An interview with Indian cookery teacher, Nidhi Verma
We’re giving away a private cooking lesson with Nidhi Verma. Nidhi is a passionate home cook who created Meri Rasoi in 2011 to “demystify Indian cuisine and share her love for authentic and delicious Indian food”. In our latest blog, we caught up with Nidhi…
Where did your passion for home cooking come from?
I love working with people and food. I’m a passionate home cook and mother of two young kids who are also my most honest critics. I created Meri Rasoi (which means My Kitchen) in 2011 to demystify Indian cuisine and share my love for authentic Indian food.
If there is anything that transcends countries, cultures, languages and kitchens across the world – it is the aroma of delicious home cooked food! My addiction to this wonderful aroma began with savouring home cooked food in my homeland of India. Being from an armed forces family, I had the good fortune to relish flavours across different parts of the country. My journey with food had already begun, but I didn’t know it then!
After a career in marketing and settling in the UK, I decided to give up my day job and follow my passion for food by setting up my cookery school. Since 2011, I have taught over 600 people from more than 10 countries. I teach small groups and private classes from my home kitchen as well as host workshops for larger groups and corporates in teaching kitchens.
In order to launch my cookery school, Sahil and I self-built a website, put together a launch event and signed up our first students onto a 6-week immersive cookery course. It quickly became clear to us that while people loved the food they learnt to cook, it was hard to source authentic ingredients to recreate these recipes at home and so in 2018, we decided to start The Cookaway, to allow people to access my creations easily.
What’s the biggest misconception about Indian cooking?
While the awareness of authentic Indian food has grown significantly over the past few years, sadly most people still associate Indian food with the dishes served in their local takeaways or restaurants which are often quite greasy, spicy and unhealthy as compared to the food we consume in our homes on a daily basis which is fresh and highly nutritious. Additionally, the options, whether meat, vegetarian or vegan, go way beyond the staple menus you find in Indian restaurants or takeaways. In my classes, I like to teach classic home dishes that are easy to recreate and provide healthy alternatives that can be easily incorporated into weekly meal plans.
What are the three Indian cooking ingredients you couldn’t live without?
- Kashmiri Chilli
- Roasted Cumin Powder
What’s the most common mistake people make with Indian cooking?
From my years of teaching I have realised that cooking perfect basmati rice is one of the simple things within Indian cooking that a lot of people struggle with and make the most common mistake to add water on top of rice that’s cooking in a pan when they think it’s undercooked or all the water has been absorbed.
What’s your favourite Sollasa cocktail?
The ‘Sollasa Collins’, it’s just so cool and soothing.
Win a private cooking lesson with Nidhi!
Every purchase of a bottle of Sollasa during the month of April will be automatically entered into a prize draw for a chance to win a private cooking lesson for 2 people at Nidhi’s home in London. Terms and Conditions apply.