REFT Today's interview conversation of Khatibah Rehmat and Corporate Chef Akshat Parihar from Abu Dhabi—UAE, in it's Exclusive Talk Show—GREAT CHEFS, GOOD FOOD, and the topic is:
IS RISING FUSION FOOD TAKING AWAY THE CHARM OF THE AUTHENTIC TRADITIONAL CUISINES FROM INDIA?
Before, we begin with the question and answer session let us first come to know a bit about Chef Akshat Parihar.
1) Hello Chef, a very warm welcome to you on our show. Chef, people know a lot about you but, can you please brief a bit for REFT Today's readers and viewers?
CHEF AKSHAT PARIHAR: Well... I have been associated with few of my recent brands as follows:
a) RCL international, Miami Florida (USA) Menu developer and WAYS BRAND AMBASSADOR.
b) Etihad Airways, Abu Dabhi (UAE) Executive Brand Chef, Dubai expo— 2019-'20.
c) Corporate Chef at Sunnyside Hospitality, India.
d) Executive Chef at ICD Group, KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).
e) Executive Chef - ETCH Cafe, Dubai (UAE).
f) Brand Executive Chef of Stock Exchange Bar And Restaurant, Al Murooj Rotana — Dubai (UAE).
2) Chef, before this pandemic situation, I used to travel round the country in search of GREAT CHEFS AND GOOD FOOD and most of the time, the food I was served used to be a fusion one, which I found like the authentic ones by their look, except of the plating.
So, my question to you is that, when people already like the actual food then, what is the point of killing it's authenticity and giving that change which has no combination, for instance; beetroot kababs with stuffed cheese into it. I mean to say cheese and kababs, really? For me at least, this is called a burger patty or sandwich patty etc. Chef Akshat what would you say regarding the same?
CHEF AKSHAT PARIHAR: I would like to put it in a positive way that it’s not loosing our authentic food, but in this fast growing world and modern fast food generation, they are forgetting (specially youth), the authentic food and flavours so, to make them accept that authentic food, it’s better to give it a twist which will not only make food appealing but also will let the current generation accept it and by this we can always maintain the authentic flavours instead of loosing them and also can match it with today’s ongoing food trend.
Thank you Chef Akshat for your answer. Hope our readers and viewers have got the answer? Let us now move towards our next question.
3) Chef, is this the fact that most of the restaurants are not presenting those stuffs, you may say of old granny times food about which, generation next does not actually know much and that is why they are more into the fusion food?
CHEF AKSHAT PARIHAR: Well, I must say that each restaurant tries their best to bring best food in a perfect way to each guest but, yes sometimes you might find your palate at few places and somewhere not so, after designing many restaurants on fusion concept what I personally felt that, food is a creation to be presented in a proper way and perfect appearance with palatable flavours even granny’s food can be loved all around.
4) Most of the mothers are cooking those food which is shown on YouTube etc. and they are making them delicious as well but, is this one of the major reasons, children are unable to build up their taste buds in traditional cuisines?
CHEF AKSHAT PARIHAR: I partially agree to this, mothers must make creative food stuffs for the young generation but, at times it should be a balance between the food also, to make sure that they may not always have junk. If health should be there, at the same time focus must be on making authentic food in a tricky way as well, in order to make sure that they always know what the actual roots and flavours of authentic cuisines are.
5) Is it a fear amongst entire food industry that very rapidly the charm of lost traditional recipies are coming to a disastrous end?
CHEF AKSHAT PARIHAR: I must say that it will never going to end if properly executed and even several chefs in food industry are doing their best to create a unique way to get a modern authentic fusion food.
6) Are chefs doing anything to cope up with this ongoing loss, and also what measures they are taking?
CHEF AKSHAT PARIHAR: I truly believe that each chef including me, along with their team mates are working hard and want to create a master piece which is loved by everyone, so I am sure on this also everyone must be working hard to make sure we never lose our authentic flavours.
7) Last but not the least I would like to ask: that can you please discuss one fusion food recipe and one traditional mutton recipe for our viewers?
