MIRI MARY TELEGRAPH
Chapter two: The Culinary Mastermind
"Whilst Miri Mary carries an exquisite cocktail menu and is meant to become the home for people wanting to celebrate life and create new memories, the menu was surely not spared in the process."
Wanting to show that Indian Cuisine is much more than the fast-casual dining concepts you could find so far, Foram and Anand (the owners) sought the help of Nirvaan- a kitchen consult.
Nirvaan, a 28-year-old Mumbai native, was flown over from India to the Netherlands to help Foram set up a divine menu for Miri Mary. He was in the Netherlands for the first 3 months of Miri Mary to prime the kitchen team to run the menu which he has meticulously put together for the restaurant.
Hospitable, welcoming and warm are the three words he would use to describe the Indian culture. Although he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Netherlands, and of course its bitterballs ;), he feels that the Dutch could use a little more of India’s welcoming culture. Making the table bigger for someone and everyone to join in is a standard practice and a big part of the culture in India. As everyone wants to get together- to eat, drink, and chill. Abundance is the key in the Indian culture.
We are aware that Nirvaan has a degree in culinary science and has received his formal education in the art of food making from the renowned Culinary Institute of America, New York. But we wanted to know about his childhood and what intrigued his passion for food and the culinary world. Nirvaan's persistent character at a young age arose his interest in cooking. When he was around 6 years old, his family got a new cook. Whilst this sounds amazing, there was one big downside, he could not make dosa’s - fermented rice and lentil batter cooked into crepes. It was Nirvaan's favorite dish and the cook could not seem to manage the temperature right, thus, leaving them sticky with many holes.
Because of this, Nirvaan felt the urge to find the key to the perfect dosas himself. His thought at the tender age of 6 was "If I could do this right, I will be - The Master Chef of this house and not the cook". The meticulous person that he is, he got the recipe down from his grandma and started to keep a track of the fermeting process, the temperature and the tossing time, so as to make paper thin crispy dosas. As late as he would wake up and go to school, the earlier he got up during the weekends to cook breakfast for the entire family.
Sundays in India are all about food - breakfast, lunch and dinner - all is done in unison. This first encounter in the kitchen, needless to say, was a massive succes as his family coveted him with the title of Master Chef for making the yummiest dosas.
Nirvaan's first experience
in the kitchen didn't exactly
While cutting carrots he chopped off the top of his finger. Luckily, India has spices for e-v-e-r-y-thing. Did you know turmeric is a wondrous remedy for such cuts and bruises and is also best for cough and cold.
Whilst Dosa’s sparked his initial interest in cooking, his current favorite dish is - aloo sabzi, which is a simple home made dish made of boiled potato tossed in some tingling spices- cumin seeds, turmeric, dried chilli powder, dried mango powder, sesame seeds, asafetida, dried coriander powder and peanuts. You eat this with hot rotis. Every household in India makes their version of the aloo sabzi at least once every week, if not more. This simple dish is a dish of nostalgia for every Indian as it brings back memories of childhood and summer holidays where aloo sabzi is a staple on every kid's plate. Talking about rotis, there is a lot of overlap of Indian cuisine with the Surinamese cuisine as there is a lot of Indian ancestry present in Suriname.
When we asked Nirvaan about what is his favourite ingredient out of the zillion ingredients which goes into making of different varieties of the Indian cuisine. His answer was simple, but shocking - Butter, which is a staple piece in Nirvaan’s cooking. The velvetiness of butter gives you the opportunity to finish dishes off really nicely. And then there is OG - Ghee (Indian clarified butter), which is the type that is most often used in Indian cooking. When it comes to spices, he is a big fan of cumin. Did you know that in almost all Indian dishes they often add (after oil) cumin in the pan first?