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Master of spices

SRAVASTI DATTA
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ChatLINE Aditya Bal, anchor-chef of Chakh Le India, is not only a good cook, but is also well versed in traditional cooking techniques and food science finds SRAVASTI DATTA

Aditya Bal is critical of the trend of traditional techniques of cooking slowly giving way to short-cuts. “I suppose quick cooking solutions work best for those who are too busy. But there are many who can take some time out to prepare a nutritious meal, using fresh produce,” comments the anchor-chef of the cookery show Chakh Le India . “In the last 25 years, products like readymade masalas have lowered the standards of Indian cooking. I think it’s time we rediscover the good old techniques of making spices, such as dry roasting and grinding them.”

However, to box all modern Indian methods of cooking as mediocre is a fallacy. Aditya, who has travelled considerably throughout India, says that wholesome meals are still prepared in rural India. This, he observes, is because of their meticulous cooking techniques.

Aditya has recently launched his book Chakh Le India Cookbook . His preparations, from the rava fried prawns to a delectable Kashmiri paneer preparation, were fine examples of traditional Indian cuisine. Aditya’s career has been as varied as the dishes he prepares. A model for eight years, Aditya turned to acting for three years, but both these professions left him dissatisfied. An untrained, yet talented cook, Aditya has been hosting Chakh Le India for four years now.

Apart from making him a household name, Chakh Le India gave Aditya the opportunity to travel widely. His show appeals for the range of Indian food it covers, from street food to seven-course meals.

Continued on page 4

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