If there is one city that knows what it is doing when it comes to Indian cuisine outside of India, it is London. With the number of top-class eateries and restaurants making everything from spicy dahls to crispy onion Bhajis, every day can feel like an Indian food festival in London. Better yet, the city is also bustling with cooking courses that will teach you everything from Indian street food favourites or small plates, to hearty curries and biryani that will transform the way you use your kitchen.
1. Spice Monkey
While all the suggestions to follow are excellent choices for Indian cooking classes, they are hosted at cookery schools which often offer a range of courses in everything from French to Indonesian cuisine. Spice Monkey, on the other hand, is solely an Indian cookery school, so it should be your first choice if you decide to tackle the Indian cuisine hands-on.
There are a number of courses for all abilities, as well as specialist courses available. For instance, you may be interested in getting a very basic, general idea of Indian food, in which case the beginners class is perfect. On the other hand, you may be specifically interested in dissecting the intricacies of Punjabi cooking, in which case the Taste of Punjab course is your best bet. There are options for street food and snacks, for vegetarians, as well as student classes that teach you how efficient a curry can be when navigating the student world. If you want to really hone in on your skills, you can book a private lesson and have the undivided attention of any of the incredibly talented chefs working at Spice Monkey.
Contact: 07956 468541
Address: 191 Victoria Rd, London N22 7XH
2. The Avenue Cookery School
The Avenue Cookery School have Indian cooking classes that go from an inexpensive £76.50 to an all-inclusive £170 with perks like bottomless tipples. The course really emphasises that making high-quality, delicious Indian food neither needs to break the bank nor take you days of preparation. It shows you all the tricks and techniques you can use to make it a painless and rewarding experience every time.
A focus of the course is on spices, which are obviously the backbone to Inidan cooking. Making the perfect curry sauce or sweet chutney is all about the perfect blend of sensational spices. It acknowledges that not every home kitchen will be brimful of exotic flavours, but shows you which are essential and which, though a luxury, are well-worth buying and keeping in your store cupboard so that you can prepare a dreamy masala at the drop of a hat.
Contact: 020 8874 7623
Address: 3 Enterprise Way, London SW18 1FZ
3. Food at 52
The Indian cooking classes at Food at 52 ticks all the boxes and ensures you leave prepared to rustle up a feast. Due to the popularity of the Southern Indian cooking class offered, Food at 52 has developed an Indian street food class, meaning you have the option to choose either.
In the Southern Indian cooking class, you will be able to transform your kitchen into an aroma-filled haven of southern Indian cuisine, discovering the nuances of the region and how to encapsulate the flavours of Kerala in your favourite dishes. In the Indian Street Feast class, you will learn how to make sure your home resembles a food festival in London by becoming a master of the favourites as well as trying some new things. From the pilau rice to spiced lentils, the only thing more exciting and varied than the fun-filled day ahead are the flavours in the dishes you create.
Contact: 07814 027067
Address: 96 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ
4. Cookery School at Little Portland Street
So, you reckon you know the basics in Indian cooking? Are you looking to expand pre-existing knowledge of flavours, aromas and spices of Indian cuisine? Well, then, the Cookery School at Little Portland Street offers an Indian Masterclass that is perfect. The class is taught by food writer Kumud Shah, who walks you through everything from the how-to to the background of the food and recipes.
Before you start cooking, you are provided with an Indian breakfast while Shah talks to you about the basics and background of Indian cooking. Thus, this is not just an opportunity to learn techniques and recipes, but of cultural significance nutritional value, too.
Contact: 020 7631 4590
Address: 15 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BW
5. Le Cordon Bleu
As part of Le Cordon Bleu’s Tastes of Asia series of cooking classes, which also includes Chinese and Thai courses, is the Indian Cooking Course. The class is segmented into the following categories, meaning that every aspect of the cuisine is covered, setting you up to turn your home kitchen into a food festival in London: Spices, Chicken, Lamb, Rice, Bread and Chutney.
The £230 price includes six hours of training (with a half an hour break), all the ingredients necessary and a tea towel – so all you need to do is rock up and cook up a storm. You don’t even need prior knowledge of the cuisine, as the instructors will take you through the requirements step by step, ensuring beginners can keep up and produce all the dishes. Due to the nature of this kind of course, you will be left with plenty of food to take home and enjoy from home.
Contact: 020 7400 3900
Address: 15 Bloomsbury Square, Holborn, London WC1A 2LS
6. The Cooking Academy
The Cooking Academy is a well-known cookery school, which was founded by Kumud Gandhi, who is of Indian heritage and wanted to be able to show people the wonders of the cuisine. So, to learn of Indian spices, curries and aromas here is a noteworthy experience.
This course obviously shows you technique and recipes – these are the cornerstones of cooking classes. However, it also goes into detail about spice trails, their significance and how to shop for spices in a way that you are always stocked and ready to whip up some Indian food without too much hassle or stress. You can take the course as seriously as you like – it is a friendly, relaxed environment and the major objective is to enjoy yourself and learn some tricks to take back to your kitchen.
Contact: 01923 778880
Address: Silverwood, London Rd, Rickmansworth WD3 1JR
The flavours await – all you have got to do is book the course and be hungry when you arrive. The rest will fall into the hands of the very capable chefs at any of these incredible institutions.