I’ve got my camera working again, so I was able to take some shots of my weekend class at University of Western Australia Extension.

We cooked:

Chili Panir Appetizer
Pecan and Orange Wild Rice Pilaf
Crispy Battered Fresh Panir Cheese (Panir Pakoras)
Hot & Sweet Eggplant Pickles
Saudi Baharat-scented Chickpeas with Spinach (Hoummos bi Sabanik)
Roasted Cauliflower & Stir-fried Snow Peas with Cashews
Indonesian Fruit Platter with Hot and Sweet Dipping Sauce (Rujak Manis)

Our international menu was inspirational. The pilaf turned out very well. Wild rice is actually not a rice variety, but the seed of an aquatic grass that grows in ponds, lakes and waterways of the USA and Canada. So although it is not actually a grain, it is treated as such. It’s long, thin ash-brown to blackish grains cook to a chewy texture, with a slightly smoky flavour. Wild rice teamed up very well with basmati rice, and in this recipe was joined by continental parsley, slivered toasted pecans, currants and orange zest. Colourful and delicious. Here’s some orange zesting going on.


Our tender and delicious pickle from Maharastra, simultaneously hot sweet and sour, was a great success. The pickle is required to be stirred often in its early stages of preparation.

eggplant pickles:

Our crew had a couple of tastings of the fresh cheese we prepared and pressed early in the day, and the bulk of it we left for making succulent battered fritters.

The tradition of frying things in batter is popular throughout the culinary world. In Italy, there’s the delicious Neapolitan fritters known as pasta cresciuta, comprising of things like sun-dried tomato halves, zucchini flowers, and sage leaves dipped in a yeasted batter and fried in olive oil. The Japanese dip all sorts of things, including zucchini, eggplant and carrot into a light thin batter and serve the tempura with dipping sauce.

In India, pakoras (pronounced pak-OR-as) are almost a national passion. Cooked on bustling street corners, in snack houses, and at home, the fritters are always served piping hot, usually with an accompanying sauce or chutney. The vegetables can be cut into rounds, sticks, fan shapes, or slices. The varieties are endless. Panir pakoras are a great luxury, and they can be served with a variety of sauces and chutneys; we served them with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, and the eggplant pickles.

panir pakoras:

Our crew of 18 took lunch in one of the luxurious private dining rooms, a grand finale to a successful morning mix of learning, fun and gourmet eating.

enjoying lunch:
Posted by Kurma on 14/2/06; 7:20:47 AM

Life and Travel

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