Head Chef Anirudh Arora began his career as a chef apprentice at the prestigious Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development in Delhi, where he finished top of his class in 1997. From there, Anirudh transferred to the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai where he was chef de cuisine at Kandahar, the speciality Indian restaurant in the hotel.

After a stint at Kandahar, he moved on to Udaivilas in Udaipur, the jewel in the Oberoi crown, where he was senior sous chef for two years. In 2003, Anirudh was offered, and accepted, the position of sous chef at Benares in London.

In 2005, Moti Mahal was seeking to expand globally and offered Anirudh the position of head chef at Moti mahal in London. Since running his own kitchen, Anirudh has grown into an exceptional chef, establishing his culinary skills though constantly developing innovative and seasonally changing menus. He is also heavily involved with the planning of future venture within the Moti Mahal Group.

Chingri malai (Prawns with coconut)

Ingredients

  • 3 green fresh coconuts
  • 2 green chillies, slit leangthways
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, mixed with water in a mill and reduced to a fine paste
  • 600g large raw shell-on prawns
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Method
Cut open the coconuts and, reserving the sweet coconut water, cut the flesh into chunks. Blend the soft flesh with a little water to obtain a smooth puree. Add 1 green chilli to his and cook over a low heat in a pan till it boils. Add the poppy seed paste and boil for a further 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Wash the prawns, drain and pat dry. Careflly remove the heads and shell, leaving the tails intact. Pour the oil into a pan, add the remaining green chilli and the prawns and saute for a few seconds. Add the coconut water and cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the prawns.

Add the coconut and poppy seed paste to the prawns and cook for a further 2 minutes, until teh sauce starts to thicken.

Season to taste and serve with lemon wedges.