Being able to experience the culture of India during my Hilton Honors Teacher Trek (#HHTeacherTreks) has been amazing… And culture includes food! I love cooking and food, and love Indian cuisine, so taking Chef Lokesh Mathur’s Jaipur Cooking Classes was an exciting opportunity! I am so glad because it has been one of the big highlights of our trip!
Chef Lokesh has cooked for crown princes and emirs throughout the Mideast, he has worked in the hotel industry, and taught at colleges for years. He is an interesting and congenial person who is also a great conversationalist. Equally enjoyable was meeting his lovely wife and family, with whom we had dinner.
Our class was simply a fantastic experience, and we came to appreciate it as an excellent value as well. You can choose your style of menu from several regional variations, and you can choose from veg or non-veg options. Lokesh picked us up from our hotel, presented us with printed menus for the multiple dishes we were about to prepare while we got to know one another over cups of chai. We were then introduced to the numerous ingredients for the many wonderful dishes, including detailed discussion of Indian spices.
Over the course of the next several hours, we prepared multiple and varied dishes, including desert, breads, chutneys, and the spicy meat dishes I requested. Techniques were covered in a very understandable and accessible manner. When we got too hot and needed break, we had more chai. 🙂
The very full night resulted in several wonderful dishes, including the fantastically flavored meat dishes I requested. I loved making the very ubiquitous naan flatbread, and the chutney we made was the best I’ve tasted. My favorite dish, although hard to choose, was probably the Rajasthani Lamb, complete with the very flavorful garlic, peppers, and irresistible lamb stock.
After about 5 house of great conversation, demonstration, preparation, and cooking, we sat down to eat the many wonderful dishes we prepared in the company of Lokesh’s charming wife and her visiting sister. It was simply wonderful, and at least as enjoyable as the cooking lessons. My one regret is that I didn’t get a photograph of the table with all the completed dishes. After about six fantastic hours, Lokesh boxed up the food we couldn’t finish, and he delivered us back to our hotel.
If you are the slightest bit interested, I really encourage you to check out Lokesh’s Jaipur Cooking Classes. I sincerely hope I will one day get the chance to visit Lokesh and his family again for another round of classes. Meanwhile, I am taking with me a small piece of Indian culture that I will forever relish — something better than any souvenir from a gift shop!