A cool summer treat

Down foodpath

A cool summer treat

Had someone asked me 35 years ago if I wanted to become a chef, I would have just laughed. Looking back now, it was a trip to a commercial kitchen that made me take this path.

It was much after I enrolled for a hotel management course that I started taking it seriously. My cousin works as a chef and he is the one who helped me make an informed decision about my profession.

During my third year of college, I once asked him to take me to his kitchen. I wanted to witness the action behind the scenes and find out if it was actually worth all the time and effort one puts in there. And frankly, it was.

It may seem as though the work of a kitchen staff never ends — and to a certain extent, it doesn’t — but knowing that it is your hardwork which puts a smile on your customer’s face is just priceless.

That is the day I decided to become a chef. So when campus selection programmes were organised in college, I attended all the interviews and was selected to work in the kitchen. I’ve been a part of The Oberoi Group since then. 13 years later, I bagged the position of an executive chef. But ever since I left for the US, I have been a chef trainer.  Having been in the industry for about 32 years now, I’ve been exposed to various cultures, cuisines and ingredients.

I’ve even had the opportunity to curate the menu for Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s wedding. I have  also catered to the likes of the Royal Family in Nepal and the President of Singapore.

It’s only recently that I decided to put my culinary knowledge to better use. I joined hands with my business partner, Joseph, and started ‘48 East’, a culinary startup where we have curated an Asian menu.

 It’s a cuisine that is widely accepted and the ingredients used in it are spectacular. It includes dishes from 48 countries in Asia and the recipes evolve over time.
Whenever I am travelling, I usually carry a notepad with me.

I love going into the interiors of a place and learning about their food and culture. I take down notes whenever I find something interesting. I then come back to the kitchen and experiment with the recipe. Practice is truly what makes one perfect!

The recipe that I am sharing today is a special one. The ‘Tab Tim Krob’ is a Thai dessert that I learnt about when I was in San Francisco. It’s a refreshing and cool dessert made with water chestnuts and coconut milk. In my opinion, it has this link to the ‘Elaneer Payasam’ but comes in its own variation. Since summer is here now, this dessert is just what you need to keep cool and refreshed.

Tab Tim Krob

Recipe

Ingredients

Water chestnuts (canned), 40 gm
Sugar, 35 gm
Rose syrup, 20 ml
Coconut milk, first
extract, 150 ml
Coconut cream, 20 ml
Tapioca flour, 15 gm

Method

Dice the water chestnuts, sprinkle the tapioca flour and mix well so that it is properly coated.
Pour the contents and shake off the excess flour. Place it in a pan of boiling water on a stove and boil until tender. Drain off and put it in a bowl of ice water to cool.
Sweeten the coconut milk with sugar, making sure that the sugar dissolves completely. Add the coconut cream. Now mix the rose syrup. Chill the mixture.
When serving, place the water chestnuts in a glass or serving bowl as desired. Top with the coconut milk mixture and serve chilled.

Nabhojit Ghosh
(As told to Anila Kurian)

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