Kitchen Konnection – Get to know the Master Chef Nikita Gandhi

First Rendezvous with Cooking

She started cooking at the age of 8. She started off first with baking. Her first experiment was a batch of chocolate cupcakes which she baked by herself.

teaspoonAt that time, she did not know the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. The recipe required a teaspoon of baking soda but instead she put a tablespoon. As a result, the cupcakes tasted bitter and were bad. But then again, it was her first experiment.

Inspiration

Her mom inspired her the most and was a fabulous cook. Nikita watched Nigella lawson as she grew up.

She read cookbooks and watched TV shows about cooking with a notebook and pen ready at hand so as to jot down the recipes and later execute them.

She hid cookbooks in her school bag so as to read them in school . Her mom had to confiscate them during her examinations as she was worried Nikita would read them. Her passion for cooking grew as she grew older.

Her Favourite cuisine – Arabic. A simple, vegetarian Arabic meal was what she could have everyday .

Her Favourite dish – The perfect tiramisu.

Goof ups

Her most major goof up was on the show, during the competition. She had to pair up with another competitor, a guy, and at a public place , and prepare 2 dishes for 150 to 200 people.

They decided to do one sweet and one savoury dish. She handled the dessert as desserts were her forte.

salt
They were making a rice pudding with fruits. She was handling two big pots of 4 litres at the same time . As she boiled the milk, she had to add sugar. She went to the pantry where the sugar and salt were kept in big bags together, not labelled. She took a bag, assuming that they would have a larger quantity of sugar. She added it to the mixture but grew more uneasy by the minute as the kheer was not setting . At the end she asked her partner to try it. It was salty !! She had added salt instead of sugar. They only had about a hour left so they worked together and remade the whole dish again. Her partner was really supportive and did not blame her.

Tips: Throw in match stick or two in the jar of pulses to prevent the insects from forming

Hazelnut Rocks

hazelnut

Ingredients

250 grams chocolate (milk, bittersweet or dark, your choice here), chopped

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted (substitute with any other roasted nuts of your choice)

Sea salt, optional

Directions

1 Melt 3/4th of the chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave.

2 Remove from heat and add in remaining 1/4th chocolate and stir till fully melted.

3 Continue stirring till the chocolate reaches 28°C/82°F or the bottom of the bowl doesn’t feel warm anymore.

4 Add in the toasted nuts and stir well till all the nuts are coated with chocolate.

5 Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on a Silpat or on parchment paper.

6 Sprinkle sea salt and set aside to firm up.

7 Refrigerate.

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