Food: They went there. They learned. They have changed Indian food!


If the global appreciation of Indian gastronomy is growing, it may be thanks to at least five Indian chefs who have settled in cities abroad.

Not only are these chefs well versed in the flavors and cooking techniques of their homelands, but they have also spent years studying the food, ingredients, antiquity and ethics of the international cities in which they live.

Now, having finally figured out who they are talking to, they are marrying Indian flavors and cooking techniques with local ingredients to completely change the way Indian cuisines are viewed.

How did they do that? Well meet five owner chefs who do some very unique things with Indian food.

Interpret India

Deepankar Khosla, Chef Owner, Haoma, Bangkok, Thailand

Deepankar Khosla’s commitment to the environment is strict. Just like his vitality and his passion for Indian cuisine.

Khosla cooks dishes based on her memories of India and interprets them in the most wacky way possible. For example, his mattar ki lucchi is inspired by his memories of eating outside Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place.

Revolution is in Khosla’s mind, and not just when it comes to overturning the rules of Epicureanism. He started a movement called No One Hungry, for which his team not only prepared free meals for the poor, but also taught them how to feed themselves.

Haoma recently received a three-star approval from the sustainability organization Food Made Good.

“No One Hungry was inspired by the famine in Bengal in which more than four million people lost their lives,” says Khosla.

Native roots

Manoj Sharma, Chef & Founder, Jugaad, Paris, France

Chef Manoj’s idea is to add Indian flavors to local ingredients

Manoj Sharma’s Jugaad was born from a search for memories in the ingredients.

“I try to use these memories with food and twist them with local produce and tectonics. I use favorite local dishes for inspiration and try to pair them with Indian flavors. Therefore, even a dish can be made from different parts of India, ”says Sharma. “I try to bring flavors from all over India into my menu so that people can understand the differences between the various regions of India.”

You’ll find plenty of twisted recipes with Indian flavors on Sharma’s menu, ranging from Iberian pork chop and Malai salmon to bhel tuna, makhani burrata and powdered squid fritters. His idea is to add Indian flavors to local ingredients: basically local products with an Indian soul.

“Never give up. Most importantly, listen to your own feelings,” Sharma says of learning to free ourselves from judgment. He believes that once this is settled, we will discover the freedom to magnify our galaxy of creation and begin to explore. our curiosity.

At Jugaad, you see a different kind of Indian cuisine. It’s open, with golden tandoor ovens alive in the middle of the room, serving dishes from around the world with Indian flavors. About 75 percent of Sharma’s clients are local French.

Flavors of the past

Sunil Ghai, Chef Owner, Pickle, Dublin, Ireland

Chef Ghai's cuisine is like a love letter to India with iconic street food
Chef Ghai’s cuisine is like a love letter to India with iconic street food

Pickle is inspired by maps of North India and Ireland, and Chef Sunil Ghai aims to serve authentic North Indian cuisine made with the finest Irish produce.

“Why is Indian food so good? ” he asks. “Because these flavors are refined by the eras of history.”

In his menus, Ghai returns again and again to the street food of North India, modifying the techniques of the grandmothers. With signature dishes like the aloo tikki inspired by a street vendor from Gwalior and the keema pao goat (yes, no lamb), his cuisine is both a love letter to India and a conquest. of the rigor which can slow down Indian cuisine.

Ghai’s Map of India has rough markings to show the regions of India that appear in his food. The menu also reflects his career as a chef. As a teenager in Gwalior, he cooked with his mother. In Delhi, he worked in formal kitchens. Today he explores the tastes and techniques of other regions every time he visits India.

The other map is that of Ireland, the homeland of the products Ghai adores. “We have a large number of fans with many regulars including Irish rugby players, actors and musicians,” Ghai said. “Bollywood actor Rajkummar Rao loved it,” he adds.

Overall, Pickle is an ingredient-focused restaurant with a story behind every dish.

The world around a

Sanjeev Pandey, Chef Owner, Indian Harvest, Chicago, USA

Chef Sanjeev cooks Indian dishes, but his varied dishes reproduce the workings of his own mind
Chef Sanjeev cooks Indian dishes, but his varied dishes reproduce the workings of his own mind

Pandey has been a force in Indian cuisine for 22 years now, but not necessarily in a way that sparks large-scale movement.

While chefs like Vineet Bhatia and Srijith Gopinath have thousands of admirers, Sanjeev Pandey’s handiwork is of a more private and special strain. He cooks dishes that speak of India, family and memory, yes, but ultimately his various fusions of dishes and flavors mimic the workings of his own mind.

Indian Harvest aims to be the go-to Indian restaurant in the community. The restaurant periodically presents varieties of regional Indian cuisine.

“I also incorporated some dishes from my grandmother’s kitchen. I try to incorporate several rustic dishes on the menu, which receive high praise from our guests around the world. Our core values ​​are to serve fresh, filling meals with care, ”Pandey shares.

Allahabadi’s aloo, a recipe from his grandmother, is a must order at every table. “Winter in my hometown was cilantro harvest season and my grandmother made the most eclectic combination of fresh potatoes and cilantro seeds. It would be selfish of me not to share this art with the world, ”Pandey smiles.

The philosophy with which he works is to use fresh and attentive ingredients while integrating new trends in the kitchen. “We have seen generations of our regulars. They are dear to us all and we look forward to continuing to nurture relationships with the local community and beyond, ”said Pandey.

Small but full

Rohit Ghai, Chef Owner, Kutir, London, United Kingdom

Rohit says it's important to learn and absorb new things without forgetting the roots
Rohit says it’s important to learn and absorb new things without forgetting the roots

Rohit Ghai’s intellect is like a butterfly net. It sweeps everywhere, picking up inspirations from everywhere. So it’s no surprise to learn that he got his first Michelin star in record time after opening Jamavar London in 10 months, posy that he opened Kutir. his first solo adventure.

Ghai defines his cuisine as the compression of desire into mouth-watering bites. It’s much more than that, more like a belligerent tête-à-tête with not only history but India’s relationship with food. “At Kutir, we never forget our roots and traditions and express them through our work in our modern Indian edible bites. It’s important to learn and absorb new things, but never forget who you are, ”says Ghai.

People love the food in Kutir because of the right combination of ingredients and the balance of spices. There is in Kutir a constant and attentive flow of freshness, ideas and cheerful ingredients, for example, quail naan, Ghati prawns, chicken chops with lentil salad from the puy, morels stuffed with au wild berry chutney, etc.

Kutir is not limited to its codes of delight. It is also known for its location in Chelsea, as well as Ghai’s approach to sustainability and relevance. “Realism is what makes our food exclusive. Each dish has my story and my expressions, which is like a catalyst for the start of new thoughts, ”Ghai sums up.

From Brunch HT, August 15, 2021

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