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“Great cooking class!”
Review of Gourmet Desire

Gourmet Desire
Ranked #5 of 205 Shopping in New Delhi
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Jyoti Agarwal - the culinary wiz behind Gourmet Desire, for the last few years, has held exclusive cooking classes in Delhi along with other food and cultural experiences for people visiting Delhi from around the globe. GD offers unique and curated homely experiences which make memories for life. We understand that 'time is money' and no one has leisure hours to spend in the kitchen therefore the idea is to make a delicious wholesome authentic Indian meal in a jiffy. Visit our website today to view our popular itineraries which can also be customized to suit individual requirements. So come sample the sights, sounds and aromas of Delhi with us!
Reviewed February 21, 2015

My daughter found this class for us to take as we are both accomplished in the kitchen and love to make and eat good food. We loved it! We arrived 35 minutes late to the class because the cab driver got lost and then google maps had issues, but Jyoti adjusted everything to accommodate our late arrival. The class size was perfect -- just four of us -- another Mom and Daughter were in the class (they were a little put off by our delayed arrival). Jyoti made us feel totally welcome and at ease.

Jyoti was well prepared for our class (veggies pre-cut and ready to cook, etc.) and showed us how to cook everything we requested and then some! I really enjoyed the personal stories she told us about growing up in India and learning to cook from her mother and mother-in-law. Jyoti asked throughout the class if anyone wanted to help cook, but no one volunteered until close to the end of class. I was quite content to watch and take notes and learn the "Indian way!" The kitchen help was great -- they tended to the pressure cookers on the stove while we moved on to learning how to make other dishes on the patio. I'm a visual learner so I annotated the recipes where necessary for me to be able to make the recipes at home. Which I have! The recipes don't have amounts listed, but I am fine with that -- I learned that way from my Mom and Grandmother! I just jotted down approximate amounts on the side or the recipes.

Taking the class gave me the confidence to use new spices, mustard oil and a newly purchased pressure cooker (Hawkins 2 liter). I was inspired to buy two spice boxes and fill them with spices from the spice market. So far, I've made butter chicken, aloo gobi, and the green chutney. I even brought the aloo gobi into work for a pot luck and it got great reviews from the folks from India!

If I return to New Dehli, I will take another class with Jyoti!

4  Thank M W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"indian cooking"
in 46 reviews
"cooking class"
in 56 reviews
"spice market"
in 35 reviews
"cooking techniques"
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"cooking experience"
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"lovely home"
in 8 reviews
"recipe booklet"
in 4 reviews
"wonderful afternoon"
in 5 reviews
"chicken rogan josh"
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"vegetarian and non vegetarian"
in 3 reviews
"an amazing cook"
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in 5 reviews
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Reviewed February 17, 2015

I have taken courses all over South East Asia and this by far was the worst! Where can I begin, it is not a cooking class where you interact but rather watch a lady act like a dictator rather then a cook. Don't take this class if you want to actually have hands on experience, you will spend all of your time just watching Jyoti cook.

Firstly she charges an exorbitant amount of money for you to just watch, she does not provide pick-up or drop-off service which is okay but you have to find your own way there and she does not give any adequate directions, and the cab drivers and tuk-tuks will just drop you off at the the top of the street where you will then have to wander around 500 government buildings to figure out where it is. The other section of the group was terribly late due to getting lost, so 1 hr later we started, so keep in mind even if you are on time it doesnt matter there is no schedule.

Jyoti never even asked our names till the class was over felt very unwelcomed in the house, which felt like a business rather then a home was not offered any drinks for the first 30 minutes. She had "Help" which she literally treats like slaves! screaming at them every five seconds to do or get something. the poor girl (the help) dropped hot oil on herself and all Jyoti cared about was her cleaning it up not at all if the girl was ok who by the way appeared to live in the closet of the house.

The help which i felt like were slaves did all of the cooking Jyoti just did the flashy parts, and they did the core work behind closed doors so you have no idea how to cook it actually! just popping out every now and then to show you what they did. Which is not what the cooking class should be about. Jyoti does not know how to TEACH only how to SHOW off. Her recipe book is a mess no exact measurments in it and no exact directions. Just rough guides and estimates...so when you go back to cook nothing is written out clearly but rather give or take, so when you are in the class you are trying the whole time to correct the recipe book....its not a recipe book.

She was in a rush for a dinner party and let us know she was cooking for the dinner party too with our meals...so great we are paying for your dinner party food now too.... she was in such a rush she did not even want to show us how to cook dessert and just gave us a box cookie as consolation....not impressed. If she asks you to help she tells you no you are doing it wrong instead of showing you she just pushes you out of the way to cook it herself. She seemed tired and bored of the class and disinterested in the students. She literally would ask questions twice like "where do you work" showing me that she was not paying attention at all.

