Get Cooking was lucky to have Addie Raghavan (AKA @BigAddie on Twitter) teach an Indian Vegetarian cooking class. Addie pulled recipes from his childhood in India, offering guests samples of authentic Indian cuisine that they would not find in their typical North American Indian Restaurant. He used ingredients many of us had never even heard of (mung beans? Bengal gram?); and we were given the inside scoop on where to pick them up in Edmonton to make our own authentic Indian creations.
Addie began the class by making Pesarattu, an Indian pancake usually served for breakfast. The main ingredient of the dish were mung beans, tiny green pea-like beans native to India. The ingredients were ground in a Vitamix and made into delicious pancakes, topped with homemade coconut chutney. Now this is the type of break I could see eating on a steamy, hot morning in Mumbai. The refreshing coconut calmed the subtle heat of the Pesarattu. This was an incredible dish and it set the tone for the evening.
Next, Addie created a traditional Indian dish with a Northern Albertan flair. While Upma is traditionally made with rice or semolina, Addie used Gold Forest Grain’s steel cut oats in their place. Another breakfast item, Upma is the Indian version of porridge. With it’s mix of diced, fresh vegetables and intoxicating flavours, the Steel-Cut Oat Upma was another favourite with the group.
The Cauliflower 65 was the show stopper of the evening. The dish was named “cauliflower 65” because it often appeared as number 65 in many Indian restaurants. Addie makes his cauliflower 65 by crafting a spice batter, coating the cauliflower with it, and then deep frying the pieces until they were golden brown. The result was a salted, crunchy, spicy blend of crispy cauliflower. It tickled the taste buds and left you wanting more (much more), so much so that we decided to make another batch. These puppies were addictive!
Addie then offered us a real treat when he made homemade paneer before our eyes. The traditional mild cheese is often served doused in sauce and on a bed of rice. Addie served his stir fried with fresh spinach and tomatoes. The flavours of the paneer shone through the fresh vegetable medley, and with only a hint of spice, this mild dish accompanied the other mains quite well.
The Bagara Baingan was a beautiful dish, with purple eggplant, tumeric and tamarind juice. To begin, Addie combined seeds and cooked them in oil, releasing their flavours. He added the seeds to a curry base, along with beautifully purple, miniature fried eggplants. The result was a full flavoured curry that had it’s own unique flavours.
Finally, as the last main, Addie treated us to smoked roasted garlic Daal Tadka. He roasted 4 whole heads of garlic for hours before guests arrived, creating an intoxicated smell that greeted guests as they walked through the door. After making the daal, he used a piece of hot charcoal to add smoke flavouring. This method is used in Indian restaurants to add another depth of flavour to an otherwise regular daal dish, a main staple in India.
To send us off, Addie served Goat Milk Mishti Doi for desert. The goat’s milk gave the Mishti Doi a pungent flavour, while the Jaggery added a nice dose of sweetness.
If you are looking to learn all about Indian Cuisines, we offer more Indian cooking classes. Visit our Class Calendar for more information and to join Addie’s next class on November 30th you can book here!