HTCity Unwind: Chefs Kunal & Pankaj At The Great Indian Cookout
Image Credit: Chef Pankaj and Chef Kunal jidged the first two rounds

The Great Indian Cookout, powdered by Weikfield and Glen, got a great response on its first day as hundreds of people gathered for two amazing cooking workshops from Celebrity Chefs Kunal Kapur and Pankaj Bhadouria. The day also saw two winners from their respective rounds, who will be competing for the grand title win on 8th October, Sunday, along with a third finalist who will be decided today through another round of competition between the best home chefs of Delhi.

With over 700 entries, Slurrp’s Great Indian Cookout had 9 finalists who are getting the chance to cook dishes that are “Dil se Dilli” in front of the best chefs of the country. On Friday, the first two rounds of the finals took place where the dishes were fusion aloo tikki and fusion samosa. What is better than these two delicious street foods to describe how lovely Delhi’s food is? 6 home chefs competed in two different rounds to qualify for the finals and while Chef Pankaj Bhadoria judged the first round, Chef Kunal Kapur acted as the decider in the second one.

The first round was to make some chatpata aloo tikki but with a fusion twist. Our contestants Lata Kapoor, Sanchita Mittal and Vidhi Gupta had gotten ingredients like cheese, potatoes, sweet potatoes, olives, kidney beans, paneer and dry fruits to make their fusion tikki in 40 minutes. Chef Pankaj judged all three tikkis on the basis of taste and presentation and finally home chef Vidhi Gupta was declared as the winner. She made a 3-layer tikki, along with a white dip from scratch with the ingredients provided.

Next up was the much-awaited masterclass with Chef Pankaj, who made an entire 3 course meal within 30 minutes. She prepared a starter with matar ka nimona, murgh zafrani pulao and shahi tukda for dessert. She said, “I want to break the myth that it takes a lot of time to cook a 3-course meal. I tell everything that cooking is not and does not have to be so difficult. All you need is a little planning to make it work”.

Chef Pankaj also spoke to us about inculcating fitness and food. She prepared both the pulao and the shahi tukda with minimum oil and ghee. “The whole idea is to adapt and change your cooking technique just a bit. And you can create healthy dishes that are delicious”, says the Master Chef. She was also extremely happy to see so many enthusiastic home chefs following their passion for cooking.

In the next round of the cook-off, we saw 3 home chefs Honey Agarwal, Divya Malpani and Muskan Sharma make fusion samosa in Glen air-fryer. They had to prepare scrumptious samosas in the given time, with a twist of their own. The young winner from the group, judged and declared by Chef Kunal Kapur was Muskan, who created what she called a “salsalatic samosa”. She used the best of the ingredients provided to her and made a fusion samosa that took the cake. She will be competing against Vidhi and another finalst, who will be decided today, in the final round of Slurrp Great Indian Cookout powdered by Weikfield and Glen.

After judging the round, Chef Kunal started his cooking workshop that got everyone excited. He made a mushroom khichda with jowar millet and all the budding chefs looked intently as he went about his business, while interacting with the audience too. Talking about millets, Chef Kunal told us that they have always been a part of the Indian cuisine. “Our cooking is designed according to millets. Prolonged cooking and simmering are all techniques that suit millets. We just need to inculcate those good habits”, said the Chef who had created this dish for the First Ladies during the recently concluded G-20 Summit.

He also spoke about the power of mobile phones and social media in reviving authentic heritage recipes and making them popular, like that of the khichda he made. The chef appreciated the trend and said, “Regional food is getting a lot of popularity. If someone’s grandmother is cooking an authentic dish, people want to see how it's made. It is appreciated on the internet. We see those videos and we want to taste the food!”.

The first day of The Great Indian Cookout powered by Weikfeild and Glen saw a tremendous response and the excitement is only going to increase as we move closer to the finale. For those in Delhi, come visit us at HT City Unwind and for others, keep watching this space for exciting updates on the ultimate cookout with many celebrity chefs yet to arrive.