Chef Ajay Sahoo started his humble career with a Craft course in Food Production and a Diploma in Food production IHM Bhubaneswar. After that it was no looking back. He started his career as a Commie in Copper Chimney and Taj Lands End in Mumbai. At present he is the Master Chef at Leela Ambience, Gurugram. In between he has rose through the ladder of been a Demi Chef de Partie , Chef de Partie, Sous Chef and now holding the mantle of Master Chef in Leela Ambience, Gurugram. His work experience has been in abroad and then in the best & branded properties of India – the who’s who of the country. Before joining the Leela group he was with the Taj group of hotels and St. Regis (Starwood) property.
All through his career he has rolled up his sleeve and donning the toque has rolled out the best Indian dishes which is his speciality. With fourteen years of culinary experience he has a sound control on Indian cuisine and a good familiarity with International cuisines. Menu engineering is his main forte while he creates new recipes through fusion and hybridisation. This reflects his in depth knowledge to develop and test new recipes so also the creativity while doing the presentation of the same. Any format of food outlet is cakewalk for him be it Quick Service restaurant or Fine Dinning restaurant.
I had met Chef Ajay during his small stint in HHI Bhubaneswar while he was involved in the Goan Food Festival. Though quite a many moons back but he could recollect our conversation then. One is really proud of him. He is one of the few successful Odiya Chef making a niche in the culinary world. We wish him success in the culinary time to come. Though he dishes out the best from his culinary bag but his favourite is the Lamb Tandoori with Mint Pesto and Radish salad, we are sharing the same with his kind permission.
Tandoori Lamb with Mint Pesto and radish Salad:
Lamb chop-4 pc, Hung curd-50 gm, Ginger paste-10 gm, Garlic paste-15 gm, Yellow chilli-5 gm, Salt to taste, Mustard oil-15 ml., Garam masala powder-10 gm, Cheese grated-20 gm, Lemon juice-10 ml, Chat masala-5 gm, Chopped coriander-10 gm, Chopped mint-5 gm, Brown onion pastr-10 gm, Brown cashew paste-20 gm, Brown almond paste-5 gm, Papaya paste-5 gm
Marinate the lamb chop with ginger, garlic, lemon juice, papaya paste & salt and keep it in the fridge for twenty-four hours. Take a bowl mix all the ingredients: hung curd, yellow chilli, mustard oil, salt, lemon juice, brown onion, almond, brown cashew, chopped mint and chopped coriander. Mix well, and slowly add grated cheese and garam masala powder. After the mix is ready add the marinated lamb chop. After that cook it using a tandoor or a barbeque cover at 180 – 200 degree centigrade.
For Preparing Mint Pesto and Radish Salad:
Mint Pesto: Coriander leaves- 10 gm, Mint 50 gm, Salt to taste, Olive oil-50 ml, Parmesan cheese- 50 gm, Garlic- 20 gm, Lemon juice- 1 no, Green chilli- 2 pcs. Cut the coriander leaves and mint, mix all the ingredients, make it into a fine paste with olive oil adjust the seasoning. Sauce should be of a thick consistency.
Radish Salad: Radish- 100 gm, Chilli powder-20 gm, Salt to taste, Lemon juice of one as per taste, , Chopped coriander- 20 gm. Wash and peel the radish, in a bowl put some ice, then grate the radish and leave it for twenty to thirty minutes after it becomes crunchy strain it properly, mix with ingredients.
Plate it with the chops and mint pesto and serve