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‘Gutless Foodie’ Natasha Diddee Shares Her Ingredients For A Healthier, Happier Life

  • IWB Post
  •  June 6, 2019

Natasha Diddee, a famous Pune-based Food Instagrammer, rebuilt her life after she had her stomach removed due to a tumour.

About five years ago, due to perforated ulcers in her stomach, she had to undergo total gastrectomy, which is the removal of the entire stomach. “A lot of people have asked me how have I managed during and after the treatment. What I know and understand is that God is kind and if you want you can,” says Natasha.

The stress of Natasha’s unsuccessful marriage was one of the reasons for the aggravated condition of her stomach. Her social media handles introduce her as the soul who has chosen to live and not just exist. The talented 40-year-old is a successful foodgrammer and has recently published her book (which, BTW, is not a cookbook!)

We tasted the beautiful ingredients of her life in an interview. Excerpts:

How is life being a gutless foodie? And what’s your food routine?

It’s great! I am living a pretty good life. Now, because I eat very often, the whole concept of breakfast, lunch, and dinner doesn’t exist. I eat smaller meals, about 10 a day. I eat like a diabetic.

Hmm. What was the process of rediscovering your life after the treatment like?

We’re all very shallow people, desire to live in the materialistic world. But the moment you realise you may not be around to enjoy them – the shallow part goes away. It has definitely made me a better person. I have cut negative people out of my life and I don’t owe an explanation to them anymore.

That Ridge Gourd Overload Thali – Done Morris the King went veggie shopping for me & for some strange reason, brought back an armload of a variety of gourds, especially ridge gourds. They were super tender & fresh, so he decided I must have them all🤦‍♀️I gave some away to Mangala, Minakshi (Mangala has an assistant now btw!!!) & even Morris🤦‍♀️But I still had 4 left. So, I decided to Thali up Clockwise : 1. Those Foofoo ridge gourds I tempered vegetable oil with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, garlic & onions. I added in ridge gourds, tomatoes, fresh coriander & only that onion-garlic spice mix that @irenebelsher gave me; to flavour. Her masala is so so good 2. That Light & Flavourful Ridge Gourd Curry I made a thin paste out of fresh coconut, yogurt, green chillies, salt & roasted cumin powder. I tempered coconut oil with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried red chillies & onions. I added in the ridge gourds & turmeric powder along with some water. Once the ridge gourds were cooked, I switched off the gas & whisked in the thin paste fast (making sure nothing split) One must finish this on the same day though, and as due to the yogurt, it may split if reheated 3. That Freshly Steamed Rice 4. Those whole wheat parathas 5. That Salad:😂 Cucumber & lime I’m telling you, even a yogurt hating Mangala ate this entire thali . . #indianfoodie #creativefood #incredibleindia #realfood #punefoodie #indianfoodlovers #quickcooking #indianfoodbloggers #Indianrecipe #indianauthor #mumbaikar #thali #desikhana #gharkakhana #meatlessmonday @meatlessmonday #meatfreemonday @meatfreemonday #meatlessmeals #homechef #honestcooking #newrecipe #walkwithindia #lovemywork #masterchefIndia #mealplan #mumbaifoodblogger #southindianfood #maharashtra #paratha #vegetarianmeal #vegetarianrecipes

1,786 Likes, 90 Comments – Natasha Diddee (@thegutlessfoodie) on Instagram: “That Ridge Gourd Overload Thali – Done Morris the King went veggie shopping for me & for some…”

What has kept you strong throughout?

The support of my parents, my partner, and Dr. Suryabhan Bhalerao. It’s very important to have a supportive background. From coming out of a nine-year-long unsuccessful marriage to my treatment, my parents have been a constant strength. They have accepted and supported my decisions. As mine was a love marriage, for a long time I was apprehensive about coming out of it, fearing “told you” form my parents. But they were the biggest support.

Natasha Diddee

Natasha with her parents and partner.

I totally agree. Sometimes all you need is support. Did the unsuccessful marriage take away your trust?

Maybe. I don’t believe in the institution of marriage. But I do believe in love. I rediscovered love in my partner – Bengt Johansson. We were work friends and now are a couple. He is very supportive and my best friend.

Aww. How have things changed from being friends to a couple now?

He, being Swedish, is a very cautious eater and his holidays earlier used to be about exploring museums but now it’s about exploring food joints! (laughs)

Natasha Diddee

Natasha with her husband Bengt.

What are the types of appliances required in the kitchen for under 30-minute meals?

There are five basic things which are very important and everything else is fluff. They are – knife, peeler, good kadhai, pressure cooker, and mixer.

What is Bengt’s role in the kitchen?

No role at all. He is not allowed in my kitchen. He used to cook, but now that he has me in his life, who cooks better, he doesn’t anymore.

Three curious ingredients in your kitchen?

A variety of spices, fish sauce, and some form of acid, like vinegar.

Your book Foursome has characters – Tara (divorcee), Sana (serial dater), Arpita (South Delhi daughter-in-law), and Upasna (in a live-in relationship)? What can these characters learn from each other and have you picked instances from real life?

All of them can learn to support and empower each other. The thing is, every fiction is mostly or loosely based on facts. It’s either from self-experience or from stories heard and seen. And, what if I tell you I am all four of these women. I might have broken myself into four parts by adding a little masala. Haha.

Hmm. So, what do you think is the best food to gossip over?

It’s generally alcohol. Hahaha! I think it’s finger foods, which you can easily pick and eat. And open sandwiches, which again you can pop into your mouth while you spill some secrets.

Who is the foursome of your life?

My mom, my father, my doctor, and Bengt.

Natasha Diddee

Natasha Diddee updated her cover photo.

Natasha Diddee

From the left- Bengt’s and Natasha’s parents.

What would you want on your life thali?

I want my book to reach a wider section of the audience. Not for fame, but for people to learn that our society is so much more than the stuck mindset. I have written on homosexuality, marriage, friendship, everything that is real.

You’re a gutless foodie who has guts for _______?

Guts for life and to live! A lot of people have asked me how have I managed during and after the treatment. What I know and understand is that God is kind and if you want you can. Your mind is your biggest strength. I have stopped wishing and started working on “I will”. I truly believe that ‘Will’ is a stronger four-letter word than ‘Wish’.

Natasha Diddee

Photo Credits: Neville Sukhia Photography


This article was first published on January 12, 2018.

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