Chefs from an Indian takeaway gave up their spare time to teach vulnerable people the art of making the perfect curry.

Hamid Uddin and son Mohim, who own The Ruby on Braintree High Street, spent an evening running a cooking masterclass for residents at New Direction Lifehouse in Bocking End.

Run by the Salvation Army, the centre offers accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness.

After observing Hamid make a classic chicken Bhuna curry, the residents were given ingredients and equipment so they could have a go and make their own.

Mohim said: “We wanted to see how we could give back to the local community. We’ve been raising money for local charities and supporting local projects as part of our ‘Curry for a Cause’ campaign.

“We approached The Salvation Army to see if we could help residents of New Direction Lifehouse. As The Salvation Army is supporting people to develop life skills and get back on their feet we thought we could help with cooking.

“It’s been a lovely experience to meet the residents. The residents really got involved.”

Bob, a resident who took part in a masterclass, added: “It was superb and the best bit was eating the curry. It was kind of them to come and spend their time showing us how to do it.”

The cooking lesson forms part of a wider campaign run by The Ruby aimed at raising money and awareness of good causes in Braintree.

Restaurant bosses will be donating five per cent of each sale in March to New Direction and the nearby First Stop Centre.

Sharon Ralph, service manager at New Direction said: “We don’t just give homeless people shelter – we give them all the support they need to rebuild their lives, including housing advice and training in basic life skills.

"So when Hamid and Mohim from The Ruby reached out to us to offer cooking master classes we were so pleased.

"All too often people make sweeping judgements about people experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army wants people to see the individual and recognise their potential.

"I know the curry masterclasses would have encouraged our residents by letting them know people do care."

For more information about The Salvation Army’s homelessness services, visit