Cooking Class with Reza Mahammad, Star of India at The Explorer’s Club, Franschhoek

Cooking Class with Reza Mahammad



It seems that this is the year of the cooking class for me, or should I say cooking demonstration as was the case here as eight eager cooks gathered together last Wednesday at the Explorer’s Club in Franschhoek, a guest house impeccably decorated with the artifacts of a well seasoned traveller and owned and managed by Jo Sinfeld.

We were here to meet and cook with Reza Mahammad, the irrepressible B.B.C television celebrity chef, and owner of Star of India in London. Reza is warm, welcoming and his effervescent personality sets him apart.

I arrived a bit early for the class and pretty soon we were dunking shortbread biscuits in tea, comparing brands in our own shortbread biscuit competition, in between keeping an eye on the apple and carrot pickle macerating and the fragrant vegetable stock simmering away.


Reza’s sous chef for the day was our mutual friend, the very talented Vanie Padayachee who is no stranger to the cookery class arena.


The menu included:

  • carrot & apple pickle
  • spicy vegetable koftas in a tomato saffron sauce
  • lamb cubes in a spicy black pepper sauce
  • smoked aubergine raita
  • spinach and leek rice
  • semolina halva with pistachio, raisins & saffron
We chatted freely with Reza about the cooking processes, his food adventures, the best way to cook a variety of Indian dishes and in between, participants had a chance to get involved- stir a pot, roll the koftas, fry same. For the most part though we relaxed with a glass of vino and also got to conversing with each other.
Generous goodie bags were sponsored by Le Creuset and I’m most happy to say that all the beautiful items are in the very colour I’m collecting, cherry.
The class I attended cost R1500 and ran from 10 am till around 3 pm.
The Explorer’s Club held its very first set of cooking classes that week and the venue is extremely well suited to this kind of event. My hope is that similar classes will be held over the weekends so one could take advantage of the gorgeous accommodations and dine out in the evening at one of Franschhoek’s acclaimed restaurants.
Food adventures at my doorstep? An enormous Food & the Fab stamp of approval to that!

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By |2017-04-11T10:34:36+00:00August 8th, 2011|Africa, Food & Travel, Hands on, Indian Food Easy Peasy, Travel in Africa|8 Comments


  1. nina August 9, 2011 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Great post Ishay! The food looks amazing!

  2. Móna Wise August 9, 2011 at 6:46 am - Reply

    Sounds (and looks) like this was money well spent and who would not love a goody bag with all that swag! I do love the Le Creuset Cherry but try to stick to the cast iron stuff because it lasts forever. Ishay, I love reading your stories and always feel like I am right there with you. xxx

  3. Vanie August 9, 2011 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Glad you had fun cooking with Reza at The Explores. Great fun was had by all. The menu, the venue and the students were fab. Thanks to Reza, Le Creuset and Jo

  4. Simone August 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    O that sounds like such a fun event/demonstration Ishay! I love cooking classes or cooking anything really and look at that goodbag!

  5. Charlie's Bird August 11, 2011 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Wow! I love Reza’s cooking, in fact I made the lamb in black pepper sauce last week, what a treat to cook it with the man himself!

  6. Jamie August 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Absolutely one fabulous day! Wow! The food looks heavenly and I would so love to participate in a class like this! And the goodie bag is wow! Lucky you!

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