Weekender: Indian food entrepreneur cooks up a treat with venture for budding chefs

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A Harrogate entrepreneur has launched a new cookery school which aims to teach would-be chefs the secrets of authentic Indian cookery.

Monalisa Fathima is opening her Indian cookery school in January and will run lessons every Friday. The school is based in her Saffron Tree’s professional kitchen at Follifoot Ridge Business Park in Pannal.

Multi-award winning cook Monalisa currently produces over 1,000 chilled main meals a week in the Saffron Tree kitchen. The 40-year-old entrepreneur has invested over £200,000 in the business including the latest utensils and equipment for the cookery school.

Using traditional techniques and the finest quality ingredients to create exquisite dishes, Monalisa has launched the cookery classes in order to pass on her knowledge to ‘at home’ cooks and to share the secrets of what makes Indian food so unique.

The six-hour sessions reveal how to create curry pastes, grind spices, marinate meats and layer flavours to create a stunning four course Indian meal. Courses are offered covering the preparation of chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Fathima said: “I’m a great believer in the power of learning through observation and instruction, which are the same techniques that parents and grandparents have used for centuries to pass down traditional Indian recipes through the generations.

“This is where my passion for cooking comes from and I can’t wait to share it with others. With a range of courses to choose from based on dietary choice and ingredients, and with a maximum of four people per lesson, the experience is designed to build confidence in a fairly intimate setting.

“The overall aim of the lessons is to teach students how to make a delicious four-course meal that I hope will become part of their own culinary repertoire.”

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