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Summer Hour MasterClass With Chef Ritu Dalmia

Summer Hour MasterClass With Chef Ritu Dalmia

Bhuvaneshwari Sivakumar,

Food Correspondent

 It was a beautiful Friday evening. And what did Delhi have in store for me this time? Rain. And on this day when Delhi decided to be as whimsical as it could, I happened to be at the right place at the right time – in the posh, upmarket area of Defence Colony, waiting for the Diva herself, Chef Ritu Dalmia!

Chef Ritu Dalmia making the Avocado soup

Held in her very own restaurant Diva Kitsch, which is predominantly modern Asian, Chef Ritu’s Summer MasterClass was one fabulous event! While the guests came in expecting to learn some easy-to-cook dishes by watching the Super Chef in action, the Diva had some other plans in mind – “I want to get their hands dirty as well!” Where we thought we could vicariously enjoy the pleasures of cooking, she placed the ladles in our hands, giving us all a good time. With her simple techniques and unique takes on authentic Asian cuisines, the Chef made it clear that food is to be enjoyed along with guests, not alone in the kitchen making sophisticated dishes that took up the whole of your time!

Burnt Garlic Soya Prawns

Saying “God bless you all!” she began the evening by cooking select dishes from the restaurant’s menu, the first being cold Vietnamese Rolls. She then proceeded to make the Avocado soup with Crab salad. Simple yet titillating to the taste buds, these dishes were easy and quick to make. Busy relishing the taste of her classy dishes, we forgot to address the compliments directly to her. And what did Ritu Dalmia say? “My ego is fragile. Make some noises you guys! Say ‘mmmm’.” Without the pleasantly optimistic aura that she carried around, the event would have been but another cookery class.  The last dish of the session was the Burnt Garlic Soya Prawns. This time around, she invited the guests to make a little something for the rest of us, while she stood aside, watching over like a silent guardian.

Food photography for Diva Kitsch, Ritu Dalmia. Photograph by Anshika VarmaThe hosts at Diva Kitsch then took us over to the Bar area, treating us to some exceptional cocktails. Among the blends prepared for us were The G & Tea, Kitschy Cooler, Rummy Monsoon and the Bloody Beer. Inviting a host of compliments for the hotness of the drink, the Bloody Beer was the most surprising of them all. Bidding adieu to the guests while we were still at the Bar, the Chef left us all good-humored: “I can see where your priorities lie!”

The session then ended with guests enjoying dishes from the Liquid Hour Menu and cocktails at Diva Kitsch!

With a pleasantly soothing ambience and calm, unpretentious music playing in the background, Diva Kitsch is a great place to go to, provided you are carrying a wad of cash in your wallet. Do try their Peanut tarts with Tomato Salsa and the Chicken dumplings!




Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Amira Pure Foods holds Live Kitchen, on the festive occasion of Holi

Amira Pure Foods holds Live Kitchen, on the festive occasion of Holi, at AAHAR International Fair 2014

Holi is not just the festival of colours but also the time to indulge in some gastronomical delights. To savour in on the moment, Amira Pure Foods, one of the top global food companies, organized a live kitchen at AAHAR International Fair 2014. The event was hosted by celebrity chef Ripudaman Handa, the winner of Masterchef India Season 3, who displayed how Amira products can be used to add flavor to Holi delicacies.

Ripu Daman Handa is a gym instructor from Delhi who won the season 3 of MasterChef India. He won the kitchen battle by defeating Doyel Sarangi, a homemaker from Kolkata and Varanasi-based Navneet Rastogi, who comes from a family of caterers.

“Holi is a festival associated with some of the best food and sweets like gujiya, puran poli, sweet rice, kesar pulao and kheer. And the brand Amira epitomizes authentic basmati rice and other healthy, specialty foods. Therefore we wanted to further enhance the festive spirit and organized this Live Kitchen, to make Holi even more exclusive and scrumptious for people.” said an Amira Foods official.

