was a lovely sight seeing these family dynamics play out in the kitchen setting. Shashi was very much the matriarch of the family and each command was instantly followed.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS INDIAN COOKING CLASS
By the end of the five hours, exhaustion was written on everyone’s faces and Shashi had to take out stools to keep us from falling over. And imagine: we were just watching, not even cooking! The best part of my time in the kitchen was being tasked with rolling out the chapatis. If anyone has ever said making chapatis is simple, slap them across the face (I mean it). You need a gentle touch and lots of patience to serve up the most important item on the Indian menu. I kept butchering my chapatis to which Shashi would make me start over from step one. A finished chapati is one that is formed into a perfect circle. Success for me that day was when I found the rhythm needed to achieve the shape and Shashi gave me a smile of approval.
When the last of the chapatis were toasted on the iron skillet, we were ushered into the dining room. The table was set very modestly but as the dishes poured out from the kitchen, the bland tablecloth looked more lively. It was the best meal I’ve had in India, and no meal has compared since! All the guests were silent as we stuffed ourselves silly with our breakfast/lunch/dinner of the day. This was probably one of the few times I’ve savored each bite deliberately, fastidiously trying to make out every ingredient used. The tomato-and-cheese smothered naan, with a tomato salsa and raita topping, was the highlight of the dinner (although the others disagreed dubbing the Butter Paneer Masala the “real”winner.) Shashi ended her course by gifting participants with a red-string bracelet to further demonstrate the unending hospitality Indians shower upon their guests. The behind-the-scenes look at what I was eating made me value a side of India people only sample, but never fully get to indulge in.
अपने भोजन का आनंद लें
Apanē bhōjana kā ānanda lēṁ! Enjoy your meal!
SHASHI COOKING CLASS
Location: 18 Gangaur Ghat Rd, Udaipur 313001, India (behind Jagdish Temple)
Class Times: 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM
Duration of class: around 3-5 hours
Cost: 1500 INR (Indian Rupees) or ~$21 USD
To set up a class, ask your hotel/hostel receptionist to call 09929303511 or 09001338212. You can also send an email inquiry here.
More cooking class reviews here:
👉 What’s your take on Indian food? Are you a fan? Have you ever taken a cooking class abroad that you loved? If so, share the details in the comments section.
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