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In Conversation with Tushar Chahera

Chef Tushar Chahera is the Culinary Chef at Academy of Pastry and culinary arts Bangalore. He started his career with The Oberoi hotels and resorts as Systematic Training and Education Programme (STEP) associate 2014-2017 at Trident Gurgaon and was rewarded as STEP of the year. He did his Management training from The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development (OCLD) 2017-2019 and professional experience training from The Oberoi Sukhvilas, Chandigarh, Trident Bandra Kurla, Mumbai and The Oberoi Gurgaon.

Chef Tushar worked as Junior Sous chef at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and Sous Chef at The Oberoi Wildflower hall, Shimla. Joined APCA Bangalore in 2021 as Sr. Sous Chef. He avidly travels and looks for new unconventional ingredients to cook with, especially from the hills, where his heart is.

seafood bisque

Do you have a favourite time of the year or set of ingredients that you look forward to working with?

I look forward to springs at my hometown, Kotkha (Shimla). It gives me the opportunity to cook with various seasonal stone fruits as well vegetables like peaches, apricots, plums and cherries. Also preparing seasonal vegetables like pahadi saag, lingad (fiddle head fern) and fresh morels over chulah.

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

I love planning and organizing events and parties. So probably an event planner or I would have loved to be an interior designer.

Do your personal preferences influence the menu at all?

To a certain extent yes but I keep in mind the taste and preferences of the guests looking at trends and history.


What do you think is the most over-hyped food trend currently?

A recent over-hyped trend I’ve seen in a lot of restaurants these days is impractical service crockery and cutlery. A lot of places are focusing on serving in extravagant looking dishes just for show, like serving pasta in a glass jar hanging on the hook. I personally feel that comfort and ease of service adds more value to your meal rather than impractical show service.


When are you happiest?

During winters we celebrate khadean in my village which is a festival of Lord Shiva similar to Shivratri. We start the day with cleaning the house and then food preparation starts. Varieties of pahadi dishes such as babru, kali roti, wada, pola, sansre, sidu and many more are made. All our relatives are home and most of the time we receive snowfall during that time. I love spending time with the family, playing cards and enjoying lip smacking food. I am happiest during that time.


When you’re not in the kitchen where can you be found?

I love socializing so when I am not in the kitchen, you would find me spending time with my friends and colleagues. Mostly at my place watching movies, listening to music and of course some home cooked food.

Where is your favourite place to dine?

I really enjoy Japanese food especially sushi and sashimi and I like how Japanese chefs respect each and every ingredient to create pure bliss and umami. In Bangalore, Wabi Sabi at The Oberoi is my favourite place to dine. There are a lot of incredible dishes on the menu but the one I like the most is Crunchy Crunchy Bang Bang. Also another restaurant Nasi and Mee serves amazing prawns XO noodle soups which I thoroughly enjoy.

fish and chips

What’s your favourite takeaway or comfort food?

For me the phrase comfort food simply means a home cooked meal prepared with love. I enjoy my dAal, paneer bhurji and rajma as much as any fancy expensive meal. My favorite take away might sound very cliched , but I don’t think it gets better than a frankie!

Which is the dish you’ve created that you are most proud of and why?

As I enjoy eating and cooking green leafy vegetables, one dish I am most proud of is Lehsuni Palak paneer. Unlike palak paneer which we generally make this one doesn’t have a smooth gravy. Roasted gram-flour and chopped spinach along with carom seeds gives it a unique taste. I remember making it in one of the buffet week at the academy and everyone loved it. Since then it is part of the buffet preparation and I feel proud when even the most die – hard meat eaters look forward to my Lehsuni palak paneer.


You’re having friends over for dinner tonight. What’s on the table?

I come from a vegetarian family so meat and seafood was never prepared at home and I still follow that. So if am having friends over for dinner I would be making simple homely vegetarian meal as most of my friends are staying away from their family and crave for home cooked food. Starting with aloo pyaaz kachories on the table followed by rajma, paneer bhurji, lauke ke kofte, mix vegetable, raita and suji halwa for dessert. Or I will cook A Himachali meal which will include sidu ghee, bangjiri ki chutney, poppy seed ki kadi, rajma chawal is also a must have.

Name your favourite city that has it all: food, culture, and nightlife.

Chandigarh- one city I would love to stay anytime. It has the right balance between traditions, culture and modern technology. Food is amazing, perfect blend of local Punjabi meals, gourmet restaurants and cafes with pubs and breweries.


Can you tell us more about the 9 months course at the academy? 

Culinary basics begins with the topic of knife skills and cutting techniques, which is an essential for any chef. The classes in this first week focus on introduction to the kitchen and all its machinery and equipment according to industry standards. Knowing what is in the tool kit and the utility of each tool.  Followed by identification of ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, meats, herbs, spices, dairy etc and most importantly the names of various cuts. Our subsequent week includes week long topics such as potatoes, eggs, stocks and sauces, soups, meat and seafood, grain and pasta ending basic months with assessment.

Moving to intermediate and advance topics includes cuisines like Thai, Italian, French, Middle Eastern and Indian. It also includes food plating skills, complex sauces, savory canapés, ala carte week and buffet to learn bulk cooking, each stage starts with technical theory week and students also get to learn few bakery and pastry topics.



Paneer 150gms
Spinach blanched and chopped 2 bunch
Ghee 3 tbsp.
Carrom seeds 1 tbsp.
Onion 2 nos.
Tomatoes 3nos.
Gram flour 1 tbsp.
Coriander powder 2 tbsp.
Red chili powder 1 tbsp.
Cumin powder 1 tbsp.
Turmeric powder 1 tsp.
Green chili 2 nos.
Cream 4 tbsp.
Garlic chopped 2 tbsp.
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp.
Kasuri methi 1 tbsp.


  1. In a pan heat ghee and add carrom seeds.
  2. Add chopped garlic and onion, cook it till it turns golden brown.
  3. Now add chopped tomatoes and green chili. Let it cook till the time gravy releases oil.
  4. Now add gram flour and roast.
  5. Followed by ginger garlic paste and cook it till the time rawness goes.
  6. Now add powdered spices and then add water.
  7. Time to add chopped spinach and let it cook till the time rawness of spinach goes.
  8. Now add spoon of ghee and add cream.
  9. At last add paneer dipped in hot water.
  10. Finish with chopped coriander and kasuri methi.





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