A Night In India

I’ve traveled in nearly thirty countries, and there’s something special in each one. But my visit to southern India five years ago will forever leave an impression.

Aside from the people, colors, aromas, beaches, and markets, I absolutely loved the food. I took a few cooking classes and met with locals who shared their secrets to perfectly spicing up their tasty curries. I recall going home with a suitcase filled with bags of spices and oils ready to make their debut in my own kitchen. Two years later, I returned to India to visit New Delhi where the cuisine is quite different, but equally as delicious and full of flavors.

Again I learned from the masters as well as home cooks and street vendors, and returned home with all new ideas for Indian cooking. I’ve practiced a lot in the past few years, and I’ve been cooking with a new Indian friend, Leslie Samuels who recently moved to Oklahoma. Although his background is fashion in New York City, he has mastered the artistic simplicity of Indian cooking. And fortunately for me, he is eager to teach me everything he knows. After days of practicing and tweaking numerous curries and chutneys, we put on our first Indian dinner party in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Thirty hungry people arrived in my backyard which was transformed into an Indian garden party. For two days Leslie and I cooked curries, dal, chutneys, naan bread, chapati, fritters, stir-fry, and spicy barbecue meats. I counted more than 65 ingredients that we used in the entire menu. At the end of the evening we couldn’t have been more pleased with our successful results.

Leslie and I made a good team that night, and we plan to keep perfecting our spicy skills and sharing with others. Watch for more recipes appearing on my website, and Indian cooking classes scheduled in the upcoming months.

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