The colours of Holi have spread far and wide, painting the skies and our hearts in the festive spirit, the aroma of festive delicacies transports us to a faraway land, and the celebrations only get better as we dive into the world of delectable delights with none other than the culinary master, Chef Ajay Chopra

Holi special interview with Chef Ajay Chopra

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Renowned for his innovative approach and exceptional talent, Chef Ajay Chopra has left an indelible mark on the culinary landscape, tingling the taste buds with his creative flair and rich cultural inspirations. From hosting the first two seasons of the beloved show MasterChef India to creating wonders in kitchens worldwide, Chef Ajay Chopra’s journey is as flavourful as the festival of colours itself. Join us as we retrace the origins of Gujiya with Chef Ajay Chopra on the auspicious day of Holi.

SN: Holi and Gujiya go hand-in-hand, can you tell us a little bit about this sweet and its origin?

Chef Ajay: In the 16th century in the Braj region, particularly in areas like Mathura and Vrindavan, Gujiya became popular. It’s a sweet treat traditionally flavoured with cardamom. Gujiya and Chandrakala have been a part of the temple tradition for over 500 years.

SN: Can you tell us a little about Gujiya fillings, because the filling is surely the heart of the sweet. 

Chef Ajay: There are various types of Gujiya fillings, ranging from the classic khoya (milk solids) and dry fruits to variations with coconut, jaggery, and even chocolate.

SN: Is there a difference between how North and South Indians make Gujiya?

Chef Ajay: Yes, there are differences in the way Gujiya is made in North and South India. While the basic concept remains the same, North Indian Gujiya tends to be richer and sweeter, often filled with khoya and nuts, whereas South Indian versions might incorporate coconut or jaggery more prominently.

SN: If there was one Western ingredient that you could add to the Gujiya, what would it be?

Chef Ajay: If I were to add a Western ingredient to Gujiya, I might consider incorporating a hint of vanilla or almond extract to enhance the flavour profile

SN: Since Gujiya is an age-old sweet, do you think the younger generation is losing touch with the tradition of making it at home and consuming it?

Chef Ajay: With the convenience of store-bought sweets and busy lifestyles, there might be a shift away from traditional homemade Gujiya among the younger generation, but there’s also a growing interest in reviving culinary traditions.

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SN: Apart from Gujiya, what are the most popular foods people enjoy on Holi?

Chef Ajay: Apart from Gujiya, popular bites enjoyed on Holi include savoury snacks like samosas, pakoras, and chaat, as well as refreshing drinks like thandai.

SN: How are you celebrating Holi this year?

Chef Ajay: I don’t celebrate Holi, but I share recipes so everyone can enjoy the festivities.

SN: Which is your favourite Holi dish you enjoy making at home?

Chef Ajay: Even though I don’t celebrate Holi if I were to choose a favourite dish, it would be the preparation of Gujiya because of its rich tradition and delicious taste

SN: What’s the one thing about Holi that you love?

Chef Ajay: The vibrancy and joyous atmosphere of Holi, along with the spirit of togetherness and celebration, are what I love most about this festival.

Chef Ajay Chopra takes us on Gujiya Ride this Holi


As we wrap up the conversation with Chef Ajay Chopra, we’re reminded of the essence of tradition, togetherness, and the joy found in every bite. Through his culinary expertise and unwavering passion, Chef Ajay Chopra continues to bridge the gap between heritage and innovation, inviting us all to savour the richness of traditional dishes while embracing the flavours of tomorrow. 

Wishing you and your families, a very Happy Holi!