Monish is a man I have known for several years through the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Credited as the “Man who gave Tandoori to the World” Monish Gujral is the Managing Director of Moti Mahal, an international chain of restaurants and franchises across India and the world. Moti Mahal can justly claim to be the representative face of North Indian cuisine across continents.
Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist , Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.
Monish has expanded the Company from 4 restaurants in Delhi to more than a 100 company-owned restaurants and franchises – 88 in India, and others in the Middle East, Canada, South East Asia, China, Europe and the United States.
This expansion is driven not simply by a desire to establish an empire, but by the imperative mission to preserve the authenticity of true North Indian cuisine ,with its trademark substratum of Punjabi-Pathani flavours. In Monish’s words , “This cuisine is a tradition to follow, a culture to preserve and a legacy to inherit”.
Monish is one of the country’s foremost food- writers and has been a columnist with India’s leading newspapers – The Hindustan Times (‘Food Wise’) and The Hindu (‘Food Trendz) currently he is a columnist with New Indian Express . He has hosted several well-received cookery shows on television for NDTV and Doordarshan. Recently he hosted Tv serial called Health mange more on Food food channel .
He is the author of two very successful cookery books that have received wide critical acclaim:
‘Moti Mahal’s Tandoori Trail’ published in 2004, besides being a treasure-trove of recipes, includes a compilation of rare archival photographs of the Kennedys, Nehru, Indira Gandhi, the Shah of Iran and other illustrious people who have over the years , succumbed to the delights of the Moti Mahal kitchens. The book was presented to the then President of India , his Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who enjoyed it so immensely that he presented copies of it as national gifts to visiting Heads of State . The book went on to top best-seller lists in the Cookery genre for 4 consecutive years in several countries. In 2004 , it was a finalist for the 10th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards , and in 2007, it was voted Best Book at the Indian Curry Festival in London
His second book, ‘On the Butter Chicken Trail’ published by Penguin India this year , bagged the Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2010 , in the Best Easy Recipe category , within a few months of its release.