Super food is a word which is much more celebrated and appreciated in global dining than we Indians have actually heard about it. Thanks to the Indian chefs who are actually trying to bring back those super foods into our menu and kitchen which actually originated from our very own farm land.
The healthy eating and rise of wellness as a trend has pushed chefs and restaurant owners to go back to their roots looking for the freshest and organic ingredients. “Flex Seed used to be the least popular super food few years back but today it is the most in demand super food item when you visit a super markets, hotels and restaurants because the focus has been on well being,” shares Vivek Bhatt, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Aerocity.
Today, the focus is about celebrating wellness with food and it’s here to stay with people going the natural and healthy way of eating. “In global market turmeric has become essential. There is lots of innovation with turmeric- turmeric latte has gained a global food hold,” points Romy Gill, Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur who believes that Indian spices have got so many healing process and value. But despite all the benefits that Indian spices have got, we Indians are much attracted towards global ingredients. “We fly down quinoa from all the way to Peru but amaranth which is one of the products that is available in India people do not look at it,” adds Alex Moser, Executive Chef, Andaz who has tied up with local farmers to get the freshest and organic ingredients for his restaurants.
Making healthy food trendy
It is very important to create a healthy balance between taste and nutrition because if you would sell your food as a healthy food people will not come to you. But if you label these foods as nutrition based and tasty they will settle down for it. “We need to go back to our roots. The seasonal products should be brought back to the menu,” says Gautam Chaudhry, Director, Demiurgic Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
The world is a system. We need to go back to basics and really understand why black peas are grown only in Ladakh and not in any other region and that’s where the thought process comes. And that’s what super food is all about, believes experts. And, as we now understand that health has become an important part in life. As a chef one needs to focus on taste as it is equally important to present the food making sure that a lot of people are intolerant to lots of ingredients and hence, integrating healthy and sustainable eating. “Sustainable sourcing is the only solution for the healthy food. We need to be very particular about buying the right ingredients and giving it back to the community,” adds Chef Bhatt.
Commenting on the same, Chef Romy Gill points, “In my restaurant everything is locally sourced. In the US chefs are learning the art of balancing the right spices as every spice has a health value attached.” Also, as consumers are little or less aware about the seasonal value of the ingredients they tend to focus less on health aspect of the food. For e.g. people eating cauliflower and cabbage in summer season doesn’t make any health benefit as it is not a seasonal product and has been grown with lots of pesticides. Hence, we can say that as there is lots of work done in last 7-8 years around progressive cuisine where we are trying to source anything and everything from the world and are trying to adopt those procedures. We are actually forgetting in adapting our own practices. Thus, the seasonal produce should be sued and emphasised.