The Curry Mile

Anjana Parikh met a highly qualified biologist with a demonstrable record of achievement and a former scientific researcher, who decided to change gears to convert

Neha Garg Gupta
Neha Garg Gupta

 her hobby into a profession.

Cooking is Neha Garg Gupta’s hobby, and when she came to the UK after marriage to Rajul, she too like many others started sending her CVs with the hope of getting a good job in the field of biotech or related industry. Despite trying hard to get a decent job in Manchester, she couldn’t get one.

Instead of loathing and spending her time in despair, she decided to change her profession.

“I saw many Indians and persons of Asian-origin struggling to get Indian and continental food of their choice. It was then I decided to start a catering business,” said Neha who launched NG Homemade Food with the aim to provide professional catering and tiffin services in Manchester.

After completing entrepreneur certification course from Belfast Metropolitan College “to pursue a career in professional catering”, she came up with an idea of providing tiffins for vegetarian people.

She said, “Although there are a number of restaurants but not all provide pure Indian vegetarian food. This gave me the idea to also start a tiffin service for busy professionals and students in Manchester and Salford areas.”

Initiated to provide fusion of Indo-Western cooking, Neha also leads a project and conducts weekly home cooking classes to increase awareness of healthy cooking within a budget.

“I lived in Germany for more than three years. I found that not only Asians living in the West, but Europeans and Americans too have taste for Indian food. It is in high demand if not added too much condiments,” said the former scientific researchers at University of Potsdam, Golm, Germany.

Although she has set her feet into the food industry, however, Neha still remains in touch with her subject–biotechnology. “Recently, I contributed in a Chapter on Regulation of Gene Expression which got published in the series ‘RNA Regulation’ edited by Robert A Meyers and published by Wiley VCH, Germany in 2014. In this chapter, Prof. Anil Kumar, my mentor in India is the lead author. In 2012, I contributed in the same chapter which got published in Epigenetic Regulation and Epigenomics which also got published in Wiley VCH, Germany.

“You know, biotechnology is a vast subject. Now, I am concentrating in the field of food industry,” said Neha who led ‘Xylanase Applications and Biotechnological Aspects’, a project involving ‘Purification and Characterization of alpha glucan phosphorylase from Spinach’ in 2009.

“Being a biotechnologist and a former scientific researcher, initially it was difficult for me to change the field. However, as I said, there were conditions which forced me to convert my love for cooking into a profession. However, with time, I have started to enjoy this profession. I always try to give tastier and healthy food to my customers,” said the aspiring restaurateur whose dream is to set-up a chain of restaurants in the UK and Europe.