Upon enchanting millions with her beautiful voice, Bollywood royalty Asha Bhosle, literally, has people eating out of the palm of her hand. The association of the legendary singer with the worldwide chain, and Kuwait’s favorite, Asha’s Indian restaurants is a mystical one indeed, and a story filled with fortunate coincidences.
The third daughter of the glorious singer-actor Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle was born to revive a legacy of musical prominence in the age of Bollywood cinema. Growing up in a home vibrant with music, the vocal discipline of her father was the tenet and the covenant, and Asha’s training began as soon as she first learned how to speak. Always believing in the teachings of her father, Asha continues to perfect her musical stylings by listening to and learning from her late father’s recordings. Possessing the reigning title and world record of recording over 13,000 songs, Asha’s versatile performance and sultry voice remain unparalleled. Since starting her professional singing career at the tender age of 11, she has earned a multitude of international awards. From nine Filamfare awards (Indian equivalent of the Oscar), Doctorates from the Universities of Jalgaon and Amravati to the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award, Asha was chosen as the Brand Ambassador for the recently instituted Global Indian Music Awards (GIMA), the Indian equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
Perceived as the ever-changing chameleon, Asha Bhosle is the modern Renaissance woman. From pop music, traditional, or even classical, her timeless vocals are addictive by nature, seducing the likes of world-class composers like Ali Akbar Khan, who later became a life-long master and teacher for Asha. Perhaps Asha’s secret is her captivating joie de vivre, her quiet smile, or her passionate, dancing eyes. One is always entranced by the mistress of music. She is the evolving performer, the mother, the student, the teacher, the homemaker, and the cook. Her foray into the kitchen is no different from her passionate affair with music. Spending months training the select team of chefs in various branches of Asha’s around the world, the singing diva ensures that her team is practiced and rehearsed in recreating her tempting recipes of Ghosht, Biryani, and famous Goan Fish Curry. Her son, Anaan Bhosle, describes his mother as a woman prosperous with pleasant surprises. Proudly managing the chain of Asha’s restaurants alongside his mother, Anaan is always mesmerized by her ongoing ventures and wonderful zest for life. He states, “This September, she plans on stunning the world yet again with her first acting debut. Always playing the role of the playback singer to endless Bollywood hits, this role is very important to her.”
This is Asha Bhosle, ever-changing, flourishing, and giving.
How do you feel that Asha’sRestaurant embodies your character?
This is a difficult question! Music is truly my life, I breath music and I live music. After so many years of singing, I have to admit I always loved food. Since I was a child, I always asked my mother to teach me how to cook good food. I always wanted to learn how to prepare my favorite dishes, such as shrimp curry, or chapati. I believe I learned how to cook before I started my singing career. So Asha’s is a reflection of this passionate love affair I have with cooking.
Where did the concept of associating your famous musical background with the dining industry originally come from?
Everything in life is a coincidence. Life itself is a coincidence. I’m a singer, yet I never knew as a child that I would sing, or get married, nor have children! People always tell me that because I like jewelry, then I should design jewelry, or that I should design saris. Many fellow singers in the music industry always raved about my cooking, yet how could I get into the restaurant business when I am always busy? I found the support of my son, who was looking to get into the restaurant business, and together we started Asha’s. I always advise my children to jump in head first, and if they are lucky they will survive. We should always try new things, and never be discouraged. We started in Dubai, and now we have the Asha’s name all over the world.
Which dishes best represent your character as Asha?
I’ve enjoyed cooking for people I care about my whole life. My family inspires many of the dishes here. For instance, my children love the Murg Keema, as it is a light home-style chicken cooked with chopped onions and coriander powder.
Why is the menu ofAsha’s mainly Kebab-based?
People like to eat Kebabs, as they are a healthier option. Every person likes to eat meat or chicken, yet they don’t want too much oil, or rice, or sauce, because people worry about weight. My grandson would always tell me he chooses Kebabs over traditional dishes, and this is where the idea came from.
What’s your favorite dish from Asha’s?
My favorite dishes include the different kinds of Biryani, as well as the Goan Shrimp curry.
You hold the world record for the largest number of songs ever recorded by a single artist. Have you ever recorded/performed a song about Asha’s?
Although we didn’t originally plan on it, I couldn’t help but sing for this restaurant!
Which is stronger: Your passion towards food/Your passion towards music. Why?
Singing is a passion that will last forever, and so is working in the kitchen. I couldn’t love one more than the other.
Do you have a Favorite Middle Eastern Dish?
I haven’t had the privilege of enjoying all the different kinds of Middle Eastern cuisine, yet we do have several Persian and Arab-inspired dishes on our menu, like the Muscat Gosht, which is lamb, slow cooked in a buttery and rich tomato gravy.
What are other types of cuisine that you enjoy?
I like Thai food, as it is very similar to southern Indian cooking in terms of employing Coconut sauces and ingredients. I also like Chinese cuisine and some Italian dishes, yet I really dislike fast food.
Future expansion plans for Asha’s?
We are soon to open in Cairo, India, and more restaurants in England with locations like Manchester.
Who helps you come up with new dishes?
As I am a singer, I improvise. One time, I improvised a performance of a specific song for one hour. So in this sense, I like to do the same in the kitchen, I improvise my cooking. When I’m creating a new dish, I always think of the healthiest ingredients that will not bother the receiver. I always cooked with my children’s best interest at heart, and I always consider what is best for everyone’s health. My daughter and my sisters follow me into my kitchen and they write down what I cook. They record what I cook as I tend to vary a recipe from time to time. This is very important, as I use specific ingredients every time that maybe unavailable to our chefs, yet by recording the various ingredients we can make sure the recipes are implemented correctly every time.
Asha’s is located in Marina Crescent, The Avenues and Spoons Mall. For more information or to make a reservation please call 2224 2424.
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