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Suvir Saran
in the moment
Chef/Author/Teacher/Consultant
Interests: music, travel, animals, entertaining, cooking, movies, reading, eating
Recent Activity
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When I was 20 I fell in love with an Australian artist in NYC. He moved in with me, and five months later I came home to an empty apartment. I began looking for clues to his disappearance and soon realised my student loan and any meagre savings had vanished with him. He left me broken, betrayed, and full of anger and regret. New emotions for me. He also left me with a choice. Would I allow this one person and one moment in time to become the lens through which I observed life and love? Would I opt to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2021 at Suvir
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Pain has no GPS location. It doesn’t belong to one joint of the body, one malady or one human being. It is universal; it is a rainbow that changes its face, its nuance, its tragedy and its infliction as it goes from home to home, from people to people, and across the regions of the world. Pain makes us citizens of a global village without borders, regardless of racial or religious divides. Pain forces us to realise that black, white, brown, beige — whatever colour we might be — we are all connected. As far back as I can remember,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2021 at Suvir
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It was a triumphant feeling to have left India Covid-free in June, when the virus was wreaking havoc across the Indian map. It wasn’t because Charlie and I had been living in a cave; rather, we had taken every precaution and care to not catch it. My family is by no means strangers to Covid. We have dealt with its challenges very personally and closely. In the first wave my mom contracted it from our family chef, who picked it up during one of many hospital visits he had to make. It was quite a feat to keep these family... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2021 at Suvir
On this first day of June 2021, we mark a full decade of your passing, Papa. You were taken away from us too soon, too young, and too vibrant. You were an outlier in a world where political correctness, selfishness, partisanship and self-interests are rampant for expedience. In a polarized world you taught us to look at difference as an opportunity for growth, a way to bridge gulfs and learn something new. You never were just Guru Saran. You were your father and mother’s son, your in-laws’ son-in-law, your wife’s husband, your sister Deepa’s Deepak, your children’s dad, and many... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2021 at Suvir
Box to Box · Inside the mind of Michelin Star Chef Suvir Saran Being interviewed by the absolutely brilliantly charming and engaging Adam Walter was a lockdown treat for me. Hope you all enjoy the interview. Please be on the look out for more from this incredibly gifted student of Bristol University. He is poised to do incredible things and I feel lucky that our paths have crossed. I am humbled that he made time to chat with me. Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2021 at Suvir
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This weekend I share my fourth book, Instamatic in my column. I share the backstory to the book. A book that is equal parts Instasaying, Instapics, and Instawisdom. A deeper more thoughtful look into our Instaworld. As a teaser I share the brilliance of the sun and clouds as I learned at our farm in Hebron, NY. Also share what I learned while visiting the remarkable nation that is Rwanda. Read the column on Mail Today, or below. #Instamatic Sunday, May 17, 2020 marked the release of my fourth book. Not a cookbook this time. A book of pictures and... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2020 at Suvir
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Suvir Saran captures people, places and flavors through the eye of his mind and his heart. Review of my 4th book, Instamatic, by Aasheesh Sharma for Mail Today by India Today. Here’s a contemporary counterpart of the renaissance man, a man of arts and letters; a Michelin star chef whose prowess with words and aesthetic with pictures is so artistically evolved you have difficulty deciding whether to first look at his photographs, mull over his musings or dig into his soulful food. As one begins to go through Saran’s word-paintings in Instamatic, (Milap Publications), it becomes clear that the author’s... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2020 at Suvir
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My nephew, Karun Sagar, a student at Sara Lawrence College, is a musician, screenwriter and rebel with the world on his shoulders. His is a cool genius that makes magic wherever he applies himself. These are his thoughts when asked what inspiration a 20-year-old living in New York might have for the world. IT'S TIME TO FLY by Karun Sagar I like stories. I’d guess most people do. They’re the currency of meaning, the lights of our horizon, the why behind what we do. Or maybe they aren’t. Maybe they don’t mean sh*t. Whatever you think of stories, here’s mine.... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2020 at Suvir
