After a lifelong dedication to desi khana, does this delayed honour feel bitter-sweet?
No, I consider it more of a tribute to Indian food and our 6,000-year-old cuisine philosophies....
But it's you they've recognised....
Bedridden after my stroke four years ago, for the first time, I'm happy to be recognised as a whole person and not a semi-plegic.
Feeling stronger now?
Yes, I asked my physiotherapist to make me walk by November-end so I can receive my award unassisted.
Any projects you want to take on?
My endeavour has always been to revive lost cuisine arts. Like the genuine shahi tukra, which isn't a toast slice, but malai layers fried together.
Have we curried enough global flavour?
Hardly. Look at Kissinger. After his '72 China trip, he taught Americans to eat with chopsticks.
What's the missing diplomatic ingredient?
Chefs should accompany ambassadors. Maybe then Indian food abroad won't be equated to kebabs, black dal and tandoori roti.
How would you do it?