Tune in the flavours

Tune in the flavours

When I decided to join a hotel management course, I never thought I would become a chef. I imagined working at a premier brand of hotel and managing things there. Now I realise that I never had a dream to become a chef but it was a calling that I now call my passion.

I’ve been in the hotel industry for more than 11 years now. It has been a thrilling experience with a lot of ups and downs. Every career move that I have made has taught me something more valuable than the previous one. I learnt about managing the kitchen and bringing out something new for the guests every night. The flavours can bring back memories or instill new tastes in their palates. Nevertheless, the experimentation never stops.

After my first stint with a well-known hotel, I worked with a startup where we focussed on preparing authentic Indian dishes. I brought in everything I knew from my past experience and helped create the dishes for the brand.

Now that I am the executive chef at ‘Glocal Junction’, I am able to bring in more flavours to suit the brand’s requirements. The food presented at the restaurants, which are situated at three locations in India, is like an amalgamation of global cuisines with a regional twist. We’ve used various ingredients, cuisines and techniques to bring about an evolution of different cuisines, thereby offering some of the iconic dishes in a new avatar.

But my all-time favourite dish and comfort food is some brown rice and fish. Though I have my roots in Kerala, I was born and brought up in Gujarat. However, this dish was always available at home. I enjoy preparations of small fishes with the rice. My mother has a knack for making it delicious each time and now my wife has also learnt it from her. No matter how much I experiment in the kitchen, some hot brown rice and a fish preparation always makes me go weak in the knees.

Maybe that’s why I enjoyed working with tuna for this recipe. It’s a simple salad that anyone can make at home and when the Hajmola dressing is drizzled on top, it enhances the flavours like never before.

The canned tuna will add its own saltiness to it, but with the crunch of lettuce and other ingredients, it balances the flavours perfectly. The dressing also brings back memories for many and compliments the salad well. I suggest that one have it for lunch as it is light and tasty. It is well-balanced and gives you the right amount of energy for the day.

Rohan C Philip
(As told to Anila Kurian)

Tuna salad with Hajmola dressing
Canned tuna, 25 gm
Iceberg lettuce, 20 gm
Romaine lettuce, 20 gm
Lollo rosso lettuce, 20 gm
Roasted small potato, 50 gm
Boiled egg, 1
American corn, 30 gm
Pitted olive green, 15 gm
Hajmola dressing, 25 gm
Salt, 1 gm
Black pepper, 1 gm

Hajmola dressing
Amchur powder, 18 gm
Salad oil, 150 ml
White vinegar, 100 ml
Water, 50 ml
Black salt, 5 gm
Chaat masala, 15 gm
Dijon mustard, 20 gm
Honey, 50 gm

Method to make the Hajmola dressing
Whisk all ingredients together till combined well.
Store and use as needed.

Method to make the salad
Take a clean mixing bowl and add the Hajmola dressing.
Add all the other ingredients.
Toss well and serve in a cold tub.
Garnish with tuna and
 boiled egg cut into four.

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