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CHEF OF THE WEEK

With a career in the culinary arts that spans almost 20 years, Chef Deep Chand Dobriyal is an expert in the art of preparing Indian cuisine and has an unstoppable quench for experimenting with his craft. He has worked with well-known brands like Taj Group of Hotels, The Lodhi and Aman Group.

Dobriyal is passionate about honing his craft and experimenting with new ingredients and techniques. He is wholeheartedly dedicated to his profession. As he says, “There is no shortcut for a chef to excel in his art, find his identity except for giving your entire self to your work.”

In a candid conversation, he talks more about himself and his work:

Your philosophy on food?

I love the variety and diversity of Indian food. Like its culture and people, Indian food varies. As you go from one region to another, the flavours and techniques of cooking change. Since Indian food is influenced by its religions, customs, and traditions, it’s complicated to group it, like the food of the western world. There are mother sauces around the world but there cannot be a mother gravy here due to the diversity. Hence, each curry has its own gravy. It is distinct and has its own set of flavours.

Your fav cuisine?

We all bring our personal inspirations, childhood memories and cooking techniques to our food — and for me, that is authentic Indian cuisine. That is what I am most in love with.

Your idol?

I personally admire Chef Arif Qureshi, son of Imtiaz Qureshi, as I have spent valuable time working under him, which has been crucial for my career growth.

Your fav spice?

I love the tinge of green cardamom and cinnamon, hence I tend to play with them a little more.

Your hot-selling dish?

It is no surprise, the legendary Dal Makhani and Butter Chicken. These are our showstoppers.

Lessons learnt in the kitchen?

Plan ahead. I have observed over the years that thinking things through and anticipating what might go wrong helps. You have to make sure not to leave any stone unturned and build action scenarios where the unexpected suddenly becomes expected. This allows the ship to sail on stable waters and curve balls to meet the anxious batter.

How do you like to de-stress?

The kitchen can get heavy on you sometimes and it’s good to step out. I let myself be for a few moments and get some fresh air, helps me recoup my calm and then I am back at it, full force.

How do you define yourself?

I take pleasure in saying I am completely defined by my work. I would define myself as someone who delves into their work with an undeterred passion for it.

What are you passionate about?

As a chef, my quest is unstoppable and hence, I am deeply enamoured by the idea of learning new things and constantly experimenting with ingredients. There is so much to make and so much to discover.

Last meal on earth, what would you choose?

For my last meal on earth, I would go back to my roots, my comfort zone: Dal makhani and butter roti.

Recipe

Tandoori Pomfret

 

INGREDIENTS

Pomfret              2 pieces

Ginger garlic paste

1/2 tbsp

Deghi mirch      1/2 tbsp

Garam masala  1/4 tbsp

Cumin powder  1/4 tbsp

Besan                 1 tsp

Mustard oil         ¼ tbsp

Salt                    1 tbs

Lemon juice      1 tbsp

Hung curd         1 tbsp

Method

  • Clean and trim the fins, tail and scales of fish.
  • Make slits on the clean fish. Now marinate it with salt, lemon juice, deghi mirch and ginger-garlic paste and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Take a bowl and add rest of the ingredients. Make a batter of this second marinade. Apply this marinade to the fish on both sides very well. Keep it for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Cook in tandoor for five minutes.
  • Remove pomfret, add a dash of chaat masala
    and serve with onion rings.