‘Czar of Indian cuisine’ Jiggs Kalra dies at 72

Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, 72, popular food columnist and restaurateur, passed away after a prolonged illness on Tuesday (June 4), in Mumbai.

He is popularly known as Jiggs Kalra. Having spent nearly 50 years dedicating his life to Indian food, he was referred to as the “czar of Indian cuisine”. Jiggs Kalra’s son, Zorawar Kalra, shared a picture of his father and a health update on Instagram for his 72nd birthday on May 21.

There is no official confirmation from the family’s side, but Twitterati’s paid tribute to the food columnist. His friend, Vir Sanghvi, a food-critic, was among the first ones to tweet about his death.

Kalra started off as a food columnist and later became a food consultant in the 1980s. He authored over 11 books on the Indian cuisine, including ‘Prashad’, which is considered “the bible for chefs”. Kalra introduced Indian cuisine to an international audience. He had served several personages, including Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bill Clinton.


He was the first Asian to be inducted in the International Food and Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame. He was also the first to host an Indian food-based television series. He was behind the launch of restaurants like Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, Made in Punjab, Farzi Café and Pa Pa Ya. He has been behind the culinary success of numerous restaurants of ITC Hotels, The Oberoi Group, and The Park Group.