Tasty or Healthy? If you ever put this question across in a punjabi gathering either you would be stared to death or laughed to suicide. Being a punjabi foodie myself I know how our food is cooked. I remember during my school time a friend used to love my lunch. But as he used to see the dripping oil he used to say " at least one member of your family must be like Yokozuna". His lunch was a sort of after meal or salad for someone like me - fruits, sprouts, and a chapatti as thin as him. He was the cause of envy for many girls for his perfect size zero.
So are we drawing a conclusion here? Ghiya, tinda, dal scare kids more than Gabbar Singh these days, and to be honest they scare their dads too. I always used to question my mom, "why is God so cruel? I mean why can't he put in all the essential vitamins and proteins in my burger, samosa, pizza and jalebi and put in all those harmful fats in tinda! There would be much more love and peace in the world then."
The question kept lingering until some amazing food artists, food icons, food entrepreneurs and food poets came up with ideas that could soothe your eyes, nose, stomach, heart as much as they soothed your tongue. More often than not they require ingredients that are not readily available in the market or equipments you won't even find in the best restaurants near you. We needed the wind of change that could inspire us to find health in Indian or Indianized cuisines. I think that is where Master Chef Vikas Khanna hits a masterstroke. He took up the challenge and cooked something as common, as tasteless and as neglected as Tinda with finesse. To which he adds that it is looked so down upon that the worst cook in any kitchen is called Tinda. It's not the camera, it's the photographer who clicks. It's not the wine, it's the chef who sizzles it up. He cooked and inspired even the kitchenetically challenged people like me to pick up the ladle and try. He says, "if you keep it simple, you can make your food healthy, tasty and sexy".
Talking to Vikas was a new experience in itself. A master chef with a good sense of humor to go with the looks, no wonder he has such a great female fan base. While getting clicked with him I said, "Sir, waise bhi aapko ladko ke saath click hone ka kam hi chance milta hai". He replied with a laugh, "bada nalayk hai". When I told him that my mom used to call me Tinda, he shot back "matlab tu bachpan se hi nalayk hai" in his gifted punjabi accent.
Confidential :My mom used to call me 'Tinda' before the official naming ceremony :D #SaffolaMasalaOats— Pareshaan Writer (@GvSparx) June 8, 2013
It was not only Vikas Khanna who surprised one and all, but the food-literate bloggers too grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The innovation levels challenged even the chef's imagination when he saw a lady cook a pizza out of Saffola Masala Oats. Incredible! It looked gorgeous, it tasted wonderful and most importantly it scored really high on the nutrient report card. I think Domino's and Pizza Hut should consider her idea. It just demonstrated how wide a variety of dishes could be made from healthy ingredients like oats. So next time you invite your friends for a party, serve them something healthy rather than traditional dripping oily food. It would show 'The Other Side' that you care for their health.
I think Saffola deserves credit for coming up with this question - Tasty or Healthy? Instead of taking a stand, this initiative helped us get the bite of both worlds. I need my paneer tinda now.