Mixed and matched

Sangeeta Jain in her workshop

Sangeeta Jain in her workshop   | Photo Credit: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Make your own pre-mixed masalas. Sangeeta Jain shows you how

Sangeeta Jain’s home reminds me of my own, cosy and welcoming. But here, her dining table is set with ingredients for a cookery workshop and 15 of us wait patiently for her to begin her session on preparing instant premix masalas.

Sangeeta Jain at the workshop

Sangeeta Jain at the workshop   | Photo Credit: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

“Don’t worry, this is easy” says Jain as she starts. She weighs, mixes, grinds and roasts the ingredients. The idea of instant premixes came to Jain when she was faced with the prospect of her son travelling abroad for studies . “He only likes Indian food. It was for him that I started trying out these instant premixes,” she laughs. Jain claims that her instant premixes stay fresh for six months if refrigerated and for a month, otherwise.

Instant premixes prepared

Instant premixes prepared   | Photo Credit: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

We watch Jain as she deftly prepares the premixes of red gravy (for paneer butter masala, veg Kohlapuri, paneer tikka masala), white gravy (for methi matar malai, mughlai kofta, malai paneer kofta), golden gravy (for matar paneer), green gravy (for palak paneer, aloo palak, corn paneer palak), and even naan, kulcha and vegetable biriyani. The entire room is now filled with the aroma of spices. Her experienced hands move fast as she prepares one dish after another with the premixes. The methi matar malai, palak paneer, matar paneer, veg Kohlapuri, naan, kulcha, and biriyani each take less than five minutes to make. “Add milk powder and cashew powder if you want the gravy to be creamier, a little of coriander leaves and chilly flakes with you paneer gives it an added flavour...” Her tips are faithfully written down, to be tried later.

Veg Kohlapuri made of the instant premix

Veg Kohlapuri made of the instant premix   | Photo Credit: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

The veg Kohlapuri is creamy and delicious, and biriyani is just right for my taste. She has also come up with instant premixes of breakfasts, sweets, desserts, soups, pasta, tea and coffee. A self-taught cook, Jain says the people of Coimbatore are very receptive to North Indian cuisine. And they have given her a lot of positive feedback and confidence. She moved into Coimbatore four years ago from Mumbai, and has so far held 170 workshops on ice cream making, breads, cakes, starters, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Mexican and Lebanese cuisines.

“I always pass on authentic recipes to my students,” says Jain. One of her regular cookery students is Kirthi Lodaya who has participated in nearly 20 of her classes. Lodaya says Jain is ever helpful and this time she came to the class because she was curious about the premix. “I can’t believe it tastes the same as the freshly made dishes.”

Deepa Narayanan another student admires Jain’s recipes too. “Her dishes are authentic. I grew up in north India. After coming back home, it was difficult for me to find the real north Indian dishes. Through her classes I have learnt a lot, and make the dishes myself. She also gets us the ingredients when she travels if in case it is hard to find here”.

You can contact her at 9597564010

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 8:35:46 AM |

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