CHEF’S BITES CHEF’S BITES
CHEF’S BITES CHEF’S BITES
TEJ BAHADUR TEJ BAHADUR
hef Tej Bahadur from the Park Hyatt, Goa visited Dubai
recently to pass on his extensive knowledge of Goan
cuisine to the staff of The Kitchen, Hyatt Regency Dubai.
The chef ’s at the Hyatt Regency have mastered northern
Indian cuisine, however the Hyatt Regency wished to extend their
Indian menu to incorporate all things Goan, and as such, called on
Bahadur to extend their chefs’ repertoire.
“There is a very different way of preparing food in the north
of India, and different ingredients are used too. North cuisine is
based with tomato and onion gravy, but with Goan cuisine we use
more coconut, coconut oil and palm vinegar, which are ingredients
only found in Goa,” says Bahadur.
Originally from Kolkata, Bahadur grew up learning the northern
style of cooking of his region, and spent time in the kitchen with
his family mastering the much-loved recipes. This early love for
cooking was then developed further at the Meridien School of Hotel
Management, and north-
Indian cuisine became
“Palm vinegar is very Bahadur’s base from which
important in Goan he learnt Indian cuisine
cooking. We use the palm from further afield.
vinegar when we ground Bahadur’s leap into
the dry chilli, cinnamon, cuisine of Goa began
when he joined the Park
cloves, turmeric; the Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa in
palm vinegar gives a April 2005, where he was
distinctively Goan taste” taught the style, technique
and use of ingredients that
typifies this cuisine. Bahadur
explains that it was difficult to adapt to the style of cooking, and
the more he learnt the the more the differences between the regions
“Learning Goan cuisine was a very big challenge for me,
as it is totally different to north Indian cuisine. There is a
totally different culture, different food, different influences,
and different ingredients involved depending on what is
available in the area,” says Bahadur.
Kathmandu street life
As Goa is a coastal state, located on India’s west coast along
the Arabian sea; sea food, coconut milk and palm vinegar are
some of the ingredients that will be enjoyed in the dishes. With
a tropical climate and the abundance of the Kokum fruit, the
flavours are aromatic, intense and spicy.
The Portuguese influence is very prominent in Goan cuisine,
as Goa was under Portuguese colonial rule until 1965. In a typical
With food influences differing from Portuguese fashion, vinegar is used instead of lime or yoghurt, and
region to region, Indian cuisine is a rich Toddy, or palm vinegar is used as a base from which to season the food.
“Palm vinegar is very important in Goan cooking. We use the
and flavoursome journey for the palate. palm vinegar when we ground the dry chilli, cinnamon, cloves,
BBC Good Food Middle East explores turmeric. Each vinegar will give the dish a different flavour, and the
with Chef de Partie Tej Bahadur palm vinegar gives a distinctively Goan taste, and a different colour.
We will often make a paste with the palm vinegar,” says Bahadur.
Bahadur’s extensive knowledge of Indian cuisine has allowed
him to be very creative with his dishes, inspiring new recipes and
32 BBC Good Food Middle East September 2009 September 2009 BBC Good Food Middle East 33
gastronomic ideas. Celebrated for his innovative CHoICE GoAn dISHES FRoM CHEF TEj BAHAduR
recipes and zest for experimenting with aromas and Balchao de Camarao
flavours, Bahadur has ensured the Park Hyatt Goa’s Indian SERvES 4
restaurant, Masala is a favourite amongst guests.
“There is huge competition between restaurants in
Goa, but this challenges us to move forward, looking 600g peeled shrimps 1 Marinate the prawns in a mixture of
towards new recipes and trying new flavour combinations. ½ cup tiny roasted dried prawns, salt salt and turmeric powder for 15 mins.
