Thursday, September 20, 2018
Tutorials for sale @

  View Jennifer Kumar's LinkedIn profile Skype Me™!
Apr 19

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Monday, April 19, 2010

This is a video describing how I prepared to teach a cooking class in Indian cuisine: Palak Paneer (fried cheese cubes in spinach gravy), dhal (lentil soup) and raita (yogurt salad). Thanks for watching.

Tips on Giving an Indian Cooking Class from Authentic Journeys on Vimeo.


I talked, then wrote the transcripts- I am coming to realize I don’t talk in grammatically correct English! Oops!!

Hi Everyone, I am Jennifer Kumar from Authentic Journeys and Alaivani.com. How are you?

Today is April 8, 2010, and it’s the first time I am doing a cooking class, and I’m gonna get paid for it, so I am pretty excited! I’m a little nervous. The camera might actually be a little bit shaky, not only because I am nervous but because I have never held a camera out in front of my face before. But, the reason I am making this video is to show anyone out there who is interested in giving a cooking class what’s all required.

This is the facilities. This is all the stuff I bought. Pretty much 95% of all the stuff you see on the table and on this shelf is all mine. I’ll tell you what I brought.
This is a frying pan, of course.
This is my cup for the Magic Bullet. You can see the Magic Bullet way at the end, maybe. There, that gray thing.
Two bowls for serving the food in. Some tops to the bowls.
Have to bring a knife, so I brought it in this protective ‘thingy’. But, I don’t really like to carry knives around, but kinda need to do that if you’re gonna cut vegetables.
Two sauce pans, one non-stick pan, which I’m gonna use for making paneer, that way it won’t stick to the bottom. Some people may prefer to use this metal pan to make paneer, but whenever I’ve used it I burnt it and couldn’t get it off the bottom and I had to scrub the pan so I prefer to use the non-stick. I bought the saucepan, too.
Some metal bowls for serving the food. You can see my reflection in that.
A whole bunch of different utensils like wooden gadgets and some metal gadgets. You can see this is one from India. This one’s used for deep frying. I am not gonna do any deep frying, but never know when that comes in handy. Some silicones; I use these to stir the milk when I make paneer. It’s just kind of easier for me. This is another utensil, it’s actually from India. This is use for making dosa, to take the dosa off the pan. I am not actually gonna use it for this purpose this class, but maybe next time.
And, then I have a colander. You can see the colander inside that. It’s used to drain spinach, but I’m not gonna need that today because I have another idea.
And, this is a pan I just bought the other day, it’s kind of a wok slash frying pan kind of thing. It’s pretty good.
This pan here is actually something that the institute has. It has this insert which I took out because I cooked the spinach and it’s done. So, I am just waiting for it to cool down so that I can grind it into a paste. But, the thing that I like about this utensil is that once I make the paneer, later, I’m gonna turn this guy, this colander, upside down, put the paneer in the cheesecloth and let it drain through this naturally. So, it will be kind of nice, a different thing to do.
I did bring this plastic container, that’s underneath.
And, I brought, this one, this pan. (This I didn’t bring, this goes to this thing here.)
This is my American masala dhaba, or spice rack. Cumin, which I marked. I only have two marked: cumin and coriander. Sometimes I forget if I’m just lookin’ at it unless I smell it. Coriander. Peppercorn. Ajwain seeds. The way I can tell the difference is they’re smaller than the next one which is cumin seeds. These are cumin seeds, and turmeric powder. Brought the oil, garam masala, I coulda bought my homemade one, but in case the students like it then they actually know they can go to the grocery store, the Indian grocery store and buy this one. They wouldn’t be able to buy my homemade one. And, dal curry mix. This just makes life a whole lot easier. Salt. Vinegar.
Dal, to make the dal. I have masoor dhal, moong dhal, you can kind of see the yellowish dhal. And, this other container has dhal in it, too.
This is my silicone colander, which I won’t be using today, I don’t think.
I brought my bamboo and recycled cutting board.
Now, this is my Magic Bullet. This is a one cup size, the other was a two cup size. That’s the Magic Bullet.
And, these containers.
And some measuring spoons, measuring cup.

And food…and the utensils to eat with.
You can see the ginger and garlic paste, spinach, another one because I am gonna demo one way of making palak paneer then they can make it on their own. Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt. The plain. You can’t get the vanilla because then the raita won’t taste good. Milk, for the paneer. Tomatoes, red onions, they taste better in Indian food, I think than white.
Plates, then sponge and soap to clean the utensils. I have to clean everything before I go.
Then you can see other utensils, cups and plastic spoons and knives.
And, ready-made naan and American flatbread. I figured that’s just better than making roti and chapati, as it’s too much work all in one class.
I’m gonna be teaching palak paneer, dhal and raita.

I wanted to show this because as you can see it took me a long time to organize all this stuff. So, if you wanna give a cooking class you have to think about this. What does the institute where you’re teaching provide, what do they provide in the kitchen? And, sometimes depending on what you’re making, they may or may not provide those kind of utensils. Next week, I’ll show you that video when that comes, I’m gonna make idli/dosa. And, of course, an American kitchen won’t have an idli maker. I’ll also be showing some American ways I learned to make idli using American utensils. It’s gonna have a different shape, but anyway…..

So, you can see all the different things required, it takes a bit of planning, and …. a lot of interest in getting all this stuff here. Luckily, I had one of the students of the institute, the school, I am actually at a middle school, one of the students in the middle school helped me out, so…..

I just wanted to share this video with you, and I hope you enjoyed watching it. Maybe you learned something. In case you ever want to give a class, now you have some idea of what to do. I also did make pamphlets and I made some worksheets, not worksheets, but I printed out the recipes so they can refer to it at home. So, that was the other thing I did.
That’s the end of this video. Thanks for watching. Leave your feedback. And.. ehh…. Happy cooking!!
Have a good day. Thanks for watching."


Next video in this series: Tips on teaching a South Indian Cooking Class- Dosa/Idli/ Coconut chutney


 Thanks for spending your time on Alaivani.com.


Jennifer Kumar is a cross-cultural teacher, trainer and lifestyle adjustment mentor helping people adjust to American and global lifestyles through a variety of methods, including Indian cooking classes. She was educated in India as a social worker and in America as a life coach. Feel free to see her website - Authentic Journeys - Lifestyle and Cultural Transition Services.

Last year, I watched a documentary of Rachel Ray. Interesting that she lived in New York State, too, but more so was learning from her experience! She shared the trials, tribulations, joys and wonders of organizing her first cookery programs on TV, which are in fact, cooking classes. I learned a lot from her. Influenced by her documentary, I decided to make a video of my experience preparing to teach an Indian cooking class in Rochester, New York recently.

Enjoy and Bon Apetit!



Copyright ©2010 Jennifer Kumar, LMSW Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor


1 comments so far...

Re: Tips on Giving Indian Cooking Class and Tidbits about India's Food Cultures....


By shaila Touchton on   Monday, April 19, 2010

Your name:
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment    Cancel  
Search For Articles on India/Hinduism/Indian Culture

Copyright 2007-2011 by Jennifer Kumar