Chef finds veggie dishes challenging

Chef finds veggie dishes challenging

Down foodpath

Shaikh Istekhar Mohammed

I grew up in a family where food played an important part. Hailing from a Muslim family, there was always something cooking at home. 

As long as I can remember, it was my mother and grandmother who were the creative ones in the kitchen. They would whip up a variety of non-vegetarian dishes. I remember watching them form the kitchen and thinking to myself that I want to grow up and prepare food that makes people happy too. 

So at the age of 10, the time I asked my family why we don’t make more vegetarian dishes too, I made my first Aloo Paratha. Of course, it didn’t have much shape to it but my family told me that it tasted good. So when someone asked me what I wanted to become when I grow up, I made up my mind that I will become a chef. 

It’s been 22 years since I joined the food industry and it’s been one heck of a journey. I started my career in Jamshedpur and learnt about the nuances of being part of this world. I then worked in cities like Mumbai, Gujarat, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and now in Bengaluru. I came here in 2006 and helped open a number of restaurants. 

I now work as the Executive Chef in Housefull, a vegetarian restaurant. Over the years, I’ve realised that it’s easy to make non-vegetarian dishes but cooking for vegetarians is always challenging for a chef. You have to make sure that you get the taste, spice, quality and quantity just right. 

Having said that, making tandoor items and Raan Biryani is my speciality. Cooking is something I absolutely love to do. The creative outlet it gives me is not something I can put in words. For today, the recipe I’m sharing is Bread and Cheese Rolls. It requires only a few ingredients and you can make it whenever you want. I prefer to use the Britannia cheese instead of mozzarella. The flavours are better and gives you the cheesy factor. 

It goes well with green and sweet chutney. Makes for a great party snack or just when you are craving something simple and delicious. 

Shaikh Istekhar Mohammed

Bread and Cheese Rolls


  • White bread, 4 slices
  • Cheese, 150 gm
  • Jalapeno, 20 gm
  • Onion, 30 gm
  • Corn flour, 40 gm
  • Panko crumb, 50 gm
  • Salt, 2 gm
  • White pepper, 5 gm
  • Oil to deep fry, 200 ml


  • Mix mozzarella cheese, onion, coriander leaves, jalapeno and salt.
  • Soak each slice of bread in water for 10 seconds. Squeeze out the water.
  • Place a bread slice on the worktop. Add some of the cheese mixture in the centre on one side and roll the slice over to cover the stuffing firmly.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a deep pan and deep fry the rolls until it becomes golden brown.
  • Serve hot with mint chutney.