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about Ajoy Joshi

Ajoy Joshi, chef/owner of nilgiri's restaurant in SydneyAjoy Joshi founded Nilgiri’s in the late Nineties and has turned it into more than just a restaurant. He has organised many other activities that enable him to share his enthusiasm and knowledge about Indian food, its correct preparation, sourcing the best ingredients and passing on simple, yet essential culinary facts that he is always happy to share.

Ajoy was trained in Madras (now Chennai), India and started his career at the prestigious Taj Group of Hotels where he was soon promoted to executive chef of the Taj Hotel, Bangalore. During this time he was also involved in setting up Karavali Restaurant, renowned for its ethnic coastal South Indian cuisine.

Ajoy’s training was completed in the gruelling culinary education he received from six Indian master chefs, experts in their own regional cuisine, who took him into their confidence with their own techniques of cooking.

Ajoy opened the Malabar Restaurant in Crows Nest, Sydney, serving traditional South Indian cuisine which won awards and accolades both in Australia and India. In 1997, Ajoy sold the Malabar and embarked on a tour to study food trends around the world. It was from this tour that Ajoy then launched nilgiri’s which has received many awards, the most recent being the 2010 “Best Indian” award for excellence in catering from Restaurant & Catering (R&C NSW/ACT).

Ajoy has appeared as a guest chef on numerous TV, web-clip and radio programmes and is respected as one of Australia’s top Indian chefs. Ajoy is regarded as an authority on Indian food, both overseas and in Australia, where he is frequently asked to advise cookery schools and hotels.

Ajoy is supported by his wife Meera, son Aniruddh, and a highly competent culinary team.

20 responses »

  1. Hi Ajoy,

    Seeing your food blog, I decided to pen down a few thoughts.

    Just to inform you & help you stay connected to food market, here’s some important info for you :

    We are an NGO promoting Farm to Table concept – wherein we initiated with pure, desi ghee, straight from the farmers home to the Highly adulterated & toxic table of Delhi -ites.

    Under this concept, we are trying to introduce Delhi ites to more pure & organic food & as part of a test initiative, we are supplying pure Desi ghee- the kind that is not sold by the branded companies in the market.

    To know more about us, log onto or

    With Kind Regards
    Dr Aarti
    C- 66, Anand Niketan
    New Delhi 110015, India
    Tel: 09811820602, 09811032815,
    Facebook –
    Youtube – sustainable pathways, New Delhi, India

    • Hello Dr Aarti,
      Good to hear from you and good to know that you are encouraging Indians to get back to their roots and more importantly to some healthy eating.
      Is your product available in Australia?
      Kind regards,

  2. Suresh Charles

    Hey Ajoy, wonder if you remember a Suresh Charles from the Front Office, Taj Residency Bangalore – 83 – 89? Stumbled on your blog, tried out the dalcha, except that I put into a crock pot on slow overnight – this after searing the meat. Came out great 🙂

    BTW, we are trying to organize a get together of old TR staff next year on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the hotel. April end, Any chance of you being around?

    Last saw you in a great photo that Vivek Angre sent out – 4 chefs!

    Keep up the good work



    • Hi Suresh,
      Mate can’t forget anyone from that hotel ever!!
      You were the ‘guy’ with a ‘goti’ beard, please correct me if I am wrong.
      Would love to join in the celebrations,need some specific dates if possible!
      How are you mate and what do you do for a living or maybe you have retired like some of the others!!
      Kind regards,


      • Suresh Charles

        Ajoy, perfect memory! Yes, indeed, the beard remains my trademark, completely silver (not grey, silver 🙂 ) now. Lets see now – I was deputed to the Taj Bengal in 1989 for 3 months. However, met a young lady out these who consented to marry me, and I stayed in Calcutta for 16 years! Not all the time with the Taj though, in 1995 I joined Hutch Telecom and spent some time in the telecom industry. In 2005, Bangalore and Hospitality industry beckoned I returned and joined a local builder handling their hotel / resort / service apartment projects. Am in touch with a large number of people from the TR in the 80’s – among them Neena Honnavar / Vasundhra / Rekha Varma / Albert Rebello / Paddy who now runs Herbs & Spices in Whitefield, Ken Pinto and plenty others. Its a great and warm feeling to be in touch with all of them.

        The date being considered for the maga reunion id April 30th, 2013 – no special reason apart from the fact that the next day is May 1st, a holiday.

        Have been reading your blog and all that you have done out there. Keep up the good work and stay in touch

        Best regards,


      • Thanks Suresh,
        Good to hear that you are still in touch with the TR gang of the 80’s.
        Will try my best to make it.
        Kind regards,


      • I’m extremely sorry to butt into this conversation. But my great gran is looking for a contact to the Rekha Varma mentioned here, I think. Her mom Vijaya Varma is my gran Subhadra Menon’s friend and she is trying to get in touch with her. So sorry once again. And if this is someone else completely I’m sorry now and super duper embarrassed!

