They have not been in the limelight. Yet Delhi-NCR has outstanding women chefs cooking up a storm
She is is the Chef Partner at SodaBottleOpenerWala, Cyber Hub, Gurgaon. After studying at IHM – Aurangabad, Anahita Dhody worked in four different hotels in three different cities before she took off to pursue her dream to gain the Le Grand Diplome from Le Cordon Bleu. Bakery and confectionary is her passion. Her adventurous journey with food gets a homecoming with SodaBottleOpenerWala – as it gives her the opportunity to be close to her Parsi roots.
Says Dhody laughingly, “We Parsis are a hard lot to get. I am confused most of the time — as I’m still pretty young — but we are complex characters, with highly developed senses in everything — from humour to food! I come from a family of creative people (and crazy like any other Parsi home), where there is always something hustling and bustling and never a quiet moment. Like every household in India and across the globe, women hold a special place, and this is not the reason they cook. They cook because they care for their family.
“My mother and grandmothers were more ambitious. They know lots and lots of dishes, different cuisines and have been increasing their knowledge bank for years with magazines and books.
Parsi cuisine is simple as it’s complex. I could go on and on, but simply it comes down to ‘say a small thank you every day’ and Chalo jumwa chalo ji! (Come let’s have a meal). It has become the most important and popular chant at any Parsi celebration – ‘We look forward to serving you’”
Your philosophy on food?
My philosophy on food is simple, clean, sustainable eating and cooking
Your favourite cuisine?
Asian and Indian
Your favourite spice?
Your hot selling dish?
Lessons learned in the kitchen?
You’ll get cuts and burns, but you’ll never forget what you learn
How do you like to de-stress?
Cook for myself and family, and also a hot bowl of food in my pyjamas with a glass of wine
How do you define yourself?
Crazy, ambitious, hardworking and restless
What are you passionate about?
FOOD! Just want to promote good sustainable options like millets!
Last meal on earth, what would you choose?
Dal chawal and Prawn Patio
What were the challenges you have faced? And what are your dreams to be fulfilled?
Many challenges are faced everyday, it’s a big learning experience. Lots of big dreams, and lots of work to be put in. I want to work with the UN on food biodiversity, education and achieving agenda 2030.
Bombay Duck (Boomla)
For the marination:
Red chilli powder 1tsp
Lemon juice of 2 lemons
For the coating:
• Rice flour: 5 tbsp
• Semolina: 2 tbsp
• Fresh Bombay duck – 1/2 kg
• Oil for frying
• Served with green coconut chutney
• Coconut fresh 1
• Coriander 100 g
• Mint 50 g
• Salt to taste
• Sugar ½ tsp
• Jeera powder ½ tsp
• Lemon juice 1 lemon
1. Clean and wash the Bombay duck. Remove the fins, tail and wash the gut well.
2. In a tray, put them on paper and squeeze out excess water.
3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marination.
4. Add the fish and marinate it well.
5. When ready to plate, coat with the mixture and fry.
6. For the chutney, blitz everything together and add a little ice water.
7. Serve fresh.