Learning To Use The Flavors of India At The University Of Illinois Extension

When I think of India, I think of brilliant colors, beautiful art and deliciously aromatic food. Last month I was reading the newsletter from the University of Illinois Extension Office in Rock Island County located in Milan, Illinois. I was delighted to see that they were offering an Indian cooking class again.

I had taken about 3 or 4 of them in the past because the instructor, Sugandhi, was excellent and the food tasting was a memorable experience. Excited to have a chance to learn more techniques, I signed up for the newest class.

Mirror View Of The Class
Mirror View Of The Class

The price of the class was minimal and the class was held in the evening at the Milan Extension Office. They have a nice kitchen and a classroom with a large mirror so that you can see the prep work for each dish. That evening we learned how to make Indian vegetarian dishes including: Aaloo Paratha, a stuffed bread; Mint Pilaf, a refreshing rice dish; Chole (Channa) Marsala, a garbanzo bean dish; Cucumber Raita, a cool yogurt dish; and  Carrott Kheer, a colorful and healthy dessert.

Mint Pilaf and Cucumber Raita
Mint Pilaf and Cucumber Raita
Aaloo Paratha and Chole (Channa) Masala
Aaloo Paratha and Chole (Channa) Masala

The class showed not only the preparation of the 5 dishes, but gave all students the recipes and the shopping list for all the wonderful spices, legumes and vegetables.

The Extension’s nutrition and wellness educator, Kristin, and a dietician from Hy-Vee gave insight into the food. We were given handouts of the Spices of India with additional recipes as well as a handout on the health benefits of pulses, a plant based diet.

Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils, and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fiber, and are low in fat.”

Class Handouts
Class Handouts

I am looking forward to taking more classes at the University of Illinois Extension offices based in Milan, Galva, and Aledo. I strongly recommend taking advantage of the courses, webinars, Master Gardener program, and other services available to you. Enjoy what the Extension offers!

Horticulture Hotline – 309-756-9978

Get your gardening questions answered by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners

University of Illinois Extension serving Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark Counties

Main Office (Rock Island County)
321 W 2nd Avenue
Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 309-756-9978
FAX: 309-756-9987
Email: uie-hmrs@illinois.edu
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Branch Office (Henry-Stark County)
358 Front Street
Galva, IL 61434
Phone: 309-932-3447
FAX: 309-932-3454
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am to 4:30pm (Closed from 12 – 1 pm)

Branch Office (Mercer County)
2106 SE Third Street
Aledo, IL 61231
Phone: 309-582-5106
FAX: 309-582-7338
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am to 4:30pm (Closed from 12 – 1 pm)




About the author

Deborah Doehler As a life-time resident of the Quad Cities, Deborah is a multi-media artist who works in jewelry, painting, pottery, drawing, collage, and design. Deborah is retired from Black Hawk College after working for 35 years in Marketing as an award-winning graphic designer, writer, supervisor and graphics coordinator. Since 1975, she has had her own design company and studio. You’ll find Deborah serving on the Visual and Public Arts Committee for Quad City Arts where she was a board member for 8 years. She supports art and cultural events in the Quad Cities area including volunteering for events at MidCoast Fine Arts Bucktown Center for the Arts where she leases a gallery space. She served as Marketing Director for Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts for 15 years.

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