Renowned Indian chef Floyd Cardoz joins Rob Rosenthal in The Daily Meal kitchen to talk all things Indian food, while cooking up a masala omelette along with Goan-style marinated chicken livers.
In the second installment of the Hot Lunch Program, renowned Indian chef Floyd Cardoz joins host Rob Rosenthal in The Daily Meal kitchen for a lunch of Goan-style marinated chicken livers and a masala omelette, inspired by two of Cardoz’s at-home staples.
The chef studied biochemistry in college, but quickly realized he couldn’t see himself spending his career in a lab.
In 1998, Cardoz became the executive chef of Tabla, the contemporary Indian restaurant within Union Square Hospitality Group that later earned three stars from The New York Times. It was the first Indian restaurant to do so.
After the groundbreaking restaurant closed in 2010, Cardoz went on to become the executive chef of another USHG restaurant, North End Grill. In April of last year, Cardoz announced his decision to depart from the restaurant group to pursue other projects, including a restaurant in Mumbai, India, where he grew up.
There, at Bombay Canteen, Cardoz has been working diligently to expand the face of Indian food beyond the North Indian cuisine — think chicken tikka masala, naan, and saag paneer — that dominates restaurant culture. Undoubtedly, that trend has also affected the way Indian food is perceived outside of the country.
“Our food is very seasonal in India, [yet] you’ve never seen an Indian restaurant that changes its menu, which is very frustrating. Indian restaurants here [in the United States] use ingredients that are not familiar to people. Now there are a lot of things in India that you don’t see in Indian restaurants, which is my frustration.”
One of those underrepresented ingredients is the simple egg, which Cardoz assures us is quite common in Indian cooking. The chef’s masala omelette, made at home on the weekends, is a take on a popular paper-thin breakfast often peddled near train stations to morning commuters. In tribute to the food of Goa, the former Portuguese province where the chef’s family originates, Cardoz makes Goan-style marinated chicken livers with black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, clove, and turmeric.