BOMBAY COOK CLUB 2017 CLASSES

We host one pop up curry night and one book club lunch every month, and you can find a summary of all our 2017 classes here.  

We announce dates a month in advance, to our mailing list and through social media.  To get early warning of class dates, make sure you're on the mailing list (you can join on the main cook club page). 

To make a booking, please click straight through to the bookings page on the right.

CURRY NIGHT

Introduction to Indian cooking (vegetarian)

A strongly vegetarian culture in India has its roots in the teachings of Buddha dating back to around 700-800 BC. Indians have always used a diverse array of spices and vegetables in their cooking, and Indian vegetarian food is some of the tastiest and healthiest in the world.

In this class we will show you the all the right spices to use, how to make your own gluten free batata vadas, green chutney, a tasty, vegetable packed dal, your own fresh paneer, a delicious roasted pumpkin, coconut and ginger curry, full of turmeric and pepper and a quick healthy capsicum and besan stir fry.

On the menu:

Batata vadas (potatoes coated in besan flour and fried)

Green coriander and coconut chutney

Vegetable dal

Palak paneer

Roasted pumpkin curry

Capsicum stir-fry

Pilau rice

Homemade kulfi

Introduction to Indian cooking (non-vegetarian)

Cooking homestyle Indian food is easy, once you have learnt the basic ingredients and techniques.  In this class we will show you how to use all the spices in our masala dabba, and how to select ingredients that complement each other.  We will show you the key steps of tempering spices, frying onions, getting the balance of flavour right, cooking the perfect rice and folding a samosa.

On the menu:

Spicy mince samosas

Green coriander and coconut chutney

Chicken and coconut curry

Vegetable vindaloo

Bombay potatoes

Pilau rice

Homemade kulfi

Curry: the basics

Curry is as much a technique as a dish.  Once you learn the basic steps of making a good curry (using different spices, tempering spices, using curry paste), you can use your imagination to create infinite different versions.  In this class we’ll show you each step of the process, and teach you some of the variations you can make to create your own delicious dishes. 

On the menu:

Lamb vindaloo

Roast pumpkin curry

Pickle fowl (chicken)

Yellow vegetable curry

Pilau rice

Mint and yoghurt raita

Homemade kulfi

Legumes and gluten-free Indian

Legumes are a tasty and important part of a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet.  In this class we will show you how versatile cooking with beans and lentils can be, with batata vadas and green chutney, a traditional dal, khichri (rice cooked with lentils), chick pea curry and moong dal chilla (pancakes). 

On the menu:

Batata vadas (potatoes coated in besan flour and fried)

Green coriander and coconut chutney

Vegetable dal

Khichri (rice and lentils)

Chick pea curry

Moong dal chilla

Homemade kulfi

Indian streetfood

Streetfood is one of the most delicious and well-known genres of Indian food.  Most Indian cities are crowded with streetfood vendors serving all sorts of incredible snacks, many of which are easy to replicate at home.  In this class we will show you how to make mince samosas, vada pav (batata vada in soft naan bread with green and red chutney), chicken tikka, poha (rice flakes fried with spices, onions and peanuts) and kachumber …. with kulfi for dessert!

On the menu

Spicy mince samosas

Vada pav (batata vadas in bread rolls)

Green chutney and red chutney

Chicken tikka

Poha (rice flakes)

Kachumber

Roti

Homemade kulfi

Cooking Biryani

Biryani is one of the tastiest one-pot meals in Indian cooking.  Consisting of layers of rich meat curry cooked with whole spices and fragrant saffron rice, biryani was first cooked at the courts of the Mughal emperors in the sixteenth century. 

In this class we’ll show you how to cook a traditional lamb biryani from scratch, serving it with a mint and yoghurt raita, a fresh kachumber salad and a seasonal vegetable stir-fried in whole spices. 

On the menu

Lamb biryani

Mint and yoghurt raita

Kachumber

Seasonal vegetable stir-fry

Homemade kulfi

Bohra food: comfort food

There are over 30 distinct regional cuisines in India, and Bohra cuisine is one of the lesser-known but most delicious styles of home cooked food, with its roots in Middle Eastern cuisine.  The Bohra community in India are descendants of a community of traders and merchants that made their fortunes on the Arabian Sea for thousands of years and then settled on the coasts of Yemen and India. 

In this class we will show you how to make a few classic Bohra dishes: spicy kheema samosas, dal chawal pallidu (lentils, rice and lentil stock soup), lagan ni seekh (spicy meatloaf), fried okra and seviyan kheer (noodle pudding) for dessert.  Trust us, these are recipes you will cook again and again at home!

On the menu

Kheema samosas

Dal chawal pallidu

Lagan ni seekh

Fried okra

Seviyan kheer

Anglo-Indian food

The British influence on Indian cuisine, evident from the eighteenth century onwards, was significant.  The British gave ‘curry’ its name, and came up with a hybrid style of English-Indian cooking that is still popular all over the world.  In this class we’ll show you how to cook a typical Anglo-Indian meal: curry puffs, green chutney, chicken and potato vindaloo, spicy mince cutlets and pilau rice.

