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CHEF DHWANI

Born, brought up and educated in Mumbai, Chef Dhwani did her initial schooling from Poddar High School and junior college from Jai Hind College. Influenced by one of her paternal uncles, she developed a desire to become a chef and thus chose to do her formal education in Hotel Management from IHM, Bengaluru under the aegis of National Council of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, New Delhi in 2008.

Thanks to campus placement, Chef Dhwani had the opportunity to join the Hotel Operations Management Training Programme, a two-year management course by Taj Group of Hotels,  andgetting exposure to working across various sections and sub-sections of the kitchens of The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. As part of her specialisation she was posted with one of the top restaurants in Mumbai as an Assistant Chef, where she spent over four years honing her culinary skills with a focus on Indian cuisine.

After having worked with one of the finest hotels in the world, Dhwani chose to step out of the kitchen and join a full-service hands-on hospitality consulting company Young Turks as an assistant consultant, helping hospitality businesses create new menus and dishes, setting up kitchen and developing concept restaurants among other things.

The lure of kitchen operations and the passion for cooking for a living was enough for her to explore and returning to the kitchen routine as a chef. This happened when she chanced upon the opportunity to work with the czar of Indian cuisine — the legendary Jiggs Kalra — at his magnum opus Masala Library at Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex as the Sous Chef, which she’s been a part of since May 2014.

Your philosophy on food?

There is no love greater than the love for food.

Your favourite cuisine?

Indian

Your idol?

Chef Grant Achatz

Your favourite spice?

Cinnamon

Your hot selling dish?

Jalebi caviar

Lessons learnt in the kitchen?

The kitchen can be a very hectic place sometimes, with orders that need to be put out on time and each plate plated to perfection. These are very testing times for a chef and the team. Staying calm and working under pressure is something I’ve learnt.

How do you like to de-stress?

The best way to de-stress would be a weekend getaway and some good sleep

How do you define yourself?

I am a go-getter and try to achieve my goals. I also love to try and innovate new ideas in Indian cuisine

What are you passionate about?

Serving delicious food to customers

Last meal on earth, what would you choose?

Sindhi curry with rice, aloo tikki

What are the challenges you have faced in the restaurant industry?

To learn how to deal with negative reviews on a social media platform, and try to convert those to better feedbacks

What are your dreams that are yet to be fulfilled?

A lot is yet to be achieved. I am a firm believer of achieving right thing at the right time

DAL CHAWAL ARANCINI

Ingredients:
Chana Dal 50 g
Tur Dal 50 g
Masoor Dal 1 spoon
Moong Dal 1 spoon
Rice 50 g
Ghee 2 tbsp
A pinch of cumin seeds
Onion 1
Tomato 1
Green chilli 1
Pinch of Degi Mirch
Pinch of Turmeric Powder
Salted butter 1 spoon
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Salt as per taste
Parmesan cheese 20 g
Chaat Masala

METHOD:
1. Mix all the dals, soak them for half an hour and then boil
2. Temper the boiled dal with the list of ingredients under the tempering list, apart from rice.
3. Add boiled rice to the above and cook further for 2 minutes
4. Cool and add parmesan cheese, fresh chopped coriander and chaat masala to the mixture
5. Make small balls out of the mixture and coat with panko and refined flour mixture
6. Deep fry
7. Garnish with pickled mayonnaise, mint chutney and roasted papad