Thursday, 27th April, 2017
At Prashad, we jump at the opportunity to share tried and testing cooking tips, tricks and techniques, pass on our extensive knowledge and introduce people to meat free Indian food.
Since our appearance on Gordon Ramsay's Best Restaurant in 2010, we have built on this with the release of two best selling cook books by Prashad co-founder Kaushy Patel, introduced our cookery demonstration days and now we're being approached by chefs from abroad - a testament to the Prashad brand and our journey so far.
In the summer, we're looking forward to welcoming Wendy Davies; a vegetarian chef from France through the doors of Prashad. Wendy will be joining us on one of our cookery demonstration day sessions followed by a first hand chance to experience the atmosphere of a commercial kitchen alongside Head Chef of Prashad, Minal Patel with the opportunity to learn more about authentic vegetarian Indian cuisine.
Originally from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, Wendy and her family moved to Brittany, North West France in 2006. Just 4 years later, having been a vegetarian for more than 30 years Wendy started Chamomile Cuisine; a vegetarian cookery school that specialises in running courses with schools, charities and organisations to promote healthy eating, cooking skills and reducing food waste where possible.
Wendy also completed her Cordon Vert diploma at the UK Vegetarian Society Cookery School in Altringham.
As seen on BBC Countryfile 2016, our Rhubarb Sizzler is a seasonal starter that was created to celebrate our Gujarati heritage and embrace our connections to the Yorkshire region.
4-5 Kenyan green chillies, trimmed but not de-seeded
5-6 Garlic cloves, soaked and peeled
250g Sorghum flour, sieved
50g gram (Chickpea) flour, sieved
600g Rhubarb, chopped and then coarsely blended
50ml sunflower oil
3tsp coriander powder
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp asafoetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 ½ tsp sugar
1½ tsp salt
1 handful fresh coriander, washed and finely chopped
Minal was born to have a special and fruitful bond with food…
After marrying Bobby in 2004, she packed her possessions and moved over to the UK to live with Bobby and his family, from the day she got off the plane it was a very steep learning curve. Some of which is down to coming from a world which was slower and simpler, and in some ways much more peaceful than ours.
Minal is strong, determined and focused but always remains calm and avoids any potential confliction. Growing up she remembers cutting out recipes featured in her local newspaper, going home and making it straight away following an age old custom of sharing with the rest of the village. This would set off a chain reaction of cooking for neighbours allowing her to be in her element.
Imagine her excitement after finding out what Bobby’s family do for a living! From the day she first entered Prashad’s kitchen, it seemed like there was a new light shining through. She was quick off the mark to learn from Kaushy and equally so to share her knowledge. Hara Bara kebab was the first dish she introduced to the restaurant and its a firm customer favourite.
For many years before the days of Prashad, Kaushy was a housewife focused on providing an amazing environment for her children to grow up in.
Cooking for neighbours, ensuring her house was perfect and organising sleepovers all became second nature. To this day she is still very house proud and spends a lot of time making sure everything is just as she wants.
Going back a few years now, an opportunity came up to buy the local deli and with the support of husband Mohan they decided to change things a little… well a lot. They acquired the deli and set about sharing their warmth through food, the deli became a hotspot for the surrounding Indian community. Kaushy forged warm relationships with all of her customers and quite often customers would pop in just for a chat.
She would always give the kids Indian sweets when they visited and even today I will meet people who will draw back to that memory.
Her family and caring attitude flowed throughout Prashad and customers quickly became friends. Prashad’s world and personality stemmed from Kaushy, over a 12 year period through her amazing cooking and people nature she laid strong foundations for future success.
Towards the end of last year, we were approached by SUMA Wholefoods to see if we'd go in and do the Christmas dinner for their staff.
We've been working with SUMA for a while now, and always look to strengthen our relationships with people and organisations that share the same values as us. We jumped at the chance to help out with the idea later evolving it was decided that we would ask the staff for a voluntary contribution that would in turn be donated to a chosen charity.
On the day, Minal was a little nervous at first and felt out of her depth in someone elses kitchen but she soon found her feet and created a feast including starters, curries, rice and even puri.
This year Mohan has been busy fundraising for an orphanage in India which was televised on a religious channel. The event lasted a total of 7 days and an incredible £50,000 was raised for the ashram.
We have recently been told that the staff contributed a massive £1,300 and even more so that SUMA doubled the donation, bringing the total up to £2,600. Can't begin to explain how touched we are by everyones generosity.
We're extremely proud to be part of a healthy, growing partnership with SUMA - looking forward to working on more projects together in the future.