Let’s start with the traditional first :
Mutton Rogan Josh :
An Indian lamb curry originating from the Kashmiri province, Rogan Josh is a delicacy with intense flavours in it. If there is any dish that can compete with the popularity of Butter Chicken, we would say it's Rogan Josh. Such is the taste of this mouth-watering Kashmiri recipe.
Try out this delightful mutton recipe on weekends and on days you want to indulge in some delectable food.
INGREDIENTS OF MUTTON ROGAN JOSH in TRADITIONAL VERSION:
1 kilograms Mutton chopped into cubes
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns
5 black cardamom
4 red chilli
1 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1 1/4 tablespoon coriander powder
150 grams hung curd
2 pinch saffron
salt as required
1 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds powder
2 1/2 tablespoon milk
1 1/4 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 sprigs coriander leaves
HOW TO MAKE MUTTON ROGAN JOSH:
Step 1. Saute the whole spices in ghee and prepare saffron milk.
To prepare this delicacy, first, prepare the saffron milk by soaking saffron in milk. Next, put a pressure cooker and heat ghee in it. When the ghee is hot enough, add the whole spices and fry for few seconds.
Step 2. Cook mutton with whole spices.
Then, add whole red chillies, cumin seeds and asafoetida in the pressure cooker and fry for few seconds. Afterwards, add the mutton pieces in it and stir well. Cover with the lid but do not close it, and cook mutton for 5-6 minutes on medium to high flame. You will notice the meat will turn light brown in colour. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and add 1/2 cup of water in it and stir well with the spices. This will help the mutton in soaking the flavour of all the spices. Then, lower the flame and cook mutton for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3. Mix yoghurt with saffron milk and other spices.
Meanwhile, take a small bowl and add all-purpose flour along with yoghurt in it, mix well. In this yoghurt mixture, add saffron milk (step 1), salt, fennel powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder and dry ginger powder (sonth powder). Mix all the spices well in the yoghurt. Once done, add into the pressure cooker. Stir well using a ladle and cook the mutton in yoghurt for at least a minute.
Step 4. Add this yoghurt mixture in pressure cooker and slow cook the mutton for 1-2 minutes.
Then, add 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker and slow cook the mutton for 1-2 minutes. Stir in between so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. You can also pressure cook the mutton for 5-6 whistles. Once done, garnish and serve hot with chapati or naan. You can also enjoy this dish with rice.
FUSION VERSION OF MUTTON ROGAN JOSH:
Rogan josh lamb shank with saffron rice :
Just a quick touch in the above recipe:
Step 1. Make the whole process as the only change is, instead of lamb pieces take a piece of lamb shank and cook with the same marinate and same sauce.
Step 2. Another change will be it's cooking time which will be increased for upto 30 minutes, as the shank part is thick and needs more time to cook well.
Step 3. After the shank is cooked, take the piece of shank with some rohan josh gravy in a pan, add 50gm of butter.
Step 4. Add Siracha (hot sauce) 30 ml, and honey 60 ml and reduce the gravy until thick and shiny, it will be like a glazed sauce.
Step 5. At the end finish the lamb with fresh chopped spring onion and coriander.
THEN TAKE 230GM COOKED RICE FOR ONE PORTION.
Take a pan, out 20 gm butter, add chopped garlic (2 cloves), 29 gm chopped white onion, chopped leeks (10 gm), then add the rice sauté a bit , after that add small amount of saffron mixed in warm milk in the rice and add cooking cream 60 ml and add salt to taste. At the end add 30 gm greated Parmesan and fresh parsley and finish the rice .
Then in a plate place the rice like a bed and on top put the piece of lamb shank in standing position, then add a bit of thick sauce on top for glazing, then on top sprinkle some crispy fried onions, grated Parmesan and fine chopped parsley.
Thanks a lot Chef Akshat Parihar for coming up on the LIVE talk show of REFT Today.
Thank you so much dear readers and viewers for your valuable time, see you soon with another chef talking upon another topic.
INTERVIEWED: Corporate Chef Akshat Parihar.
INTERVIEW TAKEN BY: Khatibah Rehmat.
Picture Courtesy: Corporate Chef Akshat Parihar.