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Desi Girl: Nidhi Mahajan exists from Masterchef with some love and ‘Pranaams’

Nidhi Mahajan left a long-lasting impression on the judges for her "desi" gestures

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Nidhi Mahajan. IANS
  • Nidhi Mahajan’s exit from the globally-renowned TV cooking show was an emotional affair
  • She found her way into Season Eight of “MasterChef Australia”, which is aired in India for her expertise in traditional Indian cooking
  • She has already set up a home-catering business and is taking cooking classes

August 29, 2016: From her fellow contestants to judges, she made everyone on the sets of “MasterChef Australia” fall in love with “desi” spices. Nidhi Mahajan, whose exit from the globally-renowned TV cooking show was an emotional affair, says Indian cuisine goes way beyond the misconceptions that people across the world have about it.

“I would love to tell people that there is nothing as massive as Indian cuisine and each dish, each ingredient, has a history behind it and how it became a part of our cuisine,” Nidhi told IANS in an email interview from Adelaide.

“Indian food has made its place on the global platform. People around the world love Indian food for its flavours and versatility,” added the former call centre employee, whose roots are in Chandigarh.

She found her way into Season Eight of “MasterChef Australia”, which is aired in India on Star World and Star World HD, for her expertise in traditional Indian cooking. She entered the kitchen with a mission to put the “desi” style of cooking on the global map.

Thus, among the dishes she cooked on the show were creamy lemon pepper chicken with paratha and potato wafers; Aussie Classic Indian Way (one episode required the contestants to use Australian elements like meat and three vegetables and give it a twist — so she gave it an Indian twist); goat curry with fried bread, cucumber raita and pickled onions; and tea-infused parfait, cornflake and ginger wine crumble.

Indian food might be finding a spot on the global palette, but there are still many misconceptions attached to it, said Nidhi, and many believe it is “very fattening, hot, oily and time-consuming. It is nothing like that, apart from the rich cuisines, if we talk about our daily, routine food it is not at all oily, hot or time-consuming.

“Indian food is just not about curries and tikkas. We have so many other dishes which are fermented, pickled, baked, sautéed and steamed.”

She left a long-lasting impression on the judges — Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, and even world-renowned chef Marco Pierre White — for her “desi” gestures. Her decision to bow at the judges’ feet “as a mark of respect” after elimination brought everyone to tears.

“Doing a ‘Pranaam’ is what I have been taught by my parents. I have seen them bowing to their elders and people they respect. This is what I did,” she said.

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Nidhi, who shifted to South Australia’s Adelaide in 2013 with her husband, asserted that “desi” cuisine is quite popular on the show itself and that “people are crazy about Indian food and judges love Indian food”.

She first stepped into the kitchen to cook on her own when she was all of 12, and has been pursuing her love of cooking ever since. Nidhi looks up to chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor, Vikas Khanna, Jamie Oliver and the late Tarla Dalal.

Looking back at her culinary journey, Nidhi, who was called “The Curry Queen” on “MasterChef Australia”, said: “I was around 7 or 8 years old when I started helping my mother in the kitchen… the Kitchen has always been a place where I love to spend time.”

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Nidhi has degrees in commerce, accounting and finance; the TV show has given her a boost of positive energy. “My life has changed a lot. I feel more positive and confident in my abilities and I am living my dream life to have cooking as my profession.”

She has already set up a home-catering business and is taking cooking classes. A restaurant is in the pipeline and she hopes “to set it up by end of 2016 or start of 2017”.

She would also love to write a recipe book “but with a twist — the book will have recipes and also a story behind each recipe and my cooking journey”. (IANS)

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Australia Takes Gaming Industry on a Whole Different Level

Australian gaming platforms, including top online real money casinos for Australian players, have to follow simple rules now

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Gaming
The voluntary nature of this Gaming initiative is something that most country’s governments would not be able to achieve. Pixabay

Australian government will introduce a new policy about the self-exclusion platform. Last week, Prime Minister of Australia noted that the government is working on official papers currently. Prime Minister Morrison said that it would be a new word in the Gaming industry. Australia is the first to introduce self-exclusion from gambling websites.

The voluntary process that may affect positively on the gaming industry

If someone can’t control himself and they are putting last pennies on Gambling, then it would be better to give him a rest. That’s precisely the main plan of the Australian government. In the next few weeks, the government will introduce Australian citizens with a new idea. As we already know, the program includes a voluntary process for citizens to exclude themselves from online gambling websites.

Australian gaming platforms, including top online real money casinos for Australian players, have to follow simple rules. Australian based platform should create a self-exclusion system where the registered users can take a break from Gambling.

24 billion Australian dollars on Gambling

Do you know that according to official data from the government, Australians gamble 24 billion dollars every year? If we take a look at the per-capita basis, then Australians are the biggest spenders on Gambling. According to the latest official data, on average, one Australian is spending up to 1,300.00 Australian dollars.

A new initiative for Australian could be life-changing.

Minister of Families and Social Services said that the new initiative would be another motivation for Australians. Ruston noted that it’s a voluntary act, and no one is obliged to obey it. Ruston’s logic is simple – if you take a little time from Gambling, it won’t hurt your long-term life plans. The self-exclusion initiative is precisely a perfect getaway for people who want to take a short rest from the gaming industry. As you may know, the gaming industry is trendy in Australia. Keep in mind that Australian platforms are popular not only nationwide but also worldwide.

Gaming
Australian government will introduce a new policy about the self-exclusion platform. Last week, Prime Minister of Australia noted that the government is working on official papers currently. Prime Minister Morrison said that it would be a new word in the Gaming industry. Pixabay

There have been many movements in Australia with one goal – to help online gamblers in Australia. The government decided to answer the changes most civilly. The voluntary nature of this initiative is something that most country’s governments would not be able to achieve.

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Self-exclusion should work on Australian platforms

As we know, the government’s new policy could only be related to Australian platforms. If a casino or online betting website is based in Australia, then the company has to create a self-exclusion system for registered users. The Australian government has no legal sovereignty to take similar actions on foreign online gambling platforms.