During our recent trip to Jodhpur we participated in a good cooking class offered by Spice Paradise, just a few minutes walk past Sardar Market towards Manak Chowk. We enjoyed our experience here and would gladly recommend this activity to visitors spending a few days in the Blue City.
The class started with a short Ayurveda lecture by Anil, followed by a cooking class by his wife Reika in a kitchen/food preparation area that was created in the back room of their family shop, called Spice Paradise. Our class started around 10am and lasted just over 5 hours, during which time we learned to prepare Masala Chai tea, a special Makhani Lassi, a fantastic Briyani dish, an Indian dal, a very yummy Shahi Paneer as well as chapati and naan bread.
This was more a group cooking class except for the chapati which everyone had the chance to make. Ingredients were all fresh and we used filtered water preparing all drinks, dishes and breads. Obviously, there was much sampling and eating of everything made during the course and we left with rather full bellies.
There were a few ways the Spice Paradise cooking class could have been improved that are worth note. First, we were 6 in the class which was less ideal for maneuvering in the kitchen area as it was relatively small. Also, there was only a small toilet facility, also located in one corner of the kitchen, not ideal when the kitchen area is full and potentially a cause for hygiene concerns. Finally, the kitchen doubles as additional shop space for their spices, so interruptions by shop buyers were not uncommon. This contributed to the course running over 5 hours when it probably could have been done in just 4 to 4.5 hours if being conducted more efficiently.
Still, we thought this was a fun and enjoyable experience and something we'd recommend to fellow travelers and we'd be happy to try again as well. Plus the Spice Paradise version of makhania lassi (which they taught us to make) was our favorite of the makhania lassis tried in Jodhpur!
We made walk-in reservations two days prior to the class. We did notice that during the course, several sets of walk-in visitors arrived hoping to sign up for a class on the day or the next, but could not be accommodated for the proper class, indicating the popularity of Spice Paradise. So best to make reservations at least 2-3 days in advance if you want to ensure your spot in one of their cooking courses.
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