Jimmy Ugla’s culinary experience, care and elegance shines through at Indian Twist

“I watched it through learning and doing.”

In Sikhism, the term ‘siva’ is used to describe the highest acts of faith. It means doing work without expecting reward. This is the place Jimmy the wheel The story begins with food.

His culinary training can be traced back to his volunteer days at a Sikh temple in Odisha in Bhubaneswar when he was 12 years old.

Photography by Isaac Stockton

I watched the learning and the practice said the wheel as he made his way through his restaurant. Indian TwistFirst, check in with his waiter, interact with a few customers, and finally step into the line along with the kitchen staff.

In its simplest form, social prejudice is displayed throughout Indian culture in the taboo of sharing a meal with those outside the caste group.

To reprimand this act of caste separation, the Sikhs held a gathering called “Langer”, which presents opposite ideals. During the Langar language, everyone – regardless of their religious affiliation, race, gender or financial status – is welcomed inside to enjoy a large meal prepared by volunteers.

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

Passing through the temple doors and entering the gurdwara, you will find a group of people sitting on the floor and feeding from the same food utensils. It is a place where the beggar sits side by side with the doctor, performing the simplest human activities: eating.

All dishes served while eating langar should also be vegetarian. Foods commonly served are dal (lentil soup), roti (bread), sabji (vegetable curry) and rice.

By observing and reflecting on the temple elders, the wheel of life philosophy was formed as his culinary skills were honed.

“The thing about Indian food is that it’s not something that anyone can cook,” said Ujla. “The flavor changes with different hands.”

Jimmy’s Restaurant America Tour

With a solid foundation of kitchen basics from his time as a volunteer, Aujla headed to Seattle where his brother owned a restaurant. By 1996, he was making his way through his former 300-seat institution Maharajaa longtime Indian favorite in Seattle, which he now describes as “very big”.

He later took up residence in Beaverton, Oregon to help with the work Taj Palace Before heading to Palm Springs, California to run more food establishments.

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

“The key to operating any restaurant, anywhere, is to be mindful of the experience of each person who walks through the door,” said Wheel. “Some people don’t even care how good the food will be if the experience is bad.”

Finally, he left with his wife Kim and two children, Palm Springs and made his way to Old Pueblo in 2014.

“It’s time for a change,” said the wheel. “I had a feeling Tucson was going to get big and fast.”

Indian Twist Takes Over

The Aujla family didn’t immediately jump into restaurant ownership when they stepped onto the Tucson scene. It took four years and bullying from his kids before he finally took the wheel and started discussions with them Joshua and Eric Mossman From Jam Cooking ConceptsAnd the Susan Caesar.

“I came to Tucson in 2014 and tried all kinds of Indian restaurants,” Ujla said. “Their food was nowhere near my food. I started searching and actually came here to eat when that was Twisted tandoor. “

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

Recognizing his passion for food, the restaurant group – as Awjila describes it – took the role of ‘guidance’ in creating the Indian Twist concept. Their experience in operating Tucson restaurants, including Vero Amor And the noble hopsgave them the knowledge to share and advise on the marketing strategy for the new Wheel project.

As the Camp Lowell and Swan Road site in Twisted Tandoor neared closing, fates lined up and space became available.

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

Moving to a facility that previously served Indian food certainly has its benefits. The interior, which features an impressive display of variable lighting fixtures on top, has an air of mystery and oriental splendor, making it suitable for its new owner. The seating closest to the bar simulates a group dining experience with spacious seating and roller cushions used for separating.

Most importantly, the kitchen is equipped with features that ensure authentic Indian cooking, including a tandoor oven.

on the list

Jokingly asking one of his kitchen staff to step aside because the photographer had taken “enough pictures” of her, he rolled up his sleeves and got to work. First he took a pin and rolled a dough made of flour, milk, salt, caraway oil and onion seeds. Once the dough has reached the desired thickness and can be pulled out without tearing, it is ready for the tandoor oven.

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

With a constant temperature of 700 degrees, the tandoor oven is the ideal environment for high temperature cooking. The prepared dough is beaten against the wall of the cylindrical oven until it begins to bubble, turn into blisters and is visibly charred.

Once the bread is ready, the bread is pulled away from the wall with long metal skewers and lifted to a flat surface to be buttered. Then it is roasted and/or stuffed according to the customer’s request.

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

Delicious filling options include paneer, chicken, lamb or onion (aloo). For those with a sweet tooth, naan with nuts, cherries, and shredded coconut is also available. The scrambled flatbread is finally stacked in a wire basket and brought to the table to eat on its own or as an accompaniment to an appetizer twist selection.

Most popular on the list Chicken tikka masalaAnd the chicken mangoAnd the Butter chicken. The heat level of each dish can be adjusted between mild, medium and spicy to meet different tastes.

The dish he describes as the most delicious is Achari Lambor pickled lamb. Using a variety of spices including coriander, tikka mirchi, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, caraway seed, and ajwain seed, this popular main dish doesn’t shy away from flavor.

Indian Twist

Photography by Isaac Stockton

The key to getting the best flavor? Roast the spices in the pan and grind them, of course.

“The first thing I ask a guest,” said the wheel, “is ‘What’s your favorite food?’ “It gives me an idea of ​​what to serve from my menu. We don’t have any pre-made dishes and everything is made to order. That is why they come.”

Follow Sivas

On the night of our first meeting, the wheel was having a conversation with a woman and her teenage son. They were making plans for a little 16th birthday dinner at Indian Twist. As usual, he wore a burgundy suit with a crisp white button and brown shoes.

“I know he really loves being pregnant. The Wheel said to her. ‘Just tell me what time you’ll be there and she’ll be ready for you.’”

Hundreds of thousands of miles away from his home in India, Aujla continues to stay true to Sevas by welcoming all kinds of people to enjoy Indian cuisine.

With a smile on his face and no funny banter to share, his customer-turned-friends constantly returns to not only enjoy a meal, but also the company of the chef. And if you’re not quite sure how to spot Aujla when you first enter the Indian Twist, just find the most stylish man in the room with a Bluetooth in his ear – This is Jimmy.

The Indian Twist is located on the corner of Camp Lowell and Swan Road at 4660 E. Camp Lowell Dr. For more information on the menu and opening hours, visit indiantwistaz.com.

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