Over the weekend, the EmptyChair team met Nidhi, founder of Meri Rasoi – a chef based in the UK with a passion for making real Indian cooking accessible. Her mission: to help widen peoples understanding of Indian cuisine through simple recipes, fresh produce, and a welcoming kitchen environment.
In her kitchen to die for, Nidhi hosts workshops that’ll make your mouth water, which aim to teach all the elements of these recipes perfected through generations of use. Whether, like Hendrik from EmptyChair, you’re a complete novice at tempering exotic spices, or if you’re a seasoned foodie, you’re sure to discover something new with Nidhi.
In this particular class, Nidhi brought together an exciting new menu; Goan Xacuti Chicken, Green Bean Poriyal, Goan Coconut Rice, and Tempered Cucumber Raita. Everything from the golden ratio of basmati to water and coconut milk, to the crackle and pop of mustard seeds as they temper; Nidhi had insider tips on them all (including why you soak rice in cold, not hot water!).
Nidhi made sure everyone had a go, encouraging the class of six to get involved in all stages of the process: caramelising onions, keeping a sharp eye on the green beans, and making sure the chicken was cooked to perfection.
Once the dishes were prepped and ready, the class took their seats at Nidhi’s dining table, and tucked into deliciously authentic Indian food that each person had played a part in creating, which was immensely rewarding.
With Nidhi’s help and guidance, everyone felt like they could take what they learnt away and attempt to recreate these deceptively simple dishes at home!