Masterchef Ripudaman could not agree more. The 24-year-old former trainer, a Punjabi at heart, has come a long way since his win in the top food programme across the world. He has prepared some crackling and delicious Holi dishes at the Amira Live Kitchen. As a formal instructor, he takes special interest in healthy food, and for the Amira Live Kitchen, lined up extraordinary recipes for the audience.

As part of the main course, the Masterchef cooked Amira Vegetable Fried Rice and Amira Peas Pulao and for the dessert he prepared a lip-smacking Amira Kesari Kheer, garnished with saffron.

Amira strives to achieve ‘passion for purity’ by ensuring that the customers get pure, unadulterated and authentic food. Amira provides not just the best basmati rice to customers but also the best Indian snacks, ready-to-eat dishes and a range of organic products including legumes, lentils, spices and herbs.

To showcase the same, the chef cooked Amira Canapé Indiano, a starter made from sautéed Amira Rice fusing with Amira Namkeen and made yummier with a dash of Amira Organic Spices. This was followed by cooking Amira Chatapati Bhel, a unique and light all-time snack made from Amira Namkeens.

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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In Conversation With Chef Saransh Goila


In Conversation With Chef Saransh Goila

By Bhuvaneshwari Sivakumar, Foodie Correspondent


Known in the food circles as the ‘Sadak Chef’, SaranshGoila is a vibrant persona with a love for life. He is twenty-seven, he is fun to be around and most importantly, he can talk. A lot. Thanks to him, we don’t have to worry about filling the gaps. Yet, he is so lively that it is difficult to encapsulate in a few 100 words all that we witnessed.

Addressing a gathering of 20 odd people in the soothing ambience of Zo Café on a late Tuesday evening, Saransh talked about his first love – camera (surprise!), food, travel, cuisines, and recounted his first culinary experience.

He always had a love for theatre, and his passion for it began in school. Pursuing it even further, he went on to do a 6 month course with the famous theatre director Barry John. And after that came the struggle. Quipping about it, he says, “I struggled for 2 years, which apparently people believe cannot be called one, for struggling for 2 years is not really long.”

Adamant on doing food television, and absolutely averse to joining hotels and restaurants, in this pursuit, he met NDTV Good Times, FoodFood(when it was still in its stages of development),Fox and TLC. Although repeatedly told by allof them that it is a great combination – “you can act and you can cook too” nothing really materialized for Saransh. It was only after Food Foodhad called him to audition for a reality show “Food FoodMaha Challenge”that he got his first break. He recounts, “I still very pleasantly remember, when I had won the show, you know they burst crackers and everything, yeah, I didn’t react at all. So much so it was 3 in the night and I didn’t react because I didn’t know what to do. So I had won, fine, but what now? That was what was running in my head already! They had to do those fireworks again and only later they told me that the winner of the show gets to do his own show on TV. Then they got all the reactions out of me.”

According to him, cooking abilities alone won’t pave the way for you if you are on television. When you are on TV, a lot of things work for you. Your personality and character add a great deal to your overall appeal. It depends a lot on what you bring to the screen. Try observing Saransh, both onscreen and off-screen, and you’ll know what he is talking about!

Tidbits from the Q&A session:

Q. Being from a modern generation of chefs, what is your opinion about molecular and reconstructed food?

A. I have never used any molecular gastronomic techniques. I personally think that it does not work for Indian cuisines. No matter what lengths you are willing to go to, you can make a butter chicken foam, but it does not work for me. It works as a theme for a month or for a week. I don’t think it works as a restaurant which functions all across the industry.

Q. Do you plan to continue with television side by side even when you open your restaurant?

A. Like I said, my first love is television. I am very clear about it, never been pretentious about it. I am first and foremost a TV personality. Camera is my first love and food is like an affair!

Being a successful chef on television does not necessarily mean that I will be a successful restaurateur. They are not linked. It is a tricky place to be in. The only way you can pull it off, which I am struggling with as well is, to train 2 or 3 people who can understand you and then they follow the same vision. Find people with the same wavelength, get it together, and open a restaurant, only then can you market it. I can’t be making it and marketing it too. It is impossible.

