Sugandha Saxena – SU Chef

Good food is something nobody of us can resist. Spicy, tangy, sweet and sour! Food offers us number of tastes to satisfy our buds. But for some, food is something beyond our imagination. It becomes their objective for life!

Meet Sugandha Saxena, for whom food has become the driving force of life. It was when she was just 12 years old. Nothing was “planned” in her life. And that’s when she picked her wok and ladle and cooked her first kayastha cusine. And then began her journey to a successful chef.

Sugandha chose to start her career in the management industry after successfully completing Post Graduation in International Hospitality from Switzerland and MBA in HR and Marketing. Although she was successful in the field, but one day with sudden burst of creative energy making Besan Laddoos- her introspecting self found her true calling. She says “It was Diwali time. I was watching my favourite food channel, TLC. All of a sudden a thought struck my mind. Let’s make besan laddoos! My mom didn’t know to make one. Yet I did. They were good enough to be served to our wedding guests. A guest of mine tasted a laddoo and said “Can I place an order for it?” and since then there was no looking back.” This marked the onset of the journey of a famous Chef. Her Besan Laddoos rule many hearts (oops! Taste buds).

Sugandha, who holds expertise in both desserts and Kayastha cuisines loves everything about food. “I love everything about food! The process of it getting cooked, the smell, the appearance and everything! All of it fascinates me so much!” Says SuChef owner, Sugandha.

Food presentation is as important as is its taste for Sugandha. “I believe a person first eats by eyes and then comes to mouth. Hence it is very important that good food is also good presented.” She also shares with us a tip of presenting food. “The core dish should always be dominating on the platter while presentation. The sides can be added to make the presentation better.”

We wondered why was only Kayastha cuisine Sugandha’s motivation! To which this she had to say, “Kayastha food is my ancestral food. My grandmother used to make some finger licking kayastha food. And there is a specialty of kayastha food.  And that is one kayastha dish is cooked in different ways in different homes. The Kayastha cuisine holds a vast yet largely untapped richness of family traditions, offering a unique blend of Muslim and Hindu cultures. Also there was no Kayastha restaurant in existence yet. That’s what motivated me.”

Sugandha Saxena cooks sumptuous desserts and that’s what her specialty is. But there is something she likes more than the desserts, which is Mutton koftas! “There is a recipe of my grandmother and I have named the dish as Mutton-e-dadima, whoch is a mutton curry dish.” Says Sugandha.

Chef Sugandha Saxena holds expertise in fusion desserts. So for everyone who has got a sweet tooth, here are a few of her desserts. Pista halwa, Petha Laddoo, Gulkand Kheer, Multigrain Jaggery Halwa are Sugandha’s fusions. Multigrain jaggery halwa is Sugandha’s version of atta halwa cooked in every home.

Sugandha was generous to share her recipe of {etha Ladoos with us.

Su Chef
Petha Laddoos

Ingredients:
Anguri Petha – 1/2 kg
Mawa – 1/2 kgs
Pistachios powder – 3-4 Tablespoons
Pistachios – 7-8 finely chopped
Cashews – 7-8 finely chopped
Almonds – 5-6 finely chopped
Elaichi powder – 1-2 Teaspoon

Method:

1) Grind the Petha in a bowl. Add chopped  cashew almonds pistachio.

2) Take a pan, turn on the heat and add Mawa. Sauté it till it’s light in golden color and leaves ghee on the pan. Once done turn of the heat.

3) Let the Mawa cools down. Now add the Mawa to the Petha dryfruit mixture and green elaichi powder. Mix all of the ingredients together.

4) Refrigerate the mixture for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool completely.

5) Make small balls of the mixture and roll them in Pistachio powder. This will give the laddoos light green color.

6) Garish each laddoo with Pistachio on top and serve

Sugandha Saxena has a “Sweet” message, especially for the female readers. Sugandha doesn’t completely believe in dieting. She understands the importance of a healthy diet but also says one should not kill their temptation. “I believe one should learn to maintain a balance when it comes to diet. Excess of anything is bad. If you are craving for sweet, having a bite or two of the same would not harm your health, while quenching your temptation for sweet food.” Sugandha adds, “I don’t motivate the use of artificial sugar. It causes more harm than natural sugar.”

We couldn’t agree more what Sugandha said about we women, “We might not agree but we love food more than men!”

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