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Chef Saransh Goila Discusses India On My Platter

Chef Saransh Goila

Chef set off on a culinary trail through India to discovers the various nuances of local cuisine. Now he launched his debut book “India on My Platter” based on the experiences. Goila spoke exclusively to Explocity.

What was the strangest thing you ate?

Most strange ingredient I encountered was Gongura. One of my favourite dishes in Vishakhapatnam, among the many, was the dal, which had gongura leaves in it. The leaves are like wild spinach and are from the hibiscus family. They are slightly tangy and bitter. Gongura chutney is now pretty popular . The North Indians like making dal palak, similar to dal gongura in Andhra.

Which is a dish that surprised you?

In Assam I had a Chicken preparation cooked in a hollow bamboo, also called Sunga Kukura. The chicken is marinated with fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, fermented bamboo shoot water, and fermented bamboo shoots. The chicken is then stuffed into the bamboo shoot and then sealed using a fresh turmeric leaf. The shoot is then put in the fire, standing up, to cook for about 40 minutes.

What is your opinion of Bangalore food?

Food in Bangalore has a lot of character and is unique. There street food is very different from what is available in Delhi or Mumbai. Especially streets of VV Puram, house to a market called Thindi Beedi; feed you a lot of traditional fare. Dishes like Akki Roti, mini idlis, paniyarams, curd kodu bele, ghee roast, dosas and lemon rice are unforgettable. I love this part of their eating culture.

Then you have this modern craft brewery, gastropub and European food culture which works amazingly well for diners. So I guess Bangalore is quite a melting pot of good food.

When and how did your interest in food begin?

My first tryst with the apron and knife came at the age of 12. Inspired by my mother and grandfather’s cooking styles, I was drawn towards the culinary field and my passion for food grew. I started with cooking simple dishes every Sunday with the help of my mother and soon it became full fledged meals for family dinners and functions. After having learnt from my grandpa I became very popular for my parathas in the family. Which gave me inspiration to do more.

Where next?

I want to travel India again to promote my book. Planning to visit Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Manipal, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata for it. I believe that ‘India on my Platter’ is a book that every proud Indian traveller or eater should read.

Chef Sarash Golla’s book, “India On My Platter” can be bought on Amazon. Here is a link: http://amzn.to/1OSFclq

Book synopsis:
Backpacking through the country, young chef Saransh Goila sets off on a culinary trail through India, wherein he discovers the various nuances of local cuisine. From rural villages to barren deserts to freezing mountains, he unfolds the flavour of his destination by meeting local villagers or erstwhile royalty, picking up a tip or two to use in his kitchen. Wherever he goes, he makes sure to visit the famous eateries of that place. Through him, the reader can vividly smell the spices and taste the dishes that are described. The recipes given also present ways on using locally found ingredients. From having steaming Murthal ke paranthes to savouring tasty street food in hometown Delhi, from cooking on a boat in Varanasi to cooking dishes using a bamboo hollow in Assam, Goila does it all and presents his adventures in a lucid, flowing narrative peppered with humorous anecdotes.