OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's the American dream: immigrating from another country to achieve success in your chosen profession.
Shambhu Singh is a chef and co-owner of Maharani Indian Kitchen at Inner Rail in Aksarben.
When Shambhu got the opportunity to cook for India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his son said his tireless work ethic served him well.
"Starting at 4:00 in the morning, I'm ready. 5:00 I go to kitchen. After that, 6:00, Prime Minister meet for tea and biscuits. 7:30 and 8:00, breakfast like Indian — different kind tea," Shambhu said.
Amit Singh is Shambhu's son who says cooking has always been his father's passion. He's loved it, even before immigrating to America.
"Then I saw my dad, he's a real hard worker, he spends every day, 12 hours in the kitchen and I said, 'Why don't you start your own?'" Amit said.
That self-starting mentality helped Shambhu with a rigorous schedule in cooking for Modi. Modi is a vegetarian so Shambhu made dishes to accommodate him — working from early in the morning until late at night.
"After 5:00, again, again served tea and biscuits. After 8:00, it was dinner, some potato, cauliflower, sometimes, spinach cheese, sometimes, spinach mushroom," Shambhu said.
Shambhu cooked for India's Prime Minister in 2006, so he knows what it's like to cook for dignitaries — but this diligent chef also comes from humble beginnings.
"Big surprise for myself, I never think like that. I'm from small town, and not rich family. I'm middle-class people," Shambhu said.
Amit says it was a dream fulfilled.
"He was always big fan of PM Modi, he wanted to meet, since long time. Finally he got the chance, so he's very happy — my relatives are happy," Amit said.
Ultimately, it's hard work, passion and dedication that the Singhs say are key ingredients to their success story.
"It took him 30 years to grow in this business, people think there is a shortcut. We don't come from biggest family, or something that, where there is a shortcut. It takes time, takes hard work and you can be successful," Amit said.
The Singhs are opening an Indian bistro in the Old Market and will also open a restaurant in Houston.
Chef Singh's butter chicken recipe:
- Chop up 10-14 oz of chicken breasts
- Marinate chicken with 2 tbs of butter, 1tsp of garlic, 1/2 chopped onion, half chopped bellpepper, 1 pieced jalapeno, 1 tsp of kassori methi, 1 tsp of onion sauce, 2 tbs of tomato puree/ketchup, 10 ml of heavy cream, little bit of sugar and salt to taste, yogurt
- Roast chicken for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Fahrenheit
- Then put in skillet for 4-5 minutes
Watch how Chef Singh prepares it: