This week’s bookalokal Indian verification is written by my wife Paola, as I had to spend the weekend ferrying the kids over to their grandparents in Genova. Over to Paola:
We have had various Indian home-cooked meals recently thanks to bookalokal, but this one was different: a BBQ cooking class. When I signed up, I thought we would learn a few useful marinades and then have a BBQ together, but in fact we did so much more. There were eight of us and we prepared (and subsequently ate) seven courses over the course of four very full, and yet fun, hours. Some parts were more hands-on, and at other times we watched Nikki prepare the ingredients, but the mix really worked in getting everything done.
The first thing we did was making paneer (Indian cheese) from scratch, which totally blew my mind: it was so easy! Just bring milk to the boil, add vinegar, let it curdle and strain it:
Then we left it in the cloth and put a heavy pan on top to get all the moisture out.
While the paneer was resting, we made mint and coriander chutney:
We then prepared the marinade to rub in the chicken legs for the tandoori chicken recipe:
Here we cheated. Since both the chicken and the paneer need to absorb the marinade for at least two hours (if not overnight) Nikki had already done it for us the night before. So while we did learn how to prepare the marinade, we actually ate the chicken and the paneer that she had prepared earlier.
The star behind the BBQ class is, well, the BBQ. Unfortunately the weather turned horrible, so we ended up cooking the food in the oven. Still, it was very nice and in the handouts Nikki did have some useful tips on how to cook the meat both in the BBQ and in the oven for optimal results.
The tandoori chicken went in the oven:
While the chicken was cooking, we prepared a chickpea and potato salad as well as a tomato and cucumber one (kachumbar). In the process we also learnt useful tips about Indian ingredients and spices and where to source them.
We made skewers with the marinated paneer, onions and peppers:
By then the chicken was ready, so we sat down to eat all of this, while the paneer Tikka skewers were cooking.
Chicken leg, kachumbar salad, Indian-style potato salad and spicy chutney:
The paneer is ready! Yummy…
By this point we were pleasantly stuffed. And Nikki reminded us that we still had to make the Seekh kebabs:
We all got our hands dirty:
And yes, we just about managed to eat a couple of those too (although a few people preferred to take them home instead).
All in all a lovely afternoon and some great, easy recipes that could very easily be made again and again at home. I’ll be back for more!
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