Hot Chef: Indeblue’s Rakesh Ramola gets creative with Indian cuisine

Hot Chef Rakesh Ramola

Chef Rakesh Ramola picked up his cooking skills both in India and the U.S. He brings bright, traditional Indian dishes to Indeblue, which has locations in Midtown Village and Collingswood, N.J. But he also turns tradition on its side with some unexpected flavors. We spoke with Ramola about juggling two restaurants, and “adding a touch of Indian flare” to our area.

Where does the name Indeblue come from?
My wife Heather and I were looking for a name that hinted at the type of cuisine we wanted to serve – traditional and modern Indian. Coming up with the name was a family collaboration. Our original Indeblue location in Collingswood was painted bright blue by the previous tenant. After seeing the space, our oldest daughter came up with “India Blue,” which eventually turned into Indeblue.

How does the Collingswood location differ in feel from the Midtown Village location?
Our Collingswood location is more casual dining — we know many of our regular guests by name. Here we offer a monthly special menu, which is exciting to create for our guests because I’m able to experiment by using unique and exotic ingredients not commonly found on our regular menus. Our Midtown Village location is more elegant, with a modern decor that fits well in the vibrant neighborhood. For our brunch menu, we feature traditional breakfast and lunch dishes that I remember my mother making for me when I was growing up in India. I enjoy taking traditional brunch items and adding a touch of Indian flare.

Do you work at both locations?
I make sure I’m in the kitchen of both locations at some point, every day. Early mornings are spent in Collingswood assisting my chefs in preparation and ensuring quality and consistency. During the evenings I divide my time between both restaurants depending on costumer volume, events or caterings.

Do you have a favorite bar or restaurant near you?
Heather and I really enjoy Zeppoli, which is located across the street from Indeblue in Collingswood. Joey [Baldino] is a great guy and his food is delicious.


Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…


Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…


Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.


Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…


'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.


Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.


Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.


Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…


The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…


Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.