Q. Food festivals are common now, but what do you make of Food Films?

A. Awesome question! The dream is to make a food film. If you notice, it has already begun. Lunchbox was a food film. Jodha Akbar had such a huge food sequence – they actually had real halwais who cooked real food. This whole sequence was shot in real time, and they cooked for masses. The food shots in Lunchbox were unbelievable. The time she was making that kofta, oh my god, my mouth started watering, it still is! Food shows are no longer the same. The vision has changed. It is more story-based now. If I am a 27 year old guy, who lives on his own in Bombay, my profile tells me that I should be doing a show on these same lines.

This country has 220 cuisines, I have actually counted. I believe in travelling, I believe in learning from people, I believe in learning any cuisine that comes my way, though I choose to be an Indian specialist, because I can relate to it the most.

People who don’t know, I used to weigh 95kgs, now I am 66! A friend from college once asked “Why don’t you become one of those chefs who are very fit?” Eight years back, I couldn’t think of a chef who was fit. And, he was right. He planted that idea in my head. I ran every day for 2 years, no gym, I hate them, no diets,and I believe that there is a ‘die’ in diet, no diet, never.

Travel changes you as a person and also as a chef. I still remember, on the ninth day of “Roti, Rasta aur India” I had a huge fight with the crew that “You don’t have the right knife for me to chop the vegetables with; you are making me squeeze lemons with my hand.” I had to make some saag, and obviously I chopped as finely as I could with my knife, which was blunt. After 15 days of shooting, my first episode went on air, and among the first messages I ever got in my life, I received one which said “It was so good to see you squeezing lemons with your hand.” It was enlightening! I never thought someone would want to see me use my hands! I realized that at the end of the day we are dealing with common people, and they like things which are basic and are easier to do back in their houses.

We wish Saransh the best of luck for all his future endeavours, and also thank ThnkMkt for organizing this amazing interactive session!



Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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By Shreya Sofat

Indian cuisine is probably the most diverse cuisine in the world but sadly the perception is that Indian food is just “curry”. The antiquated heritage of Indian cuisine goes back thousands of years and boasts of an assorted menu of cuisines and not just one cuisine. This includes a whopping 300 ways of cooking a potato. While Indian food is synonymous with ‘curry, naan bread and pappadoms’, there is certainly more to it. Today’s era of cultural understanding requires a better awareness of authentic Indian food.

 The ‘curry-muncher’ tag for Indians is just too stereotypical.  It’s like saying the Japanese are sushi-munchers and Italians are pasta-munchers. It is unfortunate that the image of Indian food has got pigeon-holed into a masala dabba. This perception is so engrained that every time the Indian opens a lunch box, he/she gets asked ‘Is it curry?’

Ask an Indian in India where you can have curry and in all likelihood, he or she would give you a blank look as this strange word ‘curry’ is not found in Indian vocabulary. In fact only NRIs are familiar with this stereotyped word. The closest word is ‘kari’ in Tamil. The general perception of Indian food comes from the takeaway curry in Indian restaurants or food courts. But what is not known is that these popular takeaway foods are generally the ones reserved for special occasions.

Anyway, here is a diversity test on Indian food. How many of us know about the ‘Idiappam’ and ‘Puttu’ from South India or the Maharashtrian ‘Bhaakhar vadi’, ‘Ussal Vadaa’ and ‘Pitla’ or the Bengali ‘Macher Jol’ or ‘Bangla Kichudi’. Tried the Gujarati ‘Ponk’ or ‘Jowar Kichu’? How about a Kashmiri ‘Kahwa’ or the Garhwali ‘Fanna’? What about the Kumouni ‘Mandua ki Roti’, the Konkani ‘Garadudde Paayas’, the Odiya ‘Jahni Posta’ or the Himachali ‘Channa Madra’? Because India is such a diverse country, even we Indians might not know some of these recipes. “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are” once said the renowned French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Not sure how Brillat-Savarin would have fared in this test.

