A new major exhibition at the AGO is always an exciting time. In the kitchen, we look to the shows for inspiration, designing menus to compliment the exhibitions. Our aim is to evoke the spirit of the culture through the scents, sights, and tastes of the cuisine. Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts has taken us into a realm of cooking that is exciting, challenging, complex, and exquisitely beautiful.
To help us learn about and master some of the techniques and flavours of this wonderfully vibrant and varied cuisine, we enlisted mother daughter team, Arvinda and Preena Chauhan of Arvinda’s artfully created Indian spice blends, to come into our kitchen and conduct a brief overview of some of the basics of Indian Cooking. What we learned in one day was truly inspiring and left us hungry for more.
Arvinda and Preena arrived with an arsenal of exotic ingredients. The array of spices, grouped into various families was akin to an artist’s pallet both in appearance and concept. What followed was unlike anything we had experienced in our formal training as chefs. The vast complexity of this cuisine became increasingly evident as the two accomplished cooks proceeded to walk us through a few chosen recipes and give us a quick primer on the ancient philosophy of the food and gastronomy that is Indian cuisine.
We watched, listened, tasted and tried our hands at samosas, chutneys, curries, dips, snacks and masalas. The care and ritual around the cooking of the rice alone made us truly reverent of the cuisine of India.
We look forward to practicing our new found skills and invite you to taste with us the splendours of India’s exquisite cuisine.
Anne Yarymowich, Executive Chef, FRANK