The Producers

Padmaja Kochera

Padmaja Kochera - Credit: Archant

Cook With Padmaja Indian Cookery Classes, Braxted Park

PADMAJA Kochera is a trained civil engineer and works full time now as a purchasing manager for a leading manufacturing company in Rochford. However, her passion is to teach people how to cook authentic Indian dishes. She teaches in her spare time at the Braxted Cookery School and her regular class, Curry, Curry, Curry, is extremely popular.

‘It’s a one-day course and the dishes I feature are ones I remember from my childhood,’ says Padmaja. ‘I teach how to balance spice blends and temper to perfection to give a greater depth of flavour.’

Not only will she teach you how to make the perfect curry paste, Padmaja will also show you the secret to cooking perfect rice! She also teaches on a one-to-one basis from her home in Benfleet and at various cookery schools throughout Essex. In 2008 she was the winner of BBC2’s cookery competition Step up to the Plate where she had to cook against top chefs Paul Rankin and John Burton Race and she’s also been featured at the BBC’s Good Food Show.

Her desire to teach was brought about by seeing what is currently enjoyed as Indian cuisine. ‘I wanted to teach people what real Indian food is all about instead of opting for takeaway meals that are neither tasty, nor as healthy as the real thing. I wanted to show people how easy it is to prepare meals at home which your family will enjoy.’

Padmaja’s Curry, Curry, Curry course includes chicken curry with ground spices, lamb curry with fresh curry leaves, fish curry with tamarind, spicy beef fry with fresh coconut and potato and pea masala, all of which you learn to prepare throughout the day. At the end of the lesson it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour with your fellow students and a glass of wine.

‘Having spent my childhood eating authentic Indian food, my cooking is simple, authentic and flavoursome. My experimental style incorporates trying new techniques and methods to provide my own twist on traditional Indian recipes,’ explains Padmaja. ‘So few people have tasted real, Indian cuisine and I love seeing the surprise on their faces when they cook something and taste it for the first time.’

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curry, Curry, Curry

At the Cookery School

Braxted park Estate

Witham CM8 3EN

07725 732178