All through my career, I have worked on instinct and gut feeling to come out with innovative creations. At the same time, there are a few thumb rules and favoured techniques which I swear by. One of these is slow cooking, the magic of which is unmatched,” said chef Vikas Khanna. “From controlling and preserving nutrient profile to extracting previously hidden flavours and aromas from routine ingredients, the process of slow cooking is a delightful and holy experience for me, much like meditation,” added Khanna while talking about his new book titled, The Magic of Slow.
Cooking, launched this week at JW Marriott, Chandigarh. Resonating with ‘How Healthy Food Works’, the theme for this year’s International Chef’s Day, the book elucidates the benefits of slow cooking and how to inculcate these in our cooking routine.
A James Beard Award Nominee and Michelin Star chef, Khanna is an award-winning author, poet and filmmaker and was featured among ‘10 Global Legendary Chefs who’ve revolutionised our eating habits’ by Deutsche Welle, the German state-owned public international broadcaster.
For this book, Khanna has used his experience gathered over the course of his long career. Over a period of long time, traditional methods of slow cooking have been used to infuse more flavour into food and The Magic of Slow Cooking (DK) is a guide on how to cook traditional Indian as well as global recipes using the slow cooking techniques. Including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes, the book is replete with photographs. According to the chef, the recipes have easy-to-source ingredients and clear instructions, to allow people to recreate the specialties in their own kitchens. “From selection of the right ingredients, to mixing of desirable spices and processing them using the appropriate technique, every dish has a fascinating story to tell which I try and capture through my books. On the same lines, initiatives like inventive food festivals or innovations in recipes are engaging tales from the world of flavours which people would love to relish and read about with equal aplomb,” says Khanna, adding how slow cooking is a technique that the Greeks and the Portuguese learned from India.
Talking about the importance of eating and cooking right, the chef remarked, “With the world becoming increasingly health-conscious, the importance of eating and cooking right is being appreciated a lot. Through my book, I have made an effort to bring to the forefront the many forgotten and unexplored benefits offered by this amazing culinary technique, both in terms of health and taste. I hope people will be able to draw from my learnings and marvel at the magic of slow cooking.” Khanna is working on his next book titled The Ceremony of Aromas, which looks at the affects of global warming on spices. The book, he says, required years of extensive research, and was the need of the hour.