Spice up your life at Mark Twain Library

Amala Hold will give a hands-on program on Indian cuisine and spices during a two-part program at the Mark Twain Library on Feb. 28 and March 7.

Winter blahs getting you down? Come to the Mark Twain Library Thursday, Feb. 28, and Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 when Amala Hold, founder of the Connecticut School of Indian Cooking, will give a hands-on program entitled “Indian Cuisine: A Primer on Spices.”

Week one will be an introduction to Indian spices. Smell, taste, and feel the distinctive characteristics of turmeric, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, mustard, fenugreek, fennel and more. Learn the best way to buy, store, and group these spices and herbs for ease of use. Discover how they “dance in unison” and “play in harmony,” as well as the trinity of spices used to make your own curries.

Week two will introduce techniques such as how to squeeze tamarind juice, how to use a whole coconut, and how to soak and sprout beans. During this session, there will also be a discussion of the differences between northern and southern Indian cuisine, as well as samples to taste. Find out why so many of Ms. Hold’s friends and students say, “I actually might try some of these recipes. They seem so simple to make!”

Amala Hold, who now lives in Redding, was born and raised in India where she often helped her mother cook meals for her large family. When she came to the United States to pursue a graduate degree in computer engineering, she used her “engineering brain” to dissect and de-mystify the science of Indian cooking for her western friends and family. She has appeared on television’s “Connecticut Style” for a number of cooking segments and loves to teach private and semi-private cooking classes.

Admission to both weeks of the Mark Twain Library program is free, but seats are limited and reservations  are recommended. To sign up, go online to marktwainlibrary.org, phone 203-938-2545, or sign up at the circulation desk.  Sponsored by the Mark Twain Library Programming Committee.

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