Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) 2017
It was an absolute honor to be invited to the Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) 2017 arranged by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission. The ABWI 2017 took place across multiple cities from 28 August to 1 September 2017. The successful inaugural event of 2015 resulted in lasting relationships between numerous businesses in both countries and proved to be fruitful. ABWI aims at expanding Australia – India collaboration and partnerships in fields of agribusiness and food, innovation, higher education, smart infrastructure, resources and mining technology, and services. India is forecast to be the third-largest economy by 2030 given that today it is among the fastest growing economies in the world. Did you know that India is expected to achieve an average annual growth of 7.73% between 2017-19? This means that India’s growth trajectory opens up countless trade and investment opportunities for countries like Australia.
Through initiatives like “Digital India”, “Start-up India” and “Make in India” it is evident that the Indian Government is striving for innovation and for improving the functioning of businesses in India. And Australia is all in support of the same and has the capabilities to help India utilise its natural resources, increase food and energy security and thereby support the economic growth of the nation. Given that India is Australia’s fifth largest export market and ninth largest two-way trade partner, I honestly believe that the constructive, collaborative efforts of the two countries will be really rewarding.
It was indeed a true pleasure to be part of such a significant event.
And it was incredibly great to be cooking with the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment showcasing Australian produce combined with some of my favourite Indian flavours.
The foundation of good cooking is quality ingredients, and that’s what Australia can offer. Today people are more concerned than ever about whether their food is high-quality and safe. Australia is spoiled for choice when it comes to ingredients like meat, fish, fruit and nuts. As a nation of immigrants, we can indulge in any number of cuisines. Australians today grow up eating Aloo Gobi, Vindaloo and Gulab Jamun – loving the spice and the depth of flavour in Indian food. And we are curious about a cuisine as rich as India’s which has developed over centuries in many different regions?
So, when Austrade invited me to attend the gala dinner and film a cooking segment at AWBI for CNBC I was beyond thrilled! I cooked with some of my favourite Australian ingredients – Lamb, Barramundi, Macadamias and Blueberries. Lamb is one of Australia’s most iconic plates and was a staple at the family dinner table. Today it still stands out internationally for its quality and its flavour. I prepared the Lamb Vindaloo – recipe coming soon!
Barramundi, as some of you will know, is a great Australian sport fish – it’s tough to reel in but it’s worth the effort. It has a firm, moist, white pinkish flesh and it’s very versatile – you can steam it, fry it, bake it or barbecue it. I presented the fish in a Goan Barramundi Fish Curry – recipe coming soon!
The juicy Australian blueberries are just the perfect fruit to pair with one of my all-time favourite Indian dishes Seviya. Blueberries are bursting with disease-fighting antioxidants, more than almost any other fruit or vegetable. I created a blueberry compote topped with crushed Australian macadamias. Not everyone in India will be familiar with macadamias. Macadamias are high in monounsaturated fat which has been proven to lower the rate of coronary heart disease. They’re the star of the dish.
Here’s a shot of all that I prepared at the AWBI 2017: –
Working in India and experimenting with Indian and Australian produce, techniques and approaches has been a wonderful experience for me. Australia has a diverse range of premium food products and ingredients on offer for Indian chefs and home cooks alike. Cooking with Australian macadamias or barramundi will give them an opportunity to use the Aussie ingredients and prepare something with Indian spices. Customers today are very well informed, and very concerned with their health. If food can be delicious and healthy then there’s nothing quite like it. Food and culture are so inextricably linked that I believe Australian produce and food are strongly associated with some of the national traits – fresh, diverse and trustworthy. Now pair that with the distinct flavours of India and you have the most diverse dishes on your plates. The fact that so much of Australian produce is available at various Indian stores is a way to take a journey to Australia without even stepping on a plane.