Cook, Bond, Eat

Cook, Bond, Eat
The cheesy jalapeño poppers with basil chutney ,

With guests coming in from all across the globe, chef Anchal Bhalla’s Tastesutra, a hands-on cooking studio, follows the motto ‘anyone can cook’

Roshni Subramanian
December 20 , 2020
02 Min Read

Tell us about your foray into the culinary world.
My fondness for cooking was developed at a very young age. What followed was just a natural transition of converting my passion into profession. 

How did Tastesutra begin? 
It was during my visit to Turkey, while taking a cooking class, that I thought of combining my passion for food and love for travelling into something meaningful. The inspiration and idea of starting a cooking studio which offers a culinary experience to travellers was a result of the trip. 

The woman herself

How do you go about hosting corporate sessions?
Cooking is a learning experience that always bonds people. It’s a fun team-building activity. We offer culinary activities which require the participation of the entire group. 

Can you elaborate on Tastesutra’s efforts towards preserving india’s food heritage?
The idea of Tastesutra is to give an authentic experience to travellers. We introduce guests to traditional methods of cooking home food with Indian spices. Additionally, we offer insights into our daily lives by taking them to the local market, teaching them how to knead dough to make rotis, cooking without adding preservatives or artificial flavours, and serving food in copper utensils and eating with hands. 

You’ve travelled extensively and sampled multiple cuisines. What is that one cuisine that is the closest to you? 
I love Thai food because of the balance of spicy, sweet, sour and umami and the rich aroma, texture, colour and flavour. 
Traditional thai red curry soup with shrimps and prawns in a thick coconut milk base

Who is your culinary inspiration? 
My father. He was an amazing cook and made me try everything from street food to gourmet dishes. That is what made me fall in love with the culinary world. 

How did your philosophy of ‘cook. bond. eat’ come about?
Food is the most universal thing. It is not just about eating together or making a meal. We provide an experience of cooking together and sharing it with pride. We believe that simplicity of food comes from the fact that anyone can cook. 

How has the pandemic impacted the cooking studio?
We are yet to reopen our studio. Lately, we have diversified into virtual classes. We are now conducting classes from home and are reaching out to a global audience who’d like to know more about Indian cuisine. 

Chef Recommends: Bhalla’s must-try dishes for cheese lovers

Papad Rolls with Chilli Aioli
The perfect party snack

Paneer coated with papad and served with chilli aioli. It’s the perfect appetiser for cocktail parties and quick to make. 

Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers
A modern take on mirchi ke pakode and dhania chutney but stuffed with cheese. They can be whipped up in a couple of minutes with minimal effort and are loaded with flavour and healthy fats. 

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