Hello again, everyone!
I was away from Mumbai all throughout September, traveling to Ajmer and Thailand for new stories to share with you; and as promised, here’s sharing a new story with you this month. Watch out for 2 new travel reviews this month, from the land of Rajasthan and the land of Thailand thereafter! I hope you enjoy reading this piece and positively share all your constructive thoughts or feedback in the comments below.
#CraveNoMore Cooking Competition
It all began 6 months ago, when 41 renowned bloggers from different parts of India were invited to The Grand (Vasant Kunj, New Delhi), to experience the extravagant launch of Saffola Masala Oats‘ two new variants: Italian & Chinese oats. None of us had an idea about the surprise cooking competition planned for us. Nobody had even a clue about it! It’s only when we took early morning flights and reached the venue to find 12 cooking stations, right in the middle of the booked banquet hall, we realised what’s cooking… err, rather who’s going to be cooking!
The Phase I of #CraveNoMore was an exciting mystery box challenge wherein 41 food bloggers were presented with the task of identifying exotic Chinese & Italian food ingredients, out of which, 24 bloggers became a part of the exciting competition. The bloggers were picked randomly after distributing a bowl full of paper chits, with a unique number handwritten on each. 12 bloggers cooked their spontaneously conceptualised recipes with their personally preferred, Italian or Chinese oats variant, as the key ingredient first; followed by the other remaining 12 bloggers.
Italian and Chinese flavours were introduced to make snacking guilt-free and tasty. At Rs.15 per packet, it easily qualifies as one of the cheapest options available everywhere now, from general stores to supermarkets. These two new flavours collectively make the ‘Chefs Choice’ range, which is not only loaded with whole grain oats and vegetables, but is also bursting with delicious international flavours, making it an ideal healthy snacking option for weight-watching adults like me.
Here’s a short video to share a glimpse of what happened that day:
Yes.Did my cooking and plating skills impress the judges?
Yes.Was I one of those 6 winners who qualified and proceeded to the next round?
I came, I cooked and I conquered! I’m honoured to know that you liked what I cooked at #SaffolaMasalaOats #CraveNoMore today, @chefkunal @saranshgoila & @shipras_kitchen. I am one of the 6 winners that were announced today and I look forward to cook out of a food truck in Mumbai! Jeetega bhai jeetega, The Big Bhookad jeetega!
Out of those 24 shortlisted to cook that day, only 6 bloggers won an opportunity to qualify for the second and final phase of Saffola Masala Oats Fit Foodie #CraveNoMore, and I feel honoured even today for being one out of those six chosen ones.
While it all began with the launch of Saffola’s Italian and Chinese variants of oats in March, the second and last leg of this culinary extravaganza, was finally initiated 3 months later, during the last week of June. I received an invitation to participate in the Food Truck Challenge organised at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon, and I was equally clueless about what’s on their agenda even that time. I took my flight and reached the mall to discover this sight, right in the middle of the mall!
While we reached a day prior to the competition, we did not manage to prepare much for the next day, and little did we know what’s coming our way. The next day, on Sunday 10th July 2016, the Food Truck Challenge was fought between Chef Saransh leading our Chinese food truck, and Chef Shipra who was mentoring her Italian food truck. I was in-charge to prepare and serve Saransh’s recipe of ‘Chinese Ghotala’ – which was our interpretation of kheema ghotala, served with half fried eggs and sriracha sauce on top. Most of the people could not believe it had been made out of Saffola Masala Oats. After tasting our Chinese Ghotala, I clearly remember a customer telling us: “If oats could be this tasty, I don’t mind switching my snacking habits!”
|The winning team, with Chef Saransh our mentor, and Chef Kunal the judge.|
Saloni from FBAI, Priya from MumasFoodDiary and yours truly The Big Bhookad were proud winners of the #BreakUpWithJunk Food Truck Challenge! We won many gifts that night and more importantly an opportunity to feature in Chef Kunal Kapur‘s next TV show on NDTV Goodtimes.
Two back-to-back episodes of Fit Foodie were also telecasted on NDTV Goodtimes, 3 odd weeks after the competition; but unfortunately, I cannot find those episodes on their website. Nevertheless, this was an unforgettable and unique culinary experience which has now motivated me to cook twice more often than I usually did.
Thank you MSL Group, team Saffola, team Fit Foodie and NDTV for this wonderful experience! Hope to see you all very soon!