Joshua and I are massive foodies. We travel to eat. Literally.
We choose our destinations depending on the food we like and food we would love to try. And in all honesty: Nepal was no different!
When I was living in London it was easy for us to get amazing and cheap Mo:Mo as there was a Mo:Mo centre in Woolwich, a 10 minute bus ride away from our front door.
Moving to Dubai meant saying goodbye to my favourite dumplings. In fact – Joshua and I ordered Mo:Mo in a local restaurant and they literally were the most horrible dumplings I ever had!
So we decided it was time to go to Nepal and learn how to cook some amazing Nepali food ourselves! This cooking class was amazing! It was literally as if you were taking a cooking class from your mom.
Joshua and I absolutely LOVE cooking. As someone who was brought up on Western food, it is very hard to get into cooking Asian food. How do we mix the spices? Do we start with the garlic or the onion?
When looking online for cooking classes in Kathmandu, I almost instantly noticed that most cooking classes were juggling big numbers of tourists. Reviews pointed out that, for instance, the Mo:Mo dough (or even most of the Mo:Mo’s) were premade.
I wanted an original experience. I wanted to learn how to cook everything from scratch! I did not want to be one of the 30 tourists in a class, huddled behind a cooking fire, not really knowing what to do and in the end not actually learning anything.
So I started looking for small-scale and personal cooking experiences in Kathmandu. That’s when I stumbled upon this amazing, personal cooking class in Kirtipur.
The Hotel Pick-Up driver took us out of the city in a comfortable 4×4, driving through parts of Kathmandu most tourists will probably never see.
Although Kirtipur is only 5 kilometres from Kathmandu, it took about an hour to travel to the little ancient city. It was interesting to see pieces of authentic Nepali village life while driving through the little hillside roads and gazing at breath-taking panoramic views.
The driver was very friendly and seems to be a friend of the family.
Like I said before: the cooking class is very personal. It literally feels like you are taking a cooking class from your mom.
The cooking class itself is ran by Shekar and Kalpana, two lovely Nepali parents that used to live in Thamel. Shekar is a trekking guide and local entrepreneur. He owns the Green Eco Resort they built next to their house (I will write an article about this hotel very soon as it is AMAZING!) and guides tourists on treks and hikes.
He recently started offering cooking classes as he would love to include his wife more into the business and would like her to learn more English. I will not go too much into his goals and dreams for local women and the part he wants them to play in his Green Eco resort (as I said before: I will dedicate a complete article on this hotel), but you should know that this guy has his heart in the right place!
The cooking class started off with some Masala Chai. I was actually very happy to learn how to make this tea. I drink it all the time in Dubai, but I never really learnt how to prepare it. Turns out it is pretty easy!
Next up we learnt how to make a nicely spiced cauliflower dish with chicken, a really nice Alu (potato) dish, the famous Dahl Baht and a dish with spinach that I recognise as something I order every now and then from the local Indian restaurant where it is called Saag.
Kalpana was very, very patient and explained everything multiple times when she noticed we did not understand what to do. We did make mistakes, we did make a mess, but Kalpana always stayed very calm, friendly and helpful!
After we ate lunch with the family – everything tasted absolutely AMAZING! We went onto the Mo:Mo making part of the cooking class.
Although folding the Mo:Mo dumplings was not very easy (especially not for Joshua) Kalpana took her time with us and was very patient when giving us pointers and showing us how to do it. We made Cheese Mo:Mo (the local cheese was fantastic!) and chicken Mo:Mo.
We also learnt how to make the Mo:Mo sauce which I was looking forward to. Turned out you need a mortar and pestle to make it!
This might have been one of the best – if not THE best cooking classes I ever took. Just because of the fact that all the food was easy to prepare, Kalpana was very nice, patient and the cooking class was so personal it literally felt as if you were in your grandmother’s kitchen.
I cannot recommend booking this cooking class more when staying in the Kathmandu Valley.
Please do not book a class with one of the massive tourist companies – I promise this one is 100 times better!