I worry if a recipe says ‘one green pepper’ and the bottom drawer of my fridge just contains a red pepper. A missing ingredient has frustrated me so much I have been known to give up and grab a takeaway menu. When a link to a class called Fast Family Food popped up on my social media I signed up immediately.
Imran Nathoo, a former Masterchef 2017 contestant, runs several cookery classes from Let Them See Cake in Cardiff. This one caught my attention as it ticked off a few of my kitchen anxieties. This was the description:
Over the last year Imran has been working on a new way to tackle the age old question of what’s for dinner tonight. Imran says ‘we became a family of four last year which was both awesome and terrifying at the same time! Food for me is more than just a source of energy; it needs to be tasty and ideally nutritious too! So I’ve worked hard at trying to come up with new ways to take some of the stress out of family cooking in a way that is relatable’. He goes on to say ‘sometimes TV chefs make it look so easy, however the reality of having to cook a meal for the whole family in about 30 mins with both kids in meltdown is something that is not often portrayed on TV. Also the ingredients need to be relatable too with consideration to prep time and basic equipment.
Gareth from Let Them See Cake served up hot filter coffee (£2.50) as other ‘pupils’ arrived. The class is very sociable. There were nine other pupils in the room. I can’t think of a better word than pupils so I’ll stick with that :-).
We were encouraged to ask questions at any point and we had a lot of questions.
Imran went through three recipes in front of us, sharing tips and tricks at each step. He showed that Fast Family Food is possible as long as you plan; and as he said this is the boring part. I struggle with being able to adapt a recipe on a bit of paper in front of me. This class was all about keeping it simple and adapting. We were shown how switching a recipe from meat to vegetarian or vice versa makes a nice change and stops you racing to the supermarket. The quality of frozen vegetables and frozen fish is excellent so he advised us to think tactically to save time.
Family meals are (obviously) meant to be eaten by everyone in the house so even the Chickpea Curry had spices that wouldn’t scare a five-year-old. He mixed Greek yoghurt and chopped cucumber to make a simple side dish. The curry was topped with red onion that had been diced and left in white vinegar for ten minutes.
TV programmes v this real life experience
TV viewers are spoilt for choice but editing tricks don’t give a real insight into the work to produce the finished meal. This experience is live with nowhere for Imran to hide in the kitchen a few yards from our seats. He confessed that when he started at Cardiff University in 2000 he chose to live in the catered halls as: “I couldn’t cook at all.”
I left the class feeling I would no longer be anxious at having the wrong colour pepper in my fridge. Scroll down to check out Imran’s social media accounts to find out about future events.
The cost and future events with Imran Nathoo
I paid £15 for an early bird ticket. The usual price is £20. Keep an eye on Imran’s social media accounts for future events.