Heritage On A Plate: Ishyijot Surri
How did your culinary journey begin?
During my childhood, I liked to taste and eat different food preparations. My liking for cooking developed when I used to cook midnight meals for my cousins and friends. Later, I enrolled myself at IHM Aurangabad for higher Diploma in Culinary Arts. It was backed by hands-on training and a job at the Taj – President Hotel, Mumbai (Now Taj Vivanta).
What was the idea behind your food chains Pachinco Cafe and Mulk restaurant?
They are two totally different restaurants with different concepts. Mulk is an outcome of extensive research about the food, which was served during the pre-partition era in the north-west province of India namely Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. Thus, the tagline ‘Food from the
Frontier’. Pachinco, on the other hand, is about the peppy and fun side of you. Hence, the name Pachinco, which is an arcade game in Japan. It takes you down the memory lane where you enjoy the awe-inspiring things from childhood.
A common perception is that restaurant made dishes are not feasible at home. Your comment upon that?
All the dishes that are prepared at the restaurants can surely be prepared at home. It is just that the processes might be a little time-taking and require some amount of patience, but that’s about it. I myself cook all my dishes at home as well.
According to you, what is that quick and healthy food recipe, which can be prepared in almost no time and effort, but is amazingly delicious?
A traditional Turkish Fattoush or an arugula lettuce salad.
What do you think is the most challenging ingredient to work with and why?
The most challenging ingredient to cook with would be fish as it is a delicate form of meat. It is very essential to understand the amount of spices that need to be used while cooking it, as overuse of spices would just ruin the flavour and essence of the dish.
What is that one piece of advice you would give to a cooking enthusiast?
Cooking is something that is not a profession but a passion that becomes a profession. It is a never-ending learning curve.