Sunday, April 11, 2010

Curries and Music

Today featured an Indian cooking class (which doubled as lunch) sandwiched between two very different musical experiences.

At 9:30, which seemed like the crack of dawn to me, I showed up at Deborah’s house to practice our Misek sonata.  We worked hard for an hour or so, with a few breaks so she could talk to patients, since she is on call this weekend.  We confirmed once again that morning practice is the most productive.  We each have homework to do, but the piece is making great progress.

Then we jumped into the car and both went to Hill’s Kitchen for a class on the foods of Northern India.  My son had been signed up for this class, but in the heat of finals bailed.  So Deborah took his place, in what turned out to be her first cooking class.

My friend and teacher Brock is riding high on his big spread in the Washington Post this week.  Today he was in his element as he repeatedly created “the dawn of fragrance” by frying various combinations of Indian spices.  We learned to make:  Aloo Ghobi (a dry curry), Mali Kofta (another curry with potato dumplings and a very creamy sauce), Palak Paneer (a bright green dish featuring paneer cheese), and Chapatti (a quick bread cooked on the top of the stove).

As each dish was finished we got to try it and discover the distinctive flavor combination.  Contrary to most classes which are demonstration only, we students got to form the potato dumplings and to roll out and cook the chapatti.  He had prefaced this last piece by telling us that the secret to getting a good husband in India is a girl’s ability to make good chapatti.  I came away in awe and very glad I already had a good husband.

After class I had one more activity on the Hill before returning to suburbia.  A good friend had offered me a ticket to go to “A Musical Banquet,” music of 1610 performed by the Folger Consort on period instruments.  While not having the fragrance of the Indian cuisine, it was still a savory mix of instrumental and vocal pieces, many of which had the feel of a dance.  The combination of lutes, viol, guitar, recorder, violin, drum, and even bagpipes was absolutely perfect for this types of music.  The performers were veterans of this type of music, some playing together for as many as 40 years.

It was hard to leave all these sights, sounds, and tastes and head back across the bridge to Costco and Whole Foods to replenish my larder. 

Now all I can think about is recreating the Indian feast with Deborah.  There is nothing terribly daunting about Indian cooking.  You simply have to accept the fact that there are many ingredients and a lot of prep.  Well worth it in the end!


Blogger Kristin said...

What a lovely day! I've loved learning to make Indian food and would probably benefit from a class (or three).

9:20 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

A curry sandwich! With music as the bread. That sounds great.

1:11 PM  

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