We’re Surinder and Safia of Pure Punjabi, a mother & daughter team dedicated to bringing you into our North Indian culinary traditions.
We give people the knowledge and the accessibility of our Indian kitchen while maintaining, teaching, promoting and passing down the traditional cookery methods of our mothers and grandmothers.
We do this through our Indian Cookery School, Indian meal kits and spice products, private dining, weddings and corporate events.
Everything we do is from the original ‘grandmother’ methods, all by hand. We still make our Garam Masala from scratch. This is home food and we specialise in our own region and not generic ‘Indian’ food. We crush, grind and blend all our own spices and teach the old ways of making Indian village-style food.
Absolutely delighted to win ‘Family Business of the Year’ 2020 South West of England awards from The Federation of Small Business, and to be one of the 3 finalists in Wiltshire Life 2020 “Food & Drink Producer’ awards. Both the FSB Uk finals and The Wiltshire Life finals postponed due to Covid-19.
We were thrilled to be named Top 8 Indian Cookery Courses in the U.K. by Olive Magazine…and for Safia to be appointed as a Gourmet Guru by Love Pulses, as part of the United Nations Campaign to make 2016 the ‘Year of the Pulse”.
We were also very proud to be selected as one of the 2016 Small Business Saturday 100, chosen from small businesses across the U.K. culminating in an invitation to a reception at No. 10 Downing Street.
Named a Top 8 U.K. Indian cookery course by Olive Magazine
We deliver cookery workshops, welcoming small groups with North Indian cookery tuition in the mother-daughter style. The Pure Punjabi cookery school was formed from consistent customer feedback from the pop-ups…to learn to cook the traditional home-style way.
Our first ‘Indian Experience’ cookery workshop was delivered back in June 2013, and since then we have welcomed hundreds of lovely customers into our home to learn the traditional methods of home-style cookery. Click here to see more
- 2013 A Great Taste Award Gold Star for Tandoori Masala.
- 2013 The food events launched with the first pop-up restaurant. An Indian food experience evening of traditional North Indian food, layered with professional Indian dance performance between the courses, each one having a charity and community fundraiser. Private event bookings followed.
- Safia selected as finalist in “The young Entrepreneur of the Year” category, in the Enterprising Wiltshire Awards.
- 2014, Pure Punjabi in a National Lottery diversity project to ensure that children in the New Forest area grow up with cultural and gastronomic awareness, through teaching about traditional food, cultural similarities & celebrations.
- Pure Punjabi were selected as one of the ‘Small Biz100’, in The Small Business Saturday campaign – 100 small businesses selected every year to represent small business across the U.K.
- Future growth and expansion of the business saw the filming of the traditional cookery courses in 7 dietary versions, as an e-learning video course, to enable everyone to access the traditional learnings.
- 2016 A Great Taste Award, 2 Gold Stars for Tandoori Masala.
- 2017 FreeFrom Food Awards, Bronze in the ‘No Top 14” allergens for Pure Punjabi Masoor di Dhal.
- Safia appointed as an international ‘Gourmet Guru’ by the Love Pulses/ United nations initiative declaring 2017 “The Year of the Pulse”
- Launch of the Meal Kit Boxes – created to enable customers to prepare and eat traditional, authentic Punjabi food, as taught on the workshops, but conveniently prepared and packaged to be quick & simple.
- 2019 Great Taste Award for Tikka Paste and Punjabi Chicken
Where we are today:
- The pop-ups have evolved into weddings.
- 2017, Olive Magazine named Pure Punjabi as one of the Top 8 Indian cookery courses in the U.K. with consistently high reviews and bookings
- 2019 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for consistently excellent reviews.
- 2019 – Selected by a Los Angeles marketing company GroundSwell, on a worldwide search for a chef of Indian origin or descent to lead and provide an authentic culinary experience for their international client’s conferences Freshworks, on a European 10 city experience roadshow.
- Through to first round of ‘The Pitch’ in London in October 2019 to pitch for potential investment and business growth.
