Chef’s curry paste in­spired by fam­ily love


FOR CELEBRITY chef Ana­sia Goven­der, it’s her most trea­sured mem­o­ries of her own fam­ily’s bond­ing over a meal that has in­spired her new cook-in curry paste.

Mem­o­ries of a last game of three tins, fol­lowed by a quick wash-up and her dad dish­ing out their favourites – the feet of the chicken for one sib­ling, “Atu talia” (the jaw bone) for an­other and for her – the big­gest potato, while her par­ents set­tled for left­overs.

It is this love and bond that food cre­ated in her child­hood home that Goven­der wishes to con­vey in the meals served at the ta­bles of fam­i­lies to­day and she aims to do this through the paste.

“With to­day’s hec­tic life­style, time has be­come a most pre­cious com­mod­ity. Par­ents are bal­anc­ing work, home­work, af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties, busi­ness meet­ings, dead­lines and a host of “more im­por­tant” tasks and are sac­ri­fic­ing qual­ity time around the din­ner ta­ble,” she said.

Be­ing the el­dest daugh­ter at home, Goven­der had to be in charge when her par­ents were at work.

“I started cook­ing and bak­ing early. I cooked my first curry when I was just 9 years old.

“But grow­ing up vege­tar­ian had its chal­lenges af­ter I mar­ried. So my hus­band (Satha Goven­der) would tu­tor me on how to pre­pare meat dishes.

“Even­tu­ally my cook­ing im­proved to a point that gave me the con­fi­dence to open my own restau­rant af­ter I was re­trenched,” she said.

Chilli Kad­hai Restau­rant and Take­away was meant to be some­thing that would bide time for Goven­der, but her pop­u­lar­ity as “An­nalak­shmi” – her com­edy al­ter ego – grew af­ter the video of her singing an Ed Sheeran par­ody went vi­ral. Destiny had other plans.

“I never thought my en­ter­tain­ment and food would flour­ish to­gether,” she said.

Com­ment­ing fur­ther on her food jour­ney, she said she loved cre­at­ing de­li­cious, nu­tri­tious food for peo­ple to en­joy.

“I am also pas­sion­ate about qual­ity in­gre­di­ents.

“Pre­par­ing a meal that is sat­is­fy­ing some­one’s hunger and their palate is re­ward­ing. I try not to take the com­pli­ments to heart, but I love see­ing plates that are wiped clean.

“That is com­pli­men­tary enough for me. I’ve al­ways been pas­sion­ate about in­ject­ing love into ev­ery­thing I do and cook­ing at my restau­rant ful­fills that de­sire of mine. I sing and en­sure that pos­i­tive vibes are go­ing into my food.

“Putting a smile on my face is what drives me.”

On the foodie front she draws in­spi­ra­tion from a range of peo­ple, in­clud­ing her mother, Sushie Aniruth.

“My mum al­ways cooked far more than we could con­sume, just to share with oth­ers, and she al­ways made in­no­va­tive dif­fer­ent dishes.

“She is the rea­son I make a con­certed ef­fort to put love into my food. My sis­terin-law, Ra­ganie Pillay, is one of my foodie in­spi­ra­tions – her at­ten­tion to de­tail and sheer metic­u­lous­ness in cook­ing food that is al­ways de­li­cious.

“And Jamie Oliver, who is a ge­nius in the kitchen, but also so pas­sion­ate about sourc­ing the best in­gre­di­ents and cook­ing very prac­ti­cally, is my kitchen role model.”

Goven­der said the idea for her cook-in curry paste was born af­ter the par­ody video about her restau­rant went vi­ral.

“Af­ter that we were in­un­dated with re­quests for our de­li­cious food from all parts of the world.

“This is when my hus­band and I started ex­per­i­ment­ing with a ba­sic braise that would make any dish de­li­cious.

“Af­ter two years of test­ing, we are ec­static to launch a ver­sa­tile, easy-to-use, qual­ity curry paste that is made with love and will bring fam­i­lies to­gether in the kitchen and around the din­ner ta­ble.

“Our in­ten­tion for our prod­uct is to make cook­ing easy and en­joy­able for the whole fam­ily.”

The paste is made us­ing the finest in­gre­di­ents and cooked in a se­cret recipe to en­sure con­sis­tent taste and qual­ity.

“To make each curry taste dif­fer­ent, we have sim­ple recipes that re­quire min­i­mal in­gre­di­ents that pro­duce au­then­tic cur­ries with rich flavour and taste.”­ You can keep an eye on what Goven­der is up to via Chilli Kad­hai Restau­rant and Take­away or Ana­sia Goven­der aka An­nalak­shmi on Face­book or www.chil­l­ikad­


Ana­sia Goven­der’s culi­nary ca­reer ups a notch with the im­mi­nent re­lease of her new cook-in curry paste.

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