On the menu

Curry puffs

Green chutney sandwiches

Chicken and potato vindaloo

Spicy mince cutlets

Kachumber

Pilau rice

Homemade kulfi

Spring curries

Curry is a well-liked winter food in Australia, but we eat Indian food all year round! In this class we will show you how to make a few fresh, lighter Indian dishes to see you through the spring. 

On the menu

Vegetable pakoras

Green chutney

Chicken and cashew curry

Stir-fried spring vegetables

Tomato pilau

Moong dal pancakes

Kachumber

Homemade kulfi

Winter curries

Curry is always a good idea in the winter.  Warming, spicy gravies, slow cooked meat, roasted vegetables, the possibilities are endless.  In this class we’ll show you how to turn whatever ingredients you have on hand into a few delicious, veggie packed winter curries.

On the menu

Lamb and roasted eggplant curry

Pickle fowl

Roasted pumpkin, coconut and ginger curry

Chickpea vindaloo

Pilau rice

Kachumber

Homemade kulfi

BOOK CLUB

Food in history: primitive and early vegetarian cooking in India (vegetarian)

“It is an obvious truth, all too often forgotten, that food is not only inseparable from the history of the human race, but basic to it.  Without food there would be no human race, and no history.”

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by the amazing book:

Food in History, by Reay Tannahill, a world history of food from prehistoric times to today.  Our menu will take us back to the beginning of Indian civilization in the Indus Valley and the world’s oldest curry cooked according to a 5,000 year old recipe, and to the roots of vegetarianism in Buddhist and Jain cuisine.

On the menu

Chickpea samosas

Green chutney

Eggplant and ginger curry

Traditional dal

Capsicum and besan stirfry

Red rice

Wholewheat roti

Gur papdi (atta and jaggery sweet)

White Mughals: Indian Mughal cooking

The Mughal Empire was once one of the richest in the world, founded in the sixteenth century by a descendant of the infamous central Asian ruler Genghis Khan.  Fabulous wealth could be found amongst the Mughal courts, in their buildings, art and food. 

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by one of our favourite books about Mughal times: William Dalrymple’s White Mughals, which tells the story of a passionate but tragic love affair between the British Resident James Kirkpatrick at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad and Khair-un-Nissa, a great niece of the Nizam’s Prime Minister. 

On the menu

Seekh kebabs

Chicken biryani

Malai kofta curry

Mint and yoghurt raita

Homemade almond and saffron kulfi

The Lusiads: Portuguese influenced Indian food

Luis Vaz De Camoes was said to be the “first European artist” to cross the equator.   His epic poem, The Lusiads, published in 1572, describes Vasco da Gama’s voyage from Portugal in 1498, to discover a sea route to India and seize control of vital maritime trading routes from Arab traders.  Da Gama’s discoveries heralded, for better or worse, the start of the great age of global discovery and trade in spices that would make Europe rich beyond measure. 

From a culinary perspective, these events had a profound impact.  Driven by the search for pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, the Portuguese in turn brought to India new ingredients from the Americas including chillies, tomatoes, potatoes and cashews.  They introduced techniques to make vinegar, bread, cheese and sweets.  Indian food would never be the same.

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a Portuguese influenced meal inspired by The Lusiads, and talk about the significant impact that European trade had on India and its cuisine.

On the menu

Traditional vindaloo spice mix

Lamb vindaloo

Pickle fowl

Spiced potatoes

Pilau rice

Crusty bread

Cashew burfi

Curry: a biography

“Curry is the product of India's long history of invasion.  In the wake of the Mughal conquerors, an army of cooks brought Persian recipes to northern India; in the south, Portuguese spice merchants introduced vinegar marinades and the chillies they had recently discovered in the New World; the British soon followed... When these new ingredients were mixed with native spices, they produced distinctively Indian dishes.”

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by Lizzie Collingham's Curry: A tale of cooks and conquerors.  This fabulous book recounts the history of India in food, and how a food like curry, so ubiquitous to Indian cuisine, developed as a result of India's early colonisation.

On the menu

Curry puffs

Green chutney

Chicken tikka masala

Lamb vindaloo

Bengali potatoes

Pilau rice

Homemade kulfi

 Shantaram: streetfood

That first Bombay minute... the sweet sweating smell of hope, the opposite of hate… the smell of gods, demons, empires and civilisations in resurrection and decay… the blue-skin smell of the sea… the heartbreak, and the struggle to live… the crucial failures and loves that produce our courage... the smell of ten thousand restaurants…. temples, shrines, churches and mosques… a hundred bazaars devoted exclusively to perfumes, spices incense and freshly cut flowers… it’s my first sense of the city – that smell, above all things – that welcomes me and tells me I’ve come home.”

