Posts Tagged ‘Nella Cucina’

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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On the first of December, we hosted Arvinda’s Merry Masala Cookie Exchange at Nella Cucina featuring holiday goodies infused with Arvinda’s artisanal spice blends. In attendance was Suresh and Jenny of Spotlight Toronto, who are also a part of Toronto’s FoodieMeet @foodiemeet, an online community of VERY passionate Toronto ‘foodies’.

The FoodieMeet Bake-Off is on

A couple of emails later, I was invited as a baker to participate in the FoodieMeet’s Bake-Off in support of The Stop Community Centre on December 13. I read the details and thought the invite should have read, “please bring your sweet tooth”. This was going to be ‘sweet tooth’ heaven, plus a good party at Samovar Room (a great place by the way, reminiscent of Russian bar Pravda). An invite not to be turned down!

Amongst the professional and amateur bakers, judges and FoodieMeet attendees, I was most impressed with the hyper-creative, heightened taste buds and sophisticated palettes all under one roof. Everyone there really loves food, which I found very inspiring.

Bakers were to be guided by the theme, “Escape Toronto”. I went with our Arvinda’s Merry Masala Cookie Exchange’s Curry Mango Snow Crescents. Give passionate foodies an “Escape Toronto” theme, and you’re left with an array of heavenly sweets including–Coconut Cupcakes with Kafir Lime Icing; Tandoori Shortbread Tarts with Passionfruit Curd; Chinese Almond-Cookie Cupcakes with a Wonton Wrapper Snowflakes; Sticky Date Cake with Beer-Caramel Sauce with Pomegranate Compote; Sri Lankan Jamaican Patties (savoury); Mayan Spice Mousse Macarons…I could go on.


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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!


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

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I started assisting my mother with her Indian cooking classes through her cooking school Arvinda’s about 16 years. At the time, I was timid about Indian cooking and intently watched and listened to my mother talk about all the delicious Indian foods I ate growing up. I delectably devoured my mother’s meals but never knew how these delicious dishes really came together. This was the start of the Indian culinary transmission of knowledge, from mother-to-daughter in a formalized cooking class setting. Lucky for me!

Baking however was my first love and baking is where I felt right at ‘home’ in the kitchen. Since the age of five, my mother and I would have a ‘marathon’ holiday baking sessions baking up dozens of varieties of holiday goodies year-after-year. Since then, my favourite pastime was baking anything sweet of course to satisfy my incredible sweet tooth! My love for anything sweet led me to more baking experiments in the kitchen. For my Grade 6 Science Fair, the only project that kept me motivated about the science was baking, so I pitched the idea to my science teacher who said “Cake Baking” as a science project was never done before. The result was 2nd prize (who would have known?) and a pile of cakes to be eaten by me!

With the holidays fast approaching, I’m left thinking about what cookies and other sweet delights I’ll bake with my mother for the 2009 season. This year, a couple friends suggested we teach some of our most-loved masala-infused holiday goodies in a hands-on cookie exchange. What a great idea! In this class we’ll show you some of our treasured holiday favourites including:
– Crunchy Pistachio Cranberry Chocolate Chai Biscotti (the ideal dipping cookie served with your favourite hot beverage OR a warming cup of Masala Chai tea which will be served)
– Holiday Chai Spice Ladoos (Snowballs) – healthy, nutrient-packed and delicious! (see photo)
– Festive Garam Masala Gingerbread Squares
– Citrus Chai Spice Sugar Cookies
– Mango Curry Snow Crescents

Everyone will leave with a selection of each of the above cookies handily boxed for you to freeze or enjoy right away, a recipe booklet containing the evening’s offerings (including the hot beverages) and one tin of Arvinda’s Artisinal Spice Blends , either Arvinda’s Chai Masala or Garam Masala.

Details: Class fee per person is $60 (includes pre-class savoury snacks, beverages, recipe booklet, take home cookies, your gift of an Arvinda’s Artisanal Spice tin and a no-fuss holiday season!) To book your spot, go to: Nella Cucina for mor info or call: 416.922.9055.

We hope you can join us – we would love to share our holiday traditions with you!

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