Connect with us

Lifestyle

Innovation the name of the game for these food, drink stylists

Published

on

drink stylists

New Delhi, April21: Like bitters enhance cocktails, spices tickle the palette and a variety of additions raise desserts to an altogether new level, it is innovation and creativity that make for an overall fine-dining experience, stakeholders in the space say.

To this end, if the idea of the UN World Innovation and Creativity Week (WICW, April 15-21) is to remind and encourage people to use their creativity towards making the world a better place and make their place in the world better too — can the food and beverage industry be far behind?

But first, let’s talk drink. How about a Monkey Thandai, with the base being Monkey Shoulder, a free-spirited, fun-loving three-malt blend with an easygoing smooth, rich and mellow vanilla deliciousness?

It has, in fact, become quite faddish for the Indian summer drinker!

As for the main course, changes in the culinary landscape are widening the scope for chefs today in terms of what can be offered, says Arun Sundararaj, Executive Chef, The Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi.

“Innovation in cuisine has no limitations, much like an artist who works on his imagination with no restrictions. For example, two of our star dishes at Varq, the signature Indian restaurant, are ‘Different Strokes’ — a trio of crisp ‘jalebi’ with saffron, passion fruit reduction, fennel and black pepper crust; and ‘Sweet Tooth of the Maharaja — layers of garlic ‘kheer’ and broken wheat porridge.

“Also, one of the other treasured culinary delicacies at the hotel is the ‘Khichdi rafat’, an innovative twist to the humble Indian comfort food. The unique recipe uses rice cooked with tender pieces of chicken, duck and lamb and is flavoured with aromatic spices and almonds,” Sundararaj told IANS.

“In the recent past, we have curated a series of specially-designed menus, to offer exquisite dining experiences to patrons. Each of the dishes across the hotel’s dining destinations is a craft in itself and combines the best ingredients from across the world to create memorable experiences,” he added.

Working on festive menus is another occasion to present exquisite offerings.

“Over the years,” Sundararaj said, “our team has created an array of contemporary dishes, each of which derives its base from traditional Indian desserts. During Ramadan, we created a unique take on the festive ‘Qubani ka meetha’ by presenting it in the form of a mille-feuille. We’ve reimagined the traditional delicacy and used puff pastries to give it a classic French twist.”

Chef Vineet Bhatia at Ziya (The Oberoi, Mumbai) has always followed a signature approach and, as a consequence, redefined the way Indian food is eaten.

For instance, Bhatia had, way back in 1993, invented the ‘chocomosa’, which redefined the ‘samosas’ and took it out from a very savoury genre into a sweet genre.

Until that point, ‘samosas’ could be stuffed with anything and more often than not, this would be minced meat or chicken or prawn.

“We take Indian ingredients that one normally see in everyday home cooking and treat them very differently in Ziya… so, for example, it could be a ‘gulab jamun’, but in Ziya, it takes the form of a ‘Gulab Jamun cheesecake’,” Bhatia told IANS.

“Hence, I would say that there is not one signature dish in Ziya — it’s a whole approach of having a multi-flavour experience.

“Another example is the ‘Dahi-Bhalla’ as an ice cream. It lasted for a long time on the menu and was so popular that we found it very difficult to take it out of the menu,” Bhatia added.

It’s homespun ingredients with progressive Eurasian flavours for Executive Sous Chef Abhishek Gupta at Gurugram’s The Leela Ambience.

The ambience of the Epic – Global restaurant adds to his delectable menu, enticing the five senses with soothing music, soulful aromas and nicely decorated table spread with a touch of luxury.

With intriguing dishes like pureed pumpkin with marigold flowers, potato starch petals, sambuca-infused sous vide beans, cherries and gooseberry cooked with mild butter sauce, farm leaves grilled with smoked butter and more, “a prism of culture, time, and place is created which builds a deeper appreciation of how regional characteristics have shaped global food”, Gupta told IANS.

Molecular food is the name of the game for Mahesh Kumar Sharma, Executive Chef at Dwarka’s Radisson Blu Hotel.

