With Indian food still regularly appearing in the top 10 of the nation’s all time favourite dishes, what better way of impressing your friends and family than serving up an authentic curry you have made yourself?

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Jamil Miah, the owner of Denley’s Essence of India in Topsham - which was named the best Indian restaurant in Devon at the 2011 and 2013 British Curry Awards - is opening a “curry school”, where people of all culinary abilities can learn to make a curry from scratch.

“People are very curious how curries are made and a lot of them want to make them properly, not just open a jar of sauce,” Jamil says. “We are offering one course where you can learn to prepare quick and easy meals for your family, but also another course where we have a real in-depth session on food for special occasions, where a curry can take four hours to make.”

Beginners will learn to make the staple dishes of any restaurant menu, such as korma, Madras and vindaloo, while the more advanced courses teach the more involved meals.

“We will also be giving some secrets away - such as how to prepare spices correctly so they release their flavours properly. Most people just pop dry spices into hot oil, but then they just burn on the outside and don’t really give out their true taste,” Jamil says.

The curry school holds one-day courses on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and will be held in Denley’s new VIP room.

The room, which seats up to 20 people, has a galley kitchen unit down one side, and this can also be booked for special occasions where your meal will be cooked in front of you. A special one-on-one course is also being offered, where you plan a meal and then prepare and cook it with the chef before your friends and family join you in the VIP room to enjoy it.

The courses will be for a maximum of six people a time and Jamil, who has owned restaurants for almost 20 years, following in the footsteps of his father and uncle, will be doing the teaching.

He has already had interest from several companies keen to participate in the courses as team-building exercises.

“At the end of the day, I love sharing my knowledge with people,” Jamil says. “And if I can equip them with the knowledge and confidence to prepare a meal to share with their family, then I will be delighted.”

For more information, visit www.denleyscurryschool.co.uk or call 01392 875675.

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