Masterchef's love for regional cuisines and food has always been evident. His cooking shows on television, Utsav- Thalis of India, My Yellow Table, Curries of India and more are testament to that. In his conversation with us, he shares his secrets of cooking and the recipe of one of his delicacies, Coconut Semiyan Payasam.
What is your signature dish and why?
There have been many over the years, but now that we just spoke about MasterChef India, I had specifically created a dish on the show which became my signature dish, the 3 Tier Ghewar.
You have garnered a lot of rewards for your cooking expertise. How would you describe your style of cooking?
I am a person who is constantly inspired by people, progressive thoughts, travelling, health, ingredients and style of cooking. For me, my style of cooking is a constant evolution. To share an example, I am currently experimenting with Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oils which is adding a healthier twist to my recipes. So I am not just creating dishes but also finding a way to make them healthier. The aim is to keep them easy to recreate for the health-conscious audience while trying a new yet age-old ingredient.
Talking of the festivities in India, how can one not think of the mouth-watering dishes each occasion has to offer in particular. Which is your personal favourite festival and the dish associated with it?
I celebrate every festival from Holi to Eid from Christmas to Diwali, from Bihu to Onam. It is a reason for me to travel and explore food from every state. Thandai Kulfi in Holi, Healthy Biryani for Eid, Gulab Jamun for Diwali, and Cinnamon Cookies for Christmas made with Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut oil are all my favourites. Coconut Semiyan Payasam is another highlight dish that I love to create especially during festivities. Below is the recipe:
Prep time: 12 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
4 Tbsp. Cinnamon
100 gm Condensed Milk
100 ml Coconut Milk
½ cup Desiccated coconut
¼ cup Pomegranate seeds (optional)
4 Tbsp. Pineapple, chopped(optional)
4 Tbsp. Mint leaves, for garnish
Nutmeg, a pinch
Coco Soul Infused Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut oil
Semiyan - handful
1. Break the semiyan into 4-inches long small pieces. In a pan warm the Coco Soul Infused Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil Cinnamon. On a low heat cook the semiyan, turn them gently using tongs. Once the semiyan browns remove them and keep aside.
2. In a bowl add condensed milk, coconut milk, nutmeg and chopped pineapple. Pour this milk equally into 2 glasses.
3. Carefully place the fried semiyan on to the payasam vertically. Drop the pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle the desiccated coconut and garnish with a mint leaf.
4. Serve cold.