Alibag is a serene, calm town, a half an hour ferry ride from south Mumbai. In this plush green beauty, is a glass house, that shelters a mega cooking studio where the Israel’s Ministry of Tourism had organised a cooking experience for us. The studio is so majestic that it can give you a cooking experience no less than a MasterChef kitchen would! A World Away is run by Chef Moshe Shek who welcomed us with a smile, his voice filled with passion for Israeli food and helped us get a hands-on experience to the cuisine.
Experiencing Israeli Cuisine
We started off by learning to make a variety of hummus, a dish which has gained popularity around the globe, because of it’s great as a dip and is healthy too. Chef Moshe is a powerhouse of ideas and threw in fried chickpeas, garnished the hummus with cheese and the beetroot version instantly became everyone’s favourite. The best part about this experience that we made all those varieties ourselves, sharing a kitchen counter with a partner. And might we say, we did a pretty good job.
The gardens at the studio has plenty of ingredients grown by the chef himself and so rest assured, the food made will definitely be exotic. The charring of freshly plucked vegetables like bell peppers and aubergines on a grill outdoors was a great experience. The serenity of the place made the cooking class a wholesome experience.
Next on the menu was couscous garnished with fried haloumi cheese and garnished with scallions, caramelised onions and plenty of herbs. For the herbs, we learnt the knife movements and improved our chopping skills. Chef Moshe demonstrated how we can finely chop any herb in no time. The herbs chopped up by him were so fine that when amalgamated with olive oil, they instantly emulsified. We gave the recipe a try immediately and loved every bit of it.
Chef Moshe even showed us how to make pita bread from scratch, using whole wheat flour and once the dough was risen, we all tried our hands at rolling the bread and even put it into the oven ourselves. And eating the freshly made pita is a bliss. The chef really has a way of teaching everything in a fun, organised manner, sharing his knowledge, tips and tricks to make great Israeli food.
So do give A World Away in Alibag a visit, cook amidst the quietness and solitude of nature and learn to make delectable Israeli cuisine.