February 18, 2020
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Pooja Dhingra

The owner of Le 15 Patisserie and Studio Fifteen Culinary Centre in Mumbai talks about her The Big Book of Treats.

Pooja Dhingra
Pooja Dhingra

Who is the book for?

It is a gift of my recipes devised over four years to all the Indian bakers.

Aren't there too many books on baking?

When I came back from my culinary institute in Paris I realised most existing books are by foreign bakers, with ingredients and techniques unsuited for our country, hence the book.

Are your recipes easy to make at home?

The book offers an Indian alternative to  int­ernational recipes. The recipes are easy to make and have eggless and oven-less substitutes.

Does one have to have some baking skills?

Home baking means adapting; professional baking allows access to things not easily available in an Indian kitchen and market. I have attempted to integrate the two.

How did you stumble onto baking?

I have been baking since I was small. As a profession it only crossed my mind when I was working in a patisserie.

Now you have opened a patisserie and a culinary teaching centre.

Baking, in India, is yet to make its mark. So pati­sseries and baking classes are always needed!

As a baker, how do you cope with your biggest challenge—calories?

You keep tastings to the minimum and enjoy the little bit that you eat!

What are your favorite recipes?

I love all; my favourite ingredients are cho­colate and coffee, so anything with them in it.

You said 2013 was good, what are the plans for this year?

I've planned my second book, and there are plans to open branches of the patisserie in other cities.

Any advice for Indian bakers?

Learn the basics and then experiment and have fun!

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