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Chennai's Top Chef Discovers New Flavours By Walking into Peoples' Homes

by Tanya Thomas on October 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM
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 Chennai's Top Chef Discovers New Flavours By Walking into Peoples' Homes

Chennai's popular Dakshin restaurant is popular for its chicken curry, besides other South Indian delights.

Now, top chef Praveen Anand has revealed that he mastered new flavours by learning recipes from locals of South India.

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Studying different styles of cooking from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, Anand has created his own dishes.

"If you travel 100 kilometres in India, you'll find 70 different ways to make a chicken curry," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Anand, from Chennai, as saying.
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"I am still travelling widely in the south of India and I am still learning, [It] could last a lifetime. It is impossible to exhaust Indian food," he added.

He spends time with locals or joins village communities at marriage or another celebration and tries to learn family recipes and understand the traditions, culture and unique caste system that influences the different types of cooking.

"I eat the food first, then sit and work with the people who cooked it, then I make my own recipe. It's a tedious but fruitful study," he added.

Meanwhile, Anand also interprets and translates manuscripts and records of ancient Indian recipes for University of Chicago, which has a research library in Chennai.

He helps translate local recipes written in regional languages and scripts.

"I think, if you are a chef, it is easier to translate a recipe and understand the traditions than someone who is just a translator," he added.

Anand will be seen at the World Chef Showcase with his good friend and fellow restaurateur, Kumar Mahadevan of Abhi's and Aki's restaurants.

He will cook showcase dinners together at Aki's and Abhi's next week as part of the Sydney International Food Festival.

Source: ANI
TAN
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