“Change is a necessity, and we must be a step ahead of the times for success to embrace us,” says Nita, whose success has been due to her ability to change in keeping with the need of the hour.
Her latest venture is Nita Mehta Foods: boxes of fresh ready-to-cook ingredients for different recipes. Starting in November 2017, it has already become a roaring success.
Sitting in her buzzing factory kitchen at Okhla Phase 2 in Delhi with five staff members, Nita explains the concept. “A box of Paneer Lababdar Bao that serves 4-5 people contains the required sauces, chopped veggies, pickled ginger and fresh baos,” she says. “You only need to sauté the veggies and assemble the sauces and the meal is ready.”
Nita Mehta Foods, operational only in Delhi NCR for now, sells 300 boxes per month and their target turnover in the first year is Rs 1 crore. Its consumers are working people, who don’t have the time to chop veggies and make sauces while rushing to the office or after a long day.
It is this very ability to move with the times that made Nita start cooking classes in 1982. Her husband’s medicine business was going downhill and she decided to chip in with whatever little she could do.
Inspired by her mother, who was herself a great cook, she started on a journey that would change her life forever.
Her classes were on ice creams. Nirula’s 21 flavours range was new in the market and a big hit at that time and Nita knew people would be keen to make them at home. She tried all the flavours and perfected recreating them.
“My kids were grown up and didn’t need me as much as earlier,” says Nita. “I started the classes at home with zero investment as all the required amenities were already available.”
Once she started, her students wanted to learn more. She again hit the restaurants to figure out the best recipes to teach.
“I even attended some cookery classes and found them really boring and ensured that my classes will not be like those,” she laughs.
Nita started teaching Chinese, Mughlai, Continental and Indian recipes. Charging Rs 100 per student for a three-day class, she taught about 20 students in each batch.
“This kind of money was pretty good in those days. The students were queuing up. They would just stand in the waiting area and watch others while they were cooking,” she remembers with a twinkle in her eyes.
Her classes focused on the joy of cooking, and learning the fine art. “Instead of wasting time in noting down recipes, I gave handouts to them,” she explains. “The students enjoyed the classes, as they cooked and socialised and enjoyed the food. Charging only about 15 per cent extra in comparison to other classes, I ensured that each student became confident about their cooking skills.”
Since the recipes were tried and tested there was no scope of failure. She also generously gave out tips and hints that helped students beyond their expectations.
Encouraged by her popularity, and some publisher friends, she started writing her first book in 1992, Vegetarian Wonders. However once she finished, she couldn’t find a publisher.
“My husband encouraged me to break my fixed deposits, and I self-published it,” she says, “a radical thought at that time.”
The book sold only 3,000 copies that year. She was expecting it to be a bigger success because her classes were always so popular.
“I pondered over the reasons for this and figured that I wasn’t offering anything new to the readers,” says Nita. “I had subconsciously written a book in a style and format that had been done to death.”
So for her next self-published book, Paneer All the Way, she went for a smaller size, and made it a handy booklet. It had Indian, Chinese and Continental recipes with paneer and even desserts, like paneer kheer.
“With this niche subject, once the book came out, it flew off the shelves,” says Nita.
It sold 3,000 copies within the first week and there were pre-orders for more.
After hitting the mantra for a successful cookbook there was no looking back. She went on to write about 400 cookbooks. Her book Flavors of Indian Cooking went on to win the World Cook Book Fair Award in Paris in 1997.
A smart business person is one who realises the potential of a new venture at the right time. “Somewhere while getting my books published I realised it will be a good idea to start my own publishing house, as this will mean better profits,” shares Nita, now 66.
She started a publishing house, Snab Publishers, in 1994. Knowing that cookbooks might lose their charm with the advent of the internet, she diversified into publishing children’s books by other authors, on various topics like mythology, folk tales and history.
Starting with Rs 4 lakh, Snab now has a turnover of more than Rs 4 crore, with eight dedicated staff members.
In 2016, Nita started her own range of spices, Nita Mehta Spices. She took inputs from food technologists and added her own expertise. “I have never used readymade masalas and always prefer grinding and mixing my own spices,” says Nita, “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.”
It took a team of about 20 core members a year to lock in on the packaging design and setting up the plant. Nine staff members oversee various processes and ensure that the spices reach the stores as soon as possible. In the market for the past one year, they yielded a turnover of around Rs 3 crore in the first year.
“It is a boon for health freaks as they know what they are eating is fresh and healthy,” says Nita, once again showing her acumen for tapping into the current trends.
Besides all these ventures, her classes continue in Vasant Vihar, Delhi, where she built a state-of-the-art kitchen academy in 2000, and still gets a sizeable number of students. Her son, Anurag Mehta, who helms the marketing and logistics of the Nita Mehta brand, is her pillar of support.
All her businesses run under Nita Mehta Private Limited, of which her husband owns 30 per cent and her son 20 per cent. The rest is owned by Nita Mehta herself.
“I have now started my YouTube channel as well, where all the recipes can be accessed easily,” says Nita, who signs off by showing that even after crossing the age of 60 she can adapt her talent to the changing times yet again.
Food is one thing that has to be strictly organized, so as to extract most benefit from it!
I always believe that our physical health is linked to our spiritual one too! So make sure you eat right to maintain that balance. Having said that, it is also important to imbibe a knowhow on what you are eating! Below are some herbs that have to rule your kitchen. Why? Read on to know why....
CELERY- the herb in the crowd
Celery! Termed as a Negative Calorie herb, this fresh green stalk and leaves is a slimmers friend! The name "celery” retraces the plant's route of successive adoption in European cooking.
Celery is a fresh green stalk with leaves. Its leaves are strongly flavoured and are used less often,either as a flavouring in soups or as a dried herb. Celery seed is also used as a spice.
Celery is used in weight-loss diets, where it provides low-cal dietary fiber bulk. The digestion of a stalk of celery burns more calories than the food itself contains.
Moreover this herb is packed with...
Good source of potassium - helps to maintain BP has an anti inflammatory agent which is helpful in reducing the painful symptoms in gout.
How to buy celery?
Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp. When selecting, keep in mind, the darker the color the stronger the flavor. Old celery is more whitish in color and becomes hollow in the middle.
How to store celery?
Simply wrap in aluminium foil or plastic wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator vegetable box. It lasts good upto 4-5 days in refrigerator.
Celery in my food
1. I have a glass of vegetable juice- 1 carrot, 1 small cucumber. 1 tomato, 1 stalk of celery along with leaves. I add 1 sweet lime (maousami)/orange or 1/2 apple to improve the taste of vegetable juice.
2. A tbsp of chopped celery can be added along with chopped onions while making your sauces or even Indian masalas for your sabzis.
I have great respect for this grain!
Look at its benefits: High in soluble fiber. Contains vitamin E and some B vitamins, as well as iron and calcium. They help in weight loss, lowering blood sugar level and also reduce risk of heart diseases.
How to incorporate oats in your diet?
Add oats to your snacks/meals...add to besan chillahs for breakfast, mix it with your aloo tikki, enrich your shakes & smoothies with oats, add a handful when frying pakoras for kadhi.
How much oats to eat per serving?
3 tbsp of uncooked oats to be had per serving as after being cooked it becomes a small bowl to enjoy. Also oats have a good calorie content, so portion size is important.
Chef's Tip:- add right amount of water to your oats poridge, as overcooking due to extra water, makes it slimy. You may add fruits, nuts, honey, jaggery to it.
#InternationalChefsDay today, get to know these OGs of Indian culinary scene who put us on the world map!
From starting Indian recipe cookbooks on a large scale to the pioneers of cooking TV shows. From reviving traditional Indian cooking methods to brining international foods to India. These OGs have done it all, seen it all, said it all!
Super foods are foods which are nutritionally dense and good for one's health.
Example: quinoa, blueberries, chia seeds, green tea, broccoli, strawberries, eggs, beans, oats, nuts, micro greens, beetroot etc.
Salads - can be served as an appetizer, accompaniment or as a main course. It should be crisp, colorful, refreshing and delicious. Sauces used for salads are often called 'dressings, which are categorized into two Basic types:
1. Vinaigrette base dressing-oil and vinegar base.
2. Creamy dressing-mayonnaise, ranch, sour cream.... A good salad may include salad greens, vegetables, a portion of protein-cheese, tofu, quinoa, chicken, lentils, sprouts, egg etc and to add more nutrition and taste to it; some healthy nuts.
