Webinar held in Panjab University on the importance of ancient grains

Chandigarh, July 17, 2020:The University Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management, Panjab University,
Chandigarh organized a
webinar on “Forgotten
Grains: A Chef’s
Perspective” today.
Chef Manjit Singh Gill,
President, Indian Federation
of Culinary Associations
was the Chief Guest of the
webinar.
Chef Gunjan Goela,
Consultant Chef ITC Hotels
was the key speaker and
Chef Varinder Singh Rana,
Dean Faculty of Hospitality,
GNA University, Phagwara
was the Guest Speaker of
the webinar.
The webinar was inaugurated
by Prof. Raj Kumar,
Vice-Chancellor, Panjab
University, Chandigarh.
He congratulated the
department for organizing
the webinar related to such
an important topic. He said
that in the current scenario,
this topic beholds a great
importance.
He emphasized that it is
the responsibility of the
chefs to innovate recipes and
come up with practices
which will help the re-introduction
of Millets in the staple
food diet of our country.
He blessed the students by
informing them that if they
start working and preparing
themselves from right now
the future is very bright for
them.
Chef Manjit Singh Gill
informed the participants
regarding the history of
grains and expressed his
view that we have now
rediscovered grains, and it’s
time to strategise to bring
them in the mainstream.
He suggested that a
research center be created at
the university level where
different branches like
Agricultural universities,
Home science colleges,
nutritionists etc. can collaborate
under one roof to
improve and innovate various
recipes and farming
techniques of millets.
Chef Gunjan Goela was of
the view that these ancient
grains were a part of staple
diet in Indian kitchens, but
over time, with the introduction
of wheat flour and
refined flour, the use of
these grains started to slowly
fade away.
In villages and rural areas
these grains are still being
used, but in cities the usage
of these grains is almost
negligible.
She stated that the onus of
bringing the ancient grains
back to the main stream will
be on the shoulders of chefs,
who are working in the
industry and are supervising
budding professionals in
academics.
Chef Varinder Rana
informed the participants
about different kinds of
Millets namely Kuttu, Pearl
Sago, Barley, Ragi, Bajra,
Jowar and Maize that could
be used to prepare scrumptious
dishes and emphasized
on the nutritional value of
these grains.
He said that to promote the
Millet culture everyone
associated with the trade
will have to join hands, the
academicians will need to
introduce this topic in the
syllabus so that the budding
professionals can carry the
legacy of Indian heritage
and culture and promote the
use of Millets in the industry
and homes of Indian
kitchens
All the panelists were of a
common view that to promote
the culture of ancient
grains it will be very important
to have more discussions
on this topic, small
exhibitions, competitions,
road shows etc.
Dr. Anish Slath, Director
(UIHTM) informed that during
the last year, a food festival
of millets was organized
by the department in
collaboration with Kheti
Virasat Mission and in
future also the department
has planned to conduct such
type of events.

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