Yash Sinha is an Indian actor who currently essays the role of Bablu Singh in Zee TV’s Afsar Bitiya. In the past he had played pivotal roles in serials like Bhagyavidhaata, Teen Bahuraaniyaan and Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai. Yash is applauded and recognized in the industry for his acting skills but it’s a lesser known fact that Yash is a big foodie and is always on the lookout for the best restaurants in town. He also likes to replicate the taste of a dish he has liked at an eatery at home! In fact that is his favorite hobby! The actor considers cooking very therapeutic. It’s not only a hobby but also a stress buster
Q. Tell us about your first love – food.
I am a hard core non-vegetarian but can eat anything that is edible and tastes good. Though North Indian cuisine tops my priority list, what I appreciate the most are the local specialties that every place has to offer. Whenever I go to a new place, I chat with locals, take their recommendation and make sure I don’t leave the place before sampling their local fare. Till date I have never been disappointed.
Q. What influenced you to take up food as a serious hobby?
My grandmother was an excellent cook, my maternal uncle owns a very popular restaurant, The Maurya in Patna, my grandfather has a mutton dish named after him (its popularly called nana ka mutton in our family) , my father is big foodie … need I say more. Since childhood I have been experimenting with different herbs, spices and cold cuts.
Q. What is your favorite thing to cook?
I am a specialist in cooking different dishes of mutton but I also seek out new ways to carry on tradition, by cooking recipes passed down from my grandparents and father. My signature dish is a mutton starter which is a unique concoction of shammi and galauti kebabs put together. Every time I throw a house party, I get special requests for my signature dish.
Q. What do you like to eat when you are out of India?
The moment I land in London I head straight to have fish and chips. It’s a pity we do not get cod fish in India and the frozen ones available are not a worthy substitute to the taste of a fresh catch. I have learnt how to make the batter with beer and can make excellent fish and chips using local fillets.I am extremely fond of European cheese; never fail to pick up my stock of Camembert, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Edam and my favorite, Swiss cheese.
I will share an interesting incident. I got a temporary cavity filling just before going to Bangkok so that I can eat my heart out when I am there. The day I landed I headed straight to the local market and popped in a whole frog. While chomping, one of the legs took the temporary filling out of the cavity, leaving me in excruciating pain. I must have scouted every medical store in Bangkok searching for an emergency dental cavity filling kit. After three – four days I gave up and said to myself, “Jo hoga Bombay jaake dekh lenge, as of now I will gorge on the local delicacies.”
Q. Your love of food takes you places. How do you plan to make use of this vast experience?
I want to do two things. Firstly I want to anchor a food show and secondly I want to open an unusual theme based restaurant. Before you ask me more about the theme, let me tell you that I will not speak a word about it as I know the concept is really unique and the place will be a huge hit once it opens its doors. If people get a whiff of what I am planning to do, within a month there will be a place up and running based on MY concept.
Q. What challenges have you faced while pursuing your hobby?
I only use fresh, simple, wholesome ingredients and love to experiment and try to make things that I have tasted in restaurants during my travels. Earlier it was very difficult to source common herbs and condiments like thyme, rosemary and fresh basil but now-a day’s exotic herbs and spices have found their way into supermarkets, making them easily accessible. Paprika is one condiment I still source from abroad.