On Wednesday 11 March the first pop up cookery course was held at Handley Organics. Rayeesa of Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen in Mordiford gave 3 hours of instruction on cooking Indian veggie food using Handley Organic’s own organic veggies.
We cooked – and ate – chipatis, Meeti Dahl (lentils), rice, aloo mehti (potato with fenugreek leaf), mixed vegetable curry, and aubergine and tomato chutney. There were lots of tips along the way: the right way to cook onions, how to store spices for maximum freshness (in the freezer), not to fear ghee but use it sparingly for flavour (butter is no longer regarded as unhealthy and in any case ghee is the most healthy form of butter fat). We tried our hand with a dahl mathani – a masher that looks a bit like a wooden mallet with a long handle – and a chipati rolling pin.
We started at 6.30 p.m. and three hours later a very flavoursome and spicy meal was ready. A little hot for some? Caroline Handley was available throughout and nipped downstairs returning with yoghurt and coconut milk from her shop to compliment the meal.
There will be more pop up cookery evenings at Handleys. Rayeesa will be back and other chefs will be invited. Keep an eye on Handley’s facebook page or ask in the shop for details.
If you have not yet ventured upstairs in the mini emporium that Handley Organics has become, it is worth pointing out that the shop carries the largest range of spices in Ledbury. Purchased in bulk from an organic wholesaler, the prices are reasonable and Caroline says their turnover is very high so the spices are always fresh. Organic ghee is also available in the shop.
At the end of the evening Rayeesa’s Indian sauces – made from all fresh ingredients and sold frozen – were available to buy.