We go through all different things and we change the to taste 2 Grind the dried prawns to a fine
style and move forward. Goan food is already spicy, but 1 tsp turmeric powder powder.
with European guests, we might make it less spicy. So, we 15 dried red chillies 3 Grind the red chillies, one onion,
will listen to the guest’s comments and we work towards 2 small onions, finely chopped 10 garlic cloves, ginger, cloves,
guest satisfaction,” says Bahadur. 20 cloves garlic, chopped peppercorns, cinnamon, cumin and
Through excellence in all Indian cuisine, including 2 inches ginger, chopped tamarind with vinegar, sugar and one
the Tandoori and Punjabi dishes of the north, and 20 cloves teaspoon of salt. Add a little water
the palm-vinegar based pork, seafood and vegetarian 35 black peppercorns and make a fine paste.
dishes of the west and south, Bahadur was made 1 cinnamon stick 4 Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté
Indian Chef de Partie of the Park Hyatt Goa earlier 1 tsp cumin seeds the remaining garlic until light brown.
this year. Bahadur’s visit to Dubai was focused around 1 tbsp tamarind 5 Add the remaining onion and
passing on Goan recipes and preparation skills to the 4 tbsp vinegar sauté until it changes colour; add the
kitchen staff of the Hyatt Regency, and in passing on 1 tsp sugar tomato and cook until soft. Arroz Refogado
the authentic Goan cuisine, Bahadur hopes that more 3 tbsp oil 6 Add the ground spice paste and SERvES 4
people in Dubai will get the chance to experience 1 tomato, finely chopped dried prawn powder, and cook for
traditional cuisine from coastal India. two minutes.
When BBC Good Food Middle East asks Bahadur for an 7 Add the marinated prawns and 1 cup basmati rice
example of a traditional Goan dish, Bahadur describes one cup of water, and cook until the 400g boneless chicken breasts
his pork vindaloo without hesitation: gravy thickens. 200g peeled prawns
“A typical Goan dish is the Pork Vindaloo and pork 8 Serve hot with rice or pao. 100g squid, cut into rings
curry, the rich part of the pig, the ear, tongue and tail 25 clams on the shell
is used, and it is such a favourite in Goa. If you want ½ cup olive oil
something very Goan, it will be the pork curry, the rich 8 cloves garlic, chopped
parts of the pork. It is really good! Very traditional, if you 1 large onion, chopped
ask the Goan people, they love it. We often have people 1 large tomato, chopped
asking for it in Goa,” he says. 1 large bell pepper, chopped
With the UAE as a Muslim country, Bahadur has not ½ tsp black pepper powder
passed on his pork dishes to Dubai, however during ½ tsp cinnamon powder
his two weeks with the chefs from the Hyatt Regency 3 cups water or chicken stock
Bahadur has passed on a number of seafood, vegetarian ½ tsp saffron Fresh locally roasted organic
and beef recipes, as well as the skills to masterfully 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
create the Goan cuisine. salt to taste & fairtrade coffee
During Bahadur’s time in Dubai, guests were invited to
the Hyatt Regency to sample some of Bahadur’s recipes, 1 Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces, heat the RAW is a boutique roastery supplying cafes, restaurants, businesses
and the response was extremely positive: oil in a pan and fry the chicken for approximately and households here in the United Arab Emirates, with premium
“Goan families flocked to the hotel this week and five mins until browned. Remove from the pan and 100% organic 100% fair trade freshly roasted Arabica coffee.
said that they really loved the food. They said; ‘Finally set aside.
we have got really good Goan food in Dubai!’ There are 2 In the same pan, add the garlic, onion, tomato
many Goan people in Dubai, and so many guests came and bell pepper, and sauté until soft. Add the
to the hotel this week especially for the Goan cuisine pepper and cinnamon powder and sauté for two
that we served,” says Bahadur. mins. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil.
While there are many great Indian restaurants 3 Add the saffron, parsley and rice, and cook for
throughout the UAE, there are only a handful of truly
approximately ten minutes until the rice is half cooked.
Goan outlets. Bahadur shares two of his favourite Goan 4 Finally, add the prawns, squid, clams and salt, and cook UAE FAIR
recipes with BBC Good Food Middle East, so we can until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. ROASTED OR ANIC TRADE
experience the tastes of coastal India at home. 5 Serve hot.
34 BBC Good Food Middle East September 2009