Posted by Juliet Wheater on 10 Jun 2020

As an enthuastic amateur cook, I’ve recently been wanting to learn something new and to broaden my skill set during the evenings and at weekends and happily for me, thanks to this site I found the Breech Lane Curry House. Based in Walton on the Hill and run by Jaya Malani, who was born and raised in India, Jaya has pivoted her business from face to face cookery classes and supper clubs (which will resume, once its safe to do so) to successful, interactive, online cookery tutorials.

I enrolled within the Saturday morning, chicken curry class and was quickly transported to a wonderful world of aromatic spices, that although I would normally have in my pantry, have never known the power they would unleash once combined. I was completely enthralled when we were treated to viewing Jaya’s 200 year old spice tin. An heirloom passed down the generations of her husband’s family and an integral piece of kit, which Jaya uses daily.

Jaya was friendly and chatty, offering her expert guidance to all participants and regularly observing our pans as we progressed through the recipe. We finely chopped tomatoes and red onions as well as green chillies and having only used my pestle & mortar a handful of times in the many years I’ve owned it, I found it immensely therapeutic grinding fresh ginger and cloves of garlic together.

Jaya dispelled myths that Indian cuisine is not healthy, it’s quite the opposite in fact! I came to realise as we added fresh ingredients, one after the other to our pans, that Indian cooking takes a layered approach, on generally a low heat. I hadn’t appreciated the timings of each delicate spice and its tolerance to heat, as we took the heat up and then down at Jaya’s requests. We worked with ingredients such as: bay leaves, mustard seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, a cinnamon stick, fresh coriander as well as powder, turmeric powder, optional Kashmiri red chilli powder, dry fenugreek leaves as well as garam masala, left to last, so as not to lose any of its delicate complexity. We were encouraged to smell each of the fragrant spices, so that we could begin to understand the differing flavours, we were adding to our meal.

For an hour, I learnt how to make the best use of store cupboard ingredients and more besides, with top tip shortcuts to make every day cooking achievable and enjoyable. For example, in our chicken curry case, give the diced chicken a quick blast of heat, to cook the centre and to produce its own stock, before reducing the heat and always keep the condensation from the lid of your pan, to lock in the moisture for your dish.

The Breech Lane Curry House really takes it up at notch, to invigorate mid-week or in my case, Saturday lunchtime meals. Apparently our chicken curry, if left to marinate, would have tasted even more sublime, had we kept it until dinner time but myself and all other participants, simply couldn’t wait that long and had to demolish it, the moment it had been prepared!

Online classes from £20 with Breech Lane Curry House also offering gift vouchers for special occasions as well as homemade spices and pickles for purchase.  Find the Breech Lane Curry house on Facebook or Instagram or visit the website at .

Juliet x

Juliet Wheater
With over 20 years of experience in the luxury, lifestyle, spa and travel sectors, Juliet Wheater has devised creative, high quality media campaigns for some of the best loved brands internationally.

Juliet heads up the Health & Wellness division at Scarlett PR.

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