Indian food slaps you in your face: Three Michelin star Slovenian Chef Ana Roš - Hindustan Times
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Indian food slaps you in your face: Three Michelin star Slovenian Chef Ana Roš

ByAbigail banerji
Mar 01, 2024 07:01 PM IST

The chef has taken several Indian ingredients such as spices, tamarind, mustard oil and garam masala back home to stock her pantry and her kitchen in Slovenia.

Having visited the markets of Mumbai - Lal Baugh Spice Market and Sasoon Docks - and Delhi’s Khari Baoli spice market in Chandini Chow, during her recent visit to India, Chef Ana Roš created a multi-course meal that was a delicate mix of Slovenian and Indian flavours. She came to the country with a handful of basic Slovenian ingredients, choosing instead to immerse herself in the local culture and, find and understand the indigenous ingredients.

Chef Ana Roš
Chef Ana Roš

“There is a stark difference between the two cuisines, they couldn't be more different. But I think it is a beautiful challenge to find, understand and cook with Indian ingredients as we cannot find them back at home. But we like challenging ourselves,” says the Three Michelin Star chef, who helms Hiša Franko restaurant in Kobarid, Slovenia.

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Chef Ana Roš
Chef Ana Roš

Talking about Indian food, Roš says, “I enjoy spicy food. I can tolerate a lot of spice. However, Indian food is not just pungent but filled with spice. It is intense and very vibrant. It doesn’t leave you without emotions. I really believe that to understand Indian food, you need to visit local markets and eat street food and not just eat in fine dining and restaurants. Indian food slaps you in the face.”

The chef has taken back several Indian ingredients from local markets and plans on stocking her pantry with spices, tamarind, mustard oil and garam masala back home in her kitchen in Slovenia.

Ask what is her favourite Indian food that she has tried during her multiple visits to India and she says, “[Every time I am in India] I am constantly surprised. It is very difficult to define my favourite food, but [I like] the flatbreads and parathas. And the mastership of mixing of spices and breads have really surprised me.”

The 51-year-old, who was accompanied by a few staff from her restaurant carried with her beeswax, bee pollen and honey, as “Slovenia is one of the leading countries in the world for honey and honey products”. She adds, “We also brought hay salt; The hay is picked in the high mountain and has a very definite flavour that is irreplaceable. Fermented cottage cheese is very traditional [to the Solčava Valley, which is where the award-winning restaurant is located]. It is ricotta that is fermented for preservation and it has a sourness and spiciness and I thought Indians would love it.”

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