I recently watched the brand new Bollywood flick ‘Thackeray’, more so for being a die-hard fan of actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui than having even an ounce of knowledge about Indian politics. No I wouldn’t recommend this movie, the slow-paced screenplay does not do justice to Siddiqui’s talent nor the fiery journalist turned politician he portrays. But what I did gather from it all was Balasaheb Thackeray’s undeniable influence on restoring the Marathi identity.

One particular scene that resonates is where Thackeray (played by Siddiqui) starts a street-food revolution introducing the humble ‘Vada Pao’ as a Marathi snack.

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Craving a hearty Indian lunch, and not quite sure what to order? The quintessential Indian thali is always a good idea. A ‘thali’ comprises of a number of sampler curries, rice and flat-breads, and if you’re lucky, you get  sweet treat at the end as well.

Bargain alert! Fine-dining Indian restaurant Antique Bazaar (located on the Mezzanine floor of the ever-popular 4 Points by Sheraton in the heart of bustling Bur Dubai), is offering a thali lunch for as low as AED 31 per person.

When legendary Chef Satish Arora was advised that 13th July marks ‘World Kebab Day’, he was ready with an enticing new menu from pre-starters to dessert in under 24 hours. Mahec by Satish Arora, located in the gastronomic hub of Le Meridien Village (Airport Road Dubai) is hosting a Kebab Festival from 12th to 27th July, 7pm to 11 pm daily.

The special menu features a total of 11 brand new kebabs, not to mention an entire array of starters and dessert.

I had the pleasure of dining at Mahec last night, and had the honor of meeting Chef Satish Arora in person once again. How did he manage to come up with an entire menu in a day? Humble as he is talented, he tells us that over 50 years in the business makes it come naturally to him.

Located on the ground floor of picturesque Ajman Hotel, award-winning fine-dining Indian restaurant Bukhara is one of my favorite spots for delicious, authentic Indian cuisine sans all the modern-day gimmicks many other places tend to adopt these days.

Haven’t been to Bukhara yet? I have some great news for you… Bukhara has introduced a limited edition Summer Brunch that runs every Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm. The menu changes every week, and features many menu favorites for as low as AED 150 per head. 

Last weekend my little family and I were invited to try out the brand-new menu at Carnival by Tresind. This restaurant ranks high on my all-time favorites in the city, and never ceases to amaze. From the magical interiors to the spectacular dishes, all served with the frills and thrills we have become accustomed to when it comes to the Tresind label, I always get a tad too excited when dining here.

The new menu pays tribute to Colonial India, a time when the British reigned the country and had a significant influence on its traditional cuisine. 

Indian cuisine arguably has an even stronger fan following across the globe than does the glitzy world of Bollywood. Butter Chicken has also been considered the national dish of the UK, and Indian Chefs today are enjoying celebrity status thanks to the reach of social media.

Well before the likes of Zee TV star Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Master Chef stars Vikas Khanna and Kunal Kapoor, Chef Satish Arora took humble Indian dishes to fine-dining status. With a career expanding 50 years which was catapulted by his success as the world’s youngest Executive Chef of a five-star kitchen at a mere 26 years of age, he has been the inspiration for many in his industry, and has also been a role model for his kin.

I had the immense pleasure of meeting the legend in person at Mahec (Le Meridian, Airport Road Dubai) which he has recently taken over. Here is an except on Chef Arora’s trailblazing career, his undying passion for food, and advice for the next generation.

Last Friday I had the honor of meeting a real legend of the Indian culinary world. Chef Satish Arora has a career expanding over 50 years. He started his career with the Taj Group of hotels in India, wherein he became the world’s youngest Executive Chef of a five-star kitchen at a mere 26 years of age. His trailblazing career has won him many accolades including being listed among ‘the world’s 20 best chefs’ in 1991, receiving the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from Curry Club of England in 2007, Star Group in 2016, Hospitality Leaders Choice UK in 2016, and Food Food TV Channel in 2017.

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The secret to his success is his undying passion for simple, authentic Indian cuisine and this has won him a very prestigious lineup of fans including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Amitabh Bacchan, John Major… and the list goes on.

Still going strong, Chef Satish Arora has recently taken over the menu at Mahec, the fine-dining Indian restaurant in Le Meridian, Airport Road Dubai. The menu has been renovated by the culinary legend from 20th Feb this year, and he is adding more of his magic in the coming few weeks.

Chef Sameer who is heading the kitchen and the overall operations of newly opened Roti Rollers, is a walking, talking encyclopedia on all things food. His insightful knowledge on the vast varieties of cuisines within India itself had us as awestruck as did the innovative dishes that came out of his kitchen.

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Chef Sameer

Here are snippets from our conversations with him. And look out for more blog posts with his insightful food gems, coming soon!

The quintessential Kichdi (or Kichri or Kichuri depending on where you’re from) has countless variations. Essentially a rice and lentil pilaf, it can be cooked with a variety of lentil combinations, the proportion of rice to lentil changes, and more interestingly, the consistency of the final dish. Some like it dry like a pilaf, but for me I love it the traditional Bengali way… all mushy, semi-liquid and with more lentil than rice.

Wholesome and nutritious, I fed my toddler daughter far too many bowlfuls often with seasonal vegetables mashed in and stirred through with generous dollops of ghee.

One of the most popular combinations that go with a runny Kichdi is a spicy tomato-based Egg Curry. Who said comfort food has to be naughty? This super easy recipe will have you satiated, and I highly recommend an afternoon siesta right after.

The last leg of the year brings with it the cooler weather we’ve all been craving in the UAE, and with it comes the harvest season for some of the finest the Arabian seas have to offer.

Taking full advantage of seafood season, award-winning Indian restaurant India Palace has launched a limited edition menu entitled ‘Samundari Khazana’  (which aptly translates to ‘Treasures of the Sea’).