4 chefs share their best memories and recipes of food Advertisement

4 chefs share their best memories and recipes of food

Step back in time with these recipes

By ELLE team  February 12th, 2018

Every dish has a story. Some are passed down, while others are modern interpretations. Four chefs let us into their kitchens to share their most cherished recipes so you can party it out in Phuket and soothe the aches away in Koh Samui. Then tuck into vegan Ice cream at Sucres Des Terres.

Treat yourself with these delicacies:

Chef Aminder, 37, ARTH

“My grandmother lived near Deomali in Arunachal Pradesh. When we visited her, we’d go into the forest for picnics. My uncle taught us how to fish and hunt, and we’d cook what we caught, in bamboo, over coal. He was an exceptional cook, and made me realise my love for cooking. This dish, his recipe, is a reimagining of those days; the rice is one of the staples of the native tribes”




10” bamboo cylinder,200gm mutton, 30gm browned onion, 25gm curd, 1/4 tsp red chilli powder,1 tsp ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 allspice leaf, 2-4 black peppercorns, 4 garlic cloves, 2 whole red chillies, 1 bamboo skewer, salt to taste, 50gm jasmine rice, 2 Alpinia leaves, 1/2 onion, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 cucumber, coriander, green chillies, 1 Kaji lemon wedge 


Skewer the mutton with garlic and red chillies. Marinate in browned onion, allspice, black peppercorns, red chilli powder, salt and curd. Put the mutton skewer into the bamboo, and pour the remaining ingredients into it. Cover with foil and cook on smouldering charcoal for 40 minutes. Wrap raw, pre-soaked jasmine rice in the Alpinia leaf and tie it with a string. Boil the rice parcel in a cooker for 10-15 minutes. Serve with diced onions, tomatoes, cucumber, coriander and green chillies, and serve as an accompaniment with a wedge of Kaji lemon.

Chef Milan Gupta, 44, Taftoon

“I remember my dad’s friend used to spend an entire afternoon cooking this meat curry. In the end, he’d ask if I could keep a secret, before pouring dark rum from a bottle he took swigs from, into the pot. This dish, with its charm intact, also features on my menu”



500gm boneless mutton, 100gm yoghurt, 30gm browned onions, 100ml mustard oil, 3gm methi seeds, achari masala (4gm fennel seeds, 5gm onion seeds, 5gm zeera, 4gm mustard seeds), 50gm ginger, 50gm garlic, 20gm coriander (roots and stems), 300gm onion, whole garam masala (2 bay leaves, 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamoms, 6 black peppercorns), 25gm garam masala powder, a pinch of red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt as per taste, mud pot (two-litre capacity)


Marinate the mutton with yoghurt, browned onions, 50ml mustard oil and achari masala powder, for 2 hours. Heat the remaining mustard oil in the mud pot; add garam masala. Add a mix of ginger, garlic, onions and coriander, and sauté. Add the marinated meat and stir. Slow cook till the meat is well browned. Add turmeric, red chilli, coriander and garam masala powder (create a paste with water), and sauté for some more time. Cover and cook on slow heat till the meat is tender. Finally, flambé 90ml of dark rum and pour it into the pot; allow it to burn away. Cover the pot to capture the flavour, before serving hot.

Chef Sanjana Patel, 33, La Folie

“I grew up eating gajar ka halwa made fresh with the carrots my grandmum used to grow. This cake is a contemporary, playful take on a much-cherished childhood memory”



For carrot cake mix:

130gm vegetable oil, 4gm soda bicarbonate, 120gm plain flour, 170gm sugar, 85gm eggs, 1gm salt, 4gm ground cinnamon, 158gm carrots, 40gm pecans

For cream cheese mix:

200gm Anchor cream cheese, 1/2 vanilla pod, 20gm icing sugar, 200gm Anchor Extra Whip Whipping Cream

For carrot jelly:

125gm carrot juice, 25gm Ravifruit Orange Puree, 8gm gelatin

For diced confit carrot:

100gm carrot, 100gm sugar, 100gm water, 1 vanilla pod

For lemon cream:

162gm lemon puree, 125gm butter, 216gm castor sugar, 324gm eggs, 8gm gelatin, 113gm butter, 3gm lemon zest, 250gm whipped cream


CARROT CAKE: Blend cake mix ingredients; add grated carrots and pecans in the end. Bake at 160°C for 45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; then place it on a cooling rack.

CREAM CHEESE MIX: Blend cream cheese and icing sugar with lemon juice and zest.

CARROT JELLY: Submerge gelatin in water and leave till it swells; then strain. Add it to carrot juice and lecithin, and chill overnight.

CARROT CONFIT: Boil carrots; cook with sugar, water and vanilla pod till you have a confit. Chill.

LEMON CREAM: Soak gelatin in water and chill. Whisk egg yolks and sugar. Boil lemon puree and one part of butter; add to eggs and sugar mix. Add back to pan and bring to boil while whisking, for 2-3 minutes. Add gelatin to lemon cream; blend. Cool to 55-60°C and blend in the cold butter and fold in the whipped cream. Ice the cake, and serve chilled.

Chef Hussain Shahzad, 30, O Pedro

“I’ve lived away from home since 2005. But each time I would visit, I was greeted by my mum’s mutton curry: it was always my first meal. To me, this dish is nostalgia on a plate. The aroma, the taste... it instantly transports me back in time”



500gm bone-in lamb chops, 4 tbsp ghee, 2 cloves, 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1” cinnamon stick, 2 dried bay leaves, 5-6 black peppercorns, 3 cups red onion (chopped), 2 tsp garlic paste, 1.5 tsp ginger paste, 2 cups tomato (chopped), 3 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1 cup potato (diced), 3 tbsp chopped coriander, salt to taste.


Wash the lamb chops and pat dry. Season with salt. Cover, and refrigerate for an hour. Heat the ghee on a low flame; add the whole spices; cook. Add onions; cook till golden brown. Season with salt. Add ginger and garlic paste; cook. Add tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium. Cook down the tomato before stirring
in the powdered spices. Reduce the heat and stir. Add the chops, and cover with water. Once the curry begins to simmer, cover and cook. After 20 minutes, add potatoes and check the meat for doneness. Take the lid off and continue to simmer till the potatoes and meat are tender. Season with salt, and garnish with chopped coriander.

Photographs: Nachiket PimprikarStyling: Aniket Gulabani