Gurus of Indian Cuisine: 5 Chefs with Glamour, Gujarati, and Everything In-between

With thanks to the the Western world increasingly opening up to the tastes of Indian food, the vibrant and colourful cuisine has quickly garnered worldwide acclaim. Helping to pioneer this status are leading Indian celebrity chefs, who hail from all corners of the globe, to build into authentic dishes even greater flair and character. These gurus can make any Indian dish simply irresistible. That’s why, here at Zouk, we are always tuned into drawing influence from these top taste-makers to keep our meals at the very top of the game. See below a snapshot of our favourite gurus of Indian cuisine.

Tarla Dalal


With cooking shows ‘The Tarla Dalal Show’, and ‘Cook It Up With Tarla Dalal’, this Mumbai-born food connoisseur was one of the most critically acclaimed Indian chefs.The cooking community was devastated to lose such an inspirational character when she passed away in 2013 – but she has bestowed upon us a legacy that can never be forgotten.

It was well-known that her favourite Indian cuisine was Gujarati, which relates back to the western Indian state Gujarat, where unique seafood and vegetarian dishes with sweet, salty and spicy blends are dinner-time staples. Following her very first cook book, ‘The Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking’ back in 1974, these ambrosial recipes form an integral part of many of the 100 books she had penned since.

Sanjeev Kapoor


Sanjeev has also been responsible for putting India on the culinary map with his authentic kitchen masterpieces. Splitting his time between restaurant consultancy, hosting cooking shows and passionately writing recipe books, his name has been lent to many restaurants across India. Having recently broken the world record for the largest imarti and jalebi (Indian sweetmeats), Sanjeev continues to amaze us with his mastery of elegant Indian dishes.

You can explore his easy how-to guides over on his website, on his very own FoodFood TV channel, or famous show Khana Khazana. These are especially useful for acquiring knowledge on how to give traditionally unhealthy recipes a nutritious and healthy revamp.

Anjum Anand


Anjum is a London-born chef that is often referred to as the ‘Nigella’ of Indian cuisine, given her warm TV personality, passion for food and wholesome appearance. Anjum has helped popularise foreign cuisine in the western world with a kitchen approach that is light and healthy. This proves to be a fantastic access-point for newcomers who seek simple recipes that are still packed with taste.

Anjum has shared her expertise over on the BBC, Food Channel, and continues to pen recipes for The Times Online and on her personal site.

Vikas Khanna


Vikas, especially known for his role hosting TV show MasterChef India and for appearing as a consultant chef on Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, is a Michelin-starred Indian chef based in New York City. His extraordinary, celebrity career was established from humble beginnings, where he would trial dish creation in the kitchen with his mum.

Now the poster boy of Indian food, he has experienced the pleasure of cooking for Indian President Narendra Modi, and satvik food for President Barack Obama.

Madhur Jaffrey


Madhur, born in Civil Lines, Delhi, was educated in Britain and now resides in New York City. This follows a vibrant career spanning acting, travel writing and working as a food consultant. Now at the grand age of 82, she has led perhaps one of the most intriguing lives of all of our favourite Indian chefs.

Experiencing the effects of the partition of the British Indian Empire while at school-age, she was subject to friction in daily life that was characterised by mass migration and the killing of spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Following these formative years in tumultuous times, the chef has since written a childhood memoir of India, called Climbing Mango Trees. You can find out more about Madhur’s work here.

If you’d like to see more of Zouk straight from the camera – head over to our very own YouTube channel, where you’ll be privy to our short recipe videos showcasing snippets of our exceptional food on offer.