Poppadoms – as the Indian snack papad is called in Britain – will be an important part of Shilpa’s Gourmet Creations, a range of low-fat readymeals, chutneys and pickles that will be sold in British supermarkets from 2010.
The irony isn’t lost on Shilpa, who was called ‘Shilpa Poppadom’ by the late British celebrity Jade Goody in a reality television programme in January 2007, causing outrage in India and elsewhere.
“We’re dishing out poppadoms they go really well with the curry,” Shilpa told Independent Television News (ITN).
“There was this whole connection with ‘Shilpa Poppadum’ so brought back some weird memories, but we just wanted to tell people we have a good sense of humour,” she added.
Jade, who died earlier this year of cervical cancer, denied she was being racist in using the name for Shilpa in a celebrity version of Big Brother, a show where ‘inmates’ live together in front of television cameras.
However, Culture Minister Tessa Jowell slammed the show as “racism being presented as entertainment”.
Shetty, who along with her fiance, entrepreneur Raj Kundra, picked up a 33 percent stake in the V8 Gourmet Group for a reported six million pounds, said last week she will keep the new range healthy.
“There is this preconceived notion that Indian food isn’t very healthy. We’re making sure it will be under 10 percent fat. So it’s going to be a healthy choice,” she said.
The curries, which Shilpa will develop along with master chef Andy Verma, will be “less acidic and less spicy, catering to the taste buds here and keeping it authentic Indian.”
Speaking at a press conference, Shilpa quoted from her own comments made when she was voted the winner of the 2007 Celebrity Big Brother: “As I said, Chicken curry rules.”