Cooking with soul

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi changed the paradigms of traditional dishes and cooking styles globally, with his unique ‘tadka.’

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi

Chef Harpal Singh can take the credit for bringing global culinary experiences to the remotest cities across our country. He innovated on the poutine concept and has hit the right chord across generations and ages all over the world with dishes inspired by Canadian street food!

Two and a half decades ago, Harpal Singh says, the concept of dining out with the family or a chef did not exist. “My father thought I will end up becoming a bawarchi or a cook!” In the late 80s, Harpal passed out of a Hotel Management course in Kharagpur, West Bengal, a place synonymous with IIT. His journey with culinary delights started then, an uncommon course which took him across the country and beyond to create a new charter in cooking styles, dishes and concepts. There was no looking back and since then, he shares his fantastic recipes through the hugely popular show, Turban Tadka, several web-based shows and a series of restaurants Twist of Tadka in Bengaluru and Amritsar, BB Jaan and the Treasury in Jalandhar.

Fusion & innovation

Harpal’s recipes spring in some amazing twists and turns like in a thriller! He brings in desi tadka to global recipes and dishes out interesting Indian gastronomical delights that include Harpal butter chicken poutine, pav bhaji sandwich, chicken kheema pizza, Oreo pakoda, paan shake, fries pk please and lots more! This fusion has appealed to a wide spectrum of people across ages.

But it is no joking matter or trivial to do fusion food. It takes a lot of creativity, thinking and fine balancing of spices and aromas to create the right dish.

Harpal speaks like a seasoned entrepreneur or a corporate professional and says, “Innovation is at the core of every experience. For me, my current and prospective customers are everything. I want to make sure they go back contented and above all, happy.” Irrespective of the type of job or profession, customer experience is supreme, and every single industry is trying to keep pace with the changing and dynamic needs of customers. Hence, innovation is a need rather than a rarity.

Go local, go global

Harpal is one of the few chefs who has strategised the creation and outreach of his expertise to people across the country and beyond. While he spent a lot of time in creating niche recipes, he also thought about the ways in which he can take his brand to smallest towns and cities in

Considering our country has a rich consumer diversity and growing demand, Harpal has opened restaurants, outlets, created web content and TV shows to reach two and three-tier cities across India. He strongly believes that the emerging towns and cities are the growth hubs of the country and one must reach out to the audiences there. He has achieved it with great success, acceptance of his products and services and believes that sky is the limit.

Inspiring consumers

When I ask the jovial chef about the secret to his infectious smile and high voltage energy, he says, ‘inspiring and motivating customer experiences.’ Harpal believes he has developed some unbelievable connections, unconditional love and acceptance from customers and fans all over the globe, which has impacted and transformed him, internally.

He is surprised and shocked that he has fans from the age of five to 75 who interact with him, teach him special recipes and cooking methods, and shower him with so much love. His shows have inspired five-year-olds to cook, an 85-year old gentleman to help his wife cook and a physically challenged boy, strapped to the wheelchair to dance and smile. There are people in the remotest towns and villages who interact with Harpal daily and each one is a unique experience. Harpal’s cooking shows are not only to improve and innovate your culinary skills, in many cases, they act as huge stress busters and of course — age, gender, culture, language, diversity NO BAR!

Future plans

Harpal’s inspiration is his father Shri Darshan Singh and says he never had the fear of failure or rejection. Harpal believes he was born to be a chef and this determination has got him a memorable journey and a passion to do much more. He advises the next-gen to stay focused, introspect and identify the unique quotient and pursue it relentlessly. Sounds like a perfect recipe for success!

Apart from his current ventures, Harpal now plans to start a food truck serving langar this year and has a motto — Serve langar, kill hunger. Harpal was in the city recently to launch a new restaurant DHADOOM Flavours and Fun at the Mantri Square Mall, an initiative by Yellow Tie Hospitality. Harpal says he loves the youthful spirit and diasporic element of Bengaluru and says, this city is on the global hospitality spotlights!




  • Boneless mutton: 400 gm
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Green cardamom: 6 to 8
  • Cloves: 4-5
  • Bay leaves: 3
  • Cinnamon: ½ inch stick
  • Caraway seeds: 1 tsp
  • Split white lentils: 1 tbsp
  • Split Bengal gram 1 tbsp
  • Instant oats: 1 cup
  • Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies: 3
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  • Ginger chopped: 1 tbsp
  • Garlic chopped: 1 tbsp
  • Peppercorns: 1tsp
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Lemon: ½
  • Browned onions: 3 tbsp


  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add the whole spices like bay leaf, peppercorn, green cardamom, clove, caraway seeds, white lentils, Bengal gram, followed by the mutton. Sauté these well.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, salt and sauté for some time.
  • Add two cups of water, mix well and cover the cooker.
  • After the first whistle, reduce the flame and allow the meat to cook for 20 minutes.
  • After it is cooked, remove it in a bowl and keep it aside.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and add in the chopped ginger and garlic and sauté well.
  • Add in the oats, water, and half of the browned onions, and sauté for a minute. Then add milk and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the mutton gravy, and cook on medium flame for two minutes.
  • Add salt, garam masala powder and juice of ½ lime and stir well.
  • Garnish with the remaining browned onions, mint sprig and lemon slice and serve hot.


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