Masala Magazine Thailand

Home » Manav Khanna, Sous Chef at Gaa, shares two simple recipes injected with his signature culinary flair

Manav Khanna, Sous Chef at Gaa, shares two simple recipes injected with his signature culinary flair

by Nikki Kumar

Where simplicity meets magic in a bowl!
By Ayush Madan

Manav Khanna is the senior sous chef at Gaa, a renowned Indian restaurant in Thong Lo with two Michelin stars. While he has been part of the team at Gaa for over six years now, Chef Manav’s cooking experience extends all the way back to his childhood.

In our conversation, he recalls first learning how to cook via YouTube videos and TLC, as well as helping his mother and his aunt in the kitchen. In 2012, at the age of 18, Manav applied to the STEP program offered by Oberoi Hotels & Resorts at The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, a luxury hotel in Rajasthan. After finishing the program, he relocated to another 5-star hotel – the Trident BKC in Mumbai – before eventually leaving to join a restaurant in Delhi called Lavaash by Saby. Chef Manav admits to me that joining this restaurant was eye-opening. They made Bengali Armenian cuisine in a bohemian style setting, and he worked here for nine months, truly finding his groove as a professional cook. From this point on, he knew he wanted to work in a restaurant and be part of a team that had a clear vision. He was no longer content just making good food, and wanted to offer diners a true culinary experience. As it would happen, in 2017, a friend of his working at Gaggan brings him whispers of a new Indian restaurant in Bangkok called Gaa looking for interns. And the rest is history.

Even after appearing as a guest chef on Masterchef India, being interviewed for the Times of India, and becoming a member of Chef Garima’s legendary culinary cohort, Chef Manav is someone who is down to earth and very personable. He tells me some of his favourite foods to eat are still the basics: rajma chawal or kari chawal with a side of onions and chillies. In keeping with that theme, I asked Chef Manav to give our readers two basic recipes that anyone can make at home. One is a simple oven-roasted appetizer, while the other is a rich and buttery curry.


PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 20 min
• Chicken thigh – 500 gm
• Oil – 25 ml
• 1 large chopped onion
• 1 medium sized chopped tomato
• 3 green chillies sliced in half
• Chopped ginger – 20 gm
• Chopped garlic – 20 gm
• Cumin powder – 10 gm
• Turmeric powder – 10 gm
• Coriander powder – 15 gm
• Red chilli powder – 10 gm
• Special spice mix (the real deal) – 15 gm
• Coriander chopped – 15 gm
• Lime – 1
• Ghee – 20 gm

1. Take a pan, add oil.
2. Saute ginger and garlic until fragrant and golden.
3. Add your chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.
4. Add your masalas and cook.
5. Add a bit of water to deglaze and release all those great flavours from the bottom of the pan.
6. Add the chicken and cook with the masala.
7. Add the tomato and cook until the curry comes together and starts smelling great.
8. Add salt accordingly.
9. Finish your curry with lime, ghee and coriander.
10. Enjoy this delicious chicken curry with a side of rice


PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 20 min

• Gunpowder masala
• Basmati rice – 90 gm
• Channa dal – 100gm
• Long red chilli -10 gm
• Curry leaves – 5gm
• Sesame seed – 15gm
• Urad dal – 15gm
• Peanuts – 80gm
• Salt – 10gm
• Potatoes – 2
• Yoghurt – 100 gm
• Microgreens
• Coriander

1. Roast the spices for the gunpowder masala and blend into a fine powder
2. Cut two potatoes into cubes
3. Add them to water and parboil them on the stovetop
4. Once they are parboiled, add oil and salt, and roast at 200 C for 10 min
5. Toss the roasted potatoes with ghee and gunpowder masala.
6. In a separate bowl, add yogurt, live charcoal and oil, and cover with saran wrap. Smoke it for 15 min.
7. Pipe the smoked yogurt on top and garnish with micro greens or coriander before serving.

Related Articles