Parsee Food – a beautiful yatra!!

1985 was a very memorable year for me professionally. I finally became a ‘chef’ (I was just a cook before that and called a commis) and within a few weeks I was made a ‘banquet chef’, a post usually given to a sous-chef, but that did not matter as banquet chefs have a large role to play in […]

Why add the damn-d nuts?

In 1987 I was sent to Ooty (Oothagamandalam) to cater for the United Breweries’ annual conference spread over seven days. My job was to manage a team of chefs from the hotel and look after the breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, cocktails and dinner for all the UB guests during their stay. That was the easy […]

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, […]

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 […]