I don’t know a Bhuna from a Balti, so that’s precisely why we’ve come the Manor School of Fine Cuisine at the Nottingham School of Cookery to get instruction from our lovely hosts with an Indian takeaway cookery class. Today though, we’ve turned up the heat on our cooking knowledge and we’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day.

Nick making chicken bhuna at the Nottingham School of Cookery
Nick making chicken bhuna at the Nottingham School of Cookery


Cook by name, not necessarily by nature. Somewhere down the ancestral line, some poor mud spattered peasant managed to whip up a warm meal of roasted rat with enough skills and distinction to be given the second name Cook. That name stuck but unfortunately that cooking skill didn’t percolate that well through the old family DNA.

Making Bangalore Aloo at the Indian takeaway cookery class
Sam delighted at her Bangalore aloo


Hence we find ourselves going back to school with this class. It’s also a chance for us to do something together. And I don’t mean the washing up either. That’s all done for us, as is the ‘mis en place’ or the weighing up of ingredients.

Once upon a time, I made a curry from scratch,   I could only describe it like having a missile rammed up your nose as the flesh fell from my bones, like a slow cooked human lamb shank on an overcooked cannibal course. It had  a probable Scoville scale rating of 2 million degrees, which according to male bragging rights is the right strength. It’s definitely not, when it comes to chillies and heat, size says a lot, and bigger is not always better.

Nick making lamb samosa at Indian takeaway cookery class
Making lamb samosas


We’re cooking one starter, one main and side dish each. The recipes are provided, which we can also take home and will no doubt inflict our interpretations on you if you visit, especially seeing as we’ve cooked enough food for about 16 people. It might even be served on our own home made plates from our pottery class earlier in the year if you are really unlucky. My cooking skills are renowned in our home, at least for those 3 special occasions each year when it happens. Although I suspect that will now need to double as we’ve both learnt 3 new dishes each.

Sam making onion bhaji at Nottingham school of cookery
Onion bhaji


A fine feast of food with lamb samosa and onion bhaji for starters, followed by a chicken bhuna and beef keema for the main, and side dish of savoury rice and Bangalore aloo. All directed by our marvellous hosts Claire and Linda and their team of helpers supplying us with tea and snacks through the day. I’ve even learnt some knife skills, not managed to cut myself unlike when I worked at the food bank last year, and I’ve even managed to impress my wife. We’ve had a great time and suspect we’ll be back for seconds.

You can find out more information on the Indian takeaway cookery class and the other courses on offer at The Nottingham School of Cookery.




Nick Cook. Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it.

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