The proprietor of two acclaimed Northeastern restaurants, who openly confesses to having lacked cooking skills before the lockdown, has since become an online sensation with his recipes.
Elahi Amin, who owns My Delhi in Newcastle and Sunderland, has always been front of the house when it comes to managing his businesses.
But after taking to social media, with his account @itsbabacooks, to share some of his own versions of classic Asian food he now has more than 300,000 followers – which has led to the publication of his own cookbook.
Hey Baba Here! features a whole host of Elahi’s favourite family recipes, which as a baba (dad) he made for his children to enjoy.
As well as Indian dishes he has created a range of Italian specials and even his own versions of popular fast food, as well as fusion offerings such as Tandoori Chicken Pasta.
Although Elahi has always been involved in hospitality – his father owned a popular Indian restaurant in South Shields and all of his brothers also work in the industry – the online success has come as a huge surprise.
“Like lots of people I just started to cook during Covid,” he said.
“I’m not a chef, although I’ve picked up bits and pieces from the chefs, I’ve worked with over the years, but I just started to do my own versions.
“It was my daughter who suggested I posted some of them on TikTok and I just couldn’t believe the response, it just went crazy.
“So, when the opportunity came to do a cookery book – which was something I always wanted to do – I just couldn’t turn it down.”
@itsbabacooks has been published by Found, which specialises in turning social media content into books, with no financial commitment from the creator.
The only obligation from the influencer is to promote the book via their platforms, and using Found’s print-on-demand capability, the creator gets a percentage of every book sold.
“It’s going really well, better than I ever hoped,” said Elahi.
“So much so that I’d like to do a second book. I’ve had requests for it from around the world – from Nigeria, Dubai and Ghana. It’s been fantastic.”
It’s the latest in a long line of successes for the ambitious Elahi, who also works for Newcastle City Council part-time in digital marketing and is about to launch a new restaurant.
My Delhi has been a huge success, previously winning Britain’s Top Takeaway on television.
“It’s great having fantastic chefs who have been able to help me along my cooking journey,” said Elahi.
“I can’t believe what’s happened in such a short space of time and having the cookery book has been an absolutely amazing opportunity.”
Hey Baba Here! costs £24.99/$29.99 and can be bought here.
For more information about Found visit www.found.us.