Patea is a town that caters for the community in many diverse ways.

One of the newest activities is cooking classes at the community centre.

This week Neha Patel from the Patea Four Square supermarket, owned by her family, was at the stove teaching people how to make butter chicken.

Twelve women turned up, eager to learn how to make a delicious butter chicken, a dish they said they were all familiar with.


"I love butter chicken," said Trish Rudolph.

The women were all from Patea and knew Neha well from the Four Square.

"We all shop there and they are a wonderful family, they do a lot in this community," said Trish.

With a large pot and an even larger box of ingredients, Neha talked the women through each step as she stirred, spiced and cooked.

As her students crowded around the stove there were questions being fired from how big should the chicken pieces be to what is the spice that colours the dish red?

Neha said nice bite-sized pieces of chicken were ideal and the red was not a spice.

"No it's just a colouring to make the dish red."

Even though it was a hot day the heat didn't deter this group as they were keen to savour each step of the dish, which took about an hour to make.

Then it was out with forks and plates, the large pot and dish of steaming rice was moved to a serving table and lunch was served.

All the women said they'd definitely be making the dish at home and were excited about their next Indian cooking lesson in a couple of weeks, recipe yet to be confirmed.