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Cooking Curry with the Spice Guru

With a really cold and wet week in die Winelands, last night’s curry cooking class with Chef Vanie Padayachee couldn’t have been timed better.

Sixteen ambitious home cooks joined the Spice Guru from famed Franschhoek restaurant L’Quartier Francais in the state-of-the-art Leopard’s Leap kitchen. Not only did she share her father’s treasured recipe for a Durban Chicken Curry, but also the history behind the Indian use of spice and a magnitude of techniques and tricks to fine tune the amateur’s attempt at cooking an Indian meal.

The class started off with a thorough introduction of the various spices. Did you know that curries are mostly made from the so called “C” spices? Cassia, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, chillies and cinnamon.

, Cooking Curry with the Spice Guru

Garam Masala spices and a cookbook with the detailed recipe and more information on Indian spices and cooking.

Regional cooking is also a very important concept and the reason behind the various styles of curry. In Northern India, dishes are rich and creamy and spices are hot – meaning rich in flavour rather than chili. In Southern India flavours are lighter and fresher using coconut, tamarind and lime. Central India is diverse and spices vary from cumin and coriander to turmeric and chili and panch phoron (a combination of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard and nigella seeds).

Cooking from well-equipped individual cooking stations, each student had the opportunity to cook a mouthwatering Indian meal from scratch. Each step of the detailed recipe was first illustrated before the eager participants tried their own version and Chef Vani was on hand to help and guide and give tips – all done with patience and humour.

, Cooking Curry with the Spice Guru

Roti and Red Wine

The  menu consisted of her father’s Durban Chicken Curry, Roti, Basmati rice and two sambals – a tomato sambal and cucumber and mint raita.

, Cooking Curry with the Spice Guru

The ultimate meal – Durban chicken curry, roti, basmati rice, tomato sambal and cucumber and mint raita

A selection of Leopard’s Leap wines were served to ensure enough confidence in the kitchen and the ultimate meal was paired with the delicious 2012 Culinaria Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc – a beautiful partner to the curry flavours.

If you missed out, do not fear, this Winter Warmer Curry class repeats next Wednesday, 21 August.

R 650 per person
Contact: 021 876 8002 or

Date &Time
Date(s) – 21/08/2013
10:00 am


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