Some Lesser Known Facts About Nita Mehta
- Nita has been interested in cooking since she was a teenager. In an interview, on being asked about her interest in cooking, she said,
I was interested in cooking since my teenage days. As a little girl, I would bake cakes and cookies with my neighbour aunts. My passion for cooking carved my path.”
- According to the media, Nita Mehta is a cooking and nutrition expert. She has written 400 cookbooks. Some of these books include Indian Cooking With Olive Oil, Vegetarian Chinese, Zero Oil Cooking, Diabetes Delicacies, 101 Recipes for Children, and The Best of Chicken and Paneer. In an interview, she said that her friends and family liked her cooking and always appreciated her and so she started penning down the recipes. Her husband helped her convert the recipes written on pages into a complete book.
- Nita started a culinary academy in 2001 in New Delhi that is known as Nita Mehta Culinary Academy. The courses taught in the academy are those for fast food, traditional Indian meals, picnic packs, low-calorie snacks, salads, desserts, chocolates, confectionery and “healthy heart” recipes. Talking about her academy in an interview, she said,
I started cooking classes for fun and to pass my time at home. I wanted to keep an eye on my growing children as well as do something. Cooking classes, I thought was a good option. I enjoyed taking classes at home as it was a good social outlet for me. I enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life — there were Doctors, lawyers, housewives etc. attending my classes. Soon I realized this hobby can be turned into a profession and then I opened my first formal culinary academy. After that there was no looking back.”
- The academy also teaches International cuisines such as Burmese, Lebanese, Japanese and Singaporean. According to Mehta, people are willing to learn these cuisines more. Nita started taking cooking classes for Rs 100 per student for four days, at her home in Delhi.
- She started teaching the recipes of Nirula’s ice cream. This was a new ice-cream parlour in the society and people wanted to learn their recipe.
- Nita has opened her own publishing house named SNAB Publishers. Most of the books published by the house are written by Nita herself.
- She opened a restaurant in Ludhiana in 2012 named ‘Kelong.’ In an interview, she talked about her restaurant and said,
My first restaurant is “Kelong” in Ludhiana which is a multi-cuisine restaurant. We offer Indian & oriental cuisine, all cooked with fresh ingredients. I try my best to see that the food served is tasty, healthy and hygienic. We opened another restaurant ‘Lemon Grass’ which offers Thai & Mexican food.”
- Soon, Nita became a celebrity and was invited by Panasonic for an event organised in Coimbatore in 2004. In this event, Nita was asked to share recipes for microwave cooking so that it could also do the promotion for the microwave.
- In 2007, Kurkure ran a recipe contest that was judged by Nita.
- In 2010, Hamdard Laboratories asked Nita to make new mocktails and desserts for their product Rooh Afza that is the most used in summers.
- In the same year, a school named Step by Step in New Delhi consulted Nita to make a menu for the students that they had to bring to school.
- She has also judged many cooking shows like Mallika-e-Kitchen 2011 in Chandigarh. In the same year, she appeared in the MasterChef India contest as a judge. Sharing her experience about judging a contest, in an interview she said,
Judging competitions is pretty tough. The first thing that I see is the flavour. The texture of food, I mean cooked just right is very important too. A little overcooking or undercooking can alter the taste a lot. I like the food to be garnished simply. Sometimes the contestant over garnish the food, taking eyes away from the real food.”
- On being asked in an interview about how she brings innovation to the recipes, she said,
I travel a lot, visit restaurants and try out new dishes. I never hesitate to ask about a particular dish because I believe that learning is never-ending. Many times, I collect ingredients lying in the kitchen and try to create something interesting with them. Cooking is a very creative art, but technical too. If you understand food well, you can create endless recipes.”
- In 2016, Nita started her own range of spices, Nita Mehta Spices. Talking about the spices in an interview, Nita said,
I have never used readymade masalas and always prefer grinding and mixing my own spices, but over time I figured it is not possible for everybody to do this tedious task all the time. My range of masalas has the same ingredients that I use at home. They bring out the essence of each recipe.”
- According to Nita, cooking is a science and anyone can learn how to cook but if someone is blessed with cooking skills, it becomes easier to learn cooking.
- Nita also said in an interview that the most unhealthy food eaten by Indians is too much sugar in tea, namkeens and unhealthy oils like palm oil.
- Giving the advice to change the fast food into healthy food, Nit said in an interview,
Reinvent fast food recipes to make them healthy by adding super food. Change way of cooking from frying to pan grilled. Also make the food look attractive so that the child feels like trying it.”
- She has also started her Youtube channel where all the recipes are easily available.
- In another interview, she gave tips to the beginners, she said,
When you are reading a cookbook, have faith in it. Read the recipe carefully, collect the ingredients and then start cooking. Better still, work it out in your mind first, and then do the actual cooking. Also, always cook in a good mood; food is the expression of love. That’s why mothers’ food is different than the staff’s food.”
- On her Instagram page, she shares about her classes, the ingredients available in her store and her books.