In the second instalment of Eating with Eatelish, we caught up with Sandip Soparrkar, dancer extraordinaire, just before his ballroom dancing class at St.Andrew’s started and chatted about all things food. Lounging on plastic chairs outside his dance class, absolutely comfortable despite the humidity, Sandip is relaxed and generous as he talks about his journey into dance.
Sandip trained in Hotel Management and even interned at some of the top hotels in the country before he realized his first love was dance. He then quit the hospitality industry for dance and never looked back.
He went on to become a ballroom dancer and trainer and the first Indian to be certified by the Ballroom Dance Teachers Training School in Bonn, Germany. He teaches and trains dancers in Latin American and Ballroom Dances, from beginners all the way up to Championship Level.
But the wonderful thing about training is that it never leaves you. Having studied hotel management and learning how to cook from an early age, his passion for food abides.
Here’s an excerpt of our conversation and his easy recipe for homemade fudge.
I love Gajalee for seafood. My wife is vegetarian and we love The Class for vegetarian food. And the daal at Sigdee is great.
Chocolate. Liquor chocolates, chocolates with dry fruits and nuts, dark bitter chocolate.
I really enjoy and recommend the handmade chocolates made by Mamta (98215 41524) & Avantika (98204 39065)
Memorable travel food experiences:
Loads of them.
Fried insects and cockroaches in Thailand. The cockroaches are crunchy and pretty tasty, a little like pakoras. I really enjoy Asian food as it is fresh and healthy. Love the soups and broths.
My most memorable meal was a 14 course meal at a wedding in France. The meal went on for 6 hours from hors d’oeuvres all the way to dessert and coffee. It was the most incredible experience. A different wine with each course. So many delicious courses. And the just the experience of spending so much time on a meal, enjoying the company of the people around you.
I also was surprised and enjoyed a tea tasting ceremony in Japan which was an elegant and beautiful experience.
Why hotel management:
We stayed at the Lake Palace in Udaipur with my uncle who was at a key post there. James Bond’s Octopussy was being shot there at the time and we stayed in a lovely room. I was charmed by the luxury and the idea of living in a hotel the way my uncle and aunt did. Of course hotel management training is quite a different reality, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
Pizza. I enjoy all kinds of pizza and indulge in a slice whenever my son wants to have some.
Last thing you cooked:
For my son’s birthday I made him a pineapple upside-down cake that looked like Chota Bheem. He loved it.
A recipe: Chocolate Fudge
A recipe from my school days… Chocolate Fudge made with condensed milk. It is simple and so tasty. And this is another thing I just made recently for my son. It takes about 5 minutes of preparation time and cooking time of about 20-25 mins. It makes about 20 pieces.
1 can Condensed Milk (like Milkmaid)
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
1 cup Walnuts/Raisins/Almonds, chopped into small pieces
150 gm Butter
2 tbs Flour (for the tray)
Melt the butter and mix all the ingredients together except the nuts walnuts in a kadai and heat.
Cook on low flame for 12 – 15 minutes till the mixture thickens and starts leaving the sides of the kadai. It should start to move in a mass (like halwa/sheera).
Mix in the nuts and raisins.
Pour onto a greased plate dusted with flour and let it cool.
When cool cut into squares or make balls depending on what shape you wish to give. You can even decorate your fudge with some pieces of nuts.
Photo from Sandip Soparrkar’s Facebook photos.