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Taking Indian Cuisine To Feed The Vikings

India, says Sarita Sehjpal, has given what is probably one of the most important ingredients to the world, crystallised sugar. It was back in the year 290 BC that Greek ambassador Megasthenes reported that people in the India Valley eat honey made by men and not by honeybees, the India-born entrepreneur writes in her new book in Norwegian, Saritas Indiske Kjokken. In those days, they made sugar out of sugarcane, which is native to Papua New Guinea.  Describing her well-researched book as “not only a recipe book but also a history of Indian food, tracing its journey from pre-historical times till today”. Having grown up in Norway she is fluent in the local language, besides Hindi and Punjabi, which were spoken at home, and decided to introduce Indian food to the Scandinavian region. Beginning with selling home-made, ready-to-eat Indian meals in grocery stores in her city of Kristiansand, she built her own brand, SaritaS. Along the way, the minority immigrant has blossomed into a distinguished name in Norwegian society, whose life story is taught as an inspirational biography in an English textbook in Norwegian schools, Step by Step. Her first book, Sarita’s India, was sold widely across Norway and was even nominated for a literature prize. Today, having made SaritaS the biggest Indian brand in Norway, with a portfolio of chilled Indian ready-to-eat meals, Indian sauces, chutneys and the like.