A Pangbourne woman has published a cook book to help those wanting to try their hand at cooking Indian dishes.

Balwinder Kapila, 59, wrote A Pinch of Spice in memory of her son Aman. She said: "It has given me a focus. For years, my friends in Pangbourne have been asking for the secret to Indian food, but as a British person who grew up in an Indian family, I didn't think there was any particular secret - it all seemed perfectly natural.

"When I was asked if I would give cooking lessons to show how it was done, I tried to explain that it was easy.

"I think perhaps the idea of using unfamiliar spices and ingredients, coupled with visions of standing by the stove for hours on end, made it all seem too much of a challenge for many people. I hope this book helps dispel some of those myths, and inspires people to be adventurous and enthusiastic about trying these recipes."

Creating the book has taken years of work, and Balwinder, who has lived in Pangbourne for 22 years, said that support from the community, as well as family and friends, turned her 'small booklet' into a full-scale project.

"Cooking together, testing recipes in each other’s homes, sharing my ideas of food and culture have played a big part," she said.

Balwinder's passion for cooking began when she was about nine years old, when she decided to surprise her mother one day when she returned from work.

When asked what advice she would give to anyone looking to publish a cook book, she said: "It’s going to take a lot longer than you anticipate, particularly if you are self publishing. Even when you think you’re nearly at the finishing stage there are probably still months of work to do. Test and test your recipes - involve your family and friends.

"Photography masterclasses, designing, copy-editing and proofreading all played their part. You just don’t realise how many aspects there are to writing a book, particularly one with photographs and instructions.

"Probably one of the most difficult things I learnt was the software programme to produce the book - hours and hours in front of the computer. But to get a professional finish it all seems worth it."

For more information about A Pinch of Spice, visit https://www.balskitchen.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/balskitchen/.