  3. Hi Ajoy,
    Saw you once on telly…..enjoyed the wit!……great looking food!…..I am from Perth….Will visit Nilgiri’s soon

  4. Ajoy,
    I’m hoping you may be able to shed some light on a problem I have. My partner and I are going to India in January. I have been many times he has never been. In his younger days he had several incidents where he became very ill after eating Indian food, probably a curry of some kind. He now says that he is allergic to “curry,” and is very cautious about eating Indian food. He stays with dahls and tandoori chicken. Do you have an opinion as to what spice might have disagreed with him and how I might get him to be more adventurous on our trip?
    Thank you so much, Michael Stubbs

  5. Hi Ajoy,

    Happy New Year!

    I really enjoyed reading your blog especially it is really informative in nature and most people would love to read it.

    I’d like to know if you’d be interested in a Guest Post. How about something like these topics?

    1.A Walk Through Indian Cuisine
    2.Knowing The History of Delicious Spices in Indian Cuisine

    What do you think about these?

    For your information, all of our articles are custom written by our writers for your blog, and are absolutely FREE.

    If you are interested, I am happy to get something written up and sent over to you – or if you have another topic you’d like to see covered, please do let me know.

    Thanks and I look forward to your response.
    Dana B.

    Guest Post U
    “The University of Great Content”

    • Hi Dana,

      Great to hear from you and a very happy new year to you as well!!

      Would love to be a part of your group as long as the contents are not edited and the material is not reprinted without written permission from self.

      Please let me know what is the next step in this direction….

      Kind regards,

      happy cooking…!!

  6. Hello, I am visiting your blog for the first time and really liked it.

  7. Hello Ajoy,

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I must say, you’re one of the few ones out there who abhor what I call the “C” word! Living in the UK for the last couple of years, I have grown heartily sick of the term. It explains nothing and paints a whole sub continent with a broad and rather sickening brush!

    I am no chef (I long to be one, but I’m too slow!). But what I learnt in my Ma, Masi and Nani’s kitchens (in Lucknow and Delhi) have stayed with me always. As of course, the quintessential Mrs. Balbir Singh. “Fursat ka khana aur khansame ki fitrat” is what my Nani’s cook used to say! And I must agree with him. I do like cookery shows and I learn from them. But the insistence of most Indian chefs on TV to cook “Western” food (specifically) does grate on the nerves. Last year, NDTV Goodtimes had a show called Foodistan that pitted Pakistani and Indian chefs against each other. And while I admire the ingenuity of the Indian chefs to match Indian cooking techniques and recipes to a “universal” palette and creating beautiful twists to our own dishes, I was equally impressed with the Pakistani chefs retaining traditional methods and recipes! It is such a contradiction that I don’t know how to counter it! This is not to say I don’t enjoy other cuisines; I do. What I don’t stand for is bastardization of my own cuisine!

    You have renewed my belief in my style of cooking that was handed to me by my mother. I was rather ashamed of myself that I am unable to cook the 5 minute “Indian”. Thank you for that! And thank you even more for reminding me of the techniques and recipes that I had learnt and chose to forget.

    I’m directing my family in Australia to your restaurant, considering they visit Sydney often enough!! 🙂

  8. Dear Ajoy, what’s the best way to contact you by email? I was wondering if you could give me some advice on cooking classes in India. Cheers, Michelle

  9. Joanna Sjösten

    Hello! 🙂

    My name is Joanna and I have read your blog and I really liked your recipes! I work for a website called and I would love for you to join us! is a search engine that collects food blogs. We already have over 3000 blogs and if you join us you will take benefit from the trafic that we are sending to your blog.

    Hopefully with your recipes your blog will be on the top of the food blogs list! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at

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    Best regards,

  10. Respected Sir,

    I am really astonished at the awesome blog you have on cookery. I am humbled by your presentation and detailing of cooking step by step. Really your cooking exudes class and authenticity. Made Mutton Rogan Josh and all loved it. Thanks a trillion.

    However, hailing from a hardcore Bengali guy, I wish to state that the recpie of “Panch Phoron” is DIFFERENT here in as far as a Bengali kitchen is concerned

    Bengali Panch Phoron is Mixture of

    1)Fennel (Saunf)
    2)Funugreek (Methi)
    3) Nigella Seed (Kalonji)
    4)Cumin (White Zeera)
    5) Ajmod (Radhuni)

    [Reference of Ajmod/Radhuni : ]

    However, they use mustard where Radhuni is not available or less heard of though. However, Nigella seed is indispensable.

    [Reference : ]

    I hope I was not rude enough in my comment. Take care Sir.




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