- Lux Life Food & Drink Awards ‘Best Indian Cookery School UK’ & ‘Leading Purveyors of North Indian cuisine UK’
- Theo Paphitis #SBS Winners 2019
- Finalists Wiltshire Life Awards 2020 “Food & Drink Producer’
- Winners of the ‘Family Business of the Year’ 2020 South West of England awards from The Federation of Small Business.
- Selected for the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme April 2020.
The European Roadshow
We provided the culinary experience, headed up by Safia, across London, Manchester, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Bornem, Amsterdam, Stockholm & Helsinki. Read about it here.
Surinder is the Founder of Pure Punjabi, which she started in 2010, with the Garam Masala she had learned from her mother, as a young girl.She later added Tandoori Masala, and the business remained with the production of these two products until Safia joined her in 2013.
Born and raised on the south coast of England, in Southsea, Portsmouth in Hampshire, Surinder grew up within a mainstream English environment, attending the girls Grammar School.
It was her mother, Seso, wishing to preserve the knowledge that she could pass to her daughter, who taught her how to cook traditional Punjabi food from scratch. From the age of 7-11 years old, she taught Surinder everything that her own mother and grand-mother had taught her. By the age of 11, Surinder had to be home from school to cook the family dinner each night.
It was only at the tragically early death of her mother, when Safia was only 18 months old, that she realised the extent of the culinary knowledge and expertise that her mother had passed to her.
Whilst raising Safia and her two brothers, as a single mother, Surinder, who had qualified as a Personal Trainer while living in Johannesburg in 1999, and later qualified as a life coach & a performance coach on returning to England. Alongside this, she bought and renovated property, both as residential and buy-to-let. She continues to work as a personal trainer, looking after the health and well-being of a few remaining long-term clients.
in 2013, when Safia unexpectedly found herself between jobs, Surinder offered her the start up funds, support and guidance and a partnership to preserve, teach and promote their traditional North Indian food. When Surinder had founded Pure Punjabi in 2010, this was solely for the production of her mother’s recipes of Garam Masala and Tandoori Masala. These hand-produced jars were made and sold locally at small markets and food events, with no intention to expand the business until Safia actively joined the business in 2013.
Safia is the co-director of Pure Punjabi Ltd, a Top 8 UK Indian Cookery School, food events & products business.
The company focuses on the preservation and teaching of traditional cookery from Northern India, with Safia at the helm of all food production and kitchen management for corporate and wedding events, as well as menu development for both food products and services.
Their client work includes:
• A chairman at Citi Group
• The directors of The Billington Group
• The European director for a major hotel chain
• A ‘Masterchef: The Professionals” finalist and former sous-chef at The Ritz
• International celebrity personal trainers and nutritionists
• The founders of the Help for Heroes charity
Prior to joining Pure Punjabi, Safia served as an International Conference Producer, working with Fortune 500 companies to produce world class speaker line ups and conference agendas in New York, London and Amsterdam. Joining forces with Pure Punjabi’s founder in 2013, as co-director, Safia went onto reach the position of the top 3 Finalists in the ‘Young Entrepreneur’ category at The Enterprising Wiltshire Awards, achieved Great Taste Awards for the business, and was appointed as an International Gourmet Guru by Love Pulses, a campaign organised by The United Nations. She also represented Pure Punjabi at 10 Downing Street, as part of their success as being named one of the U.K. SmallBiz100.
In addition to her role at Pure Punjabi, Safia also works on a freelance basis for Front of House food service for a range of clients, both in the U.K. and abroad. The clientele profile includes royalty, A-list celebrities, sports professionals, film producers and heads of multinational corporations.
We were interviewed by the Telegraph shortly after launching our cookery school…
“How we turned our Punjabi home cooking into a thriving business
A career crisis and a move back home had unexpected benefits for Safia Hothi-Bellamy and her mother Surinder, who now run the Pure Punjabi food company….”
What is Punjabi food ? Click here to learn more.
How did we get started? Click here to read our story.