Ideal food should be nourishing and balanced like Indian thaali: Sanjeev
Reflecting on the evolving food culture in India, the chef adds, “I see people opting for healthier options in their breakfasts, meals, and snacking.
CHENNAI: Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, popularly known for his iconic cookery show Khana Khazana, is set to bring his culinary expertise to Chennai, with an exclusive cooking masterclass. Ahead of his visit to the city, DT Next caught up with the chef to know about the current food trends, and evolving food culture in India.
“Chennai’s food scene holds a special place in my heart. When I think about it, the first things that come to mind is Jigarthanda and Nannari sharbat, especially in this scorching heat. But beyond that, Chettinad cuisine, Fish pulimunchi, the unmissable soft, white Idlis, crispy Dosas, Molaga podi, plump Medu vadas, Sambar, the sweet and savoury Pongal, Payasam, and the Dindigul and Ambur briyanis truly define the rich and diverse Tamilian cuisine,” says Sanjeev Kapoor.
Reflecting on the evolving food culture in India, the chef adds, “I see people opting for healthier options in their breakfasts, meals, and snacking. At the start of the year, in line with the theme for millets, I pledged to make millets more prominent. Millets have been a staple grain in our country for a really long time. They are a superfood, and we have already shared some millet recipes with our viewers. Start-ups have developed interesting millet snack/breakfast pre-mixes and baked delicacies. You can have millet as pancakes, cookies, and even as dhoklas and idlis. Now, isn’t that versatile? Eating out is happening too, but what we are seeing is reclaiming Indian food in different avatars.”
Chef observes a resurgence in the popularity of millet as he discusses current food trends. He states, “I’ve noticed a remarkable revival in the consumption of millets, particularly during the International Year of Millets. It’s exciting to witness the growing interest in millet-based recipes and the curiosity about sourcing specific millet varieties. Moreover, there is a rising emphasis on utilising regional ingredients from all over India in global cuisine. Restaurant kitchens are embracing seasonal produce and hyper-local foods, which adds a captivating dimension to the evolving food scene, showcasing lesser-known recipes and making it all the more interesting.”
Describing his perception of ideal food, Sanjeev says that the ideal food should be nourishing and balanced in flavours and textures, just like the Indian thaali. “It is a classic example of an ideal food. Take any thaali from any State of India - such a wonderful harmony of tastes and textures. Also, ideal food is subjective. I believe food that meets your body’s requirements is the ideal food. It all depends on your body’s constitution. Also, ideal food is that which is digestible too.”
In today’s world, people are highly conscious of their likes and preferences. They follow food influencers not only for their content but also for their unique style of presentation. “Despite the abundance of food content creators, individuals have a clear vision of what they desire. While creative freedom should be acknowledged, it is imperative for influencers to uphold a moral responsibility by delivering genuine content that resonates with their beliefs,” he adds.
As a parting note, Sanjeev gives a glimpse of what people can expect from his free master class at Phoenix MarketCity on June 10, stating, “I look forward to mingling with the Chennai audience at the master class, where I will be demonstrating fusion recipes using innovative culinary methods. Chennai food enthusiasts can experience a real culinary and visual treat in the form of delectable fusion preparations. Just to give you a peek into the class, there will be blue pea fried rice with chilli garlic prawns, briyani arancini with raw mango kadhi, and of course, dessert.” To know more about the masterclass, contact: 8056186444.