This August, Helm piloted a 4 week block of cooking sessions with a local volunteer, Arshad. At Helm, you can regularly take part in cooking sessions in our commercial kitchen where you will learn how to prepare and cook healthy meals, whilst working towards communication, numeracy and teamwork skills. With this new block of sessions, Arshad gave young people and Helm Instructors an insight into South Asian cuisine based on her own heritage and extensive experience as a chef.

In each of the four sessions young people were given the opportunity to cook recipes from various South Asian cuisines. These included aloo tikki, aloo gobi, chapatis, chickpea pilau rice and lentil curry. The sessions were run as a café style, where the young people were involved in the cooking, observing and recording the recipes, setting up and preparing tables for dinner service, and serving the final cooked meal.

Arshad fully explained the methodology behind each recipe and enabled young people to ask questions and engage in learning about the ingredients used, their health benefits and the huge variety of spices used in cuisines from around the world. Arshad has a strong passion for cooking, and this passion helped to highlight how cooking can bring people together and can be really inclusive.

Some of the young people involved in the sessions told us:

“I loved cooking the chapatis on the griddle, it was great fun flipping them over.”

“My favourite bit was eating it at the end, it was fantastic!  Today I learned what cumin and cardamom is.”

“I have learned how to make chapatis today, they are delicious.”

One of Helm’s Instructors who was involved in the project and supported the young people while cooking was Louise Buchan.  At the end of the four week block, Louise commented: “the project has been a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn first-hand how to cook different recipes from different cultures.  On a personal note, I learnt so much myself about the different spices and cooking methods as well which was fantastic!”

Due to the success of the pilot sessions, Arshad has agreed to continue volunteering and will attend Helm every fortnight to cook with young people. Instructors and young people will then practice the recipes when Arshad is not on site to make sure they have learnt the methodology and skills required to produce a delicious meal!

If you would like to see what else you can get up to at Helm, why not check out some videos by visiting What does Helm offer? – Helm Training | Career Support & Supportive Learning in Dundee.

If you’re interested in coming to Helm, you can book a visit to find out more about what we offer by ringing the main office on 01382 224464 or by emailing  Alternatively, get in touch with us through the website and one of the team will be in touch: Contact Us – Helm Training | Career Support & Supportive Learning in Dundee.