Meet the Chef: Chetna Makan

Chetna Makan was born in Jabalpur, an ancient city in central India. In 2014, Chetna reached the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off and her first book, The Cardamom Trail, is a stunning celebration of baking with Indian flavours. Her second book, Chai, Chaat & Chutney is delicious street food journey through India. She has a very popular YouTube channel ‘Food with Chetna’ where she shares her creative flair for food. Chetna’s Healthy Indian, her latest book, was published in January and showcases home cooking at its best.

A Q&A with Chetna Makan

What is your first food memory? My mum making ghee at home and the smell would take over the house that day.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Fashion designer

Who has influenced your cooking the most? My mum’s delicious food

Best cooking tip for a novice? Do not be scared of getting into that kitchen, cooking is all about having fun and just start with something simple like eggs.

What makes you particularly excited about Chetna’s Healthy Indian? It’s an insight into my everyday food that I cook for my family, I can’t wait for people to see how simple and quick it is to make delicious healthy meals.

What would be your food heaven? A perfectly baked moist Victoria sponge with fresh cream.

What would be your food hell? Cheese

What’s your favourite go-to ingredient? Simply my spice box, which contains the basic spices, essential in every Indian kitchen.

What dessert from your new book would you suggest readers make that is quick and easy, but looks impressive, to round off a Sunday lunch with friends? Nutty spicy Chocolate bark.

Favourite snack? I try and not snack too much, but crisps are my weakness.

Do you have a favourite recipe from Chetna’s Healthy Indian? That is a very difficult question as I love all the recipes, some more than the others but can’t choose one.

What is the most useful kitchen gadget you have ever bought? I have the same rolling board and rolling pin, which I bought in Mumbai and it came with me to my kitchen in the UK.

What are your plans for the future? Maybe get into medicine, haha only kiddingWhat is your first food memory? My mum making ghee at home and the smell would take over the house that day.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Fashion designer

Who has influenced your cooking the most? My mums delicious food

Best cooking tip for a novice? Do not be scared of getting into that kitchen, cooking is all about having fun and just start with something simple like eggs.

What makes you particularly excited about Chetna’s Healthy Indian? It is an insight into my everyday food that I cook for my family, I cant wait for people to see how simple and quick it is to make delicious healthy meals.

What would be your food heaven? A perfectly baked moist Victoria sponge with fresh cream.

What would be your food hell? Cheese

What’s your go-to ingredient? Simply my spice box, which contains the basic spices, essential in every Indian kitchen.

What dessert from your new book would you suggest readers make that is quick and easy, but looks impressive, to round off a Sunday lunch with friends? Nutty spicy Chocolate bark.

Favourite snack? I try and not snack too much but crisps are my weakness.

Do you have a favourite recipe from Chetna’s Healthy Indian? That is a very difficult question as I love all the recipes, some more than the others but cant choose one.

What is the most useful kitchen gadget you have ever bought? I have the same rolling board and rolling pin, which I bought in Mumbai and it came with me to my kitchen in the UK.

What are your plans for the future? Maybe get into medicine, haha only kidding.

Order your copy of Chetna’s Healthy Indian now

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