•WINTER VEGETABLE DAL WITH COCONUT MILK
•BASMATI RICE AND QUINOA
•YOGURT RAITA WITH MUSTARD SEED
•BLOOD ORANGE GELEE WITH SPICES AND FENNEL CANDY
While I'd love to think I could be content cooking and eating simple, elemental meat and vegetable dishes--"salt-and-pepper cooking"--for the rest of my days, as my ancestors did, nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes, I want spice, intrigue, exotica. At these times, I often "go" to India. I've always loved Indian cuisine; in early versions of The Deep Springs Cookbook, later to become The Commonsense Kitchen, I extolled: "Indian food is a wholly different and exciting culinary idiom. Fresh ginger, basmati rice, and whole spices are no longer hard to find, as they were early in my cooking days. Once you learn a few of the basic dishes and procedures, Indian food lends itself to flights of improvisation, especially when you have access to a variety of vegetables. Vegetables are closer to the heart and soul of Indian food than meat; in fact, it may be perfectly expressed without any meat at all." Bearing that in mind, I thought an Indian feast using lots of winter vegetables would be perfect for the winter seasonal cooking class. The chicken curry contains silky green garlic--a late winter farmers' market specialty--and fresh spinach, and the vegetable curry has vegetables that might seem more Mediterranean than Indian: butternut squash, fennel, kohlrabi, and celery root.