As some of my readers may know, I really enjoy East Indian Cuisine. Over the years I have learned how to make a couple dishes from the Kashmiri region of India and a variety of different curries. I have even made some of my favorite East Indian dishes for friends and one of my creativity classes. I am by no means an expert in East Indian Cuisine. I read, research and enjoy trying to make East Indian meals in my own home. Sometimes they are successful and other times I end up eating cereal for dinner. And when visiting a place that has East Indian restaurants, I like to go to them ordering new treats and old favorites. When a friend invited me to take an East Indian Cooking Class with her, I was thrilled by the opportunity.
As with many things in life, there are many preconceived ideas about East Indian cuisine. East Indian cuisine is so much more than Garam Marsala and Curry. Different regions have different specialties and dishes that they are known for. Some dishes are prepared for holidays and specific celebrations. Certain herbs and spices used in one region may not be used as profusely in another.
During this class we learned to make a refreshing drink with mangos called Mango Lassi, a rice dish (that tastes like dessert to me), kebabs, mango chutney and a cooling sauce made with plain yogurt and cucumbers called a Raita. I learned several new things during the class. This did not surprise me. In fact, it delighted me. India is a large and diverse nation, with so much to learn and explore. And for the purposes of this post, I am just talking about the cuisine.
There is always an opportunity to learn more. Even if you think you are an expert in a certain area. Open your mind. Climb down from your Ivory Tower and try looking at something in a new way. You don’t have to take on a completely new project to learn something new. Sometimes pushing the boundaries on something you think you already know can expand your creativity. We cannot stretch and grow, unless we are challenging ourselves.
This week I challenge you to push yourself to learn more. Especially in areas that may seem comfortable to you. I bet you will surprise yourself.