I don't think we should have to pay the price for a sped up class because she had a dinner party later, if that is case then just don't run the class that day. honestly I could not handle how she treated the help like slaves, it was sad to see the class cut in this country and she shined it brightly in our faces. With comments like "well this doesn't taste as good as i want but that is what happens when you leave it up to the help" or "My mother wont eat butter or vegetables grown underground because that is for the poor" just ridiculous. Overall, I want to go to a cooking class where i learn and cook not where i watch a fraction of it being made and then have is whisked away to the back for the help to actually make it, not really knowing how it is made or a cook book that is half written so i am lost when i go to cook myself or a place that i cannot find. Worst class I have taken. Would not recommend if you are serious about learning to cook Indian food for yourself.

12  Thank worldwanderer1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JyotiAgarwal, Owner at Gourmet Desire, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2015

Hi worldwonderer1990,

I’m sorry you were disappointed with the class. I’m also shocked and sad that you came away with such negative thoughts.

To start, it is unfortunate you had trouble finding my home. In a crowded city like Delhi, it can be difficult to find a home, which is why I include my phone number on the confirmation email with a request to speak directly to your driver if he is unfamiliar with the address. As mentioned on our website, we also offer a pick-up and drop service at a small additional cost to help avoid this confusion.

I have fond memories of the class you and your mother participated in, along with another mother/daughter pair. I remember parting on a positive note with all of you - the other pair confirmed their experience was very positive in a recent review here, and you wrote such kind comments in my journal, so I’m trying to understand what went wrong that day. Making sure that my students/guests have a great experience, while learning from each other in the process, is my highest priority.

Had you voiced your dissatisfaction during the class, I would have been happy to adjust what we were doing, or even offered to schedule another class that would have better suited your expectations. If you would still like help with particular measurements or techniques from the cook book, I would love to setup a skype call to help resolve anything that is unclear.

In regard to the incident related to Sunita (the helper who was hurt with the oil) - With all due respect, I think you misunderstood the tone of the Indian language (Hindi) as rudeness. Sunita, along with my other helper, doesn't speak English and talking in Hindi is the only way we can communicate. In a situation like this one, the Hindi tone sometimes comes across with a sharpness that can easily be misunderstood as rude or harsh by an outsider. As soon as this incident occurred, I was extremely concerned and we immediately gave her medical attention. As Sunita was not seriously hurt, she wanted to continue working to make sure your experience was uninterrupted. The workers who assist me take immense pride in being part of the gourmet experience we offer and are well compensated for their efforts. Sunita in particular has worked with me for quite a long time - she is like family to me. I explained your comments to Sunita, and she was particularly offended that you compared her work environment to something resembling slavery!

Being a single woman, these classes are not only my source of livelihood but also my greatest passion. I only do one class a day so I can give my full attention to my students and guests as well as assist them with any information for their India travels, just like an old friend would. Having said that, there are certain costs associated with the class.

The classes are approximately US$ 50 per person for a group of 2-4 people. In my experience, $50 for 3-4 hours of cooking instruction, plus the four course meal, is a tremendous value. On the afternoon you came, I mentioned that I was hosting a dinner later that evening. These occasional events also help me provide for myself. I’m sorry if you felt rushed, but that evening’s event did not cut short the total duration of your visit. It did, however, provide me an opportunity to show and let you experience additional dishes outside of those included in my standard class structure.

Considering most of my students and guests get to know me through this website, it’s quite troubling to know that a review like this is posted here describing myself and the class in such a manner. I wish you had let me know your feelings at the time of our class. But as we are where we are, I’d like to make it up to you by arranging a Skype meeting to go over any questions you have related to the class and the recipes.

Warmest Regards,
Jyoti

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2015

I had a grat time cooking with Jyoti. Cannot wait until I get home to try out some of the recipes in my own kitchen. Have signed up for second session on South Indian cuisine. Highly recommended.

6  Thank MichaelOrm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2015 via mobile

Cooking with Jyoti is a joy - she makes indian cooking accessible for everyone and gives great practical advice. I highly recommend her - you will have a fun and educational experience, not to mention a yummy dinner. It's great to talk to a local and she is really really helpful and can advise you on your Delhi travels. Don't miss her while you're in Delhi!

Thank Ozsummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 7, 2015

A friend and I booked an evening class and dinner with Jyoti using the booking group "Travelling Spoon".
Jyoti had arranged for transportation from the airport, then hotel, then her house and back, which was really helpful to have done in advance.
The evening started with an education about Indian food and culture, which was nice because this was the beginning of a 3 week trip, and the information I learned was useful on a regular basis.
We started by making some batter for pakoras, got some kheer going, and watched as some main dishes were put together. Later we watched rotis puff up to go with our food.
It was overall, a great experience, though the food was much too salty for our tastes - we were starving and getting so excited, but then the salt almost ruined it for us. Oh well, I would still highly recommend the experience, and the kheer we created was the best I ever had!

Thank TravelDreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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