Monday, 16 December 2013

Cambodian cooking classes with Da

Pomelo salad with spicy dressing
While walking through Lloyd Park one day I came across a flyer taped to the entrance gate for a series of Cambodian cooking classes taking place over the next few weekends. Being both a huge fan of South East Asian food AND learning new cooking skills, I knew I had to sign up! The classes were held in the community area at the back of the Salvation Army on Forest road. Over the course of a two hour class, we would prepare, cook and eat a two-course lunch together.
Chicken wings with a tamarind, garlic and shallot sauce
Our teacher was the delightfully hilarious Da, a Cambodian woman who now lives in Walthamstow with her family. For the first class we made chicken wings in a spicy tamarind and garlic sauce, with a pomelo, pepper and carrot salad. I had never used pomelo as an ingredient before, and had often wondered what the giant grapefruit-type fruits were that I often saw outside corner shops around Walthamstow. The tamarind chicken dish was a big hit, very easy to prepare, with a delicious sharp tang from the tamarind and garlic in the flavour-packed sauce. In fact, I cooked it again later that week for my husband to try.
The initial set of classes has now finished for the year but Da will be running a more extensive set of classes in the new year. Comment below or check back here later for more details!

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