A Caribbean delight

A Caribbean delight

Down foodpath

I was born in a Telugu family and we moved to Orissa after my father was transferred there. I studied hotel management in Bhubaneshwar after which, I had to do a six-month training programme. I chose to do it with Taj Coromandel in Chennai.

During the training period, I had to work in six departments which included kitchen, reception, assembly service, purchase, housekeeping and HR. After my training, I was recruited by The Oberoi Group in 1991. I worked with The Krishna Oberoi in Hyderabad for a year and later, with the Taj Group.

I was then transferred to Taj Residency in Vishakhapatnam and worked there for four years after which, I had the opportunity to work in the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II ‑ an oceanliner built for the Cunard Line–that sailed between the home port of Southampton, UK, to New York in five days. This was one of the most important learning experiences of my life as it gave me a chance to cook for Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II. I worked there for four years and met some outstanding chefs from America and Europe. I had a wonderful time on board as I was exposed to different cuisines and learnt many recipes. I also taught the other chefs to prepare curry, which they instantly loved.

I live for food not only because cooking is my bread and butter, but also because I find it a soulful and meditative process. Every time I eat a new dish, I try and analyse how differently I can make it.

Having worked in cruiseliners, I have gone around the world three times and seen 58 counties so far. For the last one year, I have been working as the head chef of Barbeque Nation in the City.

My journey as a chef has been very interesting and I simply love cooking French cuisine. It is simple and the dishes don’t involve much seasoning. Even with limited ingredients, they taste marvellous. However, the recipe that I am sharing is that of a delicacy from the Caribbean Islands - cajun spiced potatoes. I learnt this dish from a Caribbean chef during my visit to the Islands.

It is simple and easy to prepare and our guests always enjoy this finger-licking delight. The combination of potatoes, parsley and spice powders makes this dish really appetising. It is close to my heart and will surely be a favourite among your guests too.

*Baby potatoes with skin – 250 gms
*Mayonnaise – 100 gms
*Chopped garlic – 10 gms
*Chopped onions – 50gms
*Chopped parsley – 10 gms
*Paprika powder – 10 gms
*Salt – to taste
*Lemon juice- 10 ml
*Refined oil – to deep fry
*Cajun spice powder – 20 gms
*Select evenly-sized baby potatoes with skin and wash them well to ensure that all the mud is removed.
*Boil them in a pot with a lot of water. Once they are soft boiled, drain the water. Spread them on a flat surface and let it cool.
*Press each potato between the palms ensuring that the skin remains intact.  Deep fry in hot oil till a crispy golden skin. Spread them over a paper to absorb the excess oil.
*Add the cajun powder, lemon juice, garlic and paprika powder to the  Mayonnaise. Mix well and keep aside.
*Arrange the potatoes and pour the cajun sauce over them gently.
*Garnish with chopped onions and chopped parsley. Serve hot as a starter.

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