The quintessential Dal Makhani

For most Indians, going out for dinner at an Indian restaurant was – and still is – about having Dal Makhani, tandoori chicken, palak paneer and tandoori roti with, of course, pyaaz ka salaad and finally, if the pocket permits, kulfi to complete the outing!! Let’s take each one and see if we can recreate […]

This ain't no damn curry in a hurry!

In 1983 I was at the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi working in the soup/continental section in the ‘main kitchen’. This section made soups for the entire hotel, all the restaurants, the banquet rooms, room service and even the Chinese restaurant!! My Chef was John, we called him ‘Uncle John’; he was totally illiterate, […]

How To Cook Like 'Ustaad' Sachin…

In 1981 I was extremely lucky to work at the Moghul Room Restaurant, part of the luxury hotel group of The Oberoi, New Delhi. This was to be my first taste of a classic Indian restaurant with a grand reputation of serving the best of Moghul food, second only to the world-renowned Bukhara in the […]

The Three Pillars of Indian Cooking

The 60’s were a great time for us as kids in Hyderabad. My sister and I studied at the St George’s Grammar School and lived near Osmania University and had a nanny to look after us when mum and dad went out. Life was pretty cool! Hyderabad was also the place where I learnt my […]

goat rogan josh dish

Ajoy meets Mr Karir

“Mrs Joshi”, the tall Sikh colleague of my father said to my mother, “In order for me to make you a beautiful goat dish I want you to go to the markets and buy me this list of ingredients”. Mr Karir (or Uncle as we called him) was the most organised cook I’d ever seen. […]