To harvest a coconut’s milk, one must saw through its husk or trick it open by asking to see its clam impersonation. Exploit a stupid coconut with today's Groupon: for $49, you get a series of eight Indian-cooking classes at Rumalees in Farmington Hills.
Chef Panna lal Sharma condenses 40 years of experience—including time as chef to three former Indian presidents—into two-hour cooking classes that lend a fiery arsenal of Southeast Asian flavors to culinary artists’ palettes. The eight-session sequence kicks off with an intro class that unveils the basic ingredients of Indian cooking, from biryani rice and Kashmiri herbs to green chili peppers and spicy bengal-tiger eggs. As the weekly series progresses, students coordinate complex arrangements of chickpeas and tamarinds before orchestrating harmonious flavors within the deep-fried shells of samosas. Minds continue to marinate in knowledge throughout visits to a farmhouse and winery that help prepare students for the final class—a dinner feast in which they can invite a guest to share in a capstone meal of their finest clay-oven-baked creations.
Rumalees’s fun and lively setting creates a laid-back atmosphere for chefs of all skill levels, many of whom delight in the plethora of vegan and vegetarian options in Indian cuisine. Though the class schedule sometimes changes to avoid unexpected cloudbursts of spicy red curry, two-hour cooking classes currently take place on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well as on Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
International Culinary Institute
Chef Das gladly carries on the tradition of crafting fine food and sharing trade secrets with an accessible teaching-style. Students of her classes gain a greater understanding of the culinary traditions that infuse the Indian subcontinent, from making paneer masala with freshly-pressed cheeses to comprehending the difference between currying favor and favoring curry.