Walking on a dark, splashy, muddy, wet rainy Mumbai afternoon, lovely aroma of freshly baked bread wafts in from an inviting glass door. Small bells tinkle as I walk into “By the Way” the quaint Parisian Café in the midst of the hustle bustle of busy Gamdevi and breathe in evocative smells of warm cakes and fresh bread that mingles with loads of laughter from a group of ladies happily chatting over the warm mugs of coffee.
An elegant and chic woman in her early 60’s, with a beautiful smile, gets up and welcomes me. Her lovely turquoise stone necklace catches my attention as does her smile which crinkles up her eyes and lights up the entire café. Ladies and gents, meet Purveen Dubash, the in-house bakery teacher at Seva Sadan. Purveen is the magician who transforms dull ingredients into exotic dishes.
Purveen is a retired English language teacher from the renowned Jai Hind College. In keeping with her passion for baking she now conducts the Homestyle Baking class for moms, teenagers and working professionals.
So how did an English Teacher start teaching Baking at Seva Sadan?
Purveen: One day, I was walking across Grant Road and came across this marvelous institute. I approached Azmina Patanwala, the amazing woman who tirelessly works all year round managing vocational classes at the institute, I shared my keen interest in conducting a baking class for the students. Being a kindred soul, she also thought it was a good idea and without further ado, immediately provided me with this platform. This could not have been done without the active support and encouragement from Mrs. Guddi Advani, the President of Seva Sadan Society who sanctioned and initialised this new vocation class with a separate room, a modern oven, refrigerator and other tools and equipment which have been the key to these successful baking courses.
Purveen: Because baking is creative. Also, I want to break the myth amongst Indian women that baking is a tougher task! Whereas, if you look at it, baking is much easier and less time consuming. It needs one of the easiest setups, and it doesn’t require many exotic ingredients either. One can easily convert the daily staples like flour, eggs, yeast, and easily available ingredients including fruits, spices and flavours into beautiful dishes like pies, tarts, cupcakes or even a tasty pizza. For years, I have admired the art of baking and am passionate about introducing the western art of baking fused with Indian traditions and core ingredients, in our kitchens.
Tell us about the unique entrée.
Purveen: I have always admired the American style of baking. As a result, my entrée are fusion of baking items with an Indian twist, further making it easier for my students to replicate the dish at home. The entree for class constitutes mouth-watering Italian recipes, crispy bread recipes, homestyle pies & tarts, savory croissants and a variety of puffed pastries, muffins, and sweet desserts.
Why Homestyle baking?
Purveen: The baking class seeks to initiate homestyle baking as I believe that the passion for food lies in the taste, and once the students are confident, they can build their presentation skills.
How often does the class take place?
Purveen: The master class takes place at regular interval, and we hold both eggless and regular baking class. The course is a fun introduction to the beautiful art of baking, which I will like all to witness!
With these lovely words, Purveen went back to join her class, who had finished kneading the dough and were ready to shape them into beautiful croissants. I was happy to wait and taste the lovely, warm, crisp, flaky, golden pieces of little heaven and figure out which days of the week worked for me join the two-week course!
For details of the class and to register, please click here: http://bit.ly/21bDzpg