We spent about two hours watching D’Mello demonstrate how to make murg makhani (butter chicken), bombay aloo (seasoned, sauteed potatoes), kachumbar (spiced cucumber, onion, and tomato salad), roti (flatbread), basmati pilaf with peas, seviyan kheer (vermicelli pudding dessert), and masala chai (spiced Indian tea).
D’Mello does several things simultaneously as you would in your daily cooking. Her kitchen is not any kind of custom-made demonstration set up, but she arranges chairs along one wall of her kitchen so the class can easily watch her work.
D’Mello is a natural teacher, and she’s conscientious about showing what dishes look like at different points in the process. We helped her roll and cook the roti, and we all gasped like delighted kids when we saw the flat bread puffing up on the wire rack.
Afterwards, we had a feast of the aromatic dishes that had been tempting us for two hours, along with as much lassi as we wanted, under the chickee hut in D’Mello’s backyard. The butter chicken lived up to my expectations. We lingered long after the dessert, because the students in the class had a lot to talk about and because D’Mello is a great hostess.
D’Mello offers a variety of Indian cooking classes, including Street Foods of India, Flavors from the Beaches of Goa and Vegan Indian Village at $75 per class or $140 for two classes (advance payment is required). I want to “collect them all.”