Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Jan 01, 2005

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Delhi
Published on Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Madurai    Mangalore    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Awadhi and Qureshi... a heady mix

Being a Qureshi from Lucknow, Chef Ishtiaq tells SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY that no one tries to trick him on the quality of meat.



SECRET OF GOOD FOOD: Chef Ishtiaq Qureshi in New Delhi.

CHEF ISHTIAQ is indeed a proud Qureshi. Hailing from Lucknow, the nucleus of Awadhi food, plus with a solid culinary background (being from the family of Qureshis, who have been running restaurants in the city for ages together), he understandably talks about kababs, naharis, biryanis and tikkas with a sense of command. And meat being an important component of Awadhi food, he tells you, "When the suppliers come to know that I am a Qureshi from Lucknow, they don't meddle with me. The quality automatically becomes better."

And with his father Imtiaz Qureshi already going great guns (the much written about Master Chef who was at New Delhi's Maurya Sheraton till recently), Chef Ishtiaq says they often end up talking about food. "Since it is in the blood, you can't run away from it," he laughs, sitting at Mer Curries, a standalone restaurant in New Friends Colony. The chef has just conducted a festival of Awadhi kababs here. Winning pats from celebrity diners like Naresh Trehan, Jagjit and Chitra Singh, Jagdish Tytler and Nafisa Ali among others.

"Nowadays, I shuttle between Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Lucknow. I run a restaurant of Lucknowi food in Mumbai's Worli area by the name of Sun and Sand. Also, it has a branch now in Pune. In Lucknow, I run another restaurant by the name of Chhote Nawab keeping in mind my father being called Bade Nawab," he states. On the plan of action is a version of Chhote Nawab in Dubai too.

But balancing these "too many boats" has indeed showered on him a lot of exposure leading to organising the menu for many a celebrity wedding. "I did the food for film actors like Karisma Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and even Rajeev Kapoor. The Ambanis and Parameshwari Godrej are my regular clients," he drops the names now. Considering the weather conditions "as Awadhi food you know is a rich cuisine," the list of invitees, and the purpose of a party, he decides on his menu when it comes to organising party food.

"Then the clients' personal choice too comes into play," he adds as softly as his kakori kababs by now melting in your mouth.

Saunf and haldi

Though Nahari Biryani is his personal favourite, the chef, keeping Delhi vegetarians in mind, ends up making even vegetarian biryani with jackfruit and soya beans. "What you don't get here is good quality lamb. So one ends up using goat meat," he points out. "But where Delhi scores straightaway is quality vegetables according to the seasons. In Mumbai, all throughout the year, the same vegetables fill the market which become a tad monotonous at times," he comments. Though, he would give it to Mumbai any day for "fresh sea food."

"Delhi is all dependent on Kochi bay for sea fish but Mumbai has its own. There arises no question of unavailability. You can make tandoori crab any time of the year," he remarks. In Delhi, he digs around all the local markets beginning with the Walled City. "The mushrooms and broccolis here are so good and much cheaper than Mumbai," he notes from the morning's trip to a local market here. In Mumbai, he often ends up going to the vegetable markets at Dadar, Khar and in New Mumbai.

"And this time, I shall take from Delhi lot of saunf, mint and haldi. They are the best here. Also, I had requested someone to get me Kashmiri chilli powder from the valley. I shall try some new dishes with it," the glint in his eyes already betrays the excitement within.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Madurai    Mangalore    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2005, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu