Pupils’ masterclass in Punjabi cooking

Sean Little and Bob Arora.
Sean Little and Bob Arora.

A TOP Indian chef has treated children at a North Tyneside school to a lesson in Punjabi cooking.

Kulmeet Arora – known as Bob – owner of Newcastle restaurant Sachins visited George Stephenson High School in Killingworth to show youngsters how to recreate authentic Indian dishes at home.

Bob demonstrated some of the Punjabi region’s best recipes, before the pupils themselves got to try their hand at cooking.

The youngsters also made and named their own dish – The George Stephenson Curry – which was similar to a Tikka Massala, with a few extra ingredients of the pupils’ choice.

Bob said: “I think it’s very important to try and get young people excited about cooking.

“These days there’s a lot of concern over obesity in their age group, and excessive reliance on fast food and takeaways is often to blame.

“I think that with a bit of practice they’ll soon realise that they can create something much tastier at home in about the same time as it takes to order that takeaway meal and wait for it to be delivered – and even better, when it’s home made they can adjust it to their personal tastes and know exactly what’s gone in it.

“I’m also hoping to demystify Indian cooking – it’s actually not as difficult as many imagine and this reputation for complexity it seems to have is completely unjustified.

“The right blend of spices creates the perfect flavour and anyone can learn how to do this.

“The students are great to work with – they are excited by trying new things and seeing how different elements come together to create the flavour of a dish.

“They ask interesting questions and we have some excellent discussions. Some of them proved to have a natural talent – I was worried for my job at times.”

Eleanor Little, a member of staff at the school, said: “Bob’s class was very popular and he proved an excellent tutor, engaging completely with the pupils and happily discussing all aspects of Punjabi cuisine.

“His total enthusiasm for his subject comes across in his demonstrations and he really inspired the students to have a go at cooking recipes many of them would never have imagined attempting before.

“The results were absolutely delicious and were enjoyed by all. We’d certainly look to have him back again to present to more of our students in the future.”