Class Design: Which Recipe Should I Teach?

Now that I have decided on a topic to teach about and made up my mind about cooking classes, all I need is a recipe.

Since I’m going to make a cooking class for absolute beginners, it has to be an easy one. I know lots of recipes that I love. There’s a banana curry, for example, that’s one of my favourites. But you have to be very careful with how long you cook the bananas and there are so many steps that it wouldn’t be a good class for beginners.

My first step was to figure out the key components of a beginner’s class.

First of all, the recipe had to be easy.

Second, it had to be short. What if people don’t cook because they think it’s a waste of time? You can easily and very quickly get perfectly fine food if you go to a restaurant and you don’t have to put in any effort. A long and complex recipe would only scare off someone who’s making their first meal.

And third, I wanted a recipe that didn’t need much equipment or many ingredients. I have a wonderful book on my shelf by Jamie Oliver. In it, there are a lot of recipes that can, in theory, be completed in fifteen minutes (it usually takes me longer than that but they’re still quick to make). But I soon realised that I can’t make half of the recipes because I don’t have the necessary equipment – and I already think I have a well-equiped kitchen. Plus, they always require lots and lots of ingredients, like one spring onion, half a cucumber and a pinch of some exotic spice I don’t own. What do I do with the leftovers? Soon, my shelves will be overflowing with them.

So I knew that, in order to avoid scaring off people who might be interested in my class, I would have to keep things simple. Few ingredients, little equipment, not many steps involved in cooking and it had to be quick.

It soon brought me back to a recipe that I learned almost 15 years ago, back when I was still living with my parents. My brother had an awesome cooking book that was aimed at students and we used to make the chicken pineapple curry over and over again. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s tasty.

And therefore, it’s the perfect recipe for my first class.


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