From a fashion and beauty journalist to a full-fledged cookbook and food writer, the award-winning TV chef from UK, Ravinder Bhogal has had an interesting journey. The 33-year-old attributes her success to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. “It all started with a competition about four years ago on a Gordon Ramsay’s show where he was looking for a new face for a cookery television show. I entered and I won. So, I think it’s pretty safe for me to say that Gordon Ramsay changed my life. And after that I was able to make a big career-changing move,” she says.
Now, the talented chef is ecstatic about her TV show, Ravinder’s Kitchen on TLC, where she whips up some delectable dishes from across the globe in her signature style. “This is a kind of globetrotting show. I bring all these amazing countries to my kitchen through the dishes that I do. Each episode covers different parts of the world. It’s my twist on probably the most famous dishes of various countries,” she says.
The food writer connected with food when she was just a little girl. “I was five-year-old and my mother made me peel potatoes. I hated it. Then my grandfather brought me a little aluminum stove. I would make burnt rotis but he would always say it’s the most delicious thing he has ever eaten in his life! And that is when I made a connection with food and love. My recipes are a part of my story and my life experiences. So, when I’m feeding you, you’re getting a piece of me and my life,” says the chef.
The chef, who was born in Kenya and raised in London, is proud of her Indian lineage (her maternal and paternal family is from India). “I loved the time I spent in India as a kid. I gorged on Indian street food, specially chole-bhature,” she shares.
Ravinder was named by Gordon Ramsay (above) as his new Fanny Cradock (the legendary English restaurant critic, television cook and writer), on The F Word, a British food magazine and cookery programme that featured the celebrity chef.
Ravinder’s recipes for you:
White Chocolate & Passion Fruit Mousse with Chikki
10 passion fruit, 287 ml double cream, 250 gm white chocolate, 3 eggs, 2 tsp crushed mukhwas, 100g caster sugar, 50 gm roughly chopped shelled pistachio nuts, 5 tbsp water
For the chikki, lay a sheet of baking parchment over a baking sheet and lay over a thin layer of the pistachios. Sprinkle over the mukhwas. Heat the sugar and water to make a caramel. Keep stirring it until it gets a beautiful amber colour. At this point, take it off the heat and pour it over the pistachios making sure it is a glassy thin, fragile layer. To make the mousse melt the chocolate with the cream over a double boiler till it’s glossy and molten. Take it off the heat and set aside to cool. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the cream. Next, whisk in the passion fruit pulp. In another bowl, whisk up the egg whites till they form stiff peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture gently but make sure it is well mixed. Pour into glasses. Cover and refrigerate and set for 6 hours. Serve with shards of chikki.
4 apples, 250 gm cornflour, 25 gm plain flour, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp saffron steeped in warm water, 325 gm yoghurt, 500 gm caster sugar, 250 ml water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp rosewater
Sieve cornflour, bicarb and plain flour together into a bowl. Blend together the saffron and yoghurt and whisk well into the flour mixture. Allow it to rest for around an hour. Make the syrup by putting water and sugar in a pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer for ten minutes until syrupy. Take it off heat and add lemon and rosewater. Heat oil for deep-frying. Peel and core apples and cut them into thin rings. Dip apple rings into jalebi mixture, and deep fry till golden and crisp. Once cooked, plunge into the syrup and retrieve. Serve.