Shar­ing his love for cui­sine and cul­ture

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

New Zealand’s grow­ing in­ter­est in In­dian cui­sine ex­cites Toko­roa’s Mo­han Lal who has been run­ning com­mu­nity cook­ing classes since 2000.

Once ev­ery term Lal, who is also the pres­i­dent of the Pu­taruru, Toko­roa and Dis­trict Herb So­ci­ety, runs evening In­dian cook­ing classes at Toko­roa High School from 7pm un­til 9pm over seven weeks.

He said de­mand is high with peo­ple ea­ger to learn how to make the var­i­ous dishes they have tried at In­dian restau­rants or heard about via the internet.

‘‘Peo­ple are be­com­ing more aware of the health ben­e­fits that the spices in In­dian dishes pro­vide and they are also be­com­ing more aware of dif­fer­ent foods that are avail­able, par­tic­u­larly younger gen­er­a­tions who are more global and search­ing the internet. They are want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the things they see for them­selves,’’ he said.

Lal’s lat­est classes start tonight and cater for new to ex­pe­ri­enced cooks.

‘‘We get doc­tors, lawyers, en­gi­neers - ev­ery­body - and peo­ple love it be­cause food is some­thing we all need,’’ he said.

‘‘Some­one once said ‘one can­not think well, love well and sleep well, if one has not dined well’ and it is true.’’

‘‘One of the ways you can share your knowl­edge and cul­ture is through food’’ Mo­han Lal

Hav­ing taught in­ter­na­tion­ally with a hos­pi­tal­ity qual­i­fi­ca­tion, he said his love for cook­ing came at a young age.

‘‘My mo­ti­va­tion to cook came from my mum. There were a few in my fam­ily and when she was cook­ing she used to tell us what she was putting in and why, so we learnt the sci­ence and art of cook­ing from a very young age,’’ he said.

He said his classes help peo­ple learn how to make dishes from scratch.

‘‘Be­cause I am a herbal­ist I also teach peo­ple about the health ben­e­fits of dif­fer­ent spices that we use in the food and they get life­long, on­go­ing sup­port from me,’’ he said.

‘‘I teach all the dishes that peo­ple want to learn and if they don’t know I show them recipes that are avail­able.’’

‘‘One of the ways you can share your knowl­edge and cul­ture is through food,’’ he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone Dr Trevor Bent­ley on 886 6109 be­fore 5pm or 886 7312 after 5pm.


Mo­han Lal is look­ing for­ward to teach­ing more peo­ple how to cook In­dian cui­sine.

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