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Archive for the ‘Cooking Class’ Category

On a cold wintery Saturday afternoon in March we had an enthusiastic group of participants join Arvinda’s Curries, Curries & More Curries cooking class in Toronto at Nella Cucina. Although spring is (finally!) in the air, Arvinda’s curries indeed helped us get through our terribly cold Canadian winter this year!

We had a lovely lady, Laura attend the class with her father for a ‘daddy-daughter’ cooking class. Being an avid Indian food lover and author of the blog Cook, Wine & Thinker Laura jumped right in to help us make our winter curries menu and snapped away photos throughout the class.

Photo courtesy of Cook, Wine & Thinker

Photo courtesy of Cook, Wine & Thinker

Photo courtesy of Cook, Wine and Thinker!

Photo courtesy of Cook, Wine and Thinker!

We wanted to share with you Laura’s review of our Arvinda’s classes here.

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Some of you who frequent this blog, are users of Arvinda’s Indian spice blends so I’ll take the opportunity to make a quick announcement – we just launched a new cookbook!

CoverArt-front-AUG.13.2

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Whenever I get on the conversation of the infamous Samosa–one the most popular Indian snack foods to hit the world–with colleagues or friends from South Africa, they always seem to have a word or two to say. “Samusas”, as they call it, are described as delicious and memorable, and few and far between in North America–unless you’re making them from scratch.

Traditional Samusas have a thinner, crispier pastry and typically have an aromatic meat filling.

Similarly, I’ve always called my Samosas “Samusas”. Growing up with my mother’s crispy, thin and almost cocktail-like Samusas, I’ve never taken a liking to the bigger, flakier mainstream counterpart.

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All spices are not created equal. As with searching for a great wine or good olive oil where there is always so much choice and lots of variation in flavour profile and quality, the same can be said about spices too. Spices, being the building blocks of Indian cooking, leave absolutely no room for ‘short-changing’ your dish with stale spices that are ‘past their prime’. The end-result will tell all!

For all your Indian cooking, use nothing but the best quality spices

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As March Break wraps up and the kids head back to school, many will be enthralled by their winter break cooking experiences and kitchen stories. A couple days ago I was at Whole Foods March Break Chef Camp for the Spices of India session, to teach the kiddies about spices. As I walked into the room, these clever little munchkins were cooking up Samosas and Tandoori Chicken with my friends Amanda and Rose. Impressive!

Even though I was enthused by their excitement and liking to the spices, I really shouldn’t be all that surprised. Over the years, we’ve run a number of Indian cooking classes for kids and have had a handful of aspiring teenage chefs join our adult classes—all wanting to learn authentic Indian cuisine!

A few weeks back, I spoke to Victor Nerenberg on the Indo-Canadian Report at Radio Canada International about how we’ve had excited young chefs in our classes, amongst other Indian cooking techniques. Listen to the radio clip.

Apple Ginger Chai Pressed Juice

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Welcome December, which also means welcome in the sweets and treats, and cookies galore! The last few days I’ve been in the grocery and specialty stores to stock up on baking supplies, all which have ‘end caps’ brimming with flour, sugar and candied cherries waiting to be turned into fruitcakes, sugar cookies, shortbread and more. Are you inspired yet!?

If you’re looking for a ‘sweet’ change of pace to this year’s cookie bake-off, try using Arvinda’s Indian spice blends paired with your traditional festive ingredients.

Arvinda’s Chai Masala is great in sugar cookies, shortbread, fruit-based desserts like a roasted apple or pear cake. Also makes a rich, steamy authentic cup of Masala Chai too!

Arvinda’s Garam Masala is the perfect spice mix in your fruitcakes – the richness of fruit, nuts and brandy can handle this spice blend’s intensely intoxicating aroma and flavour. Pairs nicely in savoury cheese biscuits and crackers too, ideal for a cheese plate. Or try an unconventional savoury and sweet Garam Masala Crème Brulee.

All those who attended Arvinda’s Merry Masala Cookie Exchange this week had a chance to experience our spicy creations first-hand (and were good at it too…delicious!). Thank you for coming and take a peek at our cookie mayhem!

Before

Thank you also to Food Network Canada and Spotlight Toronto for the tweets that night!

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Samosas are one of India’s most loved appetizers and is probably the most known out of the immense variety of Indian snack foods available in the world.

Always a triangular shape, samosa filling ingredients and pastry type can vary greatly depending on which part of India you are in. With that in mind, the recipe below is not your typical samosa. Baked not fried, this recipe uses a simple and easy phyllo so you don’t have to fuss too much with the pastry — making it easy yet impressive for holiday entertaining season!

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