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“Don't be timid, it's really good fun!”

Spice Monkey Cookery School
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Spice Monkey is a cookery school that will show you how to make great tasting Indian home cooking. All our courses are hands on and you'll learn how to mix spices, create pastes and build flavour into your dishes. We have courses for vegetarian and non-vegetarians, fans of Street Food, bread + pickles, and fish. Set in a homely environment, we place our emphasis on learning through enjoyment.
Reviewed 19 March 2014

On a chilly but sunny Saturday morning, 6 strangers gathered round the large wooden table in Mrs. G's conservatory while she potters away in the kitchen. Over the course of the next 4 hours we would learn the fundamentals of indian one-pot (home) cooking plus some tips and tricks such as how to skin and and portion out a whole chicken and how to open a coconut into two clean halves with a mallet!

The course is taught by Nikita, a man who toured with the great Madhur Jaffrey and whose light-hearted, cheeky manner brings everyone together immediately. To begin with he introduced us to a variety of spices used in indian cooking, in non-powdered form. The first thing I thought was just how unique and potent all of these flavours are. But I worried: how will I possibly know which ones will go well together? This is where the main theme of the day comes in...

The beginners course teaches you all about what Mrs. G calls "The Usual Suspects", the spice combinations that underpin most indian curries. Alongside these we're also taught how to make a typical garam masala, a curry paste to bring heat to your dish and also how to 'layer' the flavour into the dish as you go, step by step. Nothing here is overly complicated, but master these basics and suddenly a whole world of experimentation is opened up to you since you now know where and when to try new things out and develop your own personal style.

Taking it in turns to do the hands-on bits, we cooked a chicken dish, a potato dish and a cauliflower dish. We also made a sweet, yoghurt-like dish with passionfruit and spices. Halfway through the day we broke for a lovely creation of Mrs. G's, with some refreshing Chai (sweet, spiced tea) that I've since taken to brewing up at home. Finally, once all the dishes were made we sat down at Mrs. G's dining table, surrounded by various old photos and memorabilia that gave a great sense of occasion, and tucked into our creations. A lovely meal!

One word of advice: now, perhaps it was because I was always leaning in over the pots to take in the flavours, but I emerged from the day pretty 'well spiced' myself! It's worth leaving yourself enough time to change and freshen up if you're going out afterwards! :P

Thank Stephen_Etheridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"garam masala"
in 7 reviews
"indian home cooking"
in 5 reviews
"cooking experience"
in 5 reviews
"learn how"
in 7 reviews
"great teacher"
in 5 reviews
"cauliflower bhaji"
in 3 reviews
"advanced class"
in 3 reviews
"tips and tricks"
in 3 reviews
"learning how"
in 4 reviews
"private class"
in 2 reviews
"basic spices"
in 2 reviews
"indian curries"
in 2 reviews
"dry humour"
in 2 reviews
"great birthday present"
in 2 reviews
"learnt loads"
in 2 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 5 reviews
"small group"
in 3 reviews
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146 - 148 of 148 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2014

After many years spent making amateur curry we booked a home cooking class with Spice Monkey. We were not sure what to expect but it turned out to be a brilliant and really informative few hours. Nikita brought everything that we needed to our house and proceeded to take us through the basics of making good curry, whilst simultaneously entertaining us with anecdotes and pictures of his culinary travels in India. By the end of the session we had made 5 different dishes and chapatis and also has a nice little spice mixture stash prepared ready for our next efforts. The curry was absolutely delicious, very different, interesting, fragrant food. We really had a fantastic time and I am sure the lessons learned will stay with us for many years to come. Highly recommended.

2  Thank Lou77London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

If you want to learn how to cook extremely tasty Indian food, you must attend a Spicemonkey course.
Nikita and Mrs Gee create an extremely welcome atmosphere and you get hands on cooking experience.
I took the Veggie Heaven course and the food was absolutely brilliant, there was plenty of it too.
My girlfriend is Indian and claims that her dad cooks the best Indian food. I have had to disappoint her because Spicemonkey pips him. The challenge now is to cook half as well.
I will eventually go back for an advanced course.
Highly recommended.

Thank Landor23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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