Catching up with Chef Manjunath Mural

He talks about the changing global culinary trends along with a bonus recipe
Chef Mural
Chef Mural

When Michelin-star Chef Manjunath Mural led the kitchen at The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat recently, the table was full of Indian cuisine re-imagined for a global audience making it a fun and fine dining experience. We spoke to the Chef who now runs Cali Chilli in the US and Adda in Singapore about the changing culinary practices, food pop-ups, and how Michelin changed his life, along with a bonus recipe.

Has there been a change in the culinary sphere, especially in taking Indian food to a global platform?

From my experience, I shifted gears from fine dining to fun dining through Adda in Singapore. As a chef, you want to give the best food that should make people happy.  Today, the mindset has changed. Now people want a package- good food, drinks and atmosphere. Food has become versatile, uses robust elements, and has more visual appeal. Chefs have changed their styles because of these demands in the market.

What are the key things that you like to serve people?

First, it’s the taste and combination of flavours that I don’t play around with. Second, I like to use a lot of Western elements. When I make samosa I use goat cheese, white asparagus, edamame, and potatoes. It gives a new high to Indian cuisine. Third, refining the sauces without playing around with the aromas. Fourth, my presentation; for instance, I re-imagined butter chicken through a pot pie.

Three dishes that people should have from your restaurant…

Butter Chicken Pot Pie, Siliguri Mustard Prawn, Luksa Salmon

How do food pop-ups help in the exchange of culinary influences?  

It’s all about sharing. Cross-restaurant pop-ups involve two brains who create something unique and the customers are the end beneficiaries. Now, coming from Singapore, I’ll bring various flavours with me and give them to the chefs here, who will further use them somewhere. It’s an exchange of ideas. You can re-invite the customers because they love having different kinds of gastronomical experiences. There’s a lot of enjoyment in pop-ups and you do a lot of different things.

How has Michelin changed your life?

When you become a Michelin restaurant, the expectation also rises, leading to high pressure with consistency. As a leader and chef, I became calmer and supported the team.

What inspires you to go on?

I’m very passionate. Even in my next life, I want to become a chef. What motivates me is that I keep learning new things every time. Whenever I travel, I gather more knowledge which I implement in my work. I have a desire to do something in the mass market.

Any trend that will pick up in 2024

Sustainability, the concept of Farm to Table, Plant-based meat, and Chefs are doing gluten-free or dairy-free menus which will grow. International cuisine will be modified into Indian style and come into the market.

Bonus Recipe: Kale Chaat


·        Kale

·        Pineapple pieces

·        Strawberry pieces

·        Pomegranate seeds

·        Potatoes cut into cubes

·        Avocado

·        Yogurt

·        Jaggery

·        Tamarind sauce/mint sauce


·        Fry Kale leaves (no batter required)

·        Place the fried leaves on a plate. Add cut pineapples, strawberries, pomegranates, and potatoes.

·        Mix yogurt and jaggery into a smooth paste and add it to the plate.

·        Add tamarind or mint chutney.

·        Place some cooked avocado slices on top for garnishing.

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