Okay, I fell off the planet again. I cannot blame illness or anything else. It is summerish and I have been out drinking WAY too much. Oh, and I was in Wales and they don't have the internet there. (If you have been there or are Welsh, Shhh. Don't let on that it is a real place)
I was actually only in Wales for one night and it was lovely. So Green. No wonder Edward I rode over there and set up camp, proclaiming that the first born shall henceforth be the Price of Wales. Okay. the Sticklers among you will say, "but Edward the II was the Earl of Chester and Flint. He wasn't the Prince of Wales." and to that I say to you. Shush. It started with Edward the First in 1301. It didn't take off until the Black Prince (Ed the V) was dubbed. New fads take time to catch on, especially when there is no cell phone service in Wales.
On to the 'meat' of the blog for today.
Last night I went out to a cooking class in Parsons Green, a place aptly called The Kitchen. It was a vegetarian Indian Menu composed of Spicy Lentils, Bombay potatoes, Lemon Rice (Elumichai Saadam) a Raita, and Dosai. I am told it was a Classic Thali Meal. We were greeted by a lovely lady named Rachel who gave us wine and chatted with us while we waited for the late-comers. Eventually, we met up with our Chef (Jimi Gill) who whipped up a nice Lassi to start with and gave us an overview of what we would be making.
He put us to work right away chopping the hell out of some white onion. Turning it into a paste more or less. We asked if we could grate the onion or toss it in the processor and were promptly --although not in a Ramsey-way-- told that the processor was a bad idea. It produces a lot of onion juice that can turn your curry bitter. Who knew?
So we chopped and chopped until he was satisfied with our work, (this is a cooking class, you don't just get to drink wine and watch. They already have that, it is called Television) then he brought us around to the cooker to show us how to toast spices and build up the layers of flavor that were going to be our Lentil Curry.
After the lentils were stewing away, we whipped up the bombay potatoes, the riata, and the rice then we all tried our hand at making the Paper Dosai. They proved to be impossible. We tried them in a cold pan getting warmer: The stuck like glue. We tried a warm pan: Stuck. We tried a hot pan filled with boiling butter: Sort of stuck. To quote our Chef, making Dosai is "Fucking Hard". Not sure what we were doing wrong, but we gave up and ate the other stuff. It was delicious. Just spicy enough that the riata kept you on an even keel. Nothing like a Vindaloo that you only order on a dare.
In short, it was a grand time. If you are in the area, you should try it out. Tell them I sent you and I am sure you will all get no special treatment. I am not famous. I will leave you with the greatest pic I saw at Tintern Abbey. "The Devil Tempting St. Bernard." I think something else is going on here. You be the judge.