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Chef Hoshang Debta-Culinary Head IIHM Pune

Chef Hoshang Debta is a culinary mentor and department head at IIHM Pune. He holds a bachelor degree  in hotel management from NCHMCTAN. His dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of India’s leading chefs and he has worked with some of the finest kitchens in the country.

Previous to his appointment as culinary mentor and department head at IIHM PUNE, he worked as corporate chef and projects in charge for a leading restaurant chain in Pune. He loves travelling and on the quest of extensive travel he has worked as an advisor for a café in Barcelona. During his visit to Catalan city in 2018  he extensively worked with local markets to understand the cuisine and its modern approach to Spanish food eating practices.

Manipuri-chicken-dumplings-served-with-nitro-peanut-chutney

Do you have a favourite time of the year or set of ingredients
that you look forward to working with?
India is a land of many seasons and with each season comes new harvest and with harvest comes festivals, being a land of colours, culture and traditions.I would say each  day in the year is my favourite.

Whether it’s mangoes from Ratnagiri in summers or onions becoming your favourite during monsoons by getting deep fried as Bhajji or relishing strawberries from Mahabaleshwar during winters, as a chef I believe in using and working with everything that Mother Nature has to offer.

 What would you do if you weren’t a chef/teacher?

 From childhood I have been in special inclination towards colours, if not chef i would have been an artist.

Kaveram-rassa-Malai-kulfi-with-Madhurika-badam-pheni

How has the pandemic changed the way you work ?
Pandemic made me more inclined towards technology, keeping myself aware about the recent changes in new techniques in cooking and also working on sustainable cooking practices.

It introduced me to the art of making videos. I started my own YOUTUBE channel during the lock down.

What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend currently?
These days a very popular trend you will see on the internet is that people  are adding  too much cheese to food they eat, cheese taste nodes are subtle and delicate in nature, adding cheese to spicy food does not make sense.

Kathal-stuffed-paratha-with-cinnamon-infused-pumpkin-curry

When are you happiest?
I like to balance myself with work and personal life. I feel happy when after a busy and fruitful day of work I still go home and make a good cup of coffee for myself and take a sip of it .

When you’re not in the college kitchen or in the classroom where can you be found?
I would be mostly found in the kitchen, as i have my office there, I don’t want to chose another place, since looking at my workplace makes me feel content and gives me peace.

Ghee-roast-lamb-chops-with-savoury-cumin-rose-cake.


Where is your favourite place to dine?
Koji at Conrad Pune is my favourite place to dine.

What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?
Street style Indonesian fried rice with sambal and Ayam Satay and mutton with Tandlachi bhakri (rice bhakri).
What makes the local food scene so exciting?

The spices and the flavours make it different and exciting , Maharashtra is blessed with natural resources and many varieties of cooking techniques like podhani, roasting tawa cooking and deep frying etc. Using these techniques not only bring the best out to showcase the food scene but also it shows how versatile and elaborate the cuisine is.

Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?
Recently during one of the events, i had to create a menu, keeping fine dine and Indian cuisine in mind. Progressive Indian cuisine is what people are preferring these days, a fine dine pre plated meal which has everything on it, from protein to sauces and the accompaniment .I always say you cannot create a new dish, whereas you can innovate and give the particular dish a new sense of beginning a new look, a new body but as a chef you have to keep the soul remaining so that guests don’t feel cheated.

The dish i am talking about is ‘Kathal stuffed paratha with cinnamon infused pumpkin curry’ served with asparagus foogath and beetroot lemon rice and kaveram rassa-malai kulfi with madhurika badam pheni, this dessert represents the essence of cooking in India before Britishers when food used to narrate the language of senses.

Sweet-potato-chaat-with-achari-nashapati–scaled


You’re having friends over for dinner tonight. What’s on the table?
When friends are over for dinner, these two dishes are a must on table- mini chicken rolls (tender crisp chicken wrapped in tortillas ) and Pepper Mutton pulao (Made with my mother’s recipe).

 Name your favourite city that has it all: food, culture, and nightlife.
I feel fortunate sometimes, when i remember my time at Singapore, a country a city that holds a special place in my heart. I was working there as an executive chef for Harry’s bar and kitchen, a popular restaurant and bar chain in Singapore with operations expanding to more than 30 restaurants.

Quinoa-dahi-Bhalla-with-vegan-peanut-curd

Singapore is beautiful, a country which has everything, a mix of culture from Chinese, Japanese, Indian to Malay and people from many other countries. It’s a country where you feel proud as an Indian when metro train announcements are made in Tamil. Singapore is heaven for foodies whether it is the local food joints often called as hawker food centers, where passionate foodies and local Singaporeans enjoy an array of food from various kitchens at an affordable price.
ORGANIC QUINOA AND JAGGERY LADOO
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 tablespoon Ghee
  • 1 tablespoon broken cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1/2 cup powdered jaggery
  • 2 tablespoons almond & pistachio flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
 
Method :-
1) Dry roast the quinoa in a pan, until a sweet aroma is released.
then ground it to a coarse powder in a dry mixer, transfer the contents to clean dry bowl.
2) Now heat half of the ghee in a pan and fry the dry fruits in it.
3)Transfer the fried dry fruits to the grounded quinoa along with powdered jaggery 
4) add cardamom powder and milk, and start rubbing the mixture until its smooth and starts binding to it.
5) Take a handful of mixture and start making ladoos, roll it and keep it aside 
6) garnish it with leftover over dry fruits and serve.

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