Basmati for the World!

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Two days, 35 food journalists from across the world, 15 top international chefs and some of India’s most high pro le government o cials… The rice industry has never seen such a high pro leevent as the inaugural Basmati for the World conference. Naturally Chaat was there to sample every morsel of it. From extensive discussions on just how much Basmati rice is exported from India each year ($2.5billion last year alone!), to live demonstrations by incredibly talented chefs, and a lavish Bollywood party; the conference was a series of vibrant events, each one boasting the rice’s versatility. Well, all of them except the big party… That was just a classic case of fantastic Indian hospitality.

The event came complete with a book launch. Basmati: Fragrance, Flavour & Finery. A tome with a twist, many of the recipes were European and American interpretations of the ingredients, allowing the usually typecast grain of rice to add its nutty, aromatic strengths to a wide range of dishes such as monk sh sushi, beetroot and pumpkin risotto and rice pudding with apple and caramel. “During the unique two day initiative celebrity culinary masters will re-invent their own local dishes with Indian basmati rice,” boasted Mr Asit Tripathy, Chairman of India main food export body APEDA. He was backed up with a more bona  de reason for the timing of the event as India’s  commerce Secretary Shri Rahul Khullar explained…

“Indian Basmati has gained greater recognition for its quality in the world market and country has recently been successful in expanding export of this unique aromatic rice to new markets including Africa, Europe Latin America, Oceania and Central Asian regions. As part of Government’s newer strategy to double over all exports by year 2014 a special focus has been given on employment intensive sector agri-exports for which the export target has been set at $22 billion. The Ministry of Commerce has prepared a strategy paper envisaging doubling of exports to $500 billion by 2014.” Mindboggling  gures, an encouraging sign of India’s economic growth, a chance to witness some of the most exciting chefs in the world and of course, sample some ridiculously exquisite basmati-based recipes. The UK is already one of basmati’s largest importers, but recipes like these unique ideas overleaf could easily see our import  gures rise just that little bit further…


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