Tuesday November 13, 2018
Home India Chicken Tikka...

Chicken Tikka: Is it from India or Pakistan?

1
//
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

Parts Of Asia-Pacific Region Suffer From Acute Malnutrition And Hunger: UN

The report notes climate-related disasters are rising in the region, having a detrimental impact on agriculture.

0
Hunger
A Papuan child suffering from malnutrition lies in a hospital bed for treatment in Agats, the capital of Asmat district in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province. VOA

Four U.N. specialized agencies warn that many parts of Asia and the Pacific suffer from alarmingly high levels of malnutrition and hunger. This is the first time the Food and Agriculture Organization, the U.N. Children’s Fund, the World Food Program and the World Health Organization have issued a joint report, which calls for urgent action to reverse the situation.

The report finds efforts to reduce malnutrition and hunger have come to a virtual standstill in Asia and the Pacific. Unless greater effort is made to tackle this situation, it warns prospects for economic and social development in the region will be at serious risk.

hunger
Malnourished and displaced Somali children sit in a tent in their camp on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. VOA

As of now, the U.N. agencies say many parts of Asia and the Pacific will not reach the U.N. sustainable goal of ending all forms of malnutrition and achieving zero hunger by 2030.

The United Nations reports 821 million people globally suffer from hunger. World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel said 62 percent of that number, or 509 million people, are in the Asia-Pacific region, with children, in particular, bearing the biggest burden.

Verhoosel said 79 million children, or one in every four under age five, suffer from stunting, and 34 million children are wasting. He says 12 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which increases their risk of death.

Hunger
Faduma Hussein Yagoub, a polio sufferer, came with her family to Dadaab from Somalia. Her husband and two of her five young children died of hunger on the way. Despite the dangers thousands of refugees every week are making the journey, walking for weeks across the desert and braving attacks by armed robbers and wild animals:

The report notes climate-related disasters are rising in the region, having a detrimental impact on agriculture. Loss of crops, it says, results in more hunger, more loss of nutrition and loss of livelihood.

Also Read: Loss of Teeth In Elder People Linked to Malnutrition

According to the report, climate-related losses in Asia between 2005 and 2015 amounted to a staggering $48 billion. Authors of the report say countries in the region must adapt agriculture so it’s more resilient to extreme climate events, and to mitigate the damage from climate change. (VOA)