Culinary stars, the famous Qureshi brothers, visited Q Lounge at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, to celebrate their Indian heritage and share ancient recipes and foodie secrets with diners. FACT went to meet both Mohammed Irfan Qureshi and Mohammed Ashfaque Qureshi to talk about (and sample) heritage cooking with a twist…
The Qureshi brothers belong to a family whose historical roots grow deel into the culinary world. With their father, the grand master of Indian cuisine, Imtiaz Qureshi, being their mentor, brothers Irfan and Ashfaque have a passion for good food and are known for pushing culinary boundaries.
“It [cooking] runs in our blood,” they say. “Our family has spent time and effort in researching and developing signature cuisines from every corner of the vast sub-continent,” they add. “So it is just the continuation of their legacy to create notable recipes.”
“We always wanted to come to Doha. Qatar has a great selection of foods, from traditional Arabic, to Asian and many international cuisines. Souq Waqif offers fine dining options to diners who are seeking a combination of quality foods that help to satisfy their cravings.”
Encouragement from within the family pushes the brothers to try ageold recipes from ancient manuscripts and turn these into innovative and unusual combinations. Two special heritage cuisine’s perfected by the Qureshis are categorised as Frontier and Dum Pukht. The origin of these two special cuisine is steeped in history. With the entry of Mughal and other nomadic tribes from Afghanistan and Persia, the kitchen of India acquired different flavours over time.
The more rugged culinary styles of these tribes gave birth to the Tandoor. To the cuisine of India, the Mughals brought in the richer methods of cooking using dates and nuts, while a subtler and more refined form was created through the Dum Pukht cuisine of the Nawab of Awadh.
The Frontier cuisine may be considered the legacy of the Grand Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi, who was responsible for introducing the concept of the ‘stand-up tandoor’ and for adding a touch of perfection to the recipes served at restaurant as well as creating recipes that are now on the menus of tandoori restaurants all over the world.
The distinctive Dum Pukht cuisine has found a niche for itself. And is finding new converts every day. Immensely popular, the cuisine promises the experience that the international gourmet scene wants. With so many distinctive tastes and techniques, it’s no wonder that the brothers’ favourite ingredient is saffron, and when we ask them what makes the perfect dum pukht biryani, they reply “basmati, basmati, basmati, and technique!”
This also happens to be their favourite dish to cook! “We are proud to say that we do almost 150 types of Biryanis which are categorised as our heritage cuisines.” The brothers’ advice and tips for cooking good Indian food include: “The ingredients should be well balanced; too many spices don’t make a great dish. It’s the correct combination, which makes a perfect dish.
“Always use Genuine Kashmiri Chili and other spices which are fresh and pure,” they say. One dish that they both found difficult to master was the famous kakori kabab, and what we love to hear is that Irafan and Ashfaque continue to work together and come up with exciting dishes. “It always excites us to create a new menu as a team as we continuously come up with superb flavours and fusion foods which match our culture and taste,” the brothers’ say. “We both believe that good food comes from great produce and that’s how we create food that delights our guests. It’s our great pride to see our diners feasting on our amazing dishes.”