These women tapped into the growing interest in Luxembourg for Indian cuisine to create their own small businesses. What’s behind the rage for Indian cookery classes?
If your idea of Indian food is chicken tikka masala, then you haven’t really tried the many regional varieties of this cuisine. Three ladies have used their skills in traditional Indian cooking to support a growing business trend.
Shamala Swaminatham came to Luxembourg with her husband in 2008. A talented cook, always receiving praise for her meals, she decided to start her own business, helping Luxembourg residents to discover the secrets of her repertoire. “My passion for Indian food and using the proper techniques to bring out its authenticity was driven by my desire to convince people that Indian food is simple, quick and healthy to prepare.”
She believes that people are always interested in experimenting with a new cuisine and want to learn new techniques and use ingredients that feel alien to their own culture to replicate a dish in the comfort of their own kitchen. Class sizes are limited so Swaminatham can dedicate plenty of attention to each individual, and each session lasts about 2.5 hours.
Sunita Trivedi missed authentic food when she arrived in Luxembourg 22 years ago from New Delhi, so she set up Spice Curry 14 years ago to teach Indian cookery. The menu ranges from traditional to fusion recipes, and cookery course participants can learn up to 100 recipes from various parts of India. “I was a mum and I found the best way to integrate with different nationalities was through my cookery programme. I have met some amazing people and made many friends from all over the world.”
Belgian-born Anne-Marie Bertrand teaches groups of 4 to 6 people but also gives private one-to-one lessons in the evening or on day programmes. “I’ve been in love with India since my teens, and then in 2007 ayurveda appeared in my life.” Her ayurveda cookery workshops produce vegetarian dishes, but her aim is also to introduce participants to the joy of cooking with consciousness and love. Her Escale Indienne classes produce light, delicious and digestible meals that maintain the body and spirit’s energy and vitality. The main ingredients include rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, mung beans, lentils, chickpeas and, of course, spices.
Whether or not you believe that Indian cooking is good for the spirit and the waistline, one thing is clear, cookery classes in this cuisine are becoming ever-more popular in the grand duchy.