Chef Gajendra Singh Chauhan And His Culinary Journey

Some diners have commented that they can taste the freshness and flavors of the produce in each bite.
Chef Gajendra Singh Chauhan And His Culinary Journey
Chef Gajendra Singh Chauhan And His Culinary Journey

They celebrate culinary emotions at Under The Neem, which serves a cuisine designed by Chef Gajendra Singh Chauhan himself. With a vegetable garden next door, they obtain most of their food in-house and from Sabz Bagh. The farmer, rather than the chef, controls the menu when using locally sourced seasonal products. Some diners remark they can taste the freshness and flavours of the produce in every bite.

Here are excerpts from our chat 

How did you decide to go to culinary school and pursue cooking as a career 

Growing up in the middle of a family-run hotel, I was always excited to help my grandfather in the kitchen during my school days. Sometimes cutting or chopping, or even standing in a corner and enjoying the aromas filling the kitchen. This helped me realise that my passion lay in the culinary field. So my childhood interest became my career.

Have you had trouble sourcing ingredients 

Not quite. We have always had fair contracts with sustainable ingredient suppliers for a long time. Especially at Under The Neem, where the farmers guide the menu, it&rsquos been fairly easy. Most of our vegetable and fruit produce comes from the company&rsquos sister brand -Sabz Bagh, an organic farm based out of Chattarpur.

What is your food philosophy

Sustainable food practices guide our cuisine. As I mentioned, our menu changes from season to season and features locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic food and mindfully sourced meat, fish and poultry. This way, we also ensure our support of biodiversity and contribute less to global warming. Our cooking techniques, like barbecues and low-heat ovens, also presume the inherent nutritional value of food, which is another key focus area for me.

Is there a secret ingredient that you love to cook with

Tahini, There is hardly anything this toasted sesame paste can not do. I like to use it as a rub on meats & vegetables like cauliflower and pumpkin before cooking to throw in a nutty flavour. Mixing it with olive oil gives me a creamy vegan sauce that elevates my salads. Chocolate & Tahini fusion is decadent. We often swap peanut butter with tahini in desserts too. 

What are your thoughts on sustainable ingredients

Following our thought process for environment conservation, we largely source organic and locally grown produce. The goal of sustainable ingredients is to minimise the impact our food has on the planet. I would also like to share some quick tips for your readers on choosing sustainable ingredients. It&rsquos as simple as buying local and seasonal produce. Always look for sustainable labels and start your kitchen garden. 

Any recipe you want to share

Kumatiye ka Raita.

It&rsquos a lost recipe from the arid regions of West Rajasthan &ndash Jaisalmer Kumatiya is called Acacia Senegal. It&rsquos like a lost cousin of Ker & Sangri. It can grow in any circumstance and is extremely good for the heart. As of today, with farmers moving to modern forms of agriculture, Kumatiya is, unfortunately, being cut down. And thats why I want to spread awareness about this unique ingredient to save its vegetation and spread.

Here is the recipe.

20 gms Kumatiya seeds

100 gm curd

5 gm Green Coriander,

chopped 1 tsp Mustard seeds

½ tsp Turmeric powder

Black Salt, to taste


1. Wash the kumatiya seeds and soak them in hot water for half an hour.

2. Heat some oil. Add mustard seeds and turmeric powder.

3. Add to the curd and add in the seeds.

4. Season with black salt and finish with green coriander.

It was also a major ingredient for the Panchkuta ki Sabji.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller