Chocolatier Zeba Kohli On Reinventing Chocolates And Busting Myths
Image Credit: Zeba Kohli, The chocolatier shares a special and quick chocolate inside.

For Zeba Kohli, a rich family inheritance meant a pool of chocolates, quite literally. Had it not been for her family, especially her grandfather, Zeba Kohli might have been researching in some science lab today. One slight push and a little change in her course has made Zeba Kohli one of the most renowned chocolatiers as well as busineswomen of the country. The passion she shares for chocolates is unmatched and her continuous attempts to learn novel ways have changed the face of chocolates. Leading her family business of Fantasie Fine chocolates was never the plan for this curious science student. 

However, life had other plans and turns out, Zeba loves being around chocolates now. Her contributions to the Indo-Belgium food trade as well as accolades in the entrepreneurial field have led her to add more than 70 awards to her name. With a goal of reinventing and creating something new each day, Zeba gets candid with us in a tete-a-tete conversation. Excerpts. 

Q1. With your commendable efforts in entrepreneurship, do you identify more as a chef or a businesswoman and why? 

I am a student of physics & I love the sciences. I was pulled out of a science college to learn business as my grand dad & mom requested me. I still prefer science & I believe it is my quest to analyse scientifically that has held my business in good stead. I went on to learn more about manufacturing, logistics, storage of chocolates and so got I came to be known as a chocolatier, business woman, chef and what not. 

Q2. What’s your first memory associated with chocolate that still makes you smile?

I remember the time when I was attending a Fantasie chocolate workshop. I put my hands into a trough of chocolate as a baby when no one was looking and recalling that incident still makes me smile. 

Q3. What are the challenges you faced as a woman entrepreneur who is carrying forward a family legacy? 

Being a girl / woman at work was hard in a male dominated society. However, since I was equipped with knowledge and ambitious enough to work hard, I realised that I didn’t need validation from anyone to achieve my goals. 

Q4. What is your vision about Fantasie Fine Chocolates and where do you plan to take from here? 

Fantasie is all about feeding wonderful products to satisfy the soul while providing opportunities to the lesser-privileged & doing its bit to sustain the planet. 

Q5. You’ve done a TV show and authored cookbooks too. How has the transition to social media been like? 

I have been familiar with media, online & offline, since years. The transition to being active on social media has been quite seamless. This emerging platform is a great way to reach out to people and tell them about chocolates and their real value as well as bust myths surrounding them.

Source: Zeba Kohli/Instagram 

Q6. How does the Chocolatier in you place chocolates in a world of unhealthy sweet meats? 

Oh my! The word unhealthy is now passé as chocolates and desserts and sweet meat makers, in general, are mindfully-conscious in ensuring that sugar, especially white sugar content is negligible or absent wherever the case may be. It is how you consume chocolate and in what portions that determines whether it is unhealthy for you or not. 

Q7. One non-chocolate dessert you wish had chocolate in it? 

I love Kardinal schnitte. It’s an Austrian dessert which is also known as a cardinal cut because of its shape. The dessert is an airy and light pastry which usually packs the sponge cake and meringue texture in it, along with jam and other sweet stuff. I would love to add a chocolate twist to it. 

Q8. How can chocolates be a part of savoury dishes? It would be great if you could share some examples. 

Yes, there are plenty. For instance, take 100% dark chocolate or 100% dark chocolate powder and it would work well with cheese and cheese-based dishes. Similarly, chocolate can be paired with jalapenos quesadillas as well as a mole sauce. In addition to this, chocolate tastes incredible in cereals and salads with the use of the pulp of the cocoa bean. 

Q9. Would love it if you could share a quick chocolate recipe of yours for our readers to try. 

Hot Chocolate In A Mug


  • 3 mugs milk 
  • 250 gms white, milk or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 tsp orange-flavoured liqueur

For the topping

  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream 
  • Ground cinnamon 


  1. Roughly chop the chocolate and put into a bowl. 
  2. Pour the milk into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the instant coffee powder.
  3. Slowly add hot milk and coffee to the chopped chocolate and stir. Add the liqueur and blend well until slightly frothy. 
  4. Divide the hot chocolate into 4 mugs. Top each with a swirl of whipped cream, a sprinkling of ground cinnamon and lots of marshmallows. Serve hot.

Q10. What was your favourite chocolate as a kid and which flavour of chocolate do you swear by even today? 

A gooey mouth-melting fudge with or without walnuts was and continues to be my favourite, especially if I can chase it with a Carmel toffee & finish it with a smooth mouthful of peanut butter. 

Q11. What was the moment of inspiration when you knew that you’d want to work with chocolates for the rest of your life? 

I am inspired everyday if my life. My journey propels me to create incredible moments with chocolate so no matter what transpires, the moment is memorable. 

Q12. Is working with chocolates fun? Has there even been a breaking point where you just couldn’t bear the sight of them? 

Working with chocolate keeps me on my toes as I reach chocolate makings and learn new techniques every day. Moreover, I love taking courses to keep me up to date with the techniques, experiments and new methods of the chocolate industry. So I don’t think I have ever gotten bored or fed up of being surrounded by chocolates. 

Q13. Any chocolate-related myths that you would want to bust? 

I cannot stress this enough that chocolates do not make you fat. You just need to consume the right chocolate in the right quantity at the right time of day and you will be just fine. 

Source: Zeba Kohli/Instagram

Q14. Are there any interesting concepts around pairing of Indian flavours with chocolates? 

Fusion pairings are something I have engaged in as a child. Being an Indian, living with humidity and loving spicy food made it my specialty, I love to pair chocolate with distinct flavours to make it more relevant to the cuisine & weather. 

Q15. We are intrigued to know what Zeba is coming up with, next in the world of chocolates? 

The world is my oyster & I am excited to unfold a lot of exquisite recipes & unveil slow chocolate at its best. 

Q16. Any advice to our budding chocolatiers and entrepreneurs?

Chocolate is fragile & delicate. Don’t be disheartened if your recipe goes awry. Working with chocolate takes practice and perseverance so don’t lose heart too soon and keep trying.