Indian Curry Cooking Class

This post is Part 5 of the Livin’ in Fiji – A House Sitter’s Story

Indian Curry Cooking Class

As I’m eating the leftovers from our Indian Curry Cooking Class at the Sea View Restaurant in Savusavu, I’m still amazed that we actually cooked this! The brilliant hues of fresh vegetables, golden pieces of perfectly seasoned walu fish and I can’t forget the chewy, but fluffy roti with the perfectly charred bubbles. It’s tastes as wonderful for breakfast as it did last night when we made it!

A hands-on, in-the-kitchen Indian cooking class for $15 Fiji dollars, plus we get to eat everything we cooked? Sign us up! Mahesh and Sarita Prasad, owners of the Sea View Cafe and Hidden Paradise Backpackers, offer these classes every Monday, Wednesday  and Friday. Travelers to Savusavu, yachties passing through, and hungry visitors like us  can learn wonderful secrets of cooking from Mrs. Prasad in her immaculate kitchen.

Part of the fun here is meeting others travelers while cooking. Michelle from France, a yachtie just arrived in Savusavu, joined us for the instruction and subsequent feast. She and her husband have been sailing for the past three years, through the Caribbean islands, the Panama Canal, Galapagos Islands, the Marquesas, Tonga and now for a short stop in Fiji. From her we learned the French pronunciation of various vegetables and cooking techniques while we shared the English equivalents. French, Fijian, and Americans all cooking an Indian dish – it was great International fun!

The Indian Curry Dish for our lesson consisted of Dahl soup, fresh tomato chutney, spinach, rice, roti, potato and eggplant curry (made with delicate white eggplant from Mrs. Prasad’s garden), and boneless fish curry with walu (white fish with a mild flavor that holds up well to the deep flavors of the curry).


It made a fabulous feast we all shared with a cold glass of chardonnay. A fun evening and we came away with some great Indo-Fijian curry dishes. Here are some of the recipes!


Dahl Soup

One cup or small bowl of split peas to a pot of water. Ideally soaked for a half hour beforehand or it will take about an hour of constant boiling.

1 tsp salt

Turmeric  powder, pinch for color

To be added just before serving:

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic

1 tbs oil

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbs ghee or margarine

Boil split peas and salt for 1 hour. Remove foam from peas as they boil to keep from boiling over. After it boils, add oil and pinch of turmeric powder to give color. Can always add vegetables if you like, but the soup will only last 1 day. Plain soup base will last one week or more.

Just before serving, chop garlic, onions, add cumin seed, fennel seed, and ghee or margarine to heat together in hot pan until onions and garlic are soft. Then add to pea soup. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.


1-2 cups boiling water

1 and 1/2 cups sifted flour (plus a little extra for the rolling board)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Boil water and put roti pan on the stove to get hot. Place sifted flour in bowl. Add boiling water to flour to make clumpy, not too much. Cool the mixture. Add oil to flour mixture (butter or margarine is ok, too). Knead the flour (Pytrir in French). Roll into small palm sized balls.Roll out round and flat, use extra flour if dough gets sticky.

Add small amt of oil to roti pan once, put in rolled dough on very hot pan, slide and flip when bubbles start to form. About 30 seconds each. Serve hot.

Vegetarian Curry – Eggplant and Potato

3 boiled potatoes

3-4 small eggplant (Mrs. Prasad used white eggplant from her garden

2 medium onions, chopped

1/2 of large carrot, sliced

Methi seeds 1/2 tsp

Ground Cumin 1/2 tsp

Curry leaf (tej) 2 leaves

3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of turmeric powder

1/2 tbsp of hot masala powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

Cut boiled potatoes and raw eggplant into a bowl of water so eggplant won’t brown. Sauté onion, Methi seeds, cumin and curry leaf in hot oil. Grate cloves of garlic into oil and onion mixture. Add turmeric powder and hot masala powder to oil after garlic.

Add cut up veggie (potato, garlic, eggplant). Add salt, mix together and lower heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup water to soften potato, cover again and reduce heat.


Tomato Chutney

1/2 onion chopped

3 small ripe tomatoes chopped

1/4 tsp salt or to taste

1 clove grated garlic

Squeeze together all the ingredients, mixing well. Once mashed together, ready to serve!


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