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Art and science of cooking up new ideas

Posted January 11th, 2018, 11:29 AM IST

Art and science of cooking up new ideas

Nandita Iyer may have come a long way from her original profession in the field of medicine, but the Saffron Trails food blogger feels that her training has helped her in discerning several myths about food. A certified nutritionist, she has now come up with a book — The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian — where she busts food myths, gives the reader a low-down on nutritional values of food, and shares 100 of her new recipes.

For her recipes, Nandita finds inspiration all around her — whether it is from an ingredient itself or a dish tried somewhere. “Sometimes, I do my own version of a dish that I may have had at a café, or restaurant. Other times, I think of the recipes completely on my own, right from scratch,” she explains.





Cooking is often thought to be the perfect blend of art and science. Nandita, who studied medicine, believes that the science part of the culinary arts has helped her in her journey. “I took up medicine because, at the time, there weren’t a lot of career options and medicine seemed like a stable choice. However, I soon left the clinical side of medicine and was enjoying a career as a full-time nutritionist. I had to deal closely with food, so I became interested in each ingredient and how to marry them together in a dish — hence the food blog,” she says. “Even now, when I look at a recipe analytically, or read medical journals that use heavy jargon when describing nutritional values of an ingredient, I make use of the education I had.”

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It is this analytical quality to her dietary plans that helps Nandita bust some popular myths around food. “For instance, common foods like potatoes and bananas are often thought of as unhealthy foods to be avoided without understanding that eaten in the right way they bring a lot of health benefits. It’s mostly not the ingredient that is unhealthy but how it is prepared, excluding processed ingredients and sugar of course,” she elaborates.

Nandita is back to her ever-popular blog for now, but ideas for more books are already cooking in her head. “Blogging is for my day-to-day writing, but I want to write a number of other books. I hope this is the start of that part of my career,” she smiles.

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