“We really like maggi. We like maggi a lot. We like its slim figure, we think it’s quite hot” - Profound rhyming quotes by the Homegrown team
A lot of bad things have happened this year, but few have caused as visceral a pain as the banning of Maggi noodles — the only instant-anything that could replace dal chawal as a staple for most of us. Of course, unless you’ve been hiding under your covers depressed ever since you ran out of your underground stock, you also know that IT’S BACK! The whole country has been buzzing about its return from the dark side, and if you haven’t been able to get your hands on a few packets yet, it’s probably because we’ve stocked it all up at the Homegrown headquarters. You never know when a Maggi shortage might strike again.
Anyway, now that we’re done with an ode, it’s time to move onto another one. Shortly after the noodle’s comeback, we stumbled upon Chef Thomas Zacharias’ Instagram picture of his experiments with Maggi to celebrate its relaunch. Needless to say, it kind of changed our lives. And instantly inspired us to celebrate the prodigal brand’s return to the markets with a twist.
We asked three extremely successful, experimental, adventurous and talented India-based chefs to create one unique Maggi recipe for us, and the result was phenomenal. From everyone’s favourite noodles tossed in flavoursome kheema, to a coconut-based chicken gravy giving these noodles a unique texture to an almost-ramen version, these dishes are certainly worth a little over two minutes in the kitchen. So scroll on for Chef Kelvin, Chef Sarabjeet and Chef Thomas’ creations, and thank the food Gods on your way.
I. Kelvin Cheung, Chef Consultant and his Maggi for world peace
Born in Canada, raised in Chicago, and based in Mumbai, Kelvin is a Chinese-American who grew up in the kitchen. As a third generation chef, he spent the better half of his childhood preparing for this life of travelling the world and creating culinary masterpieces in unfamiliar kitchens. Cheung’s style draws inspiration from his Chinese heritage, his North American upbringing, and French training, coupled with the freshest ingredients from local farms. To add to his credit, he has also won numerous awards while serving as the Executive Chef of Ellipsis in Mumbai — a true gift to all those living in this city, we might add.
Kelvin is currently a chef consultant at Aallia Hospitality, coming up with new, interesting projects across the city. His burning passion for the culinary life is the centre of his world, and when he’s not in the kitchen, he finds himself at the CrossFit Box, playing video games, or engrossed in a good book. So, now that you’re sufficiently convinced of Chef Kelvin’s unbelievable skill, finesse and prowess in the kitchen, we bring you his innovative, Maggi-inspired, hand-crafted dish fit for the Gods.
Chef Kelvin’s Maggi-inspired creation: Where kimchi’s goodness, crispy bacon and peanut butter come together to be drenched in Maggi’s much-missed, delicious aura.
What you need:
How to do it: Add Maggi to a large pot of boiling water for one minute, and shock in ice water. In fresh water, bring to a boil and add Maggi magic fairy dust, kimchi juice and your sriracha. Meanwhile, sear off the bacon (or, alternate meat) and cook your sunny side up egg. Finish up the Maggi noodles in the seasoned broth for about 20 seconds (do not make mush, or you don’t deserve these noodles). Place your perfectly cooked noodles in a bowl, carefully place the kimchi, meat, egg, and peanut butter, and gently pour the broth on top. Drizzle the sesame oil, sprinkle with nuts and onions, and you’re done. Eat immediately to cure all hangovers, munchies, and for world peace.
II. Sarabjeet Singh of Slurp Studio (Bangalore) and his Maggi fit for a beautiful, rainy day
32-year-old Chef Sarabjeet Singh graduated in hotel management from Christ College, after which he found himself working at the Taj West End in Bangalore before moving to the US to work at Hayat Coconut Grove, Miami. In August of 2014, Singh put on his entrepreneurial hat and founded Slurp Studio, a one-stop culinary destination located in the heart of Indiranagar, Bangalore.
As a cooking school, cuisine-based cook-along destination, outdoor catering agency and live grilling company, culinary venue, pop-up restaurant and private event space, Slurp finds a way to follow Singh’s passion for fine food and interactive culinary experiences, and as he believes, “There’s a universe in your pot - if you’re willing to look.” Bold, and daring innovation is obviously something Chef Sarabjeet excels at, and we invite you to experience the same bold originality with his lip-smacking dish that celebrates the return of Maggi.
Chef Sarabjeet’s Maggi-inspired creation: Mutton kheema just found its soulmate, and they make a truly delicious pair.
What you need:
How to do it: Heat oil in a pan and toss in the onions, sauté till golden brown. Then, add the ginger and garlic paste with all the masalas. Now, it’s time for the kheema. Add it, and stir in the tomatoes, cook till the kheema and tomatoes are done well. Use your natural instinct to check for salt. Now starts the fun part. Add the ready kheema to the Maggi and toss well. Get a sunny side up egg, or a beautiful omelette ready to serve on the side. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and onions on top. Best enjoyed in a huge bowl, looking into a rainy day.
III. Thomas Zacharias of The Bombay Canteen (Mumbai) and his Bada Bachha Maggi
Having worked at different kitchens across the globe, Thomas Zacharias bring a variety of experiences to The Bombay Canteen. His love for the kitchen started at a very young age, when he was inspired by his grandmother’s home-cooked meals. Exploring this passion further, he enrolled at the Welcomegroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal in 2003. His natural talent and refined skills were put to use at several leading hospitality groups across the country, such as the Taj Group, Oberoi Hotels and ITC. In 2007, Zacharias studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to understand the nuances of cooking, where he interacted with his Chef idols and some of the most renowned names in the cooking world.
As he returned to India, he helmed the kitchen at Bandra’s Olive Bar and Kitchen. Today Zacharias finds himself as the Executive Chef of The Bombay Canteen, and after travelling extensively to corners of India to entrench himself in different elements of regional Indian home-cooking, he draws inspiration from the country’s diverse flavours and the bounty of Mumbai’s markets.
Chef Thomas’ Maggi-inspired creation: Where a flavourful chicken coconut curry with fried onions and lime recreates the nostalgic value of Maggi, mimicking its texture and appearance.
What you need:
How to do it: Make a beautiful paste with spices, onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli and tomato. Heat the oil in a pan, add your paste and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes till the raw flavour is gone and the masala is cooked out perfectly. Add the chicken and coconut milk, and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes till the chicken is cooked through, but still tender. Add water if necessary (the consistency should be like that of fresh cream). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and sugar, trust your judgement and taste buds. Cook the Maggi noodles in boiling water for slightly less than two minutes, and add it to this coconut curry along with the chopped cilantro. Toss the noodles in the curry and then plate it into two bowls. Garnish with fried onions, spring onions, roasted peanuts and a squeeze of lime for your finishing touch. Your delicious Maggi-inspired creation is ready to be devoured.