La Trobe Weekend

Last weekend was spent teaching on two of the Southern Hemisphere’s most extensive university complexes: La Trobe.

Here’s a glimpse of our first class at the Lifeskills Cafe, on La Trobe’s Bundoora Campus, a couple hours drive out of Melbourne:

Bundoora Class:

Our crew are poised to leap down from the tabletops and indulge in our 4-hour cookery extravaganza.


Cheesemaking, as usual, played an important part of our workshop.

cheese man:

“Unhomogenised milk always makes the best cheese”, says Kurma. “Notice how the cheese is firm yet still juicy. A heavy fifteen minute pressing is all it takes for the perfect textured cheese”.

go cheese man go:

Our mission, should we choose to accept it: to cut the cheese into juicy cubes and fry it in fresh ghee, fold it through aromatic fresh tomatoes and green peas to produce the famous matar panir.

matar panir:

Next day we did it all again, at Cafe Flavours on the Bendigo Campus

Bendigo class:

Together, under the banner of �Classics from the Subcontinent�, we again prepared from scratch the following delicious dishes:

Sweet & Sour Toor Dal Soup with Vegetables
Moghul-style Cumin-flavoured Rice (Jeera Pulao)
Punjabi-style Tomatoes, Peas and Home-made Curd Cheese (Matar Panir)
Gujarati Fenugreek-scented Pumpkin Curry
Mixed Vegetables in Creamy Gujarati-style Karhi Sauce
North Indian Puffed Fried Breads (Poories)
Hot, Sweet, Spicy & Sour Eggplant Pickles
Fresh herb-laced Garden Salad
Saffron Semolina Halava Pudding with Flaked Almonds & Cardamom

vegi cutting intensive:

The professional kitchen at Bendigo lent itself favourably to some serious ‘mis-en-place’.

man of the cloth:

Not bull-fighting but rather demonstrating the correct type of muslin cloth for the cheesemaking.

gather round boys and girls:

We prepared some of the tastiest and most crisp poories ever tasted at a cookery class.

crispy poories:

Half atta flour and half high-protein bread-making plain flour with sufficient salt is just one important part of the poori success equation.

Poories at Bundoora:

Crisp, soft, and ready to tear into bite-sized morsels to scoop up the fragrant, juicy combination of another batch of warm, meaty panir, green peas and tomatoes, all scented with fresh mint, fennel, coriander, ginger, chili, cumin and garam masala.

The Return of Big Fella:

Always at your service.

Life and Travel

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