'My chicken tikka achari will make Dhoni forget others he's had'

 

My chicken tikka achari will make Dhoni forget others hes had

Ajay Thakur, Corporate Chef of Hitchki, on why Dubai is his favourite culinary destination

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Published: Fri 28 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 28 Jun 2019, 2:33 PM

Your best food-related experience
There was a dhaba I once went to on a national highway in India. Only once you get there and place an order do the chefs actually start chopping up the ingredients they need to prepare the order. You also get to pick your own chicken, which will then be butchered and cooked in front of you. In my opinion, such a concept serves both the consumer as well as the owner. The customer gets his food prepared fresh, while the owner minimises the cost on wastage and leftover food.
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
Jamie Oliver. He advocated simplistic, wholesome food prepared with ease. I love how he makes simple recipes so delightful to the eyes as well as utterly palatable.
Your all-time favourite culinary destination - and why?
Dubai. It is one destination where you find eclectic food from around the world co-existing with a plethora of multicultural traditions. It inspires me to constantly innovate - albeit simply.
If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve him or her?
I'd want to cook for cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and serve him chicken tikka achari, as it is his favourite food. I've mastered this recipe and I'm sure my version will make him forget all the others he's ever eaten.
After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
Yes, of course. I cook up amazing recipes in my mind for the next day.

You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
Pani puri pakoda. That's pani puri stuffed with cheese, chilli and potato, crumb-fried and served with Hajmola mayo.
One ingredient/dish you absolutely can't stand, and why.
Chicken liver masala. It's such a delicate part of meat that is intense in flavour and overpowered with heavy dominating masalas. I would prefer a pâté over stir-fry any time.
If you had the choice to pick your last meal, what would it be?
Chaat! A rustic countryside food usually prevalent in the boondocks and gullies of Asia (typically India), it is savoured in various formats by millions. It has a very vibrant amalgamation of colours and flavours that define the street food of India.

Where can we find you, when not in the kitchen?
At the newest place in town.
- Staff reporter



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