“I have done some Indian twists like ‘mishti doi’ — sweet curd molecular; mango sphere from mango pulp and ‘papdi chaat’ molecular. I made juices and yoghurt spheres that were my prime molecular innovation in the food industry. I have included these in a la carte orders and they are gaining popularity amongst guests,” Sharma told IANS.

“I have changed a lot in buffet presentation post my joining. I have introduced new cold meats, terrines and different kinds of salads in my coffee shop buffet. I have done a lot of work on the shooter and mixed-flavored juices.

“Since I belong to pink city Jaipur, I have introduced Rajasthan’s authentic cuisine in my banquet menu in Delhi,” he added.

Ians

Health

6 herbs to include in your daily diet for a healthier, happier you

Published

on

herbs neem Haridra

New Delhi, April 23: Focusing on health in the hectic and stressful lives that we lead today is becoming difficult. Incorporating relevant herbs in your daily diet is the first step towards a healthier you.

Ayurveda texts and modern research say that herbs contain compounds that have beneficial health properties that can help prevent many lifestyle disorders and rejuvenate our bodies.

Dr Shruthi M. Hegde, Ayurveda Expert, The Himalaya Drug Company, suggests incorporating the following herbs in your daily diet to practice preventive wellness and take a concrete step towards maintaining good health.

Tulsi: Popularly known as “The Queen of Herbs”, it yields beneficial results for respiratory wellness. It has compounds which are known to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and expectorant properties. Tulsi helps modulate healthy immune response and supports early recovery from respiratory conditions. Use it to get relief from a cough and cold, especially during seasonal changes, when your body is particularly prone to such respiratory ailments.

Ashvagandha: This herb contains rejuvenating properties, and being an adaptogen, helps cope with stress, reduces harmful effects of long-term stress on the body, and promotes healthy sleep. This makes it particularly useful in our stressful lives, where good work-life balance is often difficult to maintain.

Triphala: It’s difficult to always consume healthy and hygienically prepared food in our hectic lifestyle, making digestive issues a common problem. Triphala helps promote overall digestive wellness in a number of ways. It acts as an effective colon cleanser, regularises normal bowel movements, and aids healthy digestion.

Neem: This helps fight acne by inhibiting the bacteria that causes acne growth. The herb helps promote skin wellness, which becomes even more important during summer, when the skin is more prone to acne breakouts and inflammation. It helps rejuvenate your skin, and prevents the recurrence of acne and blemishes.

Haridra: This herb contains beneficial inflammation-relieving properties. It boosts cell health through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping improve overall health. This makes it a potent tool in your preventive wellness toolkit, helping you overcome a number of health problems before they even have a chance to make an appearance

Guduchi: This herb supports the immune system and helps fight against infections by increasing the effectiveness of disease-fighting white blood cells. Including this herb in your daily diet will help increase your body’s resistance to stress and illness.

Make a commitment to getting healthier and staying fit by including these health-boosting herbs in your daily diet. Regular usage of these herbs in addition to other activities such as exercising and consuming a balanced diet will lead to a healthier, happier you.

IANS

Continue Reading

Health

Treat sunburn, improve gastro immune system with yogurt

Published

on

yogurt dahi

New Delhi, April 21: Yogurt, the versatile dairy product, is filled with nutrition and is equally useful for skin and hair. Treat sunburns, acne and improve your immunity with yogurt, say experts.

Himanshu Chadha, Founder, APS Cosmetoofood, and Nmami Agarwal, Nutritionist and Dietician, have listed the goodness of yogurt:

* Treat sunburn: Spread yogurt on the affected area, leave it for 20-25 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Yogurt is rich in zinc and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains probiotics that will help restore your skin’s natural barrier.

Image result for eating yogurt and applying on face

* Treat acne with yogurt as it contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Rub a dab of the creamy yogurt onto acne-prone areas. Rinse it off after 30 minutes. A regular beauty regime with a yogurt facial mask will help keep skin cleansed, which will also reduce irritating breakouts.

* Yogurt is a great ingredient for a hair conditioner. It has moisturising properties which helps repair dry and damaged hair.

