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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Saffron Palate: learn to cook like a local

My goal was to create a cultural culinary experience that tells the stories behind our famous dishes…

By Neha Gupta
Owner of Saffron Palate

Come to my home in Delhi to learn the secrets of cooking delicious Indian cuisine. I grew up watching my mother cook and because my father was in the air force, we lived all over India, so I was exposed to regional cuisine. When I started from my little kitchen back in 2013, my goal was to create a cultural culinary experience, something hands-on that would give people a feel for our food but also the stories behind our famous dishes.

To start, I’ll introduce the dishes we’re going to make and go through the ingredients and spices we’ll use. We typically cook four dishes, a mix of vegetarian and chicken, along with breads like rotis and chapatis, but this can be tailored to your dietary needs. Dishes vary by season but we might include a chana masala or biryani – people particularly love the butter chicken and chicken tikka masala.

Guests often say it’s like cooking with a friend – it’s very casual and you can ask me about anything, be it food, culture or being a married woman in India. I live in a multi-floor house with my extended family and they often pop in to meet you. I’ll tell you all about the dishes we’re preparing, what part of the country they’re from and what bread they’re best paired with. Indian food is all about knowing spices, so I also focus on that, as well as how to make dough from scratch for our breads.

Once everything is cooked we eat in the kitchen together or out on the terrace with drinks followed by dessert. The whole class takes around two hours and at the end, you’ll get a copy of my recipe book, as well as a little memento like some masala tea. My guests say they love the hands-on element of the class and getting to see how an Indian household lives. This experience is for anyone who’s fond of trying new things – you don’t need to be a cook, you just need to like food.

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Alfred & Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta was born in Jodhpur but spent her early years moving around India due to her father’s job as an air force officer. After studying political science and working for a solar power company, Neha decided to launch a cooking experience from her home in Delhi. Since starting in 2013, she’s been featured in Lonely Planet and has hosted thousands of guests in her home. Neha believes cuisine is one of the best ways to understand the culture of Delhi.      
Neha Gupta, chef at Saffron Palate