Biting into the past | Cover Story | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Mission admission
    July 13, 2013
    The news of a member stumping up over a crore for entry to Mumbai’s Breach Candy club only proves that the allure of private clubs still holds…
  • Finer tastes
    July 13, 2013
    It is the culinary tradition and its grand interiors that Bengal Club is justifiably proud of.
  • High on gloss, low on airs
    July 13, 2013
    As older establishments close their doors, premium clubs offering state-of-the-art facilities and personalised service open for upwardly mobile…
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
EATING OUT

Biting into the past

|



It's hard to imagine pav bhaji without tomatoes. Or pasta made of rice. But at Swadshakti, a restaurant at Ayushakti, an ayurvedic centre in Malad in Mumbai, both are available. The food here is a balancing act between the three doshas according to ayurveda - vatta (air), pitta (heat) and kapha (mucous ). So tomatoes are eschewed as, being acidic, they increase levels of heat in the body. Kokum is used instead. The cooks at Swadshakti, under the guidance of Ayushakti's chief vaidya, Smita Naram, have substituted every thing from wheat to paneer to make their food healthier. As refined flour has the nutritional value of paper, it's replaced with flours made of ragi and nachni, said Prashanti Sawant, Swadshakti's marketing manager. Tofu is used instead of paneer and kokum, beetroot, and red pumpkin are used to make foods like pasta sauce that have tomatoes. "Hot spices that are sweet in nature" are an important part of ayurvedic cooking, Sawant pointed out. One would think spices like cardamom, cloves, and fennel raise levels of heat in the body but actually they improve metabolism, Sawant said. The menu at Swadshakti isn't limited to Indian food. In fact, it has some rather surprising elements. It's hosting a sizzler festival till the end of January. And some time ago, it introduced a selection of mocktails including such unlikely combinations as banana and mukhwas. It also has seemingly unhealthy foods like parathas that are made using pure ghee. Doesn't ghee clog the arteries? On the contrary, Sawant said, "it lowers heat".

Ayurvedic restaurants have made their mark in Chennai, Bangalore and Kozhikode as well. The Sanjeevanam chain, which has two outlets in Chennai, opened a branch in Bangalore and serves a five-course meal that is cooked in earthen, bronze and copper vessels by specially trained cooks. The return to roots where food is concerned is taking other forms as well in the country. The Slow Food movement - started by Italian Carlos Petrini - is catching on, albeit slowly. It lays emphasis on using locally available ingredients and traditional cooking methods and recipes, in an attempt to preserve culinary diversity. The Navdanya cafê in Delhi is the country's first Slow Food restaurant and on offer are long-forgotten delicacies like amaranth cutlets, jhangora (barnyard millet) idlis, ragi dosas and red rice kheer. It also held a food festival in the capital last year where brahmi-flavoured buttermilk, a tandoori platter of roots and tubers (shakarkandi, arbi, rataloo), and mooroonga leaves pulao were the star entrees. In November last year, a Slow Food festival of sorts was held in Mawphlang, where 10 rural communities from the Khasi-Jaintia Hills showcased their cuisines. Promoters of the movement are trying to rope in more partners - producers, restaurateurs and chefs - in India going forward.

Reader's opinion (1)

Gopinath RaoApr 29th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

I would love to visit such a restaurant. I will be happy to have the address of the outlet in Bangalore
Gopinath

 
Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service