British chef, Gary Rhodes is known for hosting shows like the Master Chef, Hell’s kitchen, and his own TV series. After losing a culinary battle to famous Indian chef Atul Kochhar in 2006, he sets on a culinary journey to India for discovering the Indian cuisine in 2007. With his handpicked apprentices( Bushra Akram, Scott Davis, and Kalwant Sahota) he embarks the journey from the royal kitchens to the street kitchens to find the real taste of India and their ingredients as well as how to prepare the delicious recipes that he comes across in his ten part series of Rhodes Across India.
Local food lovers help them look for the special dishes of the particular region taking them to Delhi, Goa, Mumbai and Jaipur. The first episode starts in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and the land of the Kings where he goes to learn how to prepare strong aromatic spices and floral scented dishes like the Sailana Junglee Murgh and Barbecued Quail for Mughal Rulers. Next, they visit Goa, where they besides learning the cooking, learn the tricks of buying the vegetables from the fish market. Preparing spicy pickled prawn, peri peri masala and the rest of the coastal dishes inspired by the Portuguese tradition. Gary for the first time tries the perennial favourite dish-pork vindaloo.
After learning to prepare earthly and full-flavored Punjabi dishes with must Indian flatbreads, fried onion, ginger and garlic masalas, Mr. Rhodes tries cooking the classic Panner Tikka at the end of this episode. Food expert Salma Husain guides Gary through Mughali cuisine highlighting the favourite Mughali cuisine, lamb qorma. The apprentices visit a 100-year-old restaurant for the lavish dinner and the famous Biryani. Kakori Kebab and Qaliya Mehtabi (Creamy Chicken Curry) goes to the list. It's the ideal opportunity for Gary and the team to find out about Bengali cooking. As a feature of the expectation to learn and adapt, they taste prawns which are cooked inside a coconut and also pay a visit to a Bengali family. Bengali dishes with a hint of turmeric spice rubs, mustard seed masalas and smoky mustard oil like the Chingrir Malai (Prawn Curry) and Sorshe Maach (Mustard Fish) made to the list.
Gary and the gang move next to purely vegetarian cuisine, the Gujarati cuisine. They even visit a restaurant where they order food by sign language. The recipes added to the Gary and the gang’s list like Gram Dal Fritters, Potato and Green Pea Pattice, Coconut Okra etc all over Gujarati dishes are usually sweetened - the touch of Gujarat cooking. The team goes on learning the local Parsi cuisine. Steaming pomfret fillets in banana leaves to attending the Parsi wedding of the big meat eaters, they learn on the recipes of Akoori (Spiced Scrambled Egg) and Jardaloo ma Gosht(Lamb and Apricot Curry). Aloo Methi (Potatoes with Mustard Greens) sounds delicious but without onions or garlic? This time, the team goes to a temple where onions and garlic are part of not being vegetarian.
They seem to enhance lusty thoughts. With minimum tomatoes and abundant of buttermilk, they learn the religious cuisine, 100 percent pure vegetarian, Marwari cuisine. Indian’s fast food is the street food. The team roams the Delhi streets checking out the puffed rice snacks, the smoky hot kebabs, and the creamy kulfis, everything that the street has to offer them. The street has food for everyone. Ending their culinary adventure to end with learning the street food recipes of Kathi kebab, pau bhaji, chana masala, etc. Finally, the judgment day arrives for Gary and his apprentices. They have to put their learning into practice by preparing for a banquet for India’s 60th Independence day celebration. Not only preparing the dishes but also preparing it in a famous Indian restaurant, Benares, owned by none other than Atul Kochhar