There are many, many great books that describe the crazy city of Bombay, and Shantaram is definitely one of them.  A giant of a novel, a sweeping tale with the city as its real hero, bringing to life all of Bombay's heat, noise and colour.  Much of the action takes place on Colaba Causeway, and in particular the Leopold Restaurant, an institution for travellers to India and round the corner from where I was born, spent my earliest years and have some of my best memories. 

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a streetfood feast inspired by Shantaram and listen to some old Bombay stories.

On the menu

Bhel puri

Spicy mince samosas

Vada pav with green and red chutney

Chicken kebabs

Kachumber

Roti

Saffron and honey lassi

Mango kulfi

 The Lunchbox: tiffin class (vegetarian)

The Lunchbox is one of our favourite, and one of the sweetest movies of recent times.  Set in Bombay, it tells the story of a housewife who cooks the most delicious meals to send her husband for lunch in his tiffin in order to get his attention.  The tiffins end up being delivered to the wrong person, who strikes up a friendship with the housewife through the exchange of little notes. 

All around Bombay, tiffins are still prepared and sent off for lunches.  Tiny parcels of love delivered to family members all around the city through a complicated delivery system that still confounds many. 

 Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a typical tiffin meal inspired by The Lunchbox.  We will make simple but delicious home food: samosas, dal, curry, vegetables, rice and roti, and you can take your tiffin away with you at the end of the night.

On the menu

Potato samosas

Toor dal with spices

Vegetable curry

Pilau rice

Kachumber

Roti

 The Namesake: immigrant food

The Namesake is the fabulous author Jhumpa Lahiri’s first novel, the poignant story of Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli, a Bengali couple who move to the United States to study and raise a family. It is a sad and emotional story about a family caught between nostalgia and longing for the world they left behind, and the need to assimilate with the cultural norms of modern day America. 

It has often been said that food is one of the main ways for immigrants to stay in touch with the culture of their homeland, and not a page goes by in The Namesake where food is not discussed, cooked or eaten. Ashima Ganguli holds the food of her home so dear to her, the novel opens with her eating a make-shift bhel puri at her kitchen sink as she goes into labour with her first child, and ends with her last, big Christmas party, which she has lovingly catered, making all of her favourite Bengali snacks.

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by The Namesake, and talk about the idea and importance of ‘food from home’.  We will make Ashima’s favourite bhel puri, her potato and mince balls, Bengali fish curry, Bengali potatoes, Pilau rice and rasgullas (paneer balls in sugar syrup).

On the menu

Bhel puri

Potato and mince balls

Fish curry

Bengali potatoes

Pilau rice

Rasgullas (paneer balls in sugar syrup)

 A Fine Balance: Parsi cooking

Another sad but beautiful novel by Rohinton Mistry, a Fine Balance is set in Bombay in the 1970s, and follows the sad stories of four very different but intimately connected people, a lonely widow, 2 tailors and a student.  Mistry shares his Parsi faith with Dina Dalal, one of the novel’s main characters, growing up in his small community in Bombay in the 1950s. 

The Parsis are descendants of Zoroastrians who fled Iran during the Arab invasion in the 17th century, settling on the west coast of India.  Their cooking is homely but spicy, with the combination of lots of hot and sweet flavours.  Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by A Fine Balance, a feast of simple and delicious Parsi homecooking. 

 On the menu

Lamb and vegetable Dhansak

Patra ni Macchi (fish cooked with chutney in banana leaf)

Pateta par eeda (potato cooked with eggs)

Pilau rice

Lagan Nu Custard (baked custard)

Heat and Dust: Anglo Indian food in the colonies

One of a popular genre of English novel set in colonial India in the 1920’s, exploring the nuances, cultural complexities and relationships between Indians and the English, Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala tells the story of a wife of a British civil servant and a handsome Indian Prince.

The British has a significant influence on Indian food and the development of an Anglo-Indian cuisine that still exists today.  Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by Heat and Dust, and enjoy some typical Anglo-Indian fare.

On the menu

Curry puffs

Green chutney and cucumber sandwiches

Mince and potato chops

Chicken buffarth (stew)

Egg pilau

Spiced bread pudding

Maximum City: Bombay food

Maximum City: Bombay lost and found, was written by Suketu Mehta, a journalist who had left the city as a child and returned more than 20 years later to rediscover it.  He tells the story of a crazy Bombay, big, fast, rich, he meets gangsters and movie stars, policeman and poets, and finds a city rich in contrast and contradictions. 

Join us at the Bombay Cook Club to share a meal inspired by Maximum City: spicy, colourful, noisy food taken from all over India and made Bombay’s own.

On the menu

Bhel puri

Batata vada and chutney

Paneer samosas

Kheema pav

Chana bhatura

Kachumber

Homemade kulfi