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Grateful to Dr. Shashi Tharoor for reading Instamatic when it was being compiled into book form. In his debt for having seen sense in it in that loose form. Overjoyed that he found the time and will to write the foreword for Instamatic. Today, Instamatic is being released to the world. The day my publisher/editor, my friend Yogi Suri (Milap Publications) and I had been looking forward to for the better part of this last year. Here, I share the words of Dr. Tharoor to launch the book into the world. Words that are gracing Hindustan Times' HT Brunch. Grateful... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2020 at Suvir
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My May 16th, weekend column from Mail Today is out. Features my take on hope as I see it. My nephew, Karun Sagar was asked by me to write something inspiring. His writing flows as easily as water down a stream. Crispy Okra Salad, a recipe I came up with as a young young boy, that was the prize winning recipe at Devi, the one that was the only Sub-Continental recipe included in Food and Wine Magazine line up of the 40 Best Dishes of the Last 40 Years, is included here. Read full column below, or see it on... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2020 at Suvir
The lockdown has brought about some wonderful LIVE sessions. This conversation with Parul Kaul was one that kept me on my toes if you will. She had a wonderful energy and kept asking questions that flowed. Thanks Parul! Thanks Gourmet Passport! Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2020 at Suvir
This recipe was shared by visual artist extraordinaire, Aamir Rabbani. A dear friend. Also responsible for editing and digitizing the Corona recipes I have been sharing. Aamir is stuck home-alone in Delhi. He also has lost his cook to the lockdown. Instead of moping and complaining, Aamir has used this time to cook the dishes that he misses from back home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar. Egg Curry with green peas and potatoes is a dish his mother made often. His memories of it are rich. This version was made by him at home under quarantine. It is easy to make... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2020 at Suvir
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My Slice of Life column for the May 2nd weekend from Mail Today by India Today. Bonds of Joy Happiness comes when you have worked hard for something, when you are closer to your goals, and when you feel that you have arrived at a worthy place. Happiness always involves victory for the self. It is all about one’s accomplishments. Joy involves the transcending of yourself, when your heart is invested in another. Joy can come from years of changing diapers, worrying at night, dancing in the kitchen while cooking, or even just sitting with a friend or loved one... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2020 at Suvir
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This is one of several western dishes that my mother made for us kids. Instead of drowning our French Toast in syrup, she would sprinkle coarse demerara sugar on the bread, so as it cooked on the grill, the sugar caramelized and pooled creating a sticky, sweet and crunchy built in coating that we found addictive. I use vanilla paste in this recipe as I feel it provides a gentler, richer vanilla flavor than vanilla extract. For an extra special touch, pulse some sugar cubes with lemon zest in your food processor and sprinkle over the French Toast before serving.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2020 at Suvir
Dhan-Saee is my take on what a baby born to a vegetarian marriage of Dhan Saak and Saee Bhaji would be. A nod to the Parsi and Sindhi food and forkways. A celebration of pulses and vegetables. Add more as you find in your refrigerator or the market. Switch them around to meet your fancy. The dish has wonderful heat that doesn’t bite the tongue the way green chiles (hot peppers) do, but a warmth that comes from the use of whole spices. A comforting discovery of tastes and flavors that build with each bite. That entertain beyond the bite... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2020 at Suvir
This dish is as ubiquitous to Northern Indian homes as roasted potatoes might be to homes in Northern Europe. It is everyday fare that is made across the different homes. Each adding their own signature to its preparation. Make it with frozen beans but cook them uncovered and make potatoes smaller to hasten their cooking and not getting the beans browner than they need to be. You can omit the turmeric if you want them not to be yellow in hue. Often the case at an Indian table. Fraaz Bean Aloo (French Bean and Potatoes) Serves 4-6 1/2 kg Fraaz... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2020 at Suvir
Campari is one of those spirits that both Charlie and I love. A Negroni or even just Campari with orange is my go-to when not drinking Lillet with orange, on those rare occasions when I do drink. Not much of a drinker in the first place, it takes a delicious cocktail, a rather special wine, or a deeply delicious aperitif like Lillet or Cocchi Americano to convince me to stray. These are not easy to come by in most places. Even more difficult in quarantine and lockdowns. This cocktail that Charlie made in a jiffy, hit the spot, and is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2020 at Suvir
