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Sarah Todd reveals her favorite Indian comfort food, go-to ingredient and more



Australian chef Sarah Todd has an undeniable connection to India. Remember when she whipped up the humble Indian Aloo Gobhi at MasterChef 2014? The Indian restaurant and second time cookbook author has vast experience in the culinary arts and we can all learn from them – both for our cuisine and even for life in general. NDTV Food caught up with the celebrated chef, and he talks at length about his taste with Indian food, his favorite ingredients, a viral recipe he tried, and his favorite comfort food of all time Spoken in detail; A food that will appeal to many North Indians. read on!

1. When did you first try your hand at Indian cuisine?

I tried to cook Indian cuisine for the first time after the birth of my son. He is half Punjabi, so it is only natural that I introduce him to the food of his heritage. I have been trained in French culinary techniques and I found the difference in cooking styles a bit daunting. However, I have fallen in love with the spices and the magic they bring to a dish. Now I find Indian cooking fun and exciting, and it’s my favorite cooking style, with my Australian twist, of course!

(Also Read: Chef Sara Todd Shares A Unique Recipe For Bhel Puri, Try It?)

2. Have you ever sent your food back to a restaurant?

Of course, I welcome feedback. It’s our job to give the diner the best overall experience. We want our guests to be happy and hope to come back again. There are so many things that affect a diner’s experience, and sometimes it has nothing to do with your restaurant. Maybe they’re having a bad day, or the dish doesn’t suit their tastes. Accidents happen due to the pressure of busy kitchens and getting food on time. I’d rather politely explain the problem with the food to a guest so we can fix it. This is far better than speaking up and writing a negative review, with no opportunity for the chef to address the complaint.

3. Has the lockdown changed your personal cooking style and general idea of ​​cooking and eating?

Every experience in life influences my cooking style as I learn and develop new skills. I’m testing out many more recipes now that I have time and I like the trajectory on which my cooking style is progressing.

4. What did you do during the lockdown period?

The work never stops, and I love it. I am working on some new products that have been on my mind for a very long time. The lockdown gave me time to focus on this dream project. I loved cooking at home with my son and spending quality time together.

(Also Read: Celebrity Chef Sara Todd Made Armaan Jain’s Wedding Cake)

5. A dish that was very difficult for you to make.

In 2019 I designed the 5-course Digestion Menu for the first all-female Australian Open Chef Series, one of Australia’s most prestigious culinary events. Australians have known me since my time in the documentaries MasterChef and My Restaurant in India. However, my cooking style has changed dramatically since MasterChef. Due to my time in India, I developed a unique Indian Australian cooking style. This will be the first time Australians will get a chance to try it. My menu takes guests on a journey of flavors from across India incorporating native Australian ingredients.

I wanted the last dish to be the showstopper. The sweet, called ‘Bikhar Gulab’, was inspired by the refreshing and delicious falooda. With 13 distinct elements, each element must be prepared and set before starting the next. A fresh organic red rose dipped in liquid nitrogen is then scattered over the top of the dish. This is an exciting dessert.

6. An ingredient you love to add to anything and everything possible.

I love the versatility of spices. Sweet, pungent, hot, sour, spicy, aromatic, pungent, mild, aromatic, or pungent, a condiment to elevate any dish, from sprinkling ground cumin on carrots before roasting to a strong red mass. Chilly.

7. One viral recipe you can’t stop trying?

Pesto eggs, of course, with my spin on it. It’s live on my Instagram.

8. What if there were no chefs?

I always dreamed of becoming a race car driver. I like to drive on the open road in the countryside. I find it very relaxing, and it takes my mind off everything.

9. What do you like the most about Indian food?

  • full of flavor
  • Adding spices and herbs to simple ingredients makes a dish something spectacular
  • Variety – The cuisines are so varied from village to village, city to city and state to state
  • The power of traditional Indian food to promote good health and support immunity
  • Plenty of vegetarian and vegan options

10. What was your inspiration behind your second cookbook – My Indian Kitchen?

Traveling across India, I noticed the variety of cuisines in each state. I was welcomed into the home of a missing family in Assam and lived with a tribe in Nagaland. I attended a cultural festival in Kashmir and cooked freshly caught Crab Zacuti with a family on the banks of a river in Goa. These travels and experiences have influenced the way I cook.

My book represents these experiences and shows the India I know and love. In a way, it’s my way of saying thank you for sharing your culture and stories with me. That’s exactly what you’ll find at ‘Everyday India’, dishes inspired by ordinary people. I have drawn inspiration from street food vendors and families who have shared their food and home with me. I’ve used tips I’ve gleaned from chefs at family-owned restaurants and ingredients I discovered in the most unexpected places.

The opportunities India has given me have helped me step out of my comfort zone and this chapter in my life naturally shaped my book.

11. What is your comfort food?

My idea of ​​comfort food is something delicious that evokes nostalgia. The other day, I was making paratha with my son and he said, “Remember when Bibi (grandmother) used to cook this for me all the time. It’s my favorite thing to eat.” Paratha has become a comfort food for us in our house and one that holds a cherished memory for both me and my son.


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