My dishes in The Dinner Box menu are a mix of nostalgia, childhood memories and travels,” shares award-winning Chef Amninder Sandhu, who launched the pop-up, gourmet delivery service, which brings together India’s top chefs with local Delhi restaurants in a collaborative format, this weekend.
With The Dinner Box, Delhiites can expect signature dishes in the comfort of their own homes. It is an initiative by FoodInk Expeditions LLP that curates bespoke experiences featuring renowned celebrity chefs. Launching things off is Sandhu’s special winter menu, which is an eclectic collection of dishes such as Naga Pork, with bhut jolokia, bamboo shoot, charred kaji lemon; Theccha Mutton with jwala green chilies, garlic, and peanuts.
Vegetarians can savour dishes like Wild Mushroom Kebab, with truffle and saffron biscuit; Rhododendron Seekh, beetroot, sesame, yoghurt, among a surfeit of others in both vegetarian and no-vegetarian menus.
Both menus are accompanied by Kachchi Kairi Salad; Pomegranate and Mint Raita; Kharonda Pickle; and finished with a dessert of Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake, with angoori rasagulla, Kashmiri saffron, pistachio, cardamom and rose petals.
Elaborating on how she ideated the menu, Sandhu says, “For example, the memory of eating Green Chilli Theccha with Jowar Bhakri in the hostel in Aurangabad when I was studying in IHM, Aurangabad, is the inspiration for the Theccha Mutton, while Naga Pork is from my roots in the North-East, and Stuffed Chicken Tangri from my Punjabi background.
And, Rasmalai Tres Leches is a recipe from my Mexican friend’s grandmother that I made it Indian by adding cardamom and saffron.” Sandhu has won many plaudits over her career, from being awarded the Best Lady Chef in India by the government in 2016 to being only chef from India chosen to compete on the global Netflix series, The Final Table. She also set up India’s first and so far the only gas-free restaurant with Arth in Mumbai in 2019.
The menu for The Dinner Box will be prepared at Rooh, Chef Sujan Sarkar’s award-winning restaurant in Delhi. “We wanted to partner with a chef who truly understands the nuances of Indian food and Chef Sujan’s incredible work has put Indian cuisine on a global map,” enthuses Sandhu.“We worked on The Dinner Box for three months to ensure we paid attention to the minutest detail.
I launched Iktara [her comfort food home delivery service] in Mumbai three weeks before the pandemic to an overwhelming response, and I truly believe that chef-driven, home-delivered food, where the emphasis on quality and not price point, is here to stay,” says the chef, concluding, “I see no reason why someone wouldn’t want to enjoy great quality food in the comfort of their own home.”
Chef Sandhu’s winter menu includes Naga Pork, with bhut jolokia, bamboo shoot, charred kaji lemon; Theccha Mutton with jwala green chilies, garlic, and peanuts; Wild Mushroom Kebab, with truffle and saffron biscuit; and Rhododendron Seekh with beetroot and yoghurt.