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A true family experience at Our Mother’s Kitchen

All Areas > Food & Drink > Review

Author: Louise Paige, Posted: Tuesday, 31st July 2018, 16:30

Shazia's enormous kitchen Shazia's enormous kitchen

On Saturday we sent our food reviewer Louise Paige to the launch of Our Mother’s Kitchen in Gloucester. The cookery school specialises in Indian cuisine, giving customers the chance to learn new skills and recipes while producing truly authentic dishes. The culinary workshops are run by Shazia Sheikh, who guides visitors through every step of the cooking process.

When I arrived at Our Mother’s Kitchen at the weekend, I was truly blown away by their hospitality. I have been on cookery courses before, but this was something else. Our Mother’s Kitchen in Gloucester, which is headed up by Shazia Sheikh, is an opportunity to learn to cook traditional Indian and Pakistani cuisine in the most beautiful kitchen I have ever seen.

Upon arrival, myself and the other ‘cooks’ were invited into the dining room to sample some food – Shazia had already made some samosas and aloo tikkie for us to try which were delicious. We chatted whilst everybody arrived, and it was lovely to not only have Shazia, but her whole family on hand to help out, including her incredible sous chef and daughter Maarya.

We headed into the kitchen, which was laid out for everyone (up to eight people can take part in the course – using four separate stations) and popped on our aprons. Shazia and Maarya ran through what we were going to make, and shared recipe cards (which we were able to take home after). We had four hours to make an entire meal including starters, a main dish and sides; vegetable and fish pakoras, chicken makhani, Bombay potatoes and of course some poppadoms.

Shazia and Maarya ran us through everything that was required, and spent one-to-one time visiting each station to ensure everyone had understood. All the while answering questions about the origins of the recipes and their heritage, and teaching us some very useful cookery lessons. We all took something away from the course – I learnt that when you are making a sauce, when you notice the oil separating and sitting on top, it means it’s cooked through.

Four hours sounds like an incredibly long time, but the lesson was extremely interactive, and the time flew by. It was fantastic cooking in a kitchen which had so many different spices and ingredients, and learning from a chef who believed that nothing needed to be exact; you can tell by smell or texture whether you’ve added enough of everything. She was flexible with how much you added to each recipe – as someone who doesn’t love spice I was a little more cautious with the chilli!

Once we had cooked all the dishes, Shazia created a delicious rice dish and they plated up our food. We took it through to the dining room, and along with the family, we sat around the table to try out the fruits of our labour. It was a great experience, and made you feel like you had been truly welcomed into the family home. We had made so much food, we had to take some home – there would certainly have been enough for a small dinner party in the evening!

Watching all the dishes come together is extremely satisfying, especially having never cooked Indian or Pakistani cuisine before. This was the first time the course had been run, and they did a fantastic job. I would recommend it to anyone and will definitely be buying the course as a gift for friends.

It helps if you are already someone that cooks, with some prior basic knowledge, however I’m sure if you were a complete novice Shazia would happily be more hands on at your station to help you understand what is needed. 

The flavours that came out of the food were like none I have ever tried. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy an Indian takeaway again – I’ll be making my own from now on!

For more information on the courses available at Our Mother’s Kitchen, please visit www.ourmotherskitchen.co.uk/ 

Other Images

Shazia and Maarya lead the class
Spices galore
The finished dishes ready to be eaten
A delicious starter

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