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Mumbai chef bags 4th place at the World Tapas Competition in Spain

Chef Zareen Shaukat adds a desi twist to create a Spanish tapa that won over the jury.
Chef Zareen Shaukat

Who doesn’t like butter chicken? Turns out, the Spaniards love it or at least the tapas version of it. Recently, Mumbai pastry chef Zareen Shaukat won fourth place in the World Tapas Competition 2023 held in Spain. What did she create? A Murgh Makhani Mille Feuille.

A butter chicken puff or pastry is not unheard of in India. From small local bakers to experimental cafes, everyone’s created their version of a pastry with butter chicken or a tandoori chicken. Shaukat combined her pastry skills to the idea of Spanish tapas. Naturally, she had to add a desi twist to it too and settled on a murgh makhani because, “it perfectly represents our country’s taste, colour and vibrancy,” she said in an interview with The Indian Express.

How do you make a murgh makhani a tapas?

Murgh Makhani Millefeuille

Murgh Makhani Millefeuille at World Tapas Competition 2023 Photo: Zareen Shaukat

Speaking more about her creation, Shaukat in a press release stated that the dish had to be bite-sized as it was a tapa-making competition. “I added a burst of flavour to it by incorporating components like mint caviar, onion and beetroot viel, and papadums,” she says.  As a nod to the host country, she used Spanish saffron, and smoked the dish for that added flavour and aroma that butter chicken tends to carry.

Shaukat’s brilliance and clever amalgamation of flavours, cultures, and skill won over the jury. After her win, she took to Instagram and said, “Couldn’t have been more proud and excited than this. The feeling of holding your country’s flag and representing India at 7th world tapa’s competition happening in Valladolid.”