Indian cuisine is plausibly the most varied food­ culture in the world that even within a state, there are different cuisines and food combinations.This is so complex that it’s difficult to define Indian cuisine. In fact, Indian cuisine is a misnomer as there is no such thing as one Indian cuisine.

While the popular Chicken tikka masalas and the Nana breads have traveled far and wide into the food courts around the world, the authentic Indian and regional cuisine is still unexplored by the masses. Just take the aloo (potato) recipes from India. Though it is well known that India has some 300 different ways to cook a potato, how many aloo recipes could one think of?

Given this depth and diversity, the menu cards in Indian restaurants hardly reflect the variety in India’s cuisine. Indian restaurant food for some reason gets restricted to North Western Indian food (the Punjabi/Mughlai type) and that too cooked to suit the local taste. Obviously there’s more to Indian cuisine than just Punjabi cooking.

What an overseas Indian family eats at home is rarely the same flavour and taste to what is available in Indian restaurants. The locals’ only exposure to Indian food is through Indian restaurants and most people don’t have enough interaction with Indian families to see what is eaten on a daily basis.

Moreover, when one goes to these Indian food joints, one gets asked a surprising question ‘How would you like it – Mild, Medium or Hot?’ Some even give a fourth option i.e. the ‘Extreme!  Bring it on.’ option. Go to a regular dhaaba in Punjab or a restaurant in Chennai and ask for “mild” food, the guy will respond with a ‘whaaat?’ and a strange look reserved specially for a desi NRI.

The art of cookery has been so perfected in the 10,000 year old continuous Indian civilisation that besides the flavour they also have excellent health value. Many recipes that are based on Ayurvedic principles not only satisfy the taste buds but also take care of the physical well-being. The goodness in the masalas used widely in Indian cooking is well-documented and the subject of regular research.

So, Indian food is not just one type of food. Served authentically in the right portion size, it can be the right food for the right climate and for the right body type.

Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Crazy Bruno

Happiness is.. good food at your doorstep

By Shreya Chowdhury


Hungry at night and too busy and lazy to venture out at that hour, a cute ‘crazy’ pup named Bruno has the answer. Crazy Bruno is a food manufacturing unit with an elaborate home delivery network which prepares exotic food and arranges home delivery from 7pm to 4am anywhere in South Delhi. Currently based near New Friends Colony, they are the new DONs of home delivery in town, with zomato rating them 3.5 in just one and a half months of their inception. Owners Abhishek, Hemant, Ashish, Akhil and Omaid have achieved a miniscule part of their dream of developing an elaborate food preparation station and providing an efficient, fast and effective  delivery mechanism, mixing their love for food with business.

The most popular items looks to be their mouth-watering chicken manchurian combo and  tandoori momos. Their noodles have a very  homely taste which is a very pleasant and welcome change from the types one would see in restaurants and food joints. The manchurian, though a little tangy, tastes pretty good. The chilli paneer is definitely a winner! The paneer is soft and tender, with a slightly spicy gravy which is delicious. Imagine getting hot steamy chicken  momos with  spicy chutney delivered right at your doorsteps! What more could a momo fan ask for? The tandoori momos are indeed, a treat to savour and a delight to the taste buds, with the Tibetan momos given a interesting Punjabi twist. Their Indian menu is quite a killer too. The paneer tikka salad has good flavour, but the butter chicken is simply a bomb! Succulent chicken with thick creamy tomato gravy is, in one word, heaven! However, their star is definitely their burgers! Soft buns with a tasty proportion of patty and a generous helping of cheese and mayonnaise are a fabulous combination. These burgers are prepared with an exciting  new recipe.

Crazy Bruno has also started a little experiment called Deal of the Night (DON), where they give special offers, discounts, a variety of items, and a whole lot of other exciting features. They also cater to Birthdays and House Parties. For good quality food without having to burn a hole in the pocket, Crazy Bruno is just a call away. In this tech-savvy world, they even take orders on WhatsApp. With Crazy Bruno in town, happiness is good, exciting, exotic and mouth-watering food delivered at your doorstep!

phone number:- +91- 9899011399


Anubhav Sapra
Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.