You don’t have to be Indian to know Asha Bhosle. With a career in Bollywood spanning over six decades, generations have grown up humming her melodious tunes. Her contribution to Indian music is legendary, but what many people may not be aware of is her flare for the kitchen.
Despite a very busy career, Asha Bhosle finds respite in creating new dishes for her family and her elite circle of friends in the Bollywood fraternity.
Seeing how much her dishes were being appreciated, Asha Bhosle decided it was time the world got a taste of her cooking too and this is how Asha’s, her chain of Indian fine-dining restaurants have spread across the globe.
Today I have the immense pleasure of sharing an excerpt of my interview with the legend herself; Asha Bhosle! She has even been kind enough to share her recipe for Muscat Gosht with us. Read on for more.
What have you been up to this long Eid weekend? We decided to hibernate on Day 1, dreading the holiday rush across the city. Surely every road, every mall and every restaurant must be overflowing with people now that everybody is back from the summer break?
Well I have great news for you! I’ve recently discovered the (not so secret) secret hang-out for foodies who, like me, detest the crowds. Ironically just a few parallel roads down from buzzing Dubai Mall itself, Bay Square is a hidden gem housing some of Dubai’s most affordable restaurants under one spacious complex itself.
I was in Bay Square about a week ago, devouring really good Thai food at Fuchsia, and just a week later I was back yet again, this time for some amazingly affordable Indian at 25 Degrees North.
The wait is over. The highly anticipated Carnival by Tresind is finally opening its doors at DIFC Dubai on Saturday 3rd September. After a long week of work, I was very excited about heading to Carnival. We received a media invite to try out a set menu, and like our undeniably favorite Indian restaurant Tresind, Carnival proved to be a magical jaw-dropping experience. The only bummer was that they haven’t obtained their liquor licence yet (this will be resolved by the time they officially open).
Walking into Carnival by Tresind is like stepping into a fantasy world. Dimly lit yet festively spruced up with gilded trees branching out at every corner, a wall of masquerade masks and an impressively stylish bar area with a backlit feature wall of empty bottles, we were showered down with a welcoming burst of bubbles as soon as we took our seats at the table.
Asha Bhosle is arguably one of the greatest living legends of India. Internationally acclaimed for her evergreen melodious voice, she has been awarded the iconic status of “Most Recorded Artiste in the World” in music history by none other than the Guinness Book of World Records itself. Asha’s impressively long list of accolades includes the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair) and the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Dubai Film Festival in 2014.
Despite being a larger than life music sensation with fans spreading across a few generations, Asha Bhosle takes time off her busy schedule to perfect her skills in the kitchen. She has a profound love for cooking and entertaining her elite group of friends from the film fraternity, and with a special collection of unique recipes created by herself, the global chain of Asha’s restaurants was born.
I have dined at Ananta, The Oberoi a countless number of times before, and the enticing, ever-changing menu here never fails to impress. Staying true to the culinary traditions of India, Ananta has always been one to keep true to its Indian roots, and the whole premise of their offerings has been to uncover forgotten gems from the different states of India.
Ananta’s traditional stance has definitely paid off, and the restaurant has received a number of accolades including being awarded 3 Black Hats under the What’s On 2016 edition of the ‘The Black Hat Restaurant Guide’, and bagging the prestigious BBC Good Food Award for ‘Best Indian Fine-Dining Restaurant in the Middle East 2014’.
Awadhi Cuisine, which originates from the princely Indian province of Lucknow, is rarely seen offered on UAE menus. Executive Head Chef Dirham Haque explores the tantalizing flavours of Awadhi cuisine and its rich cultural linkup with Mughlai, Punjabi and North Indian cooking, and does a great job at recreating a feast you would only expect to be served at a Nawabi table.
Taking the premise of Awadhi cuisine, Chef Dirham has created a delicious lineup of Indian Muslim dishes for Ramadan.
About a week ago, I had the pleasure of being invited for Iftar at Jodhpur – Royal Dining, one of Dubai’s newest Indian fine-dining establishments. This was my very first visit to Jodhpur, and I was really looking forward to it. I have seen beautiful images across social media, and was especially intrigued by their Chaat Macaroons. Will all their dishes be just as innovative? What was their take on Iftar? Jodhpur proved to be a delightful take on classic Indian cuisine with a few global inspirations thrown in, and I had a very memorable experience.
Located in Murooj Rotana (Downtown Dubai), the clean, welcoming exteriors look deceptively modern. Walking indoors, the mind is transported to another world. The turquoise walls and gilded mirrors have all the makings of an enchanted castle, tucked away in the story books of exotic India.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dining at Tresind, chances are that this maestro of molecular gastronomy will be the first to come in mind when asked to name your absolute favorite fine-dining Indian restaurant in Dubai. I recently raved about their brand new Summer 2016 menu (read all about it by clicking here), and was back last week to try out their lineup for Ramadan.
For Ramadan 2016, Tresind Dubai minimizes on the molecular gastronomic drama they are known for, and takes a more traditional route. Having said that, each and every dish is still given a signature Tresind twist and we were in for some very interesting, enticing treats.
Celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor needs no introduction. A food icon whose popularity and repute can be compared to the very launching pad that introduced him to the world, I have fond childhood memories of my mother tuning into his ‘Khana Khazana’ cookery show on the Zee TV Network. His ‘Shyam Savera’ recipe has become a party staple from my mother’s kitchen, and it is heartening to see he has branched out as a restauranteur in the foodie scene of Dubai.
I have dined at ‘Options by Sanjeev Kapoor’, and recently got invited to the fine-dining equivalent by the lovely Deepti Chandak from the Jive With Deepti blog. ‘Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor’ is located in Melia hotel, Bur Dubai and we were here for a sneak peek of the restaurant’s Iftar offerings.
Every ‘Somvaar‘ (Hindi for Monday), the entrance of Chor Bazaar restaurant at Ibn Battuta Gate transforms into a quaint little Indian marketplace. There is a stall showcasing an array of trinkets, Indian shawls and mirror-worked totes but these are just for show. This ‘bazaar’ is an elaborate buffet, a feast of ‘all you can eat’ delicacies from different corners of India.
Priced at AED 125 per person (or AED 225 with house beverages), the Somvaar Bazaar at Chor Bazaar is a great deal for quality food, set in a five-star ambience.
This month I’ve had the pleasure of lunching with not one, but two prominent personalities from the world of Indian fine dining! I met Chef Kunal Kapur for a second time at Patiala (Downtown Dubai), and got introduced to Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna at Junoon (Shangri-La, Dubai).
It has been an absolute honor lunching with these big names in the Indian culinary industry, and getting to know about their phenomenal career growth and enticing dishes firsthand.