Voted the hottest chef by People magazine in 2011, Vikas
What can we expect this season?
This season of Twist of Taste takes you through a coastal traila�� right from Ratnagiri to Pondicherry. You will see that therea��s a lot more to coastal cuisine than rice and fish curry. There is Arab influence as you move to Calicut and Alleppey, French influence in PondicherryA� and Portuguese influence in Goa. It is the variety that makes it so beautiful.
Your most memorable experience on the show?
Meeting Sarfaraz and his family in Mangalorea��they shared the recipe for their tamarind fish biryani. Another fascinating bit of information: how to make flattened rice. We take it for granted, but the procedure is quite longa��it takes three days to de-husk rice and make poha. Smitabena��s family in Ratnagiri enlightened me and inspired me to use poha the way rice is useda��to make pulao or khichada.
Where does India stand when it comes to TV shows on food?
Television is a place with scope for a lot of organic growth. I really like the change Sanjeev Kapoor brought in with Khana Khazana. Now we have another celebrated chef on televisiona��Ajay Chopra. Sometimes when I am at the airport, kids come up to me saying they want to be chefs. It is definitely causing a stir.
What does food mean to you?
Freedoma��as it knows no boundaries. I cook with all my hearta��be it a new dish, a new show or writing about it in a new book. It gives me freedom. And unity, because it brings people together.
Best of Khanna
Favourite home-style food: Dal-rice and dahi
Restaurant select: Sasuma in Surat
Favourite dish: Grandmaa��s aloo methi
Cooking tip for readers: Cook with your heart. And grind your masalas yourself
Fave cuisines: Thai, French and Japanese
Advice for budding chefs: Be honest, look at your timers not your wrist watch
Fave TV shows: Buniyaad and Pakistani shows like Tanhaiyaan and Dhoop Kinare
‘Twist of Taste Season 3’ premieres on Fox Traveller on January 20 at 9.30 pm
A�- Sumitra Nair