Aditya Bal anchors 'Chakh Le India' on NDTV Good Times where he travels around the country, eats miscellaneous cuisine and then tries the recipes in his kitchen! And the recipes he has tried and perfected are now condensed in a cookbook that every discerning foodie must own, reviews Jasmeen Dugal.

How did this happen I wonder? "After a career as a model spanning eight years and traveling far and wide, I stumbled across my love of cooking. I'm a self taught chef with years of experience working at select restaurants. I love travelling and food! In fact I am obsessive when it comes to cooking. My next step is to create a fine dining experience when I open my own restaurant," he says.

Opening the cookbook, I quickly discover it's unlike any other and get absorbed in the narrative of Aditya's romance with food. ''My first real memories of food are probably those of kiladis, a stringy mountain sheep's milk cheese made by shepherds in the mountains of Gulmarg... '' he muses and then reminisces about how his grandmother's legendary culinary skills and the wazwan influenced him... how time between modelling assignments were spent in the kitchen... his stint working in a restaurant in Goa... and finally how restaurateur Marrut Sikka's advice to meet Monica Narula of NDTV Good Times led to his hugely popular food show and his cookbook. It was a fascinating intensely personal account of his life.
The cookbook then moves on to some really good recipes with fantastic illustrations and photographs that makes one want to try them all! I particularly loved the simple language and methods he has used to describe the process and can't wait to try 'Dhabe Ka Keema' and 'Coorgi Pandi Kari' (sweet smoky pork in a spicy-sour curry) and 'Mutton Yakhini' (Kashmiri mutton in curd and aromatic spices) and 'Chingri Tadkadi'. Yes this isn't any ordinary cookbook... it reflects Aditya Bal's passion for food on his travels across the length and breadth of the nation and his experiences perfecting the recipes. A must-buy... the recipes and its illustrations will seduce you!




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