I met the Indian celebrity chef, Saransh Goila, who judged an episode on MasterChef Australia, and spoke to him about his new show, his favourite travel destinations, and food. Loads of food. By Payal Singh
At an event held by US Cranberries India in Mumbai, Chef Saransh Goila unveiled his Cranberry Recipe booklet and even conducted a masterclass. He not only demonstrated how to make Dal Pakwaan and Cheese Cranberry Kulcha, but also answered a few questions for us.
Here’s him being his candid best.
1. What’s your favourite cranberry dish?
Out of the recipes that I’ve worked on, my favourite is actually Sindhi Dal Pakwaan with Cranberry Chutney, instead of doing the classic Imli Chutney. It’s my mom’s recipe, which I’ve tweaked. I even got her approval for it!
2. Tell us more about The Sadak Chef — your new show. When does it release?
The Sadak Chef is basically a show about bringing limelight to street vendors and lesser-known food artists in our country who don’t have a PR team. Often, they don’t get acknowledged. It will probably be a Chef’s Table, but for Indian street food artists or home cooks of India — where you recognise those who have been cooking the same dish for many years and have managed to safeguard their food culture. By the looks of it, The Sadak Chef should be out by March-end.
3. Where did you travel last for the same (Sadak Chef)?
It’s been many years, probably six years now. But I do keep travelling, exploring and doing Sadak Chef Walks whenever I travel to a new part of India. I’ve not done a proper Sadak Chef show in many years, so for me, it’s been a good change.
4. What are your top three travel destinations abroad?
This is a tough one since there are so many! New York is phenomenal for its cultural mix and the kind of cuisines you get in that city. You can wake up every morning and have a different experience, food and cuisine. Melbourne, because of all the food action there. Also, because it’s home to MasterChef Australia. And Thailand, for its great local food scene People mainly go there for holidays, but the cuisine is worth exploring.
5. The top three travel destinations that you want to cover in 2020?
Japan is definitely on top of that list, followed by New Zealand and Copenhagen.
6. What’s your go-to meal when you’re travelling?
I usually prefer a local favourite of whichever city I visit. I keep it simple that way. This year, I absolutely fell in love with Menemen — a Turkish dish which is an egg preparation with tomatoes and cheese.
7. Do you have an embarrassing or funny memory from your travels?
I don’t know if this is embarrassing enough, but on one of my first trips, my friend and I had a connecting flight to Italy. We landed in Turkey for the connecting flight, and we were running late. Somehow, I left my handbag at the security check-in assuming the bag would come directly to Italy. Alas, later in Italy I realised that I should’ve taken the bag with me. The trip went downhill from there. I was worried because that didn’t even have a lock. I went through a lot to retrieve that handbag. After a lot of phone calls, it reached me three weeks later in Delhi. Luckily, all of the things inside — including my money, laptop, iPod, etc. — were in there.
8. What do you consider to be the most underrated Indian food?
North Indian cuisine is definitely unexplored and underrated. We just don’t know how to appreciate it yet.
9. What’s your favourite holiday destination in India?
North East, for sure. It’s untapped, both — landscape and food-wise.
10. What are your top three favourite eateries in Mumbai, apart from Goila Butter Chicken?
Cafe Madras in Matunga for the amazing Udupi food joint that it is. Cafe Military, and then Swati Snacks.
11. What’s the most sinful dessert you’ve eaten in a while?
I love sugar! I was in Amritsar recently where there was a sweet shop called Bhansal Sweets. I had Pinni and Motichoor there. Wow! It was so simple, loaded with ghee and dry fruits.
12. After Butter Chicken, what’s a Saransh Goila Special?
I think Butter Chicken is one of those dishes which everybody loves when I cook it. But, what I really like cooking is Sindhi Style Mutton.