One of the top chefs in the world, New York-based Indian Vikas Khanna has been busy tossing up aloo puri for sadhus at the ongoing Kumbh mela in Allahabad. Earlier this week, Khanna cooked an entire ‘Kumbh spread’, complete with Punjabi choley, halwa, and crisp desi ghee kachoris for 2,700 sadhus at the Kumbh mela in Allahabad.
“I came here for a closure. My grandma, who would always feed at least one sadhu everyday, passed away recently. This was a tribute to her,” said the Amritsar-born Michelin starred chef on phone from the mela. “Back in New York, I’ve been creating aphrodisiac bites for Valentine’s day, and now here I am, amid these thousands of sadhus at the sangam … One of these babas even recognised me and told the others, ‘Hey, he cooked for Barack Obama’. And guess what? Nobody cared a damn! They were like, ‘Barack Obama, who?’” laughs the 41-year-old, who’s in India to launch his new book.