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Anushka Rawat On Navigating Simple Eating For A Healthy Lifestyle – Times Now

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Times Now - Article (32)

Anushka Rawat is championing a return to traditional eating

Most people would say that Indian cuisine with all its flavours and spices is anything but simple, but for home chef Anushka Rawat, simplicity holds a different meaning. Over the last few years, the self-taught chef and content creator has been sharing her perspective on what it means to eat well in the modern age, and through her Instagram page (@the.food.cravers) she’s showing people that eating well doesn’t need to be complicated.

We live in an age when people fall head over heels for healthy food trends and elaborate superfood recipes, but Anushka is championing a return to tradition because she believes that traditional Indian food is as wholesome as it gets.

We caught up with the chef and content creator to learn more about her journey and what drives her passion for simple food.

How did you first fall in love with food?

I live to eat good food and have always been a big-time foodie. I was in Delhi for 3 years for my graduation and Delhi University has such good food joints. I then shifted to Hyderabad for 1.5 years for my post-graduation and thought of starting a food page because I used to eat a lot. It was just because of my love for food that I started ‘The Food Cravers’ just to put up food pictures.

During the lockdown, I didn’t know how to cook anything other than basic meals like Maggi, chai, coffee, or macaroni and as no one could go out to eat, I thought of doing something unique. At that time, I learned cooking from my mother and started posting recipes online. Simultaneously, I took up a corporate job as a Debt Manager in Dehradun because social media was just a passion for me at that time. My mother suggested sharing our regional food on my social media handle which inspired the ‘Pahadi Food’ series that worked well for my page, boosting it to grow continuously. My cooking skills have improved a lot over time, and I can proudly say that I am a good cook. I decided to then quit my job and took up content creation as a full-time career.

You’re on a mission to glorify simple food, can you explain how you do that?

I believe that simple food is underrated. For example, Pahadi Food; people didn’t know much about the cuisine before I posted that series. However, ever since it went viral, I have seen so many people posting their regional recipes and that is so wholesome! I love experimenting and cooking simple and wholesome meals! Fancy restaurant meals are good, of course, but at the end of the day, you would want to have a simple plate of Dal Chawal or Roti Sabzi, so my mission is to glorify and showcase simple meals beautifully.

Times Now - Article 33
According to Anushka Rawat, the best food is always the simplest

What are some of the most interesting regional recipes you’ve tried?

One of the rarest recipes that I came across was Tohan Mosdeng, originating from Tripura. It’s chicken boiled with lots of chillies, ginger, and garlic mixed with raw onions and coriander. I was surprised by the burst of flavours since boiled chicken tastes bland most of the time but this was so good! The one thing that I have noticed across regional cuisines is that no matter where you go in India, more or less the basic ingredients for recipes are the same, the only difference is the way they are used.

How do you believe Indian cuisine fits into the modern concept of clean eating?

Indian cuisine fits into the modern concept of clean eating perfectly. Starting with my native recipes, Pahadi Food is mostly vegan. There’s a millet called ‘Jhangora’ also known as ‘Sama Ke Chawal’, which is a vegan and nutritious option for clean eating. A fun fact about this is that it has been a part of our grandparents and ancestors’ diet for ages. There’s ‘Bhatt Ki Dal’ also called Black Soybean, a vibrant source of protein that is also super healthy. People are advised not to eat dal, rice, etc but if eaten with portion control, all these meals are healthy. Of course, a dietitian or a nutritionist would know better but this is my observation. I am a fitness enthusiast and I try to eat clean and healthy and for that, I don’t make any fancy meals, just good ‘desi khana’.

I believe it is important to incorporate these traditional meals into our diet because we all need a meal plan that we can sustain. One cannot survive on quinoa or oatmeal and salads every day. Normal daily food can be made tasty and it is something that we can sustain.

How can people protect and champion the fading traditional Indian recipes?

A few years back, regional recipes were fading but now it’s all over social media and people are loving it. So many creators, now, share their native foods and recipes and that is very wholesome. I have also tried a couple of their recipes and loved them! So in a way, social media is keeping our regional Indian cuisine alive.

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