Butter Chicken chef extraordinaire SARANSH GOILA gets talking about Indian cuisine
Celebrity chef SARANSH GOILA, who was in town recently for an event at Godrej Nature’s Basket, Koregaon Park, in collaboration with the show AXN Top Chefs, talks about the need for branding Indian cuisine, useful tips on making Butter Chicken and more...
saransh Goila tried his hand at an Indian dish when he was a 12 year old kid. Little did he know that he would go on to become one of the most reputed and youngest celebrity chefs in India. Saransh is not just a chef, but has gone on to author his food travelogue, India on my Platter. Also, he has been a television host, a Limca Book of Records holder for the longest journey by a chef and a winner of the television show Food Food Maha Challenge, hosted by Sanjeev Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. Besides, he is especially renowned for his Butter Chicken and seeks to preserve traditional Indian cooking methods, along with bringing to it a modern look.
LIVING THE DREAM
One with a striking smile, Saransh is impeccably cool in his demeanor. Starting off the conversation with Saransh, we ask him about his life promises which he had made a couple of years ago. He replies, “Most of the desires are pretty much fulfilled. I do have a restaurant called Goila Butter Chicken, which is now turning into a chain as I will be opening the second outlet in Bandra. The book, India on my Platter is still running strong and is in bookstores. Then recently I did a show called, Nexa Journeys in which I travelled from Delhi to Bangkok via road, which is also my rst international food show. The role in the food lm has not happened yet, so if a food lm is not made soon, I will make one on my own. I hope to accomplish all my life promises soon.”
VARIANTS OF BUTTER CHICKEN
Saransh has some handy tips for his exclusive Butter Chicken, which has a status for being lip-smacking. To begin with, Butter Chicken is never made a ‘certain way’. He tells us pointedly, “As individuals, people feel that Butter Chicken has to be sweet or creamy, but that’s not how it is. There are different varieties of Butter Chicken. For instance, one is heavy on kasoori methi, one is heavy on just the butter, one is too sweet and extremely creamy, and then there is one Punjabi style that is more spicy and robust in nature. So there is no definite procedure for preparing Butter Chicken.” Giving some advice on making the dish, he quips, “Don’t use any sugar when you make Butter Chicken, instead use honey to give your Butter Chicken a natural sweetness. Use good quality tomatoes and the ratio of tomatoes to butter and cream is very important. It has to be 60:40.”
NEED FOR IN DEPTH MARKETING OF INDIAN CUISINE
In reality, there’s no denying the fact that Indian cuisine itself is inimitable and has become such a popular cuisine universally. “The reason Indian cuisine has gained so much popularity is mainly because of its spices,” the chef says, and adds, “It is the core of our cuisine and that’s what people love about Indian food. As of now, the world only knows about the Mughlai, North Indian and Punjabi side of Indian cuisine. Over the years, it has become more hyper local and people will have a deeper understanding of our cuisine in the near future.” However, Indian cuisine needs to be marketed well. Saransh puts across thoughtfully, “I think it just needs better marketing and packaging as a cuisine. It’s not marketed and presented or branded correctly. There often is a certain mindset about Indian cuisine, and it is thought of as street food or ‘cheap’ or curry based. So that mindset needs to be broken and implemented as a cuisine that is rich in nature.”
BRINGING INDIAN FOOD TO THE YOUTH
Saransh preserves traditional Indian cooking techniques and food and gives it a modern look and character, so it is easily accepted by the youth. On probing further, he tells us frankly, “The restaurants now grow up on a lot of international cuisine rather than Indian food, as a result, there are few restaurants which serve In-
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