Photography by Charu Shah for Sowmiya Ve

Paired Menu

Amuse Bouche: Poha paired with Pineapple Seltzer

Starter:

Zucchini-Carrot Bajiya, Raw Plantain Bread Pakoda, Cabbage Vadai, Coconut Hummus paired with Roselle Yuzu Saison

Main: 

Karana Young Jack Chop with Indian Bottle Masala, Elephant Foot Yam Sorpotel, Bamboo-Raw Plantain Moilee, Sannas paired with Lime Wheat & English Ale.

Dessert: 

Dark Chocolate Mysore Pak, Sweet Potato Halva Mooncake, Fennel-Rose Muzaffar Cake paired with Chrysanthemum Rum Larger

Photography by Charu Shah for Sowmiya Ve
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A 3-Course Chef's Perspective to Heritage Ingredients and Plantbased Menus

India is a continent of cuisines with a rich cultural history reflects in its food and the sheer diversity of ingredients used in the cuisines. These cuisines are heavily influenced by India’s history, conquerors, trade partners, religions, cultural practices and the regional produce. 

 

A country of cuisines that is as diverse as it population is also home to many ingredients that make for a great sustainability story. As Chefs, creators, we carry the responsibility to showcase non-mainstream ingredients that can bring mainstream diners on board with menus that are diverse and sustainable. 

 

Your menu is always as good as your produce and as a Chef, the more you discover the more the intrigue. Therefore, presenting you with a Chef's perspective to heritage ingredients and plant-based menus. I hope that this 3-course meal helps you taste through some of the cuisines of India even though the food served barely scratches its gastronomic glory. 

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Amuse Bouche

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Amuse Bouche

Showcasing: Beaten or Flatten Rice Flakes

Poha is a simple, 'ingredient named' breakfast dish that is eaten in central India. Rice is parboiled before flattening so that it can be consumed with very little to no cooking. 

Amusing your palate with this light, fluffy dish made with flattened rice marks the first meal of the day with lightly seasoned flavours of turmeric, fennel, green chilli, sugar, salt and lemon. Sauteed with onions for the umami, it is a perfectly balanced dish in terms of flavours. Served with fried mung bean and fried green peas to provide that crunch. A dash of grated coconut for that freshness and a purple chilli grown at Ground-up Initiative that is the only Kampong in Singapore. 

Hoping that this warming dish kept you amused and going while you were at your tours. :)

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Starters

Showcasing: Indian Raw Plantain, Zucchini, Carrot, Cabbage, 

South India Fritter: Vadai: The food historian KT Achaya (who was also an oil chemist and a food scientist) posits that the Indian deep-fried snack vada or vadai was liked by ancient Tamil people and originated somewhere between 100 CE to 300 CE. ... The paste was shaped and deep-fried. Made with Urad Dal (skinned black gram), the lentil is soaked, ground into a batter and deep-fried. With its signature hole in the middle, like a doughnut, this savoury fritter is full of protein and fried with Cabbage. 

North India Fritter: Bread Pakoda: Raw Plantain Bread Pakoda, a street snack that is usually made with a stuffing of boiled potatoes. Here stuffed with Indian Raw Plantain to showcase the starchiness of the vegetable that gives almost the same taste and mouthfeel of a potato. 

Central India Fritter: Bhajiya: Vegetables are usually cut and deep-fried with a Chickpea flour that is used to make a batter. Again, lending its protein these quick to make fritters are a favourite with a hot cup of tea on any rainy day. 

This street food of India do have common elements like turmeric, spices, herbs and use of legumes as a batter-flour but are very different dishes that are influenced by the geographic location and therefore cuisines of India. 

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Mains

Showcasing: Karana Young Jack, Elephant Foot Yam, Bamboo Shoots, Fermented Coconut-Rice

Young Jack Chop with Indian Bottle Masala: Karana Young Jack, made from Young Jackfruit is a Singapore company that is Plant-based, solving consumer concerns around food transparency, healthy eating and sustainability, whilst offering a genuinely meaty taste and texture. Karana is Chef-forward and offers Chefs foodservice ready packs of Young Jackfruit that is super easy to use and apply to menus/dishes. Young Jackfruit has been used across Cuisines in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Traditionally used as a "poor man's meat" in India it is a sustainable crop and mostly consumed as a fruit. In its young/raw stage it is low in the glycemic index as it has not developed its flavours or sugars. While it makes for a great meat substitute, it is seasonal, cumbersome to cut and store. Therefore, Karana like companies is indispensable for Chefs like us who want to champion sustainable produce and provide diversity to the palate and plate.

 

Here is their website link: https://eatkarana.com 

 

Here is a survey for you to provide your feedback to Karana on its texture, look and experience: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=hOPJJ87jP0erb0p5C9g0iJ5TW8FVEPZCiJYtwZpbyFZUMzhIRjhCWVNVQ1RTTzdLUEpMQTFJUjY1Qy4u

Indian Bottle Masala: Masala, essentially is a spice blend. The story goes that When East India Company (British Colonising India), in the 17th century, absorbed the English speaking Indian's who were inhabitants of the Portuguese rule in India. These Indian's developed their own subculture, one that was syncretic to the original Portuguese influenced but with elements from the British-East Indian Culture. The making of the patty, also called "chop" made usually with Pork is a British Influence while the use of a specific blend of spices known as the "East Indian Bottle Masala" is very indigenous to this subculture. It is known as a Bottle Masala as it is traditionally stored in Beer Bottles that was again a part of the British giving. 

Sorpotel: Portuguese is the only cuisine that introduced wine in cooking in India and is also the only one that uses so many types of vinegar. They were responsible for bringing in the indispensable Chilli to the Indian shores and cuisines.  

Moilee: 

Sannas: Sanna and plural Sannas are spongy, steamed savoury rice cakes originating from areas of Goa and Mangalore that is very largely influenced by the Portuguese Culture and Cuisine. Fermented with freshly grated coconut and brewed coconut toddy these cakes make the perfect vehicle to mop any spicy gravy on your plate. 

 

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Desserts

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