I love to eat and I love to try out new things. But what I really really like, is to learn how to cook wonderful dishes. I don’t have the ambition to become a professional chef, but I enjoy the process of making something delicious from scratch. To fulfill this ambition I decided to cook more on my own, but also to attend some cooking workshops to learn from the experts. During my search I stumbled upon this Authentic Pakistani Food Workshop and I decided to give it a shot and learn more about the Pakistani food culture.
The workshop was held in Amsterdam West by Faiza together with her husband and sister-in-law Rosina. We were welcomed with some fresh mint tea and homemade ice tea. As the workshop started, we learned about the importance of spices in the Pakistani kitchen.
The main focus of the day was preparing the different ingredients for a chicken curry dish with chicken korma, pilaf rice and chapatti. We started with masala, the basic sauce for this dish. But if you would make a version with fish, other meat or a vegetarian version, you will still prepare the exact same sauce. Masala consists of a mix of fresh spices and is also called ‘garam masala’. This means ‘hot mix of spices’ in Hindi.
As Rosina explained to us the steps of making the masala, she also showed us the different spices that they used. It was interesting to see that some spices were added immediately in the pan after the oil was added. I always thought that spices should be put at the end, but now I know it depends on your dish. Putting the spices in the beginning will give the herbs the time to get their flavor out. Be aware that you should not put the heat too high!
After the explanation we watched Faiza make the masala. After the sauce was ready, the vegetables were prepared for making a vegetarian version of the chicken curry. Faiza already prepared the chicken version another day.
While the vegetarian curry was simmering, Rosina explained how to make the pilaf rice. This rice was going to be cooked in a homemade broth. Before that the rice was soaked in water for half an hour to make the rice become softer. They used jasmine rice for the dish.
While the rice was cooking we learned how to make chapatti, a flat bread. Here I learned how to flip the dough to make it more round and flat. I also learned that if the dough is in the pan and you press on it with a towel, it will pop up. While one group struggled with the dough, some other participants watched how the mango lassi was made, which will was also being served during the dinner.
After all the hard work, we could sit down at the table and enjoy the meal. As a starter we got delicious shami kebab and potato kebab which were served with mango chutney and salad. We also had mango lassi garnished with chopped almonds.
As main course we ate the chicken korma with pilaf rice and chapatti. They had to warm up the chicken korma and you had to see the pan, it was huge! Enough to feed the whole table and even more people!
And last but not least we received a carrot dessert with ice cream. It had a little bit of silver on top of it. I loved the carrot dessert! It tasted like a very good carrot cake!
As the day ended I was stuffed. I really loved following the workshop. Faiza and the rest were very friendly and answered all my curious questions about the cooking process. Too bad we couldn’t make all the dishes ourselves, because that would take too much time. I learned a lot, also some cooking tips which I can use for cooking in general. We received all the recipes afterwards so we can try them out at home. I would love to come another time to learn more!
Are you curious about the Pakistani food culture and do you want to meet other fellow foodlovers? Faiza gives a cooking meetup at least once a month. You can read all about it on her Meetup-page: Authentic Pakistani Food Workshop
This post was originally posted on The SmartPage.