In 1963, Divertimenti setup shop just off Marylebone High Street on Marylebone Lane. This year it celebrates 50 years of being a Marylebone resident (now on the High Street itself) and having grown into one of London’s most popular cookshops with its range of kitchenware and cookware, as well as a cookery school offering a diverse selection of cooking courses for foods from around the world.
There is no question about it – Indian food can seem an overwhelming challenge for even the most experienced of culinary enthusiasts. Fortunately my guidance at Divertimenti’s half day Indian Vegetarian Masterclass came in the form of award winning food writer Monisha Bharadwaj as I attempted to get to grips with Indian cooking.
Along with a class of seven others we were guided by Monisha through our recipes. Together with my teammate for the day, we set to work on our cauliflower rassa, a dish from the Maharashtra region of India. Each hands on step was explained by Monisha as we learnt about the background to the dishes and the spices being used. Elsewhere members of the group were working on other dishes, a few of which included a mushroom korma, baingan massala (an aubergine and tomato curry) and palak paneer (spinach with cottage cheese). Although assigned our own dishes to work on, we were all able to follow each other’s recipes as they took shape, sharing in the cooking whilst Monisha offered guidance.
As well as the practical help, Monisha shared with us a wealth of knowledge about the culture of the Indian coastal region from which our dishes originated and the how the diversity of foods and styles of cooking across India differ so extensively.
The reward for our work? The opportunity to eat the delicious creation of a meal along with some wine whilst getting to know new friends and talking – mainly about food…
Visit the Divertimenti 50 website to find out more about its 50 years in Marylebone.
33-34 Marylebone High Street
Nearest Tube: Baker Street/Regents Park/Bond Street
Phone: 020 7935 0689