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Suresh Hinduja

Chef Imtiaz Qureshi

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[color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]It is rare that you have a Superchef dropping anchor in Bangalore. It is equally rare that he invites you to break bread with him. We sampled the preview of a new menu being unveiled by Master chef Imtiaz Qureshi of ITC Hotels 'Dum Pukht' fame. He played the perfect host as we feasted on Kakori Kababs, Mahi Qaliya, Koh e Avadh and many more exotic specialities from the signature Dum Pukht repertoire. [/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]”It’s all about using the right cut, spices and cooking times” he said, explaining that there are more than 36 cuts of meat, all designated for a different preparation”. [/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Born over 70 years ago in Bawarchi Tola of Lucknow into a family of Khandani Bawarchis, for Chef Imtiaz it was a foregone conclusion that he would eventually become a chef. His ancestors were noted chefs of the nawabs and when Imtiaz’s father died young, his mother apprenticed her seven-year-old son to her brother who was considered among the best in Lucknow. [/font][/size][/color]
Joining a reputed restaurant in Lucknow, Imtiaz soon became the best known chef in the city. The restaurant also developed an enviable reputation for catering at all the major feasts and weddings in the city. Imtiaz remembers catering for a banquet of 1000 covers hosted by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Pandit Nehru, the chief guest, had insisted on congratulating the young chef himself. [/font][/size][/color]
Soon after this, ITC offered Imtiaz a contract, to head the operation of their Indian kitchens. Imtiaz was encouraged to research the forgotten cuisine of he nawab of Awadh. He spent years in perfecting the receipts, naming it Dum Pukht after the process of cooking. The cuisine was launched at a restaurant by the same name at the ITC Maurya , Delhi in 1989.Imtiaz has been responsible for popularising the Awadh cuisine (specially Dum -Pukht preparations) across ITC Hotels, Pan India. He is the Executive Chef of [b]'Dum Pukht' [/b]ITC's branded Indian restaurant across Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.[/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]His sons, chefs Mohammed Ashfaque Qureshi, 33, and Mohammed Irfan Qureshi, 32, are the heirs to his recipes.
To say that the Qureshi brothers hail from a family passionate about food is an understatement; of the seven siblings, all five brothers are chefs while one sister is married to a chef. [/font][/size][/color]
Qureshi’s legend, as everyone knows, grew with Dum Pukht. Beyond being gifted, what set him apart was that he was always ready to work in unusual ways. It is said of him, “There are so many chefs of that generation who say that this recipe can only be done like this, but not Imtiaz.” Every hotel kitchen in India today possibly has a chef from the khandan carrying on the legacy, most notably Ghulam Qureshi, master chef at Dum Pukht, Imtiaz’s son-in-law

[b]Hara Kebab Awadhi[/b]
Shami of spinach and lentils, pan grilled in butter and sprinkled with fenugreek

[b]Murgh Tandoori[/b] Whole chicken marinated in a mixture of yoghurt, malt vinegar, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, red chilies, yellow chilies, turmeric powder and garam masala, skewered and cooked in the Tandoor, served sprinkled with kebab masala
[b]Kakori Kebab[/b] A delicate melt in the mouth kebab of finely minced lamb flavored with cloves and cinnamon wrapped around a skewer and char grilled

[b]Jhinga Dum Anari[/b]
Jumbo Prawns simmered in pomegranate and black cumin, finally wrapped in foil and cooked on Dum
[b]Mahi Qaliya[/b]
Marbles of rohu cooked in mustard oil gravy, enhanced with fenugreek seeds and served with a garnish of fresh coriander and julienne of ginger soaked in lemon juice.
[b]Murgh Handi Qorma[/b]
Chicken drumsticks simmered in brown onion and yoghurt gravy heady with ‘Lazzat-e-tum’-a highly aromatic spiced powder
Qorma of lamb shanks, dum cooked in their own cardamom tinged juices and marrow, finished with saffron
[b]Dal Bukhara[/b]
A harmonious combination of black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic simmered overnight on charcoal and served with butter.


Chef Imtiaz Qureshi approving the Biryani before its is served
[b]Dum Pukht Biryani [/b]
Basmati rice, layered with spiced, braised lamb, topped with fresh green herbs and browned onions. Sealed in a handi and finished on Dum
[b]Mirch baingan ka salan [/b]
A delicacy of eggplant and fresh chillis, simmered in a peanut and coconut gravy, soured with tamarind and tempered with mustard and curry leaves
[b]Burrhani raita[/b]
Garlic flavor curd tempered with cumin and whole red chilli


[b]Shaan e aam [/b]
King of fruits-Alphonso combined with fresh cream,finished with slivers of pistachio, shavings of almonds andserved with pure gold leaf
[b]Yakuti [/b]
Broken basmati rice and moong lentils cooked in milk on low heat, enriched with khoya and served chilled with a dash of saffron and slivers of Pistachio. Topped with silver leaf.
Reduced milk, frozen and flavored with saffron and pistachios


[color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]A repast fit for a king indeed![/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Then we ate some Pan and stepped out to the lobby.

[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Chef Qureshi will personally guide you through the Dum Pukht experience at the ITC Gardenia’s Kebab and Kurries special event for dinners 21 to 24 June 2012 [/font]
[font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif][size=4]Price: Rs. 2000/- plus taxes per person or Rs 3000 plus taxes per person paired with exquisite Whisky[/size][/font]
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Nice to read about [color=#000000][size=4][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]the success story of Master Chef Imtiaz Quresh[/font][/size][/color]i and his creations have been beautifully described above.
Awesome photos.
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Seconding bague, you are a bloody lucky man!!!

The meal is a steal at 2k with whisky, BTW - why a whisky pairing?

Interesting to note both curd and malt vinegar are used in the tandoori murgh, maybe malt for browning?
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and thirding! truly blessed with lazzat-e-tum[img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]
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Suresh, Great pleasure to see your live encounter with legendary chef Imtiaz Qureshi. Royal menu and great clicks. Thanks for sharing.

After seeing the very first posted photo of testing biryani I was so tempted to cook biryani. I made Tiger prawns Dum biryani. I will share when I make second attempt.
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Very appetizing line-up of dishes. I'd seen Chef Imtiaz Qureshi years ago on a TV episode where he showed Padma Lakshmi how to cook a stalwart Biryani. But one detail or rather the lack of it is a real blemish- in the above dishes, the garnishes for example the onions are carelessly arranged. It is also in plain sight in the pictures of the post about B'lore's Dum Phukt Jolly Nabobs. Having taken all the care to exquisitely cook the dishes, why go lax when it comes to the eventual decoration? That last bit of aesthetic is the final fine-dining master-touch that elite restaurants like this, need to pay heed to. The Honourable Hinduja is requested to kindly bring this to the attention of this 5 star restaurant when he next meets their staff- hopefully they will accept his suggestion. And Senor Hinduja, what is your opinion about Bangalore's "Royal Afghan"? It is oft listed amongst the city's best North Indian restaurants but do you feel that it is truly a destination restaurant on par with the nation's finest? (PS- I despise the prospect of going to a restaurant which is owned by the 'ITC' group but what can a person do when the group boasts such a significant chunk of a city's fine-dining highlights?)
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