Tonight saw me adulting in one of the best ways. Being invited to join in an Indian cooking lesson with Pamala Pillay was something that I’ve been mulling over for a while now, but just somehow haven’t gotten to. You know how it is, life just always seems to get in the way.
Finally, Pamela convinced me to book a class and join in on the fun. Knowing Pam from an encounter almost two years again,having some mutual friends, and having a small amount of contact on Facebook, I felt right at home, from the word go. Pam is a gracious host and her immaculate kitchen, beautifully set up for the evening with all the needed ingredients, pots and pans, and an inviting table set for the end result when we would finally get to taste her cooking.
I must admit, for me the jury was out when I learned that on the menu tonight was : fish curry, fish and prawn biriyani, and fishcakes. The fishcakes and prawns I could do, but oh the irony…married to a fisherman by trade and yet I am an extremely picky fish eater!! And believe me when I say “extremely picky”, I mean extremely picky.Hubby has long learnt not to bother with bringing any fish home, unless he has cleared it with me beforehand. Poor man; he catches the fish that literally pays for the roof over our heads,our clothes, and all the rest. However, his family couldn’t be bothered, unless it comes in a tin, with batter or maybe smoked. I do, however, have one firm favorite fish that he could bribe me with: kingklip. But, it being very scarce and not on the list of fish that they catch in Mauritius, I’ve had to do without for a very long time.
So imagine my thoughts when I saw all the fish Pam was cooking tonight.I watched with trepidation; my interest definitely captured as she magicked some of the fish into a fish curry and some in a fish and prawn biriyani. In the meantime, she had us snacking on poppadum’s and an awesome chili sauce, as well as an amazing crab curry. The crab curry and the fish cakes that followed were definitely two of my favourite dishes on the table. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Pam use all of the different spices; spices I’ve heard of, and a few others that I definitely have never seen or heard of before. But ,spices I enjoy. I like learning about new ones and I loved the chilis and whole garlic pieces that were added for extra flavor. Chili and garlic is very big in my house and goes down well with most dishes. In my opinion, at least. :p
During all 0f this cooking, lots of talk and laughter ensued as myself, Pamala, and the other two ladies got to know each other better and compared stories about our teenagers and husbands. Not that I’m telling; what happened at Pam’s Kitchen and Deli stays in Pam’s Kitchen and Deli…..
We finally got to sit at the beautifully set table and got to sample the fish curry and fish biriyani with a very nice sauce put together from maas and finely chopped mint, not very different from my favorite tzatziki that I often eat. Pamala dished up and we dug in. Smelling the lovely curry aromas half the evening certainly went a far way in convincing me to try these dishes with an open mind. And all that is left to say is….Pamala Pillay makes a stunning fish curry and fish biriyani. I might never cook it as my family won’t eat it, but if I had to eat it once in my life, tonight was a good night. The fish curry had the most divine sauce and coupled with brinjals and chili and whole garlic pieces swimming in the brightly colored tomato base, it went down a treat. The biriyani was a whole different kettle of fish; excuse the pun.. 🙂 Colored long grained rice and lentils layered with fish and prawns that were pre-marinated in masala, ginger and garlic. The prawns were a winner for me personally as I just love prawns, but I loved the colors, tastes, and smells that completed this dish.
If I could leave you with one thought it would be this:never be scared in life to try new things, taste new foods, learn new skills. Open up your mind to the unknown, the things you’ve never done, the foods you’ve never tasted. Be brave, be courageous, and don’t pass up a chance to have fun. I certainly am glad that I opened up my mind to a new experience tonight. I’ve met some awesome new ladies, I’ve tasted new foods and I’ve learned new ways of cooking. Cherry on top was a night out having some fun with likeminded people.
Be sure to contact Pam to book your class and just watch out…I might sit there beside you as I am definitely planning on going back.
Find Pam on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pamskitchenanddeli/