#Lockdown: Chef Rahul Akerkar shares his favourite summer recipe that you can try at home

Pooja Patel

Chef Rahul Akerkar opened his restaurant Qualia exactly a year ago in April 2019. The venture has been keeping him on his toes ever since. Now, in the lockdown, while spending more time at home, he has been editing his photographs, writing his books and cooking yummy food.
What did you cook yesterday? 
Cauliflower gnocchi with a vodka marinara sauce.

Three ingredients that you can’t cook without? 
Salt, for obvious reasons, good quality olive oil and pepper to spice things up a bit.
What are you craving for at the moment?
Roadside paani puri and sev puri, but I am afraid it’ll be a while before I can satiate that craving.
What are you reading these days?  
Pretty much existential reading like Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari; Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome
by Venki Ramakrishnan; and the entire Asterix and TinTin series.
Which web series are you currently watching? 
Money Heist, Hunters and Ozark.

 

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Are you pursuing any other hobbies?
I am practicing yoga, editing and cleaning my photographs and writing my book.
What is your message to everyone?
Stay safe, stay happy, stay home, eat, drink and be merry, for this too shall come to pass… But most of all stay sane and please support our restaurants once they reopen.
Read: Rahul Akerkar tells us what it takes to set up a new restaurant
What do you plan to do once the lockdown is lifted?
I will head to my restaurant Qualia to cook and serve our diners again, hit the swimming pool and visit my mama to give her a hug… but not necessarily in that order.

How will luxury consumption in India and the world change hereafter?
I’d like to think that this has given us all a break to appreciate and embrace the human side to our lives that we so clearly overlooked and that was missing in the excessively isolated, digital world we all lived in prior to this pandemic. I hope we continue to keep it up. I don’t think luxury consumption will change too much, other than to perhaps shift ever so slightly to a, “do I really need this now?” mindset. Also, I’d like to think that what constitutes luxury consumption might change too—from material to experiential.
Please share your favourite recipe that is quick and easy to make.
Yellow pepper gazpacho because it’s killing, hearty and chilled —perfect for this miserable heat.
Ingredients:
500 grams yellow capsicum
5 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons oil
2 cucumbers
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon roast cumin powder
3 boiled eggs, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil and parsley to garnish
Method:
Deseed the peppers
Place peppers and whole garlic cloves on the oven tray.
Cover in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Roast at about 150 degrees until the skin of the peppers become loose.
Keep aside to cool, and remove the skin. Chop roughly.
Save the oil and the remaining juices and garlic on the tray.
Peel and deseed the cucumber and chop the onion.
Blend the cucumber, onion, roasted peppers and garlic with leftover juice. You may add a little cold water to adjust the thickness.
Add lime juice and a teaspoon of roasted cumin powder. Blend for another minute.
Serve chilled. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, parsley and boiled eggs.
Read: Chef Ranveer Brar shares an easy power breakfast recipe

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