Internationally renowned Michelin-starred-chef, Vikas Khanna, pays homage to his roots and the hometown he was raised in, and the fabulous cuisine of Amritsar. Khanna’s Junoon restaurant may make waves in US, but his beautifully produced book, Amritsar, Flavours of the Golden City, has him pay homage to the town, its culture and food. Yes, he’s a man who does not forget the affectionate family women who raised him and shared family culinary secrets. This is a sampler from his book.
Khanna would not miss the boondi pearls-as-prasad at Bijli Pehelwan Temple at Amritsar as a boy.
Bo wale kulche
Double-fermented dough makes this kulcha a special soft treat.
Khanna wonders why it’s called murgi but forgets everything before the melting taste of sweetened cottage cheese rolls.
Kala channa soup
Amritsaris swear by the healing qualities of this lentil soup also called ‘lakh dukhon ki ek dava’.
Khanna doffs his hat to his uncle, Babu Chacha, whose creamy liver on crisp toast makes for a filling snack or breakfast option.
A seasonal preserve, Cape gooseberry makes for a fresh, fruit jam.
From the aroma from the Golden Temple, fresh sandalwood paste turns into a cooling sherbet in the summers.
Shashtri market ki chaamp
‘Chaamp’ is from the Irish word meaning ‘to pound’; pounded lamb chops grilled to perfection, the Amritsari way.
Text by Sudha G Tilak.
Images courtesy: Amritsar, Flavours of the Golden City/ Roli Books
The article was first published in August, 2015, and has been updated since.