Another recent wonderful program for the Culinary Historians of Chicago featured an Indian chef and author from New York, Suvir Saran His program was quite entertaining. Yet what was most unusual, is that the program was held at the home of Ranjana Bhargava, just South of Hyde Park, Chicago. The Historical Society was unavailable, and this gracious woman agreed to hold the lecture in her lovely home, where she also teaches Indian Cooking Classes.
We had an opportunity to hear Ranjana speak about her past and her lonely transition to a city where very few fellow countrymen lived. She had to teach herself to cook, as in her India household, no one was allowed into the kitchen. Eventually she became an excellent Indian cook. Over the next 30 years, she went on to teach other immigrants from India new to our country, how to make the authentic home cooking they so missed.
It was extremely apparent that she shares a deep love of her culture and her countrymen and she is willing to teach anyone to cook. Her passion is very touching. We also got to sample the dishes she made from Suvir's lovely cookbook (as pictured above) Based on the delicious dishes she passed out, I would highly recommend her cooking school to anyone who wants to learn authentic Indian cooking. I hope to attend a class there myself soon. I fully support her belief that it is not the spices, it is what you do with them, that counts.