What inspired you to create a show like ‘Home Made Love’?
Food has always had three pillars in which it has grown – street food, royal food and home food. Home food has played an important part in Indian culture and cuisine, it just hasn’t got enough platform and its due.
I just felt that, as chefs, we do a lot for royal cooking and we roam around talking about street food, we definitely need to look at doing more on the home food front, where the home-makers who cook food at home come to the forefront and prepare the dishes. Just happy allowing the home-makers to show up in the best light!
Your favourite ghar ka khaana…
I’m a very khichdi person. It always works. Also, because I travel a lot and go around tasting a lot of food so my palate is always working out. Sometimes I just need to numb my palate, calm it down. Not really go into the analytics mode.
On a work day, do you cook or order in?
I usually end up cooking something myself. If I have a choice, my food is very targetted. I usually know what I’m going to eat. In the morning I know what my day is going to be like.
And that is usually how it ends up being. I usually cook for myself, it’s not very elaborate food, it’s very functional food. The cravings are very simple. One day the cravings might be an avocado toast with poached egg. That might be lunch for a day. But I prefer cooking it myself.
Your first memories of cooking…
My grandmom cooking in the kitchen. All the grandchildren coming to the kitchen and she would light up a fire and rustle up something in no time. And we would be amazed. It was like watching a sorceress at work. That’s my first memory of cooking and the magic of cooking.
You travel a lot. What are some of the most unusual meals you’ve tried?
I’ve tried a lot of unusual things like alligator meat, kangaroo tail, snake meat. we’ve done an entire buck meal in Mexico. Crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches. In Iceland, the reindeer meat is something I look forward to.
What do you indulge in on a cheat day?
I don’t decide cheat days because 50% of the time I’m not in control of what I’m eating when I’m shooting or when people invite me over. Those become my cheat days. I let myself loose and enjoy what they’ve cooked. I don’t plan cheat days; I only plan my meals.
I’m very particular about what goes into my body when I’m in control. For example, if I’m in Kashmir and I’m shooting, I know it’s not going to be an ordinary meal day. Mostly my cheat days are forced on me and I enjoy that.
Why must the audience tune in to Home Made Love?
There’s a natural warmth that comes with mom’s cooking and everybody should watch it because it will feel like their mother is cooking. You’ll eventually feel this way. It’s an understated, warm, quaint show, just like our mothers.