Is Chef Ravinder Bhogal India’s very own Nigella Lawson?

RavinderkitchenAs she cuts, chops, sears, sautés, bakes, grills, boils and simmers an alchemy of desirable food, Bhogal declares her culinary experiments are driven by her “greed” for new recipes and ingredients.

Perched prettily behind her counter, Chef Ravinder Bhogal makes for a striking picture with her flowing hair and Audrey Hepburn summer dresses. As TLC's new poster chef, this award-winning British-Asian cook, food writer and stylist has been firing up Ravinder's Kitchen, and through her recipes — which she refuses to slot as fusion — undertakes a gastronomical journey across the globe. As she cuts, chops, sears, sautés, bakes, grills, boils and simmers an alchemy of desirable food, Bhogal declares her culinary experiments are driven by her "greed" for new recipes and ingredients.

With so many cooks stirring the broth on TLC, comparisons do crop up, and the closest that comes to Bhogal is someone from her hometurf, the formidable Nigella Lawson (of Nigella Express). While Lawson is the queen of effortless ease and her rich use of words to bring her recipes to life, Bhogal makes up by tossing up dishes, especially a range of vegetarian, closest to the Asian audiences. Also, Lawson has years behind her, while Bhogal, who was crowned Britain's "New Fanny Cradock" by Gordon Ramsay of Hell's Kitchen, has years ahead of her. In the meantime, Ravinder's Kitchen earns brownie points for its simplicity, its vibrant burst of colours, locally procured ingredients and no-fuss recipes. This chef may not have a quirky collection of kitchen tools like Lawson, but against the powder blue walls and white shelves lined with antique crockery (she is a collector) with yellow flowers on the counter, Bhogal celebrates minimalism and whips up delicacies that can be replicated anywhere anytime. Her biggest strength is her globetrotter background — Asian roots, born in Kenya and raised in London — she presents food that appeals instantly to Indians. She picks traditional dishes of different countries and gives it her own twist. Our favourites are spicy caramel chicken roast, a unique aubergine salad, her easy-to-cook Thai fare, especially her take on the Tom Yum Soup, ice cream cake, and Apple Jalebis. From Rum Mango Lassi to Rogan Josh Roast to Turkish yoghurt soup, Bhogal has been dishing up some original grub. Even her personal style is striking. She takes over the kitchen in her heels and boots.

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