There are certain super foods which are gaining popularity these days: 'Quinoa' is one of them. Quinoa pronounced as 'keen-wah' is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It is a seed which is prepared and eaten similarly to grain. It is gluten free, complete protein and really healthy to have. Wonderful for a Low-Carb Diet. I add quinoa to my salads to moke it extremely delicious and healthy.
HOW TO BUY AND USE QUINOA: There are many varieties of quinoa available in the market, red, white, black... white variety is preferred for flavour comparatively to others. Before you cook quinoa it is very important to rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh soup strainer, this helps remove its bitterness if any. Quinoa is cooked with 2.5-3 times water added to it. A little salt and lemon juice added to it when boiling it in water, enhances its taste. Look for tiny white tails or sprouts germinating from the seeds, when cooked properly.
The new normal for consumers is to cook various cuisines at home having the restaurant taste & appeal. This desire is further fuelled in current times (pandemic) and people want to recreate the same textures & flavours at home. Moreover a large section of the market using unbranded ingredients from the unorganized market. There is a need and desire of people to use unadulterated, branded ingredients which they can trust. Most available ingredients lack experience-based formulations which lead to a consumer disconnect.
Freshly prepared food with good quality ingredients is paramount for tasty & healthy food. This was the thought that gave birth to Nita Mehta Foods. NITA MEHTA FOODS ia Founder-Chef-backed initiative, by Chef Nita Mehta, to bring out specialized food products for the kitchen & home chef like spices, pickles, seasonings, etc. The Mission of Nita Mehta Foods is - ‘Bringing Flavors to the Kitchen’. All Nita Mehta products have no chemical preservatives & 100% real taste. Nita Mehta is a name that needs no introduction in the field of food. She is one of the most trusted chefs in India and enjoys the trust of Indian homemakers across the country and abroad.
The products are the outcome of Chef Nita Mehta's 40 years of experience & expertise. To date over 70 SKUS of specialized spice blends, pickles & seasonings have been launched and many more products are in the pipeline.
Besides this, seeing the current Pandemic situation, the team is developing a new product to fight against all infections and especially Covid related infections. It will be a powder form product having high protein, minerals & vitamins, flavored with spices, to ensure a delicious taste to the end product. Nita and her team is working hard on the development of many such exciting products too.
Besides Offline distribution, the focus is on creating a D2C and they have launched their own e-commerce website - nitamehta.com “Our future plans are to increase our range of food products offerings and also building up an online food content creation platform,” says Nita Mehta.
“Our mission is to build an Omni-channel brand of food products for the millions of homemakers who strive for excellence in cooking,” says Anurag Mehta, CEO of Nita Mehta Foods who was instrumental in establishing Nita Mehta Cookery books as the best selling books in the nation selling over 8 million copies
Article Post By - Dailyhunt
Among all the other spices present in our kitchen, haldi or turmeric has most of the benefits. It can shield us, heal us and lead us to a healthier lifestyle. How does turmeric have all these amazing powers? Read ahead to learn about the exciting health-improving powers of turmeric, making it the King of all spices.
Extraordinary Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric has a bitter, earthy and somewhat musky taste, with a pinch of peppery flavour. That implacable and strong flavours of all the curry powders. Yep! That is turmeric. It works as a brilliant taste agent and also gives a remarkable golden-yellow hue to most Indian recipes.
Here are some of its health benefits-
A great aid for digestion
Have you ever wondered why while cooking multiple Indian dishes we use copious quantities of turmeric? The colour and the flavour are the first assumptions we could think of, but the real catch is turmeric increases the secretion of digestive juices that helps to digest faster.
Turmeric is a powerhouse of Antioxidants
The antioxidant ability of turmeric is extremely useful. Our bodies can be prepared to fight free radicals by using turmeric as our shield. The spice boosts our immunity and stimulates brain functioning to prevent such diseases.
Inflammation Fighting Spice
Turmeric consists of Curcumin, a key influencer that reduces inflammation. An unhealthy diet can cause chronic inflammation, leading to ailments such as obesity, cancer, heart disease, etc.
Immunity boosting spice
Do you recall the western version of haldi doodh that went viral last year- golden milk, or turmeric latte? The fame is well suited! The antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties fight infections and improve the immune system profoundly.