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My Slice of Life column from Mail Today by India Today for April 18th, 2020. Read by following LINK here or keep reading below. What Will Be, Will Be As the birds chirp louder and happier than ever before, as the bark of the street dogs becomes more present and persistently so, we humans are left with gut-wrenching questions. It is left to us to fear the unknown, to worry about what will be tomorrow. The hows, whats and whys of the post-COVID-19 world and the new Corona world. Will the pandemic resurge? If it does, will I catch it?... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at Suvir
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This recipe comes my way from Raquel Pelzel, one of my closest friends and co-author of my books American Masala and Masala Farm. She got the recipe from Jenn Segal of Once Upon A Chef. It is an easy cake to make and a fun one to have one hand. Forgiving in its ease of baking and how it stays. While Jenn uses the batter to make muffins, I have used a strawberry red Emile Henry deep pie dish to make it into a cake. Enjoy! Raquel & Jenn’s Strawberry Cake Servings: 10-12 Prep Time: 20-30 Minutes Cook Time: 30-45... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2020 at Suvir
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I was often called Kamla Bobo’s Chadi (walking stick to my paternal grandmother Kamla Bhatnagar). My grandma ran the house. My parents, siblings and I lived with her in New Delhi. This dish was one of the couple of potato dishes that she loved. This was mostly made in the evenings. She enjoyed it with Chapatis, pooris and parathas. Equally. On those days when we were observing festivals, this was the recipe that was followed to the tee. On rare occasions, the recipe could be made a tad bolder with the addition of some Garam Masala in the end. Sometimes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2020 at Suvir
A poori is a most beautiful edible treat to behold. In the kitchen as it is made and fried, and as it arrives on the table, to be consumed. Puffy and light, crisp outside and chewy in its bite, it is a miraculous invention and one that always pleases. We grew up eating pooris on tyauhaars (religious festivals) and at special dinners where a "fancy meal" was being served. Channas (chickpeas), rase waale aloo (potatoes), khatta meetha kaddu (sweet and sour pumpkin) and halwa (semolina pudding) are some of the dishes I associate with the making of pooris. They are... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2020 at Suvir
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All three of my cookbooks have a recipe for Kaddu (pumpkin). In the US I love using butternut squash for the recipe. You can use green pumpkin or sweet ripe pumpkin. They are both used in India. This recipe/video is made using green kaddu (green pumpkin). Charlie and almost every friend that ever eats this, falls in love with it instantly. It is a dish that is made for special occasions when pooris (puffy bread) is served with special potato curry and channas (chickpeas). Also made to mark festivals. My father loved it and so it was made on a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at Suvir
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Read my April 4th Slice of Life column in Mail Today, or continue here. Covid-19 Leading to Harsh Awakening Human behavior has shown an altricial manner that makes its actions and reactions more animalistic than those one would expect of mankind. Animals are more precocial, independent from birth, but we have ascribed greater intelligence and brilliance to man, whom we assume will be conditioned into performing at much higher levels of being than other creatures. But assumptions, like comparisons, are odious and mere hypotheses. If our behavior does not rise above that of the animals, we are hardly living up... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2020 at Suvir
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Chanda Aloo cannot be made in enough quantities at our home. Two people can finish what a dozen people might eat at a fancier meal where everyone is being a tad more formal. Such is the beauty and comforting deliciousness of this simple potato dish. It goes back to my grandmother’s family’s table in Kurwaar. A recipe that has been passed down generationally. It now has fans across the continents. Friends and family members have taken it with them. Chanda Aloo Serves 4-6 You can add asafetida into the potatoes with the cumin if you want even more heft of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2020 at Suvir
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It isn't every day that my friend Vani Tripathi Tikoo asks for something. Hers is a personality that gets glues to ones heart and being. She is what one calls "good people". Hers is an inclusive world in a world where we are all being torn apart into isms. She lives and loves with open arms and table. She gives herself with boundless empathy and a large heart. This biryani, a recipe from American Masala, is also bold, beautiful and soulfully flavorful. When Vani asked for its recipe just by looking at the photo, I had to oblige, and was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2020 at Suvir