fine food - Vineet Bhatia

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Qatar Airways First and Business Class passengers have been dining on Vineet Bhatia’s classic and original dishes ever since he was appointed as the airline’s Culinary Ambassador in 2012.


Born in Mumbai, Vineet uses influences based on the traditions of Indian life and family. Trained at the Oberoi School of Hotel Management in New Delhi, he has created light and imaginative dishes that display a clever balance between innovation and an immense respect for the history of Indian cooking.

Vineet received his first Michelin star in 2001, becoming the first Indian chef-restaurateur to do so in 102 years. His personal venture Rasoi in London also received a Michelin star in 2006, and has been leading the way with cutting-edge and innovative cuisine. In 2009, Rasoi by Vineet, at the Mandarin Oriental Geneva, was also awarded a Michelin star, making Vineet the only Indian chef to hold a Michelin star in two different countries.

His book Rasoi – New Indian Kitchen features his signature dishes.


South Indian Lentil and Tomato Rasam, Prawns and Spring Onions

Serves four


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger, crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300g well-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 100g toover daal (split pigeon peas), boiled until tender, then drained
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 8 medium-sized cooked prawns, diced
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • salt

Rasam powder:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  •  teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves, deep-fried in hot oil for a few seconds, until crisp
  •  teaspoon turmeric


Preparing the rasam powder:

  1. Lightly toast all the spices separately in a dry frying pan.
  2. Put them in a spice mill or coffee grinder with the curry leaves and turmeric and grind to a fine powder.

Preparing the soup:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the curry leaves, ginger, and garlic and sauté for a minute.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, along with a third of the rasam powder (the rest can be kept in an airtight container for a month, but you probably won’t manage to keep it that long, as it’s lovely). Cook, stirring constantly, until the tomatoes begin to break down.
  3. Add 100ml water and the boiled toover daal. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tamarind pulp, cook for five minutes, then pass through a fine sieve.
  5. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with the diced prawns and chopped spring onions.
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