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Cooking with Seema


I am starting to realize that there comes a point in time when not knowing how to cook starts to be a little ridiculous. For years I have proudly stated over and over that cooking will never be for me and I have successfully avoided ever having to learn by marrying a guy who lovingly accepted the fact that his life would consist of takeout and microwave oven inspired meals and always offering to bring the wine to parties and dinners we are invited to. Well, the time has come where I can finally admit that it is not that cute not to know how to cook and after an embarrassing mess up in the kitchen a few weeks ago I am now ready to take the plunge and start to make a semi serious effort when it comes to the kitchen.

I needed help though. I needed someone to give me a little push because even after acknowledging my “problem” I really didn’t do much about it. So, I was extremely happy when one day we received an email from one of our members who was raving about a cooking class that she had gone to. As we can’t possibly get around to all of the cool and unique finds here in Hong Kong we always love receiving emails like this. This email was more then a great Sassy find though it was the answer to my cooking paralyzation. I was frozen with not knowing where to start so when Neha told us about the low cost cooking classes ($250-$300 per class) that she found my ears perked up a bit and when she invited me to come along to try it I did not hesitate one second typing yes, yes, yes.

Seema Bhatia leads small intimate cooking classes in her Mid Levels home and her passion for cooking is evident as soon as you meet her. Seema is of Indian decent but was born in Africa so her style of cooking has been heavily influenced by both places. Her mom ran a cooking school so it is not a huge surprise that Seema fell in love with the cooking lifestyle too. She has written for the WOM Guide, Foodie Magazine and has done numerous cooking classes here in Hong Kong through Pantry Magic and the YWCA.

Since we all know that Hong Kong lacks major space when it comes to apartments, the classes held at Seema’s home are demonstration style and for a first timer like me that was perfectly okay as the first step in my cooking initiation was just to take everything in. Seema is very down to earth and social and I knew I would immediately like her when we started off class (which started at 11am) with a banana smoothie mixed with Bacardi rum. As I sipped on my Bacardi smoothie and watched Seema whip up some yummy Caribbean cuisine I started to realize that this whole cooking thing isn’t so bad and my intimidation and rather low confidence about it was entirely self-induced.

Seema teaches a different cuisine each time and she will give you a print out to take home so her tried and true recipes can become yours. Being the cooking novice that I am I knew that if I didn’t make an immediate effort at trying what I learned I never would touch the recipes again so right after class I marched myself to the supermarket and bought all of the ingredients to make fiery jerk shrimp at home. When dinner time came, I poured myself a glass of wine (I am following Seema’s lead on drinking while cooking!) and tackled the dish I saw her make earlier that day. While it didn’t come out exactly like Seema’s I have to say I was very impressed with myself and my next dish will be the Reggae rice that she taught me.

Seema teaches a ton of different cuisines so if you see one you like you should definitely contact her at amazing.africa@gmail.com to see when her next class is. I think she would even be very open to putting on a private class for you and a few girlfriends as well! Her next class is on Wednesday 8th December and the focus will be Thai which happens to be Seema’s favourite so I bet it will be a good one!

Regional Indian:  North Indian, Goan, Kashmiri and Konkan
Boozey Woozey Indian: A new innovative series of classes chillies and spice all things nice spiked with vodka, tequila, whisky or bacardi
Zanzibar: From her very own East Africa
Lebanese Mezzes
Thai
Moroccan
Yogic cookery (foods for the mind, body & soul)

To contact Seema to learn more email her at amazing.africa@gmail.com

Sassy Giveaway: Seema has offered to give away a cooking voucher to a Sassy reader. The voucher is good for 1 cooking class and you are also able to bring a friend. To enter the giveaway send an email to sassy@sassyhongkong.com with the subject line “Cooking Class”. We will select the winner tomorrow in case you want to attend the Thai Class on Wednesday!

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