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Chicken Tikka: Is it from India or Pakistan?

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Image source: youtube.com

Dubai, UAE: Food has the power to bring enemies together and this time, it’s the lip-smacking appetizer, the chicken tikka, that has managed to bind neighbors India and Pakistan together in Dubai.

The chicken tikka has managed to bind neighbors India and Pakistan together in Dubai.

Mohit Bhargava from India and Shamoun Bhatti from Pakistan, chefs at Dubai’s seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, say they “work like brothers” and love to serve the best of their countries’ delicacies to their consumers who don’t inquire about the recipes’ nationality.

For its authentic Arabic cuisine or Far East Asian or Modern European dishes, the hotel sources ingredients from across the globe, says 34-year-old Bhatti from Karachi.

“Some of the spices and herbs come from India and Pakistan, as we don’t find them here. You will be amazed to know that many people term Pakistani dishes as Indian food here and I feel proud. I don’t think chicken tikka has any nationality. You wonder if it is from India or Pakistan? I feel it’s chicken tikka, that’s it,” he said.

The Bab al Yam restaurant in the hotel, where he showed some of the food items prepared by him, has a contemporary and sophisticated concept with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views, breathtaking spacious terrace and plush shisha (hookah) lounges.

“I think it’s not the people but the governments that are making a hue and cry. There are so many politicians and all of them have their own reason for hating each other. Even in the recent Pathankot episode, Indians and Pakistanis were blaming each other. I feel this type of thing creates bad relations,” says Bhatti.

While he shifted to Dubai 10 years back for work, 32-year-old Bhargava, who hails from Lucknow, moved to the United Arab Emirates city with his wife two and a half years back.

“We work like brothers and it’s always good to have someone around who understands your language,” said the chef while giving a pat on the shoulder of his Pakistani counterpart.

Mohit Bhargava from India and Shamoun Bhatti from Pakistan, chefs at Dubai’s seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, say they “work like brothers” and love to serve the best of their countries’ delicacies to their consumers who don’t inquire about the recipes’ nationality. Image source: littleindia.com
Mohit Bhargava from India and Shamoun Bhatti from Pakistan, chefs at Dubai’s seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, say they “work like brothers”
and love to serve the best of their countries’ delicacies to their consumers who don’t inquire
about the recipes’ nationality. Image source: littleindia.com

He also pointed out how Dubai has opened up for Indians, especially in the food sector.

“It’s a home away from home. People love Indian food here, especially chicken tikka masala that has become universal. Some of the other dishes in demand are lamb rogan josh, biryani and, of course, masala dosa,” he said, pointing out how Indian restaurants are doing well in Dubai.

“There are many local restaurants which are coming in. Moti Mahal and Raaga are here. We also have a new restaurant in Taj. There is one at Shereton by chef Vikas Khanna called Junoon, then we have chef Vineet Bahl’s restaurant Indego. So, you have a large choice where you want to dine,” he said.

The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab is more than just a stunning hotel, it is a symbol of modern Dubai.

Repeatedly voted the world’s most luxurious hotel, the magnificent destination offers people the finest service and facilities throughout — right down to an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.

Not surprisingly, it’s the hot spot for all the Bollywood, Hollywood and other A-list celebrities.

It boasts of serving celebrities like Hollywood actor Vin Diesel during the shooting of “Furious 7” in Dubai, southern star Mahesh Babu with his family and tennis legend Roger Federer.

Bhargava recalls one customer: “There is one Russian lady who is very regular here and she always asks me about Indian food. She has a liking for different cuisines.”

Niamh Keohan, director of marketing and PR for Burj Al Arab, said hiring an Indian and a Pakistani together was not a “well planned strategy” but people are very open to all the “spicy foods” that India is known for.

(The article was first published in Little India)

  • Akanksha Sharma

    It doesn’t matter where it came from. It is one of the tastiest dishes.

Next Story

Beware! Frequent dining out can harm your health

The new study looked more broadly at dining out -- not just at fast-food outlets -- and found that it was significantly associated with increased exposure to phthalates

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Dining out regularly can harm your health. IANS
  • Frequent dining out can affect your health
  • It can have a bad effect on your health
  • High level of phthalates is the cause of this

Next time you order a sandwich from your favourite fast food joint or plan a dinner with your friends at a nearby restaurant, you must give a try to home-cooked meal first.

According to researchers, dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of potentially health-harming chemicals called “phthalates” in the body, especially among pregnant women, children and teenagers.

diet
Dining out is not as good as it may seem.

“Phthalates”, a group of chemicals used in food packaging and processing materials, are known to disrupt hormones in humans and are linked to a long list of health problems. “This study suggests food prepared at home is less likely to contain high levels of ‘phthalates’, chemicals linked to fertility problems, pregnancy complications and other health issues,” said senior author Ami Zota, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University.

For the study, published in the journal Environment International, researchers used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected between 2005 and 2014. The 10,253 participants in the study were asked to recall what they ate and where their food came from in the previous 24 hours.

Also Read: Food Preservative Shows Promise In Schizophrenia Treatment

The researchers then analysed the links between what people ate and the levels of phthalate break-down products found in each participant’s urine sample. The team found that 61 percent of the participants reported dining out the previous day.

The study found that sandwiches consumed at fast food outlets, restaurants or cafeterias were associated with 30 per cent higher phthalate levels in all age groups. The researchers also found the association between phthalate exposure and dining out was significant for all age groups but the magnitude of association was highest for teenagers. Adolescents who were high consumers of fast food and other food purchased outside the home had 55 per cent higher levels of phthalates compared to those who only consumed food at home.

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Homemade food is healthier. wikimedia commons

“Pregnant women, children and teens are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals, so it’s important to find ways to limit their exposures,” said lead author Julia Varshavsky who did the work while she was at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. A previous study by Zota and colleagues suggested that fast food may expose consumers to higher levels of phthalates.

The new study looked more broadly at dining out — not just at fast-food outlets — and found that it was significantly associated with increased exposure to phthalates. The findings are worrisome because two-thirds of the US population eats at least some food outside the home daily, the authors warned. IANS