Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month – Women in the Food Industry Panel – Monday 15th July 2024

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Celebrating South Asian Heritage Month – Recap of the event

Women in the Food Industry brought you an insightful panel event, with a showcase of South Asian snacks, & soft drinks. You will have met an inspirational panel of women who are leveraging their food businesses to promote intercultural dialogue & you also discovered some of the challenges they faced as South Asian women in the food industry and how they overcame them.

South Asian Heritage Month runs from July 18th to August 17th in 2024. The month was set up to deepen people’s understanding of the rich and diverse contributions of South Asian communities to British society, promote intercultural dialogue, and foster greater social cohesion among communities.

South Asian culture has made a significant impact on Britain in various aspects, such as food, clothing, music, and writing. You will have seen how food has affected the lives of our panel and how they made successful careers in Britain contributing to the economy & vibrancy of the country.

Souith Asian Heritage Month Lead image

The event was chaired by :

Ruchi Haria and Mex Ibrahim - South Asian Heritage Month Event

Mex Ibrahim is co-founder of Women in the Food Industry. After almost 8 years as Head of Social Media & Marketing of the UK’s fastest growing food website, Great British Chefs, Mex has delivered a variety of award-winning digital marketing campaigns & now runs her own freelance social media, content creation & digital strategy business. Passionate about women’s equality & female empowerment, she co-founded Women in the Food Industry in April 2019 which became a Community Interest Company in July 2023.

Our panel included :

Anjula Devi on South Asian Heritage Month Panel

Anjula Devi personifies agelessness and health and is a firm believer in the power of food, especially spices. She is an author and consultant chef with Manchester United and produces sustainable and authentic Indian cuisine.

Anjula started cooking with her father at the age of eight. At that time the ingredients for Indian cuisine were not as readily available as they are now and Anjula travelled on the number 207 bus with her father to Shepherd’s Bush Market where they would buy a selection of spices, fresh fish and Indian vegetables. ​​Utilising her cookery skills and passion for spices, Anjula launched her own business in 2010, Anjula Devi Authentic Indian Food, providing Indian dinner parties and Indian cookery classes.

Aida Khan on South Asian Heritage Month Panel

Aida Khan is founder of SHOLA Karachi Kitchen. An entrepreneur at heart, Aida Khan comes from a family with a deep passion for food. From an early age, she learned how to cook traditional family-style food from her mother, whilst her father taught her to love food through his passion to eat.

A former banker, Aida Khan’s passion for cooking led her to study at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and pursue her passion for cooking. She made her mark in the food community of London through her Karachi offerings in Supper Clubs, and in March 2019, Aida opened SHOLA Karachi Kitchen in West London.

Urvashi Roe at South Asian Heritage Month Panel

Urvashi Roe is a freelance food writer based in North London. Her career however spans teaching, marketing and communications and running her own businesses including award winning flower and coffee shops. She writes for a range of magazines and publications and is also a freelance recipe developer for various brands. She is author of the cookbook Biting Biting – Snacking Gujarati Style which won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2023.

She was a former contestant on BBC2’s Great British Bake Off and has since presented on Channel 4’s Dispatches and BBC Rip Off Britain. She has demonstrated her recipes at festivals such as The Eden Project, The Chocolate Festival, BBC Good Food Show, Ludlow Food Festival and the Hampton Court Flower Show. When not working, travelling and collecting recipes, Urvashi can be found on her allotment.

Dipna Anand on South Asian Heritage Month Panel

Dipna Anand is a Celebrity Chef who co-owns the famous ‘Brilliant Restaurant’ in Southall and has a restaurant in Milton Keynes at Unity Place, specialising in Punjabi cuisine with a few South Indian favourites, showcasing some of her grandfather’s recipe dating back to 65 years.

Author of the ‘Beyond Brilliant‘, ‘Dip in Brilliant’ and ‘Dipliciously Brilliant’ recipe books, Dipna guest lectures at The University of West London in the subject of Indian cooking and also runs her own School of Indian Cookery in West London. Dipna carries out food demos, pop-up chef events and is currently on a mission to teach the nation how to cook ‘real Indian Food’ with her TV show Dip In Kitchen as well as frequent appearances on James Martin’s Saturday Morning and BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.

Working alongside the Compass group as brand chef for their Punjabi food range, Dipna is now on the brink of creating her own ready meal range and special masala spices. The chef’s Brilliant Punjabi food range is available at selected events with Wembley OVO Arena, The O2, The ExCel London, Twickenham Rugby Stadium and Chelsea FC to name but a few. Her new curry trucks, under her Brilliant Punjabi brand can be seen at sporting events up and down the country where Dipna’s magic masala fries and butter chicken and pilau rice are creating a buzz with the crowds.

Start of South Asian Heritage Month Event

Before the panel event, our attendees had the unique opportunity to:

* Sample food from South Asian female founded or co-founded businesses – delicious canapes from Shola Karachi Kitchen, and  Ka Na‘s Masala Curry Pastes, Bombay Mix and Methi.

Shola Kitchen Food at South Asian Heritage Month Event Ka Na Homecooked at South Asian Heritage Month Event

You also had the opportunity to sample tea blends from Better Mood Food and a new sparkling Ayurvedic inspired drink – Dosha.

Better Food Mood at South Asian Heritage Month Panel Better Mood Food and Dosha Drink at South Asian Heritage Month Event Dosha Drink at South Asian Heritage Month Panel Spirit of Edesia at South Asian Heritage Month Event

Smruti Patel of Spirit of Edesia was also at the event sampling her eco-friendly rice straws.

* Enjoy networking with food industry professionals.

Anjula Devi and Ruby Chagger at South Asian Heritage Month event


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