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Foodie Talk with Sana Ziya


Name- Sana Ziya
Instagram handle - @thefooditarians

What is your favourite food memory from childhood?
As   a kid, whenever I used to feel some dish is spicy, my mother would give me a banana to have along with the food. Later on, it became a ritual. My mother kept the fruit ready for me. Even now, there are times when I eat a banana with roti.

What’s your favourite comfort food?
It has to be dal chawal with curd and pickle.

3 reasons why you consider yourself a Foodie?
1.  Food makes me happy.  It’s my happy moment since it elevates my mood. The easiest way to pamper me is to tempt me with delicious food.
2. It was my passion for food that prompted me to get into blogging.  I enjoy jotting down my experiences. Also I have learnt a lot about food, cooking, ingredients and different cuisines. I became adventurous and experimental in trying out new cuisines.
3. My mom is a great cook and I think I have got my foodie genes from her. Even my grandmother (Nani) was a good cook, she would make simple dishes but the taste would be great and it remained the same over the years. So both of them have been instrumental in building my taste buds.

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Which are your three favourite cuisine? Why?
 1. South-Indian food - I can have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is light on the gut and healthy. Also I have spent a lot of time in Matunga (during my post-graduation) so have explored South-Indian food to a great extent and cultivated the taste. 
2. Chinese - From my childhood eating habits, you might get to know that I am not someone who likes spicy food, but I can never say 'NO' to Schezwan. Till date, Manchow remains my first choice when it comes to soup. Chinese food is one cuisine which I like in the 'Indian' version as well as the 'authentic' version. If I am having a bad day, this is something which instantly makes me feel good.
3. Italian- I am more of a roti-chawal person but once in a while I do love binging on pizzas and pastas.

What’s the strangest dish you’ve ever tried? 
Wasabi ice-cream

What is your favourite fruit and vegetable? And your favourite herb/spice?
My favourite vegetables are cucumber, potato, gavar and spinach.
My favourite fruits are mango, watermelon, chikoo and banana.
Favourite spice is pepper.
Favourite herb is oregano and basil. My pizza and pasta would be incomplete without oregano.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Undoubtedly Dal-Chawal and also Dal Khichdi.

Have you ever travelled anywhere just/mainly for the food?
No, I haven't travelled as such, but would like to explore different cuisines of the world. I don't hesitate in trying the local food of a particular place that I visit. The farthest that I would have travelled for food would be the dhabas at the outskirts of Mumbai. 

What’s been your biggest kitchen splurge so far?
An electric tandoor from an exhibition. My mom and me wanted to try out making tikkas and seekh kebabs at home. It was a splurge for sure but worth the treats we create at home.

Do you indulge in food porn? Actively or passively? What impresses you with food porn?
Oh yes, I do indulge in food porn. Sometimes simple dishes are clicked so beautifully and aesthetically. 
A perfect food picture can prompt you to experiment with a new dish. I indulge in food pornography also because you learn about angles and lighting of the pic. Yes, I am fond of food photography. I love trying new cuisines, I love clicking well-plated food dishes.

What kind of oil do you use most of all?
Groundnut, sunflower oil, sometimes olive oil. My mother keeps switching as there are different benefits from different oils.

Any quirky food dishes combinations you have invented or love feasting on?
I haven't invented as such. My quirky combination has been having vanilla ice cream with moong dal halwa.  Recently, I also tried cheesecake ice cream at a Bohri wedding, I loved it. Bohri caterers do experiment a lot and come up with new dishes and combinations.   I suppose these are the perks of being a Bohri, you get to try out innovative food variations. 

Your take on:
Keto diets - Keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. This may be useful for overweight or obese people and Keto diet could assist in losing weight quickly. A    word of caution is that there might be weight gain again soon.  For me, it is more of a fad-diet. My priority would be a healthy, fit body rather than a slim body

Intermittent fasting - Being a Muslim, I follow Ramadan (which is a form of intermittent fasting). From personal experience I can say, fasting surely detoxifies your body. Sometimes when you have over-eaten the previous day, it helps in bringing your body to equilibrium again and give it the much-needed rest.

Fusion food cuisine – I have tried some of them. These variations hit the right chords subject to the correct combination of dishes or cuisines.

Which superfoods have impressed you the most?

1. Yoghurt
2. Raw nuts
3. Leafy vegetables
4. Fish
5. Berries

What are your favourites?

Over-rated Indian restaurant in your city (and why) – I find places that focus more on the ambience (than the food) quite over-rated. As an avid foodie, for me the food flavours should stand out, the other factors add more brownie points.

How do you detox your body after an overdose of eating out?
Intermittent fasting, having light meals like curd rice and lime juice.

Any health foods you swear by?
Milk and milk products.
Beans, Lentils
Simple, easy to find, and easy to make.

Who’s your favourite celebrity chef?
Sanjeev Kapoor
Vikas Khanna
Ranveer Brar
All 3 of them make cooking look so easy, fun and comfortable.

What’s your favourite food-related TV programme?
Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khana Khazana has been a favorite. Most of us have literally grown up watching his cookery shows. What I like about him is his subtle style. His smiling face makes you forget the dollops of ghee and high calorie ingredients he is using in the dish preparation.
Highway on My Plate- Rocky & Mayur.  I envy these two as they are doing both the things that I love - eating and travelling together.

What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
Refrigerator and oven. One is a good storage and you can try different foodie experiment with an oven.