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What makes Little MasterChef Foodie Jai Maini a Rockstar in the Kitchen!

Name – Jai Maini

Instagram handle - @onlymejai

What is your favourite food memory from childhood?
I love Shawarma. I got introduced to it first time in Nairobi, Kenya. My parents and me, we just love it.
What’s your favourite comfort food?
Nacho with Salsa Sauce.
3 reasons why you consider yourself a Foodie?
1) I love tasting new cuisines.
2) Whichever place I visit, I try the local food there.
3) I watch YouTube learn new dishes. I also go the extra mile by trying to make them with my Mom’s assistance. 

Which are your three favourite cuisine? Why?

1) Italian- for all the lovely pastas and pizzas.

2) Indian - especially the Punjabi food for all the rich flavours.

3) Chinese - for the Hakka noodles and variety of soups.

Do you have a favourite food ingredient?

My favorite food ingredient is Basil.

What’s the strangest dish you’ve ever tried?

My uncle made me eat Sushi and I found it strange at that time.

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What is your favourite fruit and vegetable? And your favourite herb/spice?

My favorite fruit is Papaya.
My favorite vegetable is Lady Fingers.

My favorite herb/spice is Oregano.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would love to eat Chicken Nuggets and Barbecue Chicken Wings with rice.

Have you ever travelled anywhere just/mainly for the food?

Yes, my family likes to experiment with food and new outlets and for that we travel quite a bit.  For some reason, food is a motivating factor for my mom Shruti, as she is quite a foodie herself. So this one time, we went to Bangkok and visited many food stalls at the Pratunam market area. I loved the Omelette with rice there.

What’s been your biggest kitchen splurge so far?

The time when my mom let me make Tandoori Chicken (obviously she helped me but I was the MasterChef in the kitchen). 

Do you indulge in food porn? Actively or passively? What impresses you with food porn?

I do like to click pictures of well-plated food. Ice cream along with hot chocolate as dessert is my idea of food porn.

Which is the most over-rated food cuisine?

I feel Malay food is a bit over rated.

Any quirky food dishes combinations you have invented or love feasting on?

I love the experimental food my uncle Sunny Rampal makes. He is quite hilarious with his food combinations especially when he made Orange peel Pulav for us (only I ate).

Which superfoods have impressed you the most?

Peanut Butter with brown bread.

What are your favourites?

Indian street food – Pani Puri

Indian dessert – Rabdi (especially made by my Nani, Kim Sharma)

Hidden gem restaurant of your city (and why) – Mumbai Express, Renaissance Mumbai Hotel & Convention Centre. I love the staff there. They are quite friendly and food is fresh and tasty. I like the crispy chicken sandwich there.
The restaurant you keep going back to - Peshwari, ITC Maratha, Mumbai.

How do you detox your body after an overdose of eating out?

I detox my body by eating clean which is healthy home food cooked by my Nani.

Any health foods you swear by?

Spinach with cottage cheese.

Who’s your favourite celebrity chef?

Chef Gordon Ramsay.

What’s your favourite food-related TV programme?

MasterChef series.

What’s your favourite food destination?

Pattaya, Thailand.

What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?

The one and only Food Processor, it makes life easy in the kitchen.