Private Cooking Class with Beth Robinson!

Private Cooking Class with Beth Robinson!


I hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday season. Yesterday was again a special day for me since I gave a private cooking class at home for Beth Robinson and her sister. Beth’s sister was visiting her from DC for the holidays and Beth wanted to make her sister’s visit special by doing a cook off! They arrived at around 3 pm and I was delighted to meet both of them.

We had discussed menu options and we finally agreed on a wonderful authentic Indian menu. Beth had mentioned that they love Indian cooking and had eaten “Saag Paneer” which is Indian Cottage Cheese cooked with spinach/ greens. She said she loved it. So I decided to add “Kadai Paneer” which is Indian Cottage Cheese cooked in a wok with a bunch of Indian spices in a red tomato gravy!

We also prepared a Chick Pea Salad for starters since they both love chickpeas. Then came the fun part, we made a Rice Pilaf using Basmati Rice toasted with Cumin and Peas.

For the preparation of rice, it is always a good idea to rinse the rice in cold water 2-3 times to get rid of the starch so the rice does not stick and is fluffy once you cook it.

I used my age old pressure cooker that was passed on to my mother from her mother. It was exciting to share family experiences as Beth had mentioned that their mother also used a pressure cooker but was much heavier. They remembered her making a lot of stews in it as their dad loved stews.

Beth’s sister – I noticed was very good at chopping and when I asked her she said she does cook in the kitchen and Beth mentioned that she bakes a lot- Cakes especially!

So we had cooked the Chick Peas Salad, Rice Pilaf with Cumin and Peas, Kadai Paneer. I wanted them to cleanse their palette with a yogurt based “raita”. So we wen for a Pomegranate Yogurt Raita.

Here’s the funny party- It has always taken forever to remove the seeds from my pomegranate and as always, I was struggling with it. Beth was watching me and said to me” Can I try”? I immediately knew that she had a better technique in her mind and smiled and passed on the half sliced pomegranate to her.

All she did was place it in a big bowl with running water in it. And since the membranes are lighter than the seeds -they float on the top and since you have water running – the juices dont splash all over you making you look like you had a pomegranate bath!!!

I thought that was smart and all it took her was 5 minutes to get the seeds out. I was so happy that I learnt something new from this class.

The good part about all these cooking classes is that I also learn all the secret tips or techniques that were passed on to my students by their families:)))))

Finally- it was sweet time!!!! We made a Sweet Lentil Pudding with cashewnuts, raisins and cardamom. They loved it.

Finally I packed all the dishes so they could take it back home and share with their family. It was about 6:00 pm when we had finished.

I was exhausted but thrilled to have cooked with 2 wonderful women who shared such wonderful stories and experiences with me!

Thanks much for listening:) and appreciate your time.

Much love……….

Clicks from Hands on Cooking Class on Dec 9th 2012@ Bowery Culinary Center, Whole Foods, NY

Clicks from Hands on Cooking Class on Dec 9th 2012@ Bowery Culinary Center, Whole Foods, NY

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Its almost been more than a week since I completed my most awaited Hands On Cooking Class at Bowery Culinary Center at Whole Foods, Bowery in NY!

Its been so busy with Christmas and New Years coming up and everyday goes by so quickly with both my girls that it does make me feel I have been busy doing nothing(why am I beat by the end of the day!!!!) I could go to bed at 6 .00pm:)))) IF and there s this big IF I COULD!!!!As much as it is fun being with family, its a mother talking here:) just doing everyday chores for my family and kids is exhausting!!!

Anyways, enough with my rant:) I de stress while I cook and Cooking works like therapy for me! So on the day of my cooking class in NY, my husband dropped me and decided to take the girls to the museum close by. I enter this so warm and nicely organized kitchen at Whole Foods, Bowery and Min, the main cooking lead greets me in.

She is a super woman – I must tell you. She takes care of all the cooking demos as well as is a food writer, and organizes every single class. I was blown away by how organized she was. She had all the tables and chairs set up. We had discussed a menu plan for the class.

On the Menu: Lentil Soup with Cilantro; Crostini with Corn and Pesto; Quinoa with Indian-Style Tomato Sauce, Topped with Cucumbers and Cilantro; Baked Cauliflower with Pecans in a Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce; Caramelized Banana Slices with Basil and Coconut.(

She had every single ingredient measured out for every person who participated and everything was neatly arranged in trays that were labeled!

Min mentioned to me that my cooking class was a full house within the first 2 weeks they had published on their website. So we had 12 people who registered for my class and Min had divided them into 4 groups.

We decided to make Crostini with corn and Pesto first since we figured that way they have something to eat along while they are cooking:)It was such a fun group as always and I am going to be sharing the pictures I clicked with all of you.

The way it worked was I would show them how to put together every dish and they would watch and go to their respective stations and make it. I would always be around them for guidance or if they had any questions checking in and chatting!

At the end of our cooking class, they enjoyed every single dish they made and I once again felt this rush of joy and like the luckiest person ever alive since I can bet in a million years nothing gives me so much happiness than cooking for such fun group of people and to see the wonderful smiles in their faces enjoying every single bite of my currylicious dishes!


A huge Thanks to Min Liao and every single person who came to my cooking class:)Looking forward to many more……….

Much Love and Hugs…….