Our Indian cookery courses are hugely popular; students can learn everything from the very basics of cooking Indian food through to more complicated techniques alongside knowledge of spices and their uses.
With our new course guide now released for the academic year 2015/16, we talked to Ravi Pathak, tutor of our Indian cookery courses in Peterborough, about why he’s so passionate about cooking Indian food, why he loves teaching and what you could expect from one of his courses.
Ravi’s passion for curry
It’s clear that Ravi is hugely passionate about cooking Indian food, with that passion being a big part of his life from childhood. Ravi said, “I’ve loved cooking Indian food ever since I was very young. I used to cook with my Mum when I was about 12 years old.”
Cooking was a big part of Ravi’s family life, “my sister and I used to help my Mum all the time, we loved home cooking and it became a real family activity for us to all enjoy. It was a big part of my growing up.”
The spice of life
For Ravi, he explains how spicy food intrigued him, “I love eating spicy food and from a young age I wanted to know how it was prepared and why certain spices were used. It quickly became a hobby of mine,” he said.
“It’s fascinating to find out why spices are traditionally used in some curries, for medicinal or other benefits. For example, turmeric is often used because hot temperatures in India made storing meat very difficult and it’s believed that turmeric sterilises the food to some extent,” explained Ravi.
The importance of balance between spices is of particular importance to Ravi – and something those who sign up to his courses enjoy learning about too. Ravi said, “Getting the balance right with spices and herbs makes the experience of eating a curry so much more enjoyable. But it’s still subjective to different people and different taste buds, which is why home cooking and making your own dishes can be so satisfying.
“Commercialised food simply doesn’t appreciate the fine balance of spices needed. You should know what you’re eating and then you can adapt it to your own tastes.”
Sharing a passion for Indian food
Ravi’s journey to teaching Indian cooking began when his sister put him in touch with a Werrington school who were looking for a tutor for the Basic Indian Cooking course. They asked Ravi if he could step in, after his sister has said how passionate he was about cooking Indian food.
From there, Ravi came to know about City College Peterborough and their adult learner courses. Now, Ravi teaches four or five courses at the College a year, ranging from Indian Cookery for Beginners through to Indian Cookery: A Step Further.
Ravi also teaches Saturday courses at the College, for those looking for a introduction to Indian cooking or interested in finding out a little bit more – before signing up to one of the longer courses. Find out more here.
Ravi said, “I cook and teach when I can, as I work full-time alongside being a tutor at the College. It was a real achievement for me when the College’s internal audit praised my teaching, as I take real pride in being a tutor and sharing my passion for cooking Indian food.”
What to expect from a course in Indian cooking with Ravi
Ravi emphasises the real benefit of learning with like-minded people and having the support of a tutor on hand, “with Indian cooking it’s very important that you learn the right processes and how to organise your cooking. For example, to get rice spot on, there’s a certain system you need to follow.
“In the courses I teach at the College students learn all about those processes, alongside how to balance spices and more. A lot of students find they end up saving a lot of money with home cooking curry!”
In a typical class, Ravi would start with a quick presentation on what they plan to learn, what key points they’ll cover and then it’s all practical work with the guidance of Ravi.
But the support students receive doesn’t stop there, “People who have taken my courses will often drop me a quick email to ask for advice or they can always visit my website www.currypassion.com for extra tips and advice.
“It’s great to hear about students continuing to enjoy the art of cooking Indian food, even after they’ve finished their course. What I really love about teaching is just that – it’s sharing my passion with other people; what started as a tradition in my family has gone on to be shared in other families. Students make a dish that evening in the class and then go on to share it at dinner with their family and friends.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about Ravi’s Indian cookery courses in Peterborough get in touch today – call us on (01733) 761361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, find out more about our food and drinks courses.