OK! OKMAGAZINE.COM 41
hef Maneet Chauhan’s love
affair with food started at a
young age. “There’s a
standing joke in my family
that I was born with a
ladle in my hand,” shares Maneet, who
grew up in a small town in India and
spent most of her childhood immersed
in local cuisine. “My style of cooking is
[heavily] influenced by [that time in my
life],” she notes, “and different regional
Indian cuisine.” That’s clear from the
innovative meals on the menu at
Maneet’s newest Nashville eatery,
Chaatable. “We have dishes, like Hot
Chicken Pakora, that pay homage to
Nashville — my new home — while still
staying true to my roots,” she says. Here,
Maneet sits down with chef Judy Joo to
chat about her food and how Chopped
has changed her life.
Why did you choose Nashville to open
I was amazed at the dynamic scene
there — especially in terms of music.
I thought, this is a city that supports art
— and to me, food is art.
Do a lot of celebs visit the restaurant?
A lot of country music stars dine with us.
There’s not a large Indian community in
Nashville. Have you had to educate the
The community has a very sophisticated,
refined and global palate. What they’re
looking for is good food, and it doesn’t
matter what kind of cuisine it is.
Why did you choose your Chicken Tikka
Poutine recipe to share with OK!?
It’s a fun nod to the Canadian classic
and a great way to introduce people to
You’ve been a judge on Chopped for
almost a decade. What’s the most
memorable dish — good or bad — that
The one that was most challenging for me
was a “viewer’s choice” episode in which
balut [a fertilized duck egg, a Filipino
delicacy] was an ingredient. But overall,
judging the show is incredible. The amount
I’ve learned about ingredients, people and
their stories has enriched me as a person
and as a chef.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp tandoori
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon
- 4 minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced
- 4 tsp salt
- 4 chicken breasts
- Mozzarella slices
- Cilantro leaves
- 4 oz unsalted
- 2 tbsp tandoo
- 1/4 cup dried
- 3 cups canned
- 1 cup heavy
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt, to taste
- Canola oil, for
- 3 large russet
- Chaat masala
CHICKEN TIKKA POUTINE
For Tandoori Chicken:
- Heat butter in a small pan over medium
heat. Add the tandoori masala, stirring
often, until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk the spice mixture into the yogurt,
then mix in the lemon juice, garlic, ginger
- Coat the chicken with the marinade.
Chill, covered, for at least 1 hour
(preferably 6) but no more than 8 hours.
- Arrange chicken on a greased baking
sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25
minutes, or until an instant-read
thermometer inserted into the chicken
measures 165 degrees. Shred chicken and
For Makhani Sauce:
- Heat the butter in saucepan until melted.
Add the tandoori masala and fenugreek
leaves. Sauté until aromatic.
- Stir in the marinara sauce. Bring to a
- Stir in the cream, honey and salt and
simmer for 5 minutes.
- Heat the oil to 300 degrees.
- Have a bowl of cold water ready. Scrub
the potatoes under cold running water.
Cut the potatoes lengthwise into long,
1/2-inch-thick sticks. Immediately place
them in the cold water to prevent
- When the oil is at temperature,
increase the heat to high. Drain the
potatoes well, pat them dry and carefully
drop a third of them into the hot oil. This
is the moment when the oil could
overflow. If it looks like it might, pull a few
potatoes out quickly, using a slotted
spoon or tongs, until the oil subsides.
- Have a baking sheet ready. Keep an
eye on the temperature of the oil. It will
drop to about 260 degrees after the
potatoes are added. Continue cooking
the potatoes without disturbing them
until the oil heats back to 300 degrees,
about 5 minutes. Remove the cooked
potatoes carefully with a slotted spoon or
tongs. Shake them lightly over the pot to
drain the excess oil. Place them on the
prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the
rest of the potatoes. Occasionally,
between batches, the temperature of the
oil can get too high. If that happens, turn
off the heat and wait until the oil cools to
300 degrees before proceeding.
- Once all the potatoes have been fried,
fry them all together a second time, this
time at 320 degrees. (They will crisp in
about 5 minutes.) Shake off the excess oil,
transfer fries to a large serving bowl and
sprinkle generously with the chaat masala.
- Fill a cast-iron skillet with the fries. Top
with the shredded chicken, makhani sauce
- Put in the oven on a broiler setting until
the cheese has melted and is golden
brown. Serve garnished with cilantro.
Chef Judy Joo