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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Taking the fight to the table, one plate at a time

Restaurants are cooking up superfood menus to woo customers and build their immunity with turmeric and ginger as ingredients

Written by Divya A | New Delhi | October 27, 2020 1:20:28 pm
immunity meals, immunity foods, pandemic, covid-19 pandemic, indianexpressL’Opéra - Pumpkin and Coconut Soup (Source: L’Opéra)

As restaurants across the Capital reopen, with distanced seating and thermal screening becoming the new normal, on offer are herbs and superfoods. In a drive to boost immunity and get patrons back, many have utilised the lockdown period to come up with menus sprinkled with antioxidants and vitamins, in addition to regular items.

At Delhi Heights Café in Janpath, a server beams a smile through the face shield, and presents their Superfood Menu. It has Immunity Booster Soups (with turmeric and ginger) and Oatmeal Poha, Buddha Bowls, healthy juices and smoothies. Chef Ashish Singh, Corporate Chef at Cafe Delhi Heights, believes that healthy eating should be a lifestyle choice. Their Superfood Menu will continue into November or may be longer, he says. “It’s the need of an hour but the trend is here to stay. It was a misconception that healthy food cannot be delicious. We have tried to curate a menu which is elaborate as well as interesting,” says Singh

immunity meals, immunity foods, pandemic, covid-19 pandemic, indianexpress An offering from Cafe Delhi Heights. (Source: Cafe Delhi Heights)

Some have taken the tried and tested turmeric route to health and immunity. For instance, Amit Bagga, Co-founder of Daryaganj which has multiple outlets across Delhi, says, “As we reopened a couple of weeks ago, we decided to create a curry with turmeric. So, we took tandoori kebabs and added it to a curry with fresh turmeric as the main ingredient. We call it the 2020 Lockdown Turmeric Chicken.”

immunity meals, immunity foods, pandemic, covid-19 pandemic, indianexpress Turmeric Chicken at Daryaganj (Source: Daryaganj)

Priyank Sukhija, Founder of Diablo, a Mediterranean restaurant in Mehrauli sees how the emphasis on safety is on the rise. “We’ve seen a growing concern about food and ingredients. Turmeric is one of our favourite ingredients here.” Diablo is dipping into the goodness of turmeric both in their food and drinks, he says.

Veganism is the other trend that is fast finding feet in the Capital. Chef Sagar Bajaj of Plum By Bentchair says, “We have added an array of vegan and gluten-free options to our menus. There is the gluten-free Hamachi Ceviche and Baby Potato in Hunan sauce, while Crystal Dumplings (celery, water chestnut, carrot, sea salt) and Tempura Asparagus Uramaki are the new vegan options.”

Even L’Opéra, the French pastry shop and bakery with several outlets across Delhi, has come up with an extensive vegan range, including desserts. “Veganism is rapidly growing, with a number of vegan cafes coming up really fast all around,” says Kazem Samandari, Executive Chairman, L’Opéra. As a means to a healthier destination, L’Opera uses margarine (mainly made of refined vegetable oil and water) instead of butter, and water/fruit juice instead of cream and milk. On offer are almond and chocolate tarts, and macarons. For healthy eating in their tea rooms, there is Pumpkin and Coconut Soup — a mixture of pumpkin, coconut milk and vegetable broth.

immunity meals, immunity foods, pandemic, covid-19 pandemic, indianexpress Mushroom Bao at Plum by Bentchair (Source: Plum by Bentchair)

Some restaurants are innovating with drinks as well. For instance, Daryaganj has Laung Da Lashkara, being pitched as an immunity-booster cocktail, wherein vodka is muddled with green cardamom shaken with clove extract and flavoured with orange juice. Plum By Bentchair has Blueberry and Elderflower Spritzer, which boasts elderflower (rich in antioxidants and a great anti-viral), lime (vitamin C), gin (as a remedy for cold) and tonic water.

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