Salt; it's the most important. Second, the passion to cook.
MOST VERSATILE INGREDIENT
Oil. I like flavoured oils; you can add anything and make your own flavoured oils. It's very versatile with multiple purposes; temper, cook, shallow fry, deep-fry.
MOST MEMORABLE DISH
There are so many, but when I close my eyes and I think, I think of my mother's Sunday haddi wala mutton with aloo and lachcha pyaaz comes to mind.
MOST MEMORABLE DISH YOU HAVE CREATED
Chocolate samosa, home smoked tandoori salmon, white butter chicken
MOST ESSENTIAL KITCHEN GADGET
Alain Ducasse, Nobu Matsuhisa, Joël Robuchon
FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD
Chesa Veglia, Badrutts Hotel in St Moritz; it was a 16th century barn and I was sitting there with my wife and two sons, and we had the most amazing pizza with blue cheese and lobster, paired with a glass of Borello red wine. It was snowing outside and it was magical.
TOP SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
Inspiration is all around you. People inspire me. Travel is inspirational. Visuals inspire me. The window of an aircraft, where you can see infinity and beyond, offers the best inspiration. Music inspires me to think of food. The music which inspires me the most for Indian khana is Pink Floyd. You can put on Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and sit in the corner, close your eyes and enjoy the beautiful music and allow it to elevate you. A R Rahman’s genius is another game changer.
FAVOURITE FOOD DREAM
Any yellow dal (moong, masoor mix, with a tadka of jeera and green chillies garnished with fresh dhania) and served with a bowl of dahi—simple but very satisfying.