I have my own. It’s in India.”
On the other hand, while in India – at an Indian Restaurant – the host explained why the best kind of saffron is in India because “in India it’s the true saffron”. It goes without saying that saffron is not cheap. In India you can go and buy a 1kg. bag of Indian saffron for $20-25 in Delhi.
Is that cheap enough to justify the expensive version?
“Not really. But it’s good saffron.”
So if you can’t afford it then what’s the point? It’s certainly not as bad as the ‘fake saffron’ out there.
“People think I’m making fake saffron. Well I am, but with all the other stuff out there in India I won’t get a lot of feedback if people think I’m not doing my bit.”
It’s not only the lack of price pressure that saffron is lacking: there is also limited availability.
“One of my chefs, who is working at another restaurant in Delhi, used to make saffron every night. Now, he’s switched to making saffron by the whole restaurant. We have to import it.”
On his cooking styles which include some that are very ‘Indian’. (Photo: Rajeev Chandrasekhar)
This is not a situation to be proud of but it’s something he has tried. “We have to make sure things are very authentic. We don’t say ‘I want to try this’ and make it, we make it and test our work and look at each new version.”
The same goes for his style: he likes to mix and match, incorporating his own taste and tastes.
“In my restaurants you will have one menu, but on our menu you will see there is a different kind of dish and you’ll find a lot of things we didn’t do, as we try different combinations.”
For now, that’s still his current focus – and he wants it to continue. “I want to focus on what really needs to change.”
You will find out more about Rajeev Chandrasekhar at his restaurant, which will soon be accepting reservations.
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