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More than just butter chicken

In April 1, Kakori, the popular North West Indian outlet of Soaltee Crowne Plaza launched its new menu. Master chef Hardev S Saini has worked on recreating the new menu and has introduced a wide range of gastronomic delights from Punjab, North-West India and Afghanistan.

For starters, the menu comprises of flavourful dishes such as tandoori malai broccoli gilawat ke kebab, yakhani sorba and surkh malai khumb. For  the main course bhindi singhada, tawa gosht, potli murg and Lucknowi subz biryani are the most recommended. For desserts, the chocolate stuffed gulab jamun and lahsun ki kheer are mouth watering.

What will you be bringing into Soaltee Crowne Plaza’s new menu?

There will be a lot of contemporary Indian food especially the North Indian Frontier cuisine. We will be introducing succulent kebabs, biryanis, shorba, naan, a variety of Indian breads and mouthwatering desserts.

Which is the your signature dish?

I have don’t have a single signature dish. Some of the best ones that I have added to Kakori’s new Menu are Kakori Kebab, Rumali Paneer Tikka and Makhmali Chenna.

Is there a secret ingredient that you love to cook with?

I do not have a secret ingredients as such. North Indian dishes usually have thick, moderately spicy and creamy gravies. The use of dried fruits and nuts is fairly common. Dairy products like milk, cream, cottage cheese, ghee (clarified butter) and yoghurt play an important role in the cooking of both savoury and sweet dishes.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Yes, I absolutely love Continental food. Beef, pork chops and tenderloin steaks would be some of my favourites.

How do see the market for Indian Cuisine
in Nepal?

Indian cuisine has an immense range; we have a lot of varieties ranging from Kashmir to Kerala. Hence there is always room to be creative and add something extra to a dish.

What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about Indian cuisine?

The biggest misconception that people hold about Indian cuisine is that it is mostly heavy curries and spices. I believe Indian cuisine has a lot to offer and is not only limited to butter chicken and naan.

There are so many varieties of dishes which can be cooked in so many different styles. Therefore the main challenge is to get people out of the ‘curry thinking’.

Master chef Hardev S Saini talks to WOW about Kakori’s new menu, his secret ingredients and the diversity of Indian cuisine.