India’s homemakers recruited as hotel chefs
Continue reading the main storyAs I finish my lunch at a restaurant in the city-centre, I reach for the dessert that the steward has recommended.A new breed of chefs is taking over hotel kitchens in India. Housewives and mothers are now being recruited to bring “home-cooked” food to five-star plates, as Vasanthi Hariprakash reports from Bangalore…….
In the picture-pretty hill station of Coonoor in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, 51-year-old Indira is busy making the signature dishes of her community, the Badagas.
Indira, a single woman in her first job, says her family has kept the traditions of their centuries-old Badaga cuisine.
Whether it is avarai uttakka – local beans cooked with potato, tomato, onions, garlic and tempered with mustard seeds, or sandagai – roasted tomato sauteed with small onion, garlic and coconut ground to a fine paste – the “masala made carefully after dry-roasting 17 spices and not bought off the shops” is the key, Indira says.
She has the confidence of a professional chef who has fed a president’s entourage.