Turmeric Stimulates Brain Function
The BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor is increased with the use of Turmeric. This is a vital part of the maintenance and growth of nerve cells in our brain. Intake of high protein is beneficial to cognitive function, mood, and memory.
Helps in Lowering Cholesterol
Too much cholesterol often summons strokes and heart diseases. The circulating cholesterol’s volume can be reduced by turmeric while raising the liver metabolism by preventing oxidation of the cholesterol.
There are plenty of other benefits of turmeric consumption that would amaze you, even if it's hard to believe. Needless to mention, that you will use it for the authentic flavour and colour in your food, while you can also add it in juices, smoothies, and herbal teas. Additionally, you can also add turmeric to different kinds of milk and its preparations to increase its power.
Choose authentic and fresh turmeric to ensure these health benefits produced at the best farms that retain the natural oil out of haldi. Products that are prepared in the backyard of Nita Mehta assure the best quality spices that are 100% natural and authentic. Her interest in cooking different kinds of food has led her to explore the arena of pure spice production. Have a taste, order now.
The opinions and views expressed, with analysis and assumptions presented in this context, come from the author(s) while not particularly reflecting any official position or policy of another organization, agency, company, or employer.
The data, included relatively not limited to, text, images, graphics, and other elements contained on the website are directed to informational purpose only. This website aims to promote mass consumer knowledge and understanding of various health subjects.
Note that it doesn’t intend to substitute professional medical treatment, advice, or diagnosis. At all times seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare professionals for any questions you may have regarding treatment or medical condition, before starting a new healthcare regimen.
Make sure you never disregard medical advice from a professional or detain seeking one because you read something on this website.
Indian food follows multiple ayurvedic teachings, by using fresh ingredients and complementing it with spices that help in nourishing the mind and body. Conscious consumption of authentic dishes prepared in India acts as fuel for our body. Generous amounts of spices used in Indian food adds flavour to our appetite and ensures a healthy lifestyle.
Take a look at some of the common spices that are used daily in Indian dishes and their benefits.
Coriander Powder or Seeds
Used as a powder or as whole seeds, it helps to cure osteoporosis, maintain the level of blood sugar, heals infections on our skin and releases abdominal pain.
Red Chilli Powder or Whole Spice
The core component of red chillies is capsaicin that gives a strong taste and health benefits. Used mainly for flavour and colour, red chillies decrease inflammation, protects the heart, aids metabolism, and boosts immunity.
Cumin is an integral part of tadkas, it is used as a powder or whole seeds. Cumin helps cure anaemia, promotes digestion, helps treat anaemia, prevent diabetes and has many other healing properties.
Along with adding beautiful golden colour to the food, haldi is filled with antioxidants and it improves digestion, lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity. Curcumin is the key element making turmeric a very powerful spice.
Mixed with both sweet dishes and savouries, cinnamon aids in improving insulin sensitivity and in maintaining blood sugar levels. Also, it shields the heart, increases brain function, and releases inflammation,
Black pepper used powdered, semi crushed, or whole aids digestion helps in weight loss, promotes nutrient absorption, and keeps the heart-healthy. Many use it as a home remedy for common cough and cold.
Apart from offering a pleasant taste, cardamom is beneficial for our metabolism, gastrointestinal health, and heart. Its antimicrobial attributes help us treat infections.
For reaping the maximum benefits of spices and enjoying their healing powers, you have to use them in their purest forms. Many spices that are available in the shops have their natural oil extracted for other purposes. In order to buy the best to get all the nutritional values of the spices, choose spices that are certified and have the natural oils retained.
Spices produced under the brand Nita Mehta, are 100% pure and do not have any chemical preservatives. At all stages of production, spices are passed through a quality check to maintain high standards. Try it yourself to taste exceptional flavours.
The opinions and views expressed, with analysis and assumptions presented in this context are those coming from the author(s) while not particularly reflecting any official position or policy of another organization, agency, company, or employer.
The data, included relatively not limited to, text, images, graphics, and other elements contained on the website are directed to informational purpose only. The aim of this website is to promote mass consumer knowledge and understanding of various health subjects.
Note that it doesn’t intend to substitute professional medical treatment, advice, or diagnosis. At all times seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare professionals for any questions you may have regarding treatment or medical condition, prior to starting a new healthcare regimen.
Make sure you never disregard medical advice from a professional or detain seeking one because you read something on this website