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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