Azmal Hussain, the head chef at Preem and Prithi, is an outsider on the strip. Like most first-generation East-End Bengalis, he was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh. Unlike the rest of them, he trained in Sweden, and ran that country�s largest chain of Indian restaurants.
Hussain runs Monday-night curry cookery classes at Preem and Prithi. The night I join in, he has 14 students, including a Canadian couple, four Japanese women, and seven Londoners from an activities-based social club.
He slices onions for bhaji like a mechanical guillotine, his thumb gliding away from the falling knife as if it is being pulled along by an invisible string.
When Hussain transfers the bhaji mix into a pan of hot oil, it slides elegantly from his hand, but it seems to acquire a higher relative viscosity when the class attempts the same exercise, leaving soft battered fingers all a
ound. While the bhajis sizzle and spit, Hussain effortlessly prepares pakora for 14. He claims pakora mix is Kentucky Fried Chicken's secret recipe, and quickly poduces a huge bowl of Kentucky Fried Cauliflower.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
According to the Times on Saturday, curry cookery classes are held every Monday night, 7-10pm at Preem and Prithi restaurant, 124 Brick Lane E1 (020-7247 0397). That might be a cheaper and less inconvenient alternative to a Benares master class as I wouldn't have to take a day off. It sounds pretty good according the reporter who went. Brick Lane is an interesting trip as well. I've only been there once.
at 3:30 pm