There are not too many of us who can claim to make the perfect Indian chicken jafrezee dish, but to let you in on a little secret, you can learn in Christchurch.

Coriander’s Ethnic Indian Restaurant is holding cooking lessons each weekend to help locals master the art of Indian cuisine.

The cooking classes have been running for almost two years and have been extremely popular, says general manager Gopi Sajja.

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“People love to do something different in their own kitchen, try some new dishes. It’s very hard to learn from the youtube videos, and learn by yourself.

“The cooking class gives them confidence. They come here to learn the tricks. Like the oil from the tomato sauce, we just pass on these tricks, and give them the experience of how to cook their own curries.”

Sajja came to New Zealand in 2003 and has been with the restaurant since it opened its doors in 2006. For him, a curry is about food sharing and family bonding.

He says it is a great for both the expert and the beginner. “We have mango chicken and butter chicken, which are more creamy. Kids love it, because it is sweet, with a very low spice level.”

The purpose of the classes is to teach those unfamiliar or advanced how to better their Indian cooking, and to then eat or take home the dish you create.

Coriander’s masterclasses give participants the opportunity to learn from a seasoned chef about using spices and sauces expertly, or in some cases not so expertly.

Classes at the St Asaph St branch are taught by the restaurant’s head chef Uttam Singh.

Singh gained his knowledge of Indian food from the ground up, working in hotels in India. He started over a decade ago as a commis chef and worked his way up through the ranks tobecome a chef de cuisine.