"Vegetarian World Food" at Townsville

My first class of three in Townsville was a resounding success. The venue was an intimate one – the front row of 16 attendees were seated at arm’s reach around the demonstration table.

the gang at Townsville:

This was our menu.

Orange, Currant and Pecan-studded Canadian Wild Rice & Basmati Pilaf

Malaysian Vegetable-stuffed Flaky Curry Puffs

Succulent & Spicy Eggplant Pickles

Seared Chili Panir Steaks with Sweet Potato Mash & Rocket Salad

Lemon-infused Dubai-style Salad of Fresh Dates, Toasted Turkish Bread, Hazelnuts, Bitter Greens, Fresh Herbs & Feta

Fruits with Hot, Sour and Sweet Peanut, Lime & Tamarind Dipping Sauce (Rujak Manis)

Here’s some feedback, sent to me bright and early this morning from Fiona (pictured, second from left, above).

‘Just had to let you know how inspiring your class was Kurma. My favourite things were watching you make cheese WOW, the eggplant pickles, that amazing salad, and straight from heaven I’m sure came the Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce for tropical fruits. Oh and the amazing side effect of asafetida powder – what a gas! Thanks for the inspiration. Cheers.’

rujak manis:

More fun tonight.

My Day at Wingham

My Saturday class at Wingham, near Taree on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, went very well.

Cookery School and Guesthouse manager Annette Greenhalgh was the ever-gracious host.

The attendees (mostly local residents of the Manning Valley area, but some from as far as Port Macquarie) especially enjoyed the hands-on component of the class.

poories are puffin':

Andrew, who helped me make the dough for the puffed crispy fried poori breads (cooking above) wrote to me yesterday:

“Thanks for a great class yesterday Kurma. The food was both wonderful and
inspirational. Food for thought as well. Have a great trip away and I`ll look
forward to your next visit to Wingham. Thanks, Andrew”

I’ll be back!

Cooking with Kurma in Belgium

I’m fine-tuning plans for my forthcoming world teaching tour, commencing in Belgium in a few weeks.

The venue is Radhadesh, Chateau de Petite Somme, near Liége, Belgium

Radhadesh:

Two-day cookery workshop will be held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July.

The 5-day cookery workshop runs from Tuesday 4 July to Saturday 8 July.

Last years classes were lots of fun. Here’s some pictures. Hope to see you there!

kurma in belgium:
friends:
herbs are a-chopping: mis-en-place:

Mirth

joe:

“Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and
glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind,
and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.”

– Joseph Addison (1672-1719) British Essayist

Winging to Wingham

Although the title of this post rolls off the tongue, I shall not be jetting off the runway this morning, but rather shaking, rattling and rolling my way north by train.

wingham:

Wingham, 10 minutes drive from Taree, is nestled in the lush Manning Valley of New South Wales’s Mid North Coast.

My warm and cordial host Annette Greenhalgh, who runs the quaintly-named Duck Under the Table Cookery School, will be at the station to meet me in tonight. This is my second visit to Wingham. Now I am heading to Sydney’s Central Station where my chariot awaits. More news tomorrow.

Orange Regional Cooking School

The near sub-zero temperature outside did little to quell the enthusiasm of these upbeat and food-savvy Orangeites.

orange 1:

Our menu of Indian delicacies intrigued, tempted and finally sated the appetites of our warm and friendly crew.

orange 2:

My culinary travels are coming so thick and fast that I can hardly keep up. On Friday I catch another train to Wingham, near Taree for more cookery fun and games.

Why I Write

pencil:

It was English dramatist & novelist W. Somerset Maugham who once said, “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.”

I cannot say for sure what Mr Maugham was inferring, but I would guess that he was speaking of an urge to write that was all-consuming, of a passion to communicate thoughts and ideas so strong that it impelled him, as if by force, to put pen to paper.

Many years ago I was in the beautiful town of Vrindavana, India, attending a writing course. My teacher, long-time well-wisher, writing guru and friend Bhurijana suggested – nay almost ordered me, imploringly – to write everyday. I took that to mean that each day I should write something, however small. Realisations, hopefully, something deep to share with whomever cared to read it. My Guru and spiritual preceptor Srila Prabhupada, himself a vastly prolific author, also urged his disciples to write on a daily basis.

I have since come to think that even if I have no profound realisations, then even a few lines on what I did the day before would be better than not writing at all.

The age of blogging has meant that what I write can now be shared with the world. It may not be, (and is hardly ever) earth-shattering stuff. And inevitably it is also unedited. Bhurijana would suggest, after I submitted an essay or short story to him, to ‘cut it in half’. That’s right. Remove 50% of the words and keep the same story intact. Trim it down so that every word counts. Slice off every superfluous phrase, relentlessly. I still try to do that.

I have also come to feel this urge to write something everyday as a regular function, like the need to drink water or eat something. I often wish I had something more moving or meaningful to say, but in the absence of that, I give you my daily blog, be it shallow or trite, as a record of my life to share. Some may think it egotistic, self-centred and self-indulgent, as if I am presuming my life is something special. Whatever it is, take it in the spirit that it is offered – the written evidence that I am trying to follow in the footsteps of my Spiritual Master Srila Prabhupada, my writing mentor Bhurijana, and W. Somerset Maugham.

The Road to Orange

This morning, as the sun rises over the vast Sydney sprawl, I’m sitting snugly in the XPT Train bound for Orange.

The city of Orange, 900 metres above sea level, is situated 250 kilometres west of Sydney in a beautiful part of central New South Wales. The area is renowned for fine agricultural produce, particularly fruit and gourmet foodstuffs. In case you’re wondering, Orange is too cool to grow Oranges. It was named after the Government Surveyor Major Mitchell’s friend, Prince William of Orange.

I’ll be teaching tonight at the Orange Regional Cooking School. I’ll keep you posted.

Grandpa Kurma

I’m still in Sydney. I spent a pleasant evening with my daughter Joelene and my latest grandson Toby. He’s a cutey, don’t you think?

Toby:

Toby 2:

I’m getting rugged up for tomorrow’s trip to Orange. Minus two degrees there tonight. Might even snow!