Related image

Take a cup of yogurt and whip it. Apply it on your scalp, hair and hair ends by massaging it well. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it rest for 20 minutes, then wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

* Using yogurt, which is full of nutrients that are good for your hair, can help stop hair fall. Due to the presence of vitamin B5 and D, yogurt helps nourish the hair follicles.

A mixture of pepper and curd used daily for washing the hair helps in reducing hair fall. Curd and Amla powder can be mixed together to make a paste that can be applied on the scalp and hair to reduce hair loss.

* Since it is a well-known probiotic food, it helps to flourish the healthy bacteria in your gut which can improve the gastro immune system. Along with this, it aids in digestion by reducing the side effects of the irritant stomach such as diarrhoea, bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.

* Strengthen your bones by adding yogurt to your everyday diet. It will add that daily dose of calcium which your body requires for stronger bones as well as for regulating the bone mineral density.

By having a diet in a combination with calcium and vitamin D, it can work as a treatment for osteoporosis.

* Yogurt works perfectly for women. It is often advised for women to consume freshly prepared yogurt in their diet considering they are powerful for fighting against the yeast infections such as Candida which can be a causing trouble to a lot of women.

Image result for eating dahi

The bacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus found in yogurt, kills the yeast infections and improves health in the longer run.

* Consuming probiotic yogurt helps reduce inflammation and improve the overall body immune response to counter with several viral or gut related infections and illness.

Along with this, yogurt also helps in increasing the absorption of trace minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

IANS

Continue Reading

Health

Switch to stevia for a sweet, healthy lifestyle

Published

on

stevia leaf
Stevia leaves have almost no calories and does not increase blood glucose.

New Delhi, April 20: In the midst of today’s hectic lifestyle, let’s spare a thought for one of the biggest threats to our health and general well-being: Excess of processed high calories and sugar. It is said that “prevention is better than cure”. Does this mean we should stop consuming food and drinks which have sugar? Maybe not.

What if someone told you that you can maintain the sweetness in your life without adding any calories? And this, from a natural source with the same sweet flavour that your taste buds love? And, yes, with no harmful side-effects? Sounds too good to be true, but nature has gifted us “stevia” — a plant which has sweetness in its leaves — a sweetness that surpasses that of sugar, sugarcane juice, honey or coconut sugar.

Given that stevia can replace unwanted sweetener calories, it can be the one tool for cutting calories from the Indian diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. Plus, it is safe for people with diabetes and is also tooth friendly.

Here are some of its advantages:

Related image

Stevia does not increase blood glucose: Numerous studies have been conducted on the use of stevia and its effects on consumption. The stevia plant’s leaves contain naturally sweet molecules called steviol glycosides, which can be up to 400 times sweeter than sugar, but studies have shown that stevia has no effect on blood glucose levels. Thus, one can consume it without fear of affecting the blood sugar level.

Stevia leaves have almost no calories: It’s a gift of nature that has been used in various parts of the world. The leaves have been used by Guarani Indians in Paraguay for several hundreds of years to sweeten their “matte” (tea). In the 1970s, the Japanese picked it up as a natural sweetening option. Today, it is the No. 1 sugar substitute in Japan and the fastest-growing sweetener in most markets in the developed world like France and the US.

Global safety recognition: Stevia sweeteners are permitted for use in foods and beverages in countries around the globe. Over 200 global studies have illustrated stevia’s safety for the entire family. Studies have also shown that it is safe for pregnant women. Stevia is safe for people with diabetes as it does not contain any calories or carbohydrates and therefore does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. It has zero glycemic index.

Stevia v/s artificial sweeteners: Realisation of the harm caused to health from consuming excess calories from sugar was the reason that ignited the search for substitutes, or artificial sweeteners. Saccharin, aspartame sucralose and the like became popular substitutes and then went out of favour owing to concerns from public about their origin and perceived lack of safety.

What evidently seals the deal in stevia’s case as a sugar substitute is the fact that it is zero-calorie, zero-fat and 100 per cent natural.

Imagine your rassogulla or gulab jamun without an overload of sugar, serving your child tomato ketchup without thinking of the extra sugar and calories, enjoying a serving of ice cream, cool carbonated drink without any sugar at all. The latest varieties of star leaf stevia can make the greatest taste possible without any harm or guilt.

IANS

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular