Volkshochschule Regensburg Cooking Course: Indisch

A local friend of ours and novice cook drummed up some interest in a cooking course, and we managed to fill up the Volkshochschule Regensburg‘s classroom kitchen on a recent Tuesday evening. Sarah and I attended with some new friends and some old ones to get our Indian cuisine on.

All of the ingredients are available locally in Regensburg, if you know where to look. I liked finding out pure German words for food items I’d only ever used in English. Examples:

German English
Gelbwurzel (Kurkuma?) Turmeric
Lorbeerblätter Bay Leaves
Hartweizen Grieß Semolina
Bockshornklee Fenugreek

It was a very relaxed, low-pressure evening. Our docent was very mild-mannered — perhaps even a bit too much so for typical German groupwork tastes. It seemed she knew what she was doing, but we sometimes needed to repeat our questions to her to decide how to proceed in a preparation step. But it was all low-stress and low-risk. We made Vorspeisen (chai, chapatis and parathas with cilantro chutney), Hauptspeisen (Mater Paneer, Aloo Gobhi, Cumin Rice with Cashews and a Raita) and a Nachspeise (Halva).

The paneer took the longest, so that had to get started right away.

Sarah and I took over the chutney task. It came out well. Turns out there’s no big secret to getting fresh cilantro in Regensburg: only a couple stores stock it, and it’s flown in from exotic places typically just once per week.

There was time for a short chai break.

I was in charge of the chapatis, and I was particularly keen to get the texture right. I needed our docent to demonstrate the kneading technique a couple times, but it all worked out in the end.

Paratha = chapati + dried fenugreek leaves + salt + oil

We went through a lot of ginger that evening: in the chai, in the halva dessert, and in the main courses. I love ginger, so that was fine with me! I am kind of proud that other students saw me peeling it quickly and efficiently with nothing more complicated than a teaspoon and said “whoa, I didn’t know you could do it that way!”

Kurkuma Peas

Finished products, ready to eat!

Not everybody was completely jazzed about all the flavors, but nobody went home hungry. Or empty-handed: we all brought Vorratsdosen. The halva was particularly good the next morning for breakfast. The main dishes’ flavors intensified over night.

We were impressed with the classroom’s equipment (barring the knives, but perhaps that’s to be expected) and roominess. Clean-up was the students’ responsibility as well, but with so many hands available, it didn’t seem to take long at all. It was a great way to spend an evening and the cost was very reasonable. We’re looking forward to another session some time.

4 thoughts on “Volkshochschule Regensburg Cooking Course: Indisch”

  1. Mandi

    Wow, that looks like a lot of fun! I should check that out here in Berlin.

    1. cliff1976

      It was! Kind of an international flavor there, too — 2 full Americans, 2 half-Americans, and one Irish person meant fully one quarter of the students weren’t native Germans.

      We’re looking forward to another one in the next few months — trying a new Geschmacksrichtung, like maybe Thai or something.

      1. Ann

        Seriously? If something pops up before the beginning of August, let me know! I’d love to hop in the kitchen and learn something new before heading back State-side!

  2. krishwala

    Yum- I’ve thought about teaching but am not sure how to approach the situation so I am happy to do it all in my own home for 2 people. :)

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