Feast On A Culinary Rainbow!

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Feast On A Culinary Rainbow!

Sunday, 23 June 2024 | Sharmila Chand

Feast On A Culinary Rainbow!

Admiring a rainbow in the sky is an awesome experience but savouring it on your plate is a sensory treat, writes SHARMILA CHAND

How to go about creating a rainbow? Pick and choose different colored fruits and vegetables, toss them together in a bowl, perk up with your favourite seasoning and place it in your plate. Maybe you can line it all up in the sequence of rainbow colours. Or else, enjoy all mixed.

Now isn’t your plate looking colourful and pretty? Well, it’s not just for the visual appeal, but each colour plays its own role, lending a range of nutrients having immense health benefits.

Chefs’s Flair

Ask chefs how to create a rainbow and trust them, they will have a signature dish up their sleeves. It won’t be as simple as just tossing up a few ingredients. Rather the dish will be exotic, colorful, flavoursome, nutritious and aesthetically presented. “Take a bite from Elan’s Poke Bowl and enjoy a spectrum of flavours and health benefits,” says Chef Vijay Thapliyal, Executive Chef, The Lodhi, New Delhi. He elaborates, “We use a variety of ingredients that are locally sourced to ensure the well-being of our guests while inculcating a sustainable future. Coloured vegetables play a significant role in our bodies, providing essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre. By incorporating these colourful ingredients, we broaden our spectrum of nutrients while ensuring our guests enjoy a visually appealing and delightful meal.

Elan’s Poke Bowl is one of our standout dishes that embody the rainbow diet. It includes ingredients like edamame beans, silken tofu, red cabbage, pumpkin seeds, red rice, pink carrot ribbons, cucumber dices and sesame dressing, each ingredient lending its own property. Inspired by the Buddha Bowl, this dish has been a staple on our menu and is being served consistently. It’s a vibrant, colourful dish that celebrates both colours and flavours, making it a complete meal in itself.  The vibrant combination of colours and textures creates a delightful dining experience that tantalises the palate and captivates the visual senses.”

Chef Ankur Gulati, Executive Chef, The Claridges, New Delhi loves his vibrant Thai Rainbow Salad. He says, “This delightful dish combines a medley of colourful fruits and vegetables, creating a visual feast and a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with fresh mangoes, bell peppers, purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and carrots, this salad offers a spectrum of flavours and health benefits. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre, our Rainbow Salad is as good for your body as it is for your eyes. Perfect for those who love to eat the rainbow and nourish their body with every bite. It is perfectly complemented by a zesty Thai chili jam dressing, creating a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy notes. Each bite offers a juicy, crisp, and satisfying crunch, making this salad the perfect way to cool down and nourish your body during the hot summer months.” Enjoy a taste of Thailand with every colorful and nutritious mouthful!

Rainbow Platters

 The fact that Rainbow diet is not restricted to any one particular cuisine is evident in the traditional food of every region. If the Indian Thali symolises a perfect Rainbow platter with different coloured veggies, chutneys, pickles, papads, the Sushi Boats too exemplify the same.

Hence, you dine at Harajuku Tokyo Café, and see how the concept is fully embraced using a diverse array of colourful ingredients. Chef Asami says, “Our Poke Bowls are complete meals that illustrate the concept beautifully. The Bowl consists of white sushi rice topped with a choice of protein, along with fresh, crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumber, sweetcorn and cabbage. Drizzled with our special house-made sauces, the Bowl offers a balanced mix of proteins, vitamins and minerals, making it both nutritious and delicious. He further adds, “Let us not forget our Rainbow Sushi and Sushi Boats which showcase a variety of vegetarian options and feature a spectrum of colourful ingredients. These include red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, avocados, and purple cabbage. Each ingredient is chosen not only for its taste and texture but also for its nutritional benefits, ensuring a well-rounded, healthful dining experience. By incorporating these colourful ingredients, we ensure that our dishes are not only appealing to the eye but also provide a wide array of essential nutrients, supporting overall health and well-being.”

Joy In Colorful Bakery!

In bakery too, colours and colourful decorations on bakery products act like a visual language, creating a unique character evoking emotions and flavours. For example, at Taj Holiday Village Resort and Spa, Goa, Chef Subhankar Chitrakar’s Giant Easter Egg, is such a delightful rainbow that adds warmth, colours and joy to the entire festivities. “It is my favourite and I love to design it patiently using royal icing. You have to let the chocolate egg cool completely before decorating with icing. Let your imagination run to the moon and back while you deck it up.”

He adds, “Certain colours are naturally ass ciated with specific emotions and flavours. For instance, red evokes excitement and is linked to flavours like strawberry or cherry. Pink is softer and suggests sweetness like raspberries or watermelon. I use these colour connotations to tell a story about the taste of the pastry before you even take a bite. Colourful sprinkles, chocolate drizzles, or candied fruit pieces can visually highlight the key ingredients in a pastry. This not only creates a unique look but also tells the guest exactly what flavours to expect.”

 An all-natural fruit jelly is a favourite of Yatendra Rawat, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Gurgaon. “It is very simple to make and highly nutritious; kids just love it. It requires very basic and limited ingredients such as cut fruits of your choice, gelatin, sugar, and water. If you want to be a little more adventurous, you can add a bit of your favorite fruit juice to the water and sugar mixture. To prepare it, cook the sugar, water, and gelatin together until a gel texture is achieved. Then, pour the mixture over the cut fruits of your choice and freeze. Once un-molded, it will give you a wholesome dessert that looks like a rainbow.”

To Conclude

Go ahead, have a Rainbow Diet that promises to not only refresh and revitalize you during the hot summer months but also supports your health with a broad spectrum of nutrients.

(Author Intro: Sharmila Chand is an author and freelance journalist who writes on food, travel, art, design, wellness)

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