Saffola’s #BreakUpWithJunk challenge @ Ambience Mall in Gurgaon is probably one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I reached The Leela Hotel late on the evening of 8th July when I was told in the presence of Chef Kunal Kapur and Chef Shipra Khanna that we will be cooking for over 700 people. I couldn’t believe what I heard. I love cooking and I’ve cooked for 10-12 people but never for 700.
We stayed at the hotel’s kitchen until late night boiling potatoes and doing trial runs for the recipes. Chef Shipra’s recipes included Stuffed Khoomb (stuffed oats mushrooms), A Nutty Affair (oats chaat) and Dastan-e-kebab (kebabs made with oats).
The recipes seemed hard but Chef Shipra Khanna is a pro. She snacked on almonds from the pan as she taught us how to roast them and we were amused to see how she could casually handle such hot stuff. She was very clear about her recipes and she was very determined about our win.
On 9th July, the day of the challenge. We reached Ambience mall and saw how the green and red food trucks were ready and waiting for us. We were interviewed and we started cooking. Crowds kept pouring in and we were amazed to see how much people were enjoying our food. We were reminded of Masterchef India Challenges were contestants would urge people to buy and eat what they were cooking in order to win. When we ran out of all food, we started improvising and making things out of oats. I didn’t realise until that day that oats could be this versatile.