This is an article about Abhimanyu Singh
, my friend, neighbour, and producer of Maha Yoddha Rama which as you already know is the in-production animation film written by me.
By the time we meet him it's already 8.30 pm and Abhimanyu Singh, CEO of Contiloe Films, despite his hectic schedule, is excited to show us his culinary skills.
"I enjoy cooking, and though I keep long working hours, I cook at least one dish every Sunday," he
kitchen, everything has been neatly kept and cut to perfection.
There are tomatoes, slit green chillies, paneer cut into neat cubes, and freshly chopped green coriander.
"What I'm preparing for you is a dish that my bua (aunt) taught me," Singh tells us, explaining that he got involved in cooking when he joined St Stephen's College in Delhi.
The recipe is that of paneer prepared in thick tomato gravy, a favourite with his
family and a classic north Indian recipe.
likes the dish to ooze with Indian spices, including cumin seeds and heeng (asafoetida) besides garam masala (which is optional).
The flavour of tomato, he
says, especially when coated on the paneer cubes, is delightful and every bite is delicious.
What's interesting is the manner in which Singh
conversations with food references and peppers it with references to Contiloe
entertainment production company.
Despite being a foodie (he digs Thai, Chinese, Italian, European and Spanish cuisine), eventually he
comes home to cook and eat Indian food.
"It's similar to what we do at Contiloe; eventually producing Indian content," he
laughs, while cumin seeds splutter in a pan of hot oil.
The company, he
says, adding a generous quantity of red chilli powder, has existed for more than a decade and has not just survived but also stayed away from the grind of saas-bahu sagas.
The company, confirms Singh
, is now developing its own scripts and is working closely with writers like Ashok Banker (for Mahayodha Ram).
coats the paneer cubes perfectly with the rich tomato gravy, he
tells us about the company's plans to get into merchandising and gaming activities aggressively.
In addition, he's
opening an animation facility in Orissa, for which the government has already granted him space in an SEZ in Pipli.
And as Singh
creation with fresh coriander leaves, it's not just for effect.
It lends taste, colour and vibrancy to the entire preparation.
It's how he's
, which is all set to get not just bigger but better.