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Indian Food Can Never Stand Parallel To Italian Cuisine: Chef Ritu Dalmia

Indian food may finally be getting its due global recognition, but it will never be able to stand parallel to Italian cuisine

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Italian, Indian, Cuisine, Food, Chef
Fileja and Nduja : italian pasta dish. Wikimedia Commons

Indian food may finally be getting its due global recognition, but it will never be able to stand parallel to Italian cuisine on international stage owing to its complexity, says celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia.

“The popular of Indian food is on the rise, but I do not think it will ever attain the position that Italian food holds, as Indian cuisine is very complex and has particular flavours, which does not appeal to everyone,” Dalmia, co-founder of Italian restaurant chain Diva, told IANS Life.

Dalmia, who has re-launched Diva Spiced, a blend of modern Asian dishes along with some regional Indian flavours, said her journey in the food industry was something she never thought of.

“I always loved cooking for pleasure, and after having a series of very bad meals I commented about it to some friends, who turned around and said if you think you can do better then why don’t you start a restaurant. Passionate and enterprising that I was, I took their words to heart and within three months opened my first restaurant.

Italian, Indian, Cuisine, Food, Chef
Indian food can’t be at par with Italian fare. Wikimedia Commons

“I was forced to do my first catering by a client, who insisted that he wanted Diva food for his 40th birthday. That was the day I just said to myself, ‘hey this was fun, and I think I could do this’,” she told IANS.

The chef says though her brand does many events, it is very “thoughtful and selective about the kind of events it wants to do”.

“Italy and I, have a connection from my past life. I had to do something to challenge myself. And next thing I knew was that Cittamani was in the pipeline. And here we are today, without my having the slightest idea how we got here,” she said.

But in the meanwhile, work by Dalmia and her ilk has helped change traditional perceptions about food and the people who prepare it. She recalled how she was offered the job of a “domestic cook” when she opened her first restaurant. “Back then, a chef, in people’s mind, was equal to a domestic help. But today they are treated like celebrities, respected and admired. So I guess we have come a long way.”

She said her Diva catering has always been very conscious about not wasting food, long before the Delhi government decided to draft a law to keep a check on food wastage at social functions in the national capital.

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“We work with NGOs like Feeding India, volunteers of which come at the end of every event to pick up all the leftovers. Then again we are not a regular catering company with hundreds dishes on our menu. Our motto has always been, “less is more,” she said.

Dalmia said cooking calms her down. “It is the only thing that soothes and relaxes me,” she said. The chef is now getting ready to launch her next venture in Noida. She also has plans to majorly expand in Italy. (IANS)

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Smokers Who Quit Do Not Generally Turn their Gaze Towards Mouth-Watering Food as Normally Thought

The results suggest that smoking abstinence does not affect the motivation for food and water

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Smokers, Quit, Food
We found that the motivations for cigarettes, food and water do not interact very much. Pixabay

Smokers who quit or abstain for whatever reason do not generally turn their gaze towards mouth-watering food as normally thought. According to researchers from University at Buffalo, smoking abstinence doesn’t greatly affect the motivation for food.

“We found that the motivations for cigarettes, food and water do not interact very much,” said Stephen Tiffany from the university’s department of psychology.

“The results suggest that smoking abstinence does not affect the motivation for food and water”.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, used cues and actual money to learn how much smokers might spend for cigarettes, food and water during abstinence.

Smokers, Quit, Food
Smokers who quit or abstain for whatever reason do not generally turn their gaze towards mouth-watering food as normally thought. Pixabay

The results provide new insights for how different systems control motivation and reward.

Food does not become more appealing during those times when a smoker is in a smoke-free environment or otherwise can’t smoke.

“If you’re on an airplane and can’t smoke, you’re not likely to be spending more money than usual on snacks,” said Tiffany.

For the current study, 50 participants, all smokers who had abstained for 12 hours, had money to spend on their choices.

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Tiffany and Jennifer Betts, the study’s co-author, sat those participants in front of a box with a sliding door.

Inside the box was one of three items: their favourite brand of cigarette, a candy bar they previously acknowledged as liking, or a cup of water.

During the study, non-abstinent smokers spent more money for cigarettes than for food. And more money for food than for water.

Abstinent smokers spent even more for cigarettes, but they didn’t spend for food or for water.

Smokers, Quit, Food
According to researchers from University at Buffalo, smoking abstinence doesn’t greatly affect the motivation for food. Pixabay

“When people are abstinent from cigarettes their craving tends to go up, but they don’t become hypersensitive to the cue,” said Tiffany.

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People don’t relapse randomly. They relapse in the presence of opportunities to use which can be triggered by cues, the researchers noted. (IANS)