Chef and Restaurateur Harpal Singh Sokhi, also known as ‘Energy Chef of India’ is one of the finest celebrity chefs we have in our country. In an exclusive interview with Page3Now, Chef Sokhi talks about his new restaurants, new techniques in cooking and much more.
You are the founder of four brands that are BB Jaan, Dhadoom, Chika-Chika, Twist of Tadka. Please share your experiences of building these brands.
As a Chef, I am certain we (Chefs) have the desire and wish to have our own eateries. While my network show ‘Turban Tadka’ turned out to be very popular in India and across the globe, individuals began approaching me to open eateries with them. My first café ‘Turban Tadka’ opened in 2011 in Kathmandu and turned out to be enormously famous. And we opened the business with other brand names, which I later converted to ‘Twist of Tadka’, offering nourishment with a touch of wind. I likewise enrolled ‘BB Jaan’, an idea dependent on my preparation in the Royal Kitchens of the Nizams. I found that unsupported star lodgings required Celebrity Chef-driven eateries and this was a well-suited upscale brand for such individual star inns. This was conceptualized during my preparation in the Nizam’s Jagirdhar family kitchens in Hyderabad and in the regal kitchens the nation over. The most well-known cooking after Indian couldn’t be missed is Chinese and extraordinarily the ‘Rasta Chinese’ which everybody savours the nation over. So, we made a brand called ‘Chika’ and we would open the equivalent in relationship with ‘Yellow Tie’ cordiality.
What do you do to stay on new trends?
Of course, social media plays an important role in staying up-to-date with new trends. Through social media, I get to know what are the preferences of people. Also through social media, I find out how by the help of new ingredients a new fusion can be done. By just changing an ingredient in a dish, it can change the taste completely. So, this is one way to be updated to new trends. It’s important as it’s just like salt in a dish as without it it’s tasteless.
What is your take on fusion of Indian food with international cuisine?
The most significant thing in any cooking is a comprehension of every fixing and how it would function best in a dish. I specialize in Indian food which actually is a very complex cuisine as compared to most cuisines around the world. Imagine one cooking biryani with more than 30-40 ingredients, yet you want to achieve one flavour which would remind you of a great biryani. India is a vast country with produce that varies across the country. Hence dishes vary in each part as the product influences the cuisine. And fusion can only take place when you know about that culture. You have the sense to understand the essence of the ingredients. Then only you will do fusion.
You have been acknowledged for promoting Indian food and cultures in Australia. Please tell us about your restaurants abroad. How do you differentiate Indian food across the globe?
It has been an extraordinary adventure advancing Indian nourishment through sustenance celebrations in inns, my cafés and my nourishment items. I share a brand called ‘Sabrini’ in Australia which I work with an exceptionally popular brand called ‘Pattu’. As a brand ‘Pattu’ has been extremely famous in Australia for the dissemination of wares and they needed culinary worth included Indian sustenance items. We initially began making legitimate enhanced sustenance items which had recollections of my movement and my mom’s kitchen. We made a line of frozen nourishment items which included kebabs, asli Punjabi samosas, culinary worth included Potli Samosas, Harra Bharra Kebab café style, Moong dal stuffed aloo tikki, the way you would get in Amritsar.
Which is your favourite country?
My preferred spot is Singapore, just because of the fact that their people love their way of life, their dietary patterns as Singapore is a mixture of cooking styles, joining a rich legacy of nourishment dishes comprising of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian impacts.
You are worldwide known for the tagline ‘Namak Shamak’. What is the idea behind your style of cooking? How it separates you from others?
I should state that cooking is an energetic thing and it originates from the core of an individual. Having been there for more than 25 years in the business and outside cooking for different types, I just view the crowd that I cook for and pursue my own standards. For instance, when I cook for TV, I put myself into the shoes of the group of spectators and think would they be able to repeat what I am cooking in all sides of the world. Also, with regards to cooking inns and eateries, I take a gander at the unexpected components in each dish that I cook.
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Reporter -Shruti Bansal