Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kochkurs I: Süd Indien

Today I went to a four-hour cooking class entitled "Süd-Indien: Exotik Pur" at one of Berlin's many community ed locations (left, in Treptow-Köpenick).  It was an interesting cultural experience, an American learning to cook Indian food in Germany...I really really want to learn how to cook Indian food, but I didn't really know what to expect with the class. In Germany it's hard to find a good Indian restaurant...Germans tend not to like spicy food. (Also, I just learned today that many people don't like fresh cilantro...they say it tastes like Seifenblasen, soap bubbles! This was new to me, but seemed to be a larger consensus among the course participants!)

The instructor was really good, super friendly and helpful. He lived in India for 5 years and also started up a bakery there and worked as a cook while he was there. So his perspective was interesting, although still seemed to have a more "German" palate (spiciness-wise). We learned a few dishes, but it was still pretty basic, and I'm not sure how authentic...I can't really be the judge of that, but maybe Hannah and Jennie?  We made baked chicken, pumpkin-mango chutney, vegetable rice, shrimp with tomato curry, zucchini-chickpea-masala, flatbread, and bananas fried with coconut-vanilla for dessert. It was really fun for me, not only to cook with people, but to chat with them. After cooking we all sat down and ate together (the whole thing lasted about 4 hours). I'm going to try to do more cooking courses...not only for my cooking skills, but it's a fun way to use German in new ways. :)


  1. It all looks the right shade of yellow-orange and the dishes sound somewhat authentic. But, I am not sure what to make of people who call cilantro: Seifenblasen! It's almost sacrilege not to have those green leaves in Indian dishes.

    You should ask which South Indian region these dishes are from, or where the chef worked. There is a huge variety in South Indian cuisines as well.

    Great to see these great culinary adventures. I hope we all get to get a taste very soon.

  2. I'm so glad you commented! I ordered a bunch more spices off the internet today, and I will practice, and when you guys come visit Berlin (I hope!!!) you can see what you think. :) By the way, someone needs to visit to take my spice collection home...this is going to be worth mega-bucks. :)