Contestants will feel the heat in the kitchen with 'Foodistan'
Contestants will feel the heat in the kitchen with 'Foodistan'

A war between India and Pakistan is about to be declared, but this time it will take place in the kitchen.

'Foodistan', a new food programme which is set to broadcast from 26 January on India's lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times, will see 16 top chefs from India and Pakistan compete against each other.

The chefs will represent their country and will be tasked with having to prepare their respective country's best recipes in a bid to win.

The show, to be hosted by the Asian actors Ira Dubey and Aly Khan, plays on the longstanding regional rivalry between the two countries, while bringing them together by focusing on their shared love of good food.

"We are absolutely thrilled to announce 'Foodistan', the biggest food show on Indian television. Food as a genre is very close to the DNA of our channel and we are committed to taking it to the next level with 'Foodistan'", said Smeeta Chakarbarti, the channel's chief executive officer.

"India and Pakistan are two nations who share a common passion for good food. And this love for food is something that binds the two nations despite the many differences, which is why 'Foodistan' will appeal to our viewers," Chakarbarti added.

The panel of judges for the first season include British chef Merrilees Parker, actress and food enthusiast Sonya Jehan, who is of French-Pakistani origin, and Indian journalist, broadcaster and restaurant critic Vir Sanghvi.

The combination of passion for food and bitter rivalry is set to create an explosive mix. Sanghvi has already teased potential viewers by revealing on his blog that one of the chefs competing for Pakistan had walked out of the show.

"I'm certainly not going to tell you whether an Indian or a Pakistani won the high-pressure final," Sanghvi wrote. "All I can say is that there was no match-fixing."

NDTV officials have said the second season could be taped in Pakistan and that the show could possibly be turned into a regular series.

While amicable competition is set to be encouraged, in order to prevent religious tensions, chefs will not be required to use either beef or pork.