Suneeta's Indian Cuisine


Reflections on the February Culinary Tour of India
 April, 2009

The culinary tour of India in February with a group of 10 very serious 'foodies' was very successful. We enjoyed regional and local foods in all the areas that we visited, and had cooking classes in two homes in Kerala. Each was exceptional and very different from the other. Our gracious hosts demonstrated local specialties and then we feasted on dish after dish of astonishing fresh home-cooked food.

At many of our hotels I had arranged for demonstrations of dishes that are typical of the area, including tandoori food from a portable tandoor set up poolside for our group in Agra. In the hotel in the Periyar Hills in Kerala we saw an amazing demonstration of the famous mouth-watering Kerala Porotta, which is a richer version of the North Indian paratha.

A night spent on a ketuvellam (a luxurious version of a converted Kerala rice boat) gliding on the peaceful Lake Vembanad was a welcome respite from the riotous cities of the north and we felt like we were living the life of the lotus eaters as we sailed past spotless little villages with gleaming freshly painted churches, people bathing in the lake and birds of many hues singing their hearts out. Not to mention the stars that shone so brightly over the lake. We had 2 ketuvellums, a three-bedroom and a two bedroom each with its' tiny kitchen in the back. The 2 chefs turned out identical menus but each added their particular touch. We anchored side by side and dined together under the stars. It was magical.

A visit to the famous Mylapore Temple in Chennai was another memorable experience. Hindu temples are vibrant and very much a part of daily life in India. People come in on the way to work and say a quick prayer to the diety before going off on their daily routine. Families come in to bless a new baby or to bless a betrothed couple. Others come in to ask for blessings before an important examination or starting a new job. We watched as people wafted in and out of the temple, each with a different mission.

Apart from the famous Taj Mahal and the grand monuments and forts of India, its' people are it's most valuable asset, and visitors come away with memories of a country that is colorful, chaotic and happy.



2 – 2 ½ pounds clams
1½ cups frozen grated coconut, thawed
4 inch-piece cinnamon
1½ teaspoons peppercorns
10 cardamom pods, cracked open
8 cloves
4 blades mace (optional)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Clams In Dynamite Masala   »



Hello Suneeta!!!

I wanted to write and say how much I enjoyed your curry workshop last night at In Good Taste in Portland. It was FANTASTIC!! I have a much richer understanding of Indian spices, regional differences and cooking techniquies. I am very excited to try more dishes at home. The historical information added a real richness to the class.I would love a class on a traditional Indian meal start to finish.

Thank you very much.
Lisa Thum (former Houston resident)

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