• 24th August 2012 - By Indian Accent Restaurant

    By Samai Singh, Travel & Leisure

    MANISH MEHROTRA

    Indian Accent, Delhi

    THE RECENT WINNER OF THE TV SHOW FOODISTAN, IN CONVERSATION WITH T+L

    Your love affair with Indian cuisine began?

    Ever since I was born…. But I developed a relationship with India cuisine about 16 years ago, when I started cooking.

    Has Indian cuisine evolved in the last 10 years?

    Indian cuisine has really evolved in the last decade. It has gone beyond the usual butter chicken and dal makhni. People today are looking for more of regional cuisine with a contemporary style of presentation. They also fancy foreign ingredients in their food. They want to dine in the Indian restaurant like the ones in New York. And yes, the food and wine-pairing concept is the latest craze amongst all.

    What was the NDTV good times show Foodistan experience like?

    It was a great experience, which made me happy as I learnt a lot of things there.

    Your greatest contribution to the current culinary scene?

    I have put in a lot of effort to get Indian cuisine out of the influence of old time Punjabi-centric style of cooking by giving it a makeover. I am also trying to get the forgotten regional dishes in to the limelight.

    Whose food, among your peers does you like eating?

    Sabyasachi Gorai or chef Saby, as he’s better known of olive Bar & Kitchen fame.

    Your food mentor? Several. In this profession one can learn anything from anywhere, from a five star chef or from a halwai or even from your own mom.

    What does Indian food mean to you? Indian food is everything for me. I love eating it and innovating new dishes in Indian food. It has got everything from color to texture and from taste to variety.

    Your favorite food is?

    Mushroom risotto.

    What do you cook as comfort food?

    Khichdi and Maggi.

    Indian Accent has put you in the spotlight for innovative cuisine. How do you continue to evolve the menu?

    It’s an ongoing process that requires a lot of research. Study, food trials and of course, travel. These day-to-day activities inspire me and give me ideas to invent and bring twist to Indian traditional dishes.

    Your most innovative creations?

    There are many and it is really difficult to pinpoint any single in the lot. But I would say warm doda burfi, treacle tart; mishti doi cannoli; meeta achaar Canadian spare ribs, and karadhi tiger prawns.

    His Signature Recipe:

    Panko Crusted Bharwan Mirch. Goat Cheese Mousse, Chilli Aam Papad Chutney.

    INGREDIENTS 2 green chillis; 60 gm goat cheese; 5 gm red capsicum (diced); 5 gm yellow capsicum (diced); 3 gm roasted cumin powder; 30 gm besan; 1 gm ajwain; 2 gm red chilli powder; I gm turmeric; panko bread crumbs for crumbing; oil for frying; 30 ml sweet chilli sauce; 20 gm aam paped (chopped)

    Preparation

    • Cut the green chillies lengthwise from the centre
    • Boil water and blanch the chillis
    • Drain and cool
    • Prepare the goat cheese mixture by adding small dices of red and yellow capsicum, roasted cumin and white pepper powder
    • Stuff the green chilli halves with the goat cheese mixture.
    • Prepare the batter with besan ajwain red chilli and turmeric
    • Dip the stuffed green chilli in this batter and rollin panko breadcrumbs.
    • Deep fry the crumbed chillis til the colour of breadcrumb is golden brown.
    • Mix the chopped aam papad and sweet chilli sauce.
    • Serve the fried chillis with this sauce.

    MEHROTRA PREFERRED SPOTS

    Ingredients In Delhi it is definitely INA market and Khan Market; while in London it is Borough Market and China Town.

    Top 3 restaurants Fish n’ chips shop, Covent Garden in London, Punjabi by Nature in Noida, and China Kitchen at the Hyatt Regency Delhi.

    Sugar Fix there are many but my palate can never resist mishti dahi form Mother Dairy.

    Utensils there is no specific place where I get my utensils from. Its just that whenever I go and find good stuff, I pick it up there and then.

    Cookbook and show: – I am a fan of the cooking shows by English chef Rick Stein. As for as cookbooks are concerned I like The Flavor Thesaurus by Niki Segnit.

    Favorite Indian drinks Shikanjivi form Indian Accent

    Travel-Leisure-08-2012-1

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