You can call it a need of the hour or the unleashing of creativity: chefs are using all the tricks in their book to offer flavoursome nutritious dishes. Their prized dishes are high on the wellness quotient without compromising on taste, flavour and texture.
Each ingredient is chosen for a reason — be it the versatile beetroot, promising great taste along with nutritional value or exotic polenta fries where millets play magic in tune with Naga mushrooms. The quinoa salad is perfect for a gluten-free diet. Clearly, chefs are out to debunk the misconception that healthy food is insipid and bland.
Culinary Director, Indian Accent Restaurants
“After eating beetroot in many avatars in some of the best restaurants around the world, I decided to try and create an ‘Indian Accent’ dish.
In India, beetroot has been gaining popularity, rising above its status as a vegetable used in salads merely to add colour, or to be carved into a flower or duck to decorate wedding buffet tables. It is truly a vibrant and versatile vegetable, highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, many of which have medicinal properties.
This dish of mine is inspired by the traditional Ukrainian dish, Tsvikili, which is made with grated beetroot, horseradish, sugar, salt and vinegar. By adding crunchy peanut butter and pungent wasabi to sweet tasting beetroot in this dish, I finish my circle of tastes for the dish.”
Recipe for Beetroot Tikki
Beetroot, medium size 150 gm
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Ginger, chopped 1 tsp
Garlic, chopped ½ tsp
Green chillies, chopped ½ tsp
Boiled potato, medium size 1 no.
Garam masala powder ½ tsp
Chaat masala ½ tsp
Coriander leaves, chopped 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Crushed roasted peanuts 2 tsp
Chunky peanut butter 3 tsp
Ghee 2 tsp
Tempura batter 1 tbsp
Panko breadcrumbs 3 tbsp
Roast whole beetroot, peel and grate. Grate the boiled potato. Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Add cumin, chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies, and sauté. Add grated beetroot, cooking the ingredients till all the water evaporates. Add grated potato, garam masala powder and chaat masala. Sauté for five minutes. Add chopped coriander and salt.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl when cooled. Add crushed roasted peanuts. Mix thoroughly.
Divide the mixture into four equal portions. Coat with tempura batter and coat with panko breadcrumbs. Grill the tikkis till golden brown. Drizzle wasabi chutney on top.
Junior Sous Chef – The Pavilion
“Every single ingredient used in this recipe is a superfood. Amaranth seeds are rich in vitamin C. Oats and flax seeds are high-fibre ingredients. Sesame seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Pumpkin and melon seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals too. The nuts are an excellent source of fibre, zinc and nutrients when eaten moderately. Cornflakes are rich in vitamins. Honey again is a good source of antioxidants and nutrients. In essence, the dish is a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. And the best part is that it is an easy to make at home dish.”
Recipe for Puffed Amaranth Oats
Amaranth seeds – 20 gm
Rolled oats – 20 gm
Sesame seeds – 10 gm
Pumpkin seeds –10 gm
Melon seeds – 20 gm
Flax seeds –10 gm
Raisins –20 gm
Dry black currants – 10 gm
Corn flakes – 40 gm
Honey – 40 gm
Cashew – 150 gm
– Spread all the nuts and seeds on the baking tray and roast them.
– Add honey to the roasted nuts and mix well.
– Spread the mixture evenly on the baking tray.
– Bake the mixture at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.
– Let the mixture cool down and store in an airtight container.
Cashew Cream Recipe
– Roast cashew nuts and make a fine paste with a little water.
– Add honey to the paste.
In a glass jar, put one layer of granola mixture and add the cashew paste on the top of it.
Garnish it with plum and prunes. Granola jar is ready to be served.
Chef Dhruv Oberoi
Head Chef – Olive Qutub
The Grammar Room & Serai
“This dish is like paying tribute to our very own family of millets. I have used Foxtail millet and Naga mushrooms to recreate my take on the classic Italian recipe polenta fries. I have replaced the corn polenta with millet milled into a polenta like granules which creates a beautiful crispy yet creamy textured fries. Alongside I have presented a creamy mushroom duxelles made with wild mushroom sourced from the foothills of the North-east and also, a creamy aioli made out of Himalayan garlic and cold pressed mustard oil. Every ingredient lends its property to get a perfect flavour and texture.”
Recipe for Millet Polenta Fries
Foxtail millet – 500 gm
Milk – 2 ltr
Mire poix (sautéed) (leeks, celery, garlic) – 300 gms
Sour cheese – 500 gm
Parmesan cheese – 250 gm
Truffle oil – 50 gm
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Millet flakes to crumb
Boil milk with bay leaf, black peppercorns and thyme. Add millet gradually to the hot boiling milk. Keep whisking it till the polenta soaks in the milk completely like porridge.
Fold in sautéed mirepoix, cheese, truffle oil, and the seasoning.
Arrange in a flat tray, cover it with a butter paper.
Once it cools down, cut into thick fingers and crumb with millet flakes. Deep fry and accompany with creamy mushroom duxelles, pickled mushroom and aioli.
Chef Ashish Singh
Café Delhi Heights
“One should not rule out the importance of Superfoods from their meal. Quinoa has protein and fibre and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It is recommended for people who are on a gluten-free diet. Together the combination of buckwheat, quinoa and fibre vegetables is delectable.”
Recipe for Buckwheat and Quinoa Salad
Baked Beans – 40 gm
Quinoa – 60 gm
Rocket Lettuce – 30 gm
Black Olive – 20 gm
Onion Big – 20 gm
Lemon – 10 gm
Cucumber – 20 gm
Crushed black pepper – 3 gm
Salt – 5 gm
Tomato Salad – 100 gm
Green Olive – 30 gm
Olive Oil – 20 ml
Green Capsicum – 20 gm
Red Capsicum – 20 gm
Yellow Capsicum – 20 gm
Boil the quinoa till well cooked. Let it cool down.
Clean the rocket leaves.
Wash and cut all the vegetables in dice shape. Keep it in the fridge.
For the dressing, take a mixing bowl and add lemon juice, salt, crushed black pepper and olive oil. Mix it well.
Take a large mixing bowl and add all vegetables, boiled quinoa, dressing, and rocket leaves. Mix it well and serve chilled in a salad bowl.
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