The IPL anchor and actor started his culinary journey cooking eggs at after parties. He now rustles up grilled chicken and mutton curry with equal ease.

  • I’m a Delhi boy. I come from a Punjabi family that discusses lunch while eating breakfast, and dinner while eating lunch.

 

  • I still crave butter chicken, dal makhani, lachcha parathas and sirke waale pyaaz, but my profession doesn’t allow me to indulge in them too often.

 

  • My mother is a great cook. She has the ability to create a nice dish without needing a recipe.

 

  • My family still teases me about an experience as an 11-year-old. My aunt dared me to have two massive Maha Burgers and a Hot Chocolate Fudge at Nirula’s. I did it and won Rs 100, but my stomach hurt terribly after it.

 

  • My grandmother pampered me a lot. Her cooking was all about sweet parathas, butter and lassi. Since my grandparents were with the WHO, they travelled a lot. After my grandfather was stationed in Burma, we had a lot of Burmese food at home. Raan would be cooked on special occasions. My mother also makes great lamb chops, pot roast and oriental food.

 

  • In my head, I think I’m a good cook. But ultimately, I need to follow a recipe. I make a lot of Indian food and healthy dishes like grilled chicken.

 

  • I was the official egg maker in my group at all our after parties. At 4am, you’d find me rustling up scrambled eggs with cheese, baked beans and what not.

 

  • I started cooking at age 21, when I first moved to Mumbai and realized there’s only so much you can eat out. Now, my wife and I cook together often as a great bonding activity. We go online to hunt for recipes and experiment a lot. We pour ourselves a glass of wine each, put on some nice music and take charge of our own dishes. If she’s making the main dish, I’ll do a salad and garlic bread.

 

  • On a recent trip to Greece, I fell in love with the local food. When in Spain, I ensure I do a tapas crawl. I also visited New York with the express intention of finding the insane food trucks you see on the shows on AXN. Their food tastes even better than it looks on TV!

 

  • I frequent restaurants like Indigo, Yauatcha, Royal China and Thai Pavillion in Mumbai. In Delhi, Moti Mahal is like a religion. Being a junk food fan, I’d also pick a nice cheeseburger anywhere.

 

  • While shopping, I love checking out various cuts of meat. I also ensure there’s always a good supply of green chillies, onions and a variety of condiments.

Samir’s tips for men who cook

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  • Don’t go for glory from the start. Master an easy dish first –a great omelet or scrambled eggs.

 

  • Once you’re more confident, plan a full meal. Your breakfast spread could include baked beans, ham, cheese and assorted breads. Nice beverages are also a great way to hone your skills.

  • Open your fridge now and then to see what’s in there. A lot of men buy the entire store when they go shopping, and six months later the products expire because they forgot about them.

  • Have fun while cooking. Make it a cooking night in with your buddies, maybe.

 

  • Try to cook a dish you like in the best way possible rather than trying to cook the best dish you can think of.

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Grilled Chicken with Vegetables, Potato Mash and Gravy

Samir Kochhar

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces chicken breast
  • Ginger
  • Chopped onions
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 Maggi Magic Chicken Cube
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt, black pepper, bay leaves, basil, parsley and oregano for marination

Method

# Rub the chicken pieces with the herbs of your choice and salt. Cook in a non-stick pan for 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle water and cover the pan with a lid to let the chicken cook from inside with the steam.

# Remove the chicken and use the same pan to cook the gravy. Add ginger, chopped onions and cook till brown. Add 1.5 cups water and let it simmer for some time. Add a Maggi Magic Chicken Cube and a little cornflour to thicken the gravy.

# Chop carrots and zucchini and boil them with a little salt. Boil 4 potatoes, peel and mash them with milk and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

# Cut the pieces of chicken and plate up along with vegetables. Make a mound of potato mash, scoop out the top and add some gravy. Serve the rest of the gravy in a cup. Bread can also be served on the side.