Executive Chef of Babur, Jiwan Lal, is a highly creative, skilful and distinctive senior chef, whose passion for modern Indian cooking has made him one of the most well-respected practitioners of Indian cooking in the UK.
Since taking his position with Babur almost 20 years ago, back in 2005, Jiwan has been integral in helping the South East London restaurant achieve its status as a beloved neighbourhood gem as well as a huge number of accolades, most recently Best Asian Restaurant in London at the 2022 Asian Restaurant Awards.
Jiwan trained with India’s prestigious Oberoi Hotel group and over the years has developed his trademark cooking style of taking tried and tested Indian dishes and giving them a modernist spin. Subtle spicing, quality British ingredients and flavour combinations that are both familiar yet unexpected are all brought together with fine dining-levels of presentation.
Signature dishes such as: clove-smoked lamb chops; pan-fried sea bream and organic green pea kedgeree; spiced apricot and fig crumble with saffron custard; and garlic brulee illustrate Jiwan’s adventurous and experimental streak but he retains a huge respect for traditional techniques and flavours.
“I’m not a chef who wants to forget his roots and turn Indian cooking into something completely different,” says Jiwan, “yet, I’m not afraid to take Indian cuisine into a different arena either. I want my cooking to be bold, match ingredients that one wouldn’t normally associate with Indian food, but at the same time never lose sight of the spicing that makes Indian cuisine truly unique and so invigorating.”