Offering pies and meatloaf made with recipes dating back to the 1960s, Chitra Puri promises to make your house party rock
Chitra Puri has had no formal education from a culinary institution. “Except for a few cooking classes I attended when I was 19,” she says. But given that she grew up in Assam, learning from her aunt and cooks who were well versed in English cooking (as Continental was called in the 1960s), we have no second thoughts ordering her chicken roast with grilled vegetables, pineapple and a secret gravy. As we peruse the pictures on Rolling Pin, her Facebook page, we’re hooked. The meatloaf, sliced to reveal boiled eggs within, looks as mouth watering as her fillet of sole, laid to rest on a bed of onion mushroom sauce. “Back in Assam we were introduced to the presentation styles of the Raj. The cooks were taught by their British ‘memsahibs’,” shares Puri, 66.The Saturday team
Puri and her family settled in Chennai back in 1990, but it’s only now that she has found time to share her culinary expertise. “My friend Annie Cherian started this Facebook page called The Saturday Kitchen earlier this year, offering Malayali cuisine. I joined her to offer North Indian food and later decided to start Rolling Pin and do Continental food too,” says Puri, who operates from Thiruvanmiyur and hopes to start delivery soon. On The Saturday Kitchen, images of mackerel curry in mud pots share space with palak paneer and Afghani chicken.
On the card
Back on Rolling Pin, Puri’s menu features quiches, lasagna, goulash, a whole line up of roasts (honey mustard hen, anyone?), pies and seafood, baked or batter fried. Save for the imported cheeses and olive oil, the ingredients that go into these recipes (be it lamb, chicken, beef or pork) are all locally sourced. Puri, who also discovered Green Goblin vegetables recently, shares that she usually sticks to classic recipes, but a little fusion (like a dab of masala in your quiche) can be thrown in for those who are fond of their spice. And like the Burmese khao swe that made its way onto her menu a week ago, Puri promises more additions as days go by.
Whole roast chicken from Rs 700 onwards. Details: 09600790328
— Ryan Peppin