When I was growing up, home-made curry involved raisins, apple and lots of turmeric. To be fair, my home town of Pontefract was hardly the culinary capital of anywhere and it was only when I moved to Sheffield for university that I had my first real curry. Slowly, but surely, I have trained my taste buds to like spices and heat (and coriander) and curry is now one of my favourite meals.
As a number of South Indian restaurants have been popping up across the city, curry has become more interesting – I’m really starting to learn about the Indian cuisine. I now know what a vada is, what a dosa is and that I will never see a garlic and coriander nann in my favourite Indian restaurant ever again. This is all well and good, but knowing what to order in a restaurant is only half the story. To have any chance of getting to grips with a cuisine, we need to take it into the kitchen and have a crack at it ourselves.
Easier said than done sometimes though, eh? Precisely. Which is why I was intrigued when The Milestone Cookery School started advertising South Indian cookery courses. Admittedly, I was a little sceptical at first as The Milestone is a very British restaurant, but a friend of the family, Manisha Patel, actually runs the classes and, as she grew up in India, her recipes and techniques are very traditional. So when The Milestone kindly offered me a place on the next course I excitedly took them up on the offer!