Flavours for the Indian palate

Dinesh Sharma

If someone asked me what I wanted to become when I grew up, I would have never said that I wanted to be a chef. 

My dad is an Army man and I was born and raised in Chandigarh. I moved to Bengaluru in 1999 to work as a marketing professional. That’s what I trained to be and what I thought would be my career. But as they say, not everything in your life goes according to plan. 

After working as a marketing professional for two years, I joined a food and beverage hospitality which eventually led me to become a chef. 

Before I even thought I could do this full-time, my friends from the hotel industry expressed their faith in me. When I married in 2001, my wife too encouraged me to consider this professionally.

I am thankful to all of them for believing and encouraging me to take my passion for cooking seriously. 

About 15 years since I changed my career, I am now the brand chef at Misu in the city. Learning or becoming an expert at Asian cuisine was not really my choice. When I started working in the hotel industry, I joined an Asian kitchen and that’s where I learnt everything I know today. 

I love that there’s something new to learn every day. I find that Chinese is one of the most versatile cuisines to learn. It’s also a popular choice across the globe. Having said that, I think Indian dishes are quite complex to master. 

Whenever I create a dish, I make sure that I make it for the Indian palate. Though I believe in keeping the dish as authentic as possible, I’ve realised that it’s not easy to source the right ingredients. So I try to modify the recipe to the ingredients available and prepare them accordingly. 

One of my creation like that is the ‘Zoodles Pad Thai’. Now that diners are conscious about what they eat, I thought it would be a fun idea to make a healthy version of a Pad Thai. It’s a very simple recipe and does not require too many ingredients. You can fulfil your hunger and not worry about your health when devouring this dish.

Recipe: Zoodles Pad Thai


Zoodles Pad Thai

Ingredients

- Zucchini zoodles, 200 gm
- Carrots, 25 gm
- Tofu, 25 gm
- Chinese cabbage, 25 gm
- Bok Choy, 15 gm
- Beans sprouts, 10 gm
- Peanuts, 10 gm
- Onion, 10 gm
- Garlic, 10 gm
- Broccoli, 10 gm
- Chilli flakes, 5 gm
- Dark so, 5 ml
- Tamarind pulp, 5 ml  
- Olive oil, 25 ml

For seasoning 

- Salt, 2 gm
- Broth powder, 5 gm
- Sugar, 2 gm

Method

- Cut Zucchini zoodles into thin long strips and fast blanch in hot water. 
- Place wok on a stove and add oil, garlic, onion and simmer until golden brown.
- Add blanched Chinese cabbage, bok choy, carrot and broccoli and stir fry for 30 seconds. 
- To this, add zucchini zoodle with seasoning and stir fry until cooked well. 
- In a separate pan, cut tofu into finger-sized strips and flash fry.
- Now add the tofu, beans sprout, chilli flakes and peanut into the wok and stir fry with the cooked Zoodle. 
- Mix in high flame for 1 minute and take it off the stove.
- Serve on to a plate and garnish with peanut and beans sprout. 

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Flavours for the Indian palate

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