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Chef Neeraj Rawoot, Executive Chef, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

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Chef Neeraj Rawoot, executive chef, Sofitel Mumbai BKC, opines it’s always advisable to source out your menu ingredients locally rather than depending upon imported ones, given that the approach helps you to sustain longer as the ingredients are available for a longer period of time and stay better too

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In my opinion, it’s always advisable to source out your menu ingredients locally rather than depending upon imported ones. This approach helps you to sustain longer as the ingredients are available for a longer period of time and stay better too. You get seasonal ingredients that add variety in your menus. These ingredients are cheaper and the cost trickles to the end-user, as a result, you sell more. You can support your local farmers and that’s good for the local food ecosystem as well. Interestingly, many vegetables that were imported earlier, are being grown locally now like avocados, zucchini, peppers, various kinds of herbs, lettuces and many more.

Curating menus at your hotel using local ingredients
At Sofitel Mumbai BKC, two of the outlets are based on Indian food and so the entire menus are based on local, seasonal products both vegetables and meats. Similarly, 90% of our all-day dining restaurant menu comprises of dishes made out of home grown ingredients. We process our own sausages and ham as well, which usually is imported in many hotels.

The one local ingredient your kitchen cannot do without
That would be Rajasthani Mathania chillies. This variety of dried red chillies is milder but imparts a rich, intense natural red colour dish to the dish. Red chilli is an integral part of Indian cuisine and adding this chilli paste makes the dish brighter and eye appealing. I think this is one important spice that my kitchen cannot do without. Our Nalli Nihari is very popular and we use these chillies in the preparation of the dish.

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