“My plan is to take South India cuisine to global level,” says Aruna Vijay

Aruna Vijay. PHOTO: Twittter @vjcarsofficial

Aruna Vijay, the first woman from the southern part of India, Tamil Nadu to participate in the National Level Cooking Competition on Sunday, April 16, 2023, said that her aim is to take South Indian cuisine to the global level.

While speaking to ANI, Vijay said,” I am the first South Indian woman from Tamil Nadu to participate in National Level Cooking Competition. I want to break the myth about us that our cuisine only involves Idly’s and dosa’s”.

Vijay added that, “The main reason for going into South Indian cuisine on a national platform is that I was born and brought up in Tamilnadu and this is home for me. This is the kind of food I have grown up eating.”

According to her, the cuisine from the south is underrepresented on national platforms.

“Our cuisine is under-represented. There is a myth in South Indian foods that everyone says it is only about Idly and Dosa but we have much better dishes in South Indian cuisine and that is what I wanted to show,” she said.

She also said Tamil Nadu has a lot to offer in terms of vegetarian cuisine.

“I do not cook non-veg due to certain value systems and principles of our family culture. Tamil Nadu has a cuisine that has got so much to offer in terms of vegetarianism itself and this is where I want to educate people that we have wonderful vegetarian foods from the South,” she said.

She also contended that the language barrier is one of the main reasons why people from the south do not come to participate in national-level competitions.

“One major reason others have problems in taking part in National Level Cooking competitions is language barriers. Unless you know Hindi you cannot present yourself on National Platforms. So this is where it has been an advantage for me as I come from Rajasthan and my mother language is Hindi,” she said.

“It is my privilege to take part in a National television cooking Competition and National platforms to represent my state food dishes,” she added.

She further stated that her biggest achievement in her life is after Chef Vikas Khanna included one of her dishes at his restaurant in New York.

“This is the biggest achievement of my life when he decided to include ‘Moor Kali enji Puli Chetney’ in his new restaurant in New York. It is nothing less than a dream come true for me,” she added.

On her IFBA award (Indian Food and Beverages Award), she told ANI, “I got that award for promoting South Indian regional Cuisine. Do not forget the roots you come from. I have been recognised for this award and I am happy to bring back this recognition to the state.

“I am a Marwadi but Tamil Nadu is the home for me, this is my motherland,” she said.

(This article appeared in ANI online April 17, 2023)



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