Sustainable is tasty

Pearl millets are one of the millets that is going to become popular this year.

After the holiday season, food is probably not on your mind right now. But we can’t deny the inevitable need to eat and by that we mean ‘eat like there’s no tomorrow’.

Like every year, the culinary world is stepping outside boundaries to keep foodies across the world happy with innovative dishes and ways to present these.

Metrolife brings to you a forecast of what you can look forward to in 2019 when it comes to the gastronomical world.

Zero waste cooking

Back in the day, our great-grandmothers and grandmothers believed in using an ingredient completely in whatever possible ways. Executive chef of SodaBottleOpenerWala Anahita Dhondy predicts that this year is going to be about conscious cooking.

She explains, “We want to know the source of our food and maximise its usage. For example, when people buy chicken, they would cut it at home and use the bones to prepare stock and make soup of it. Or use the watermelon rind and seeds to make dishes.”

Anahita adds that restaurants are also becoming conscious of the food wastage. Segregation and measuring the waste is a policy most of them are following.

Bento Box

Common in Japan, bento is a single-portion take-out or even home-packed meal that one can have. This is pretty much like our thali system, but instead of using different vessels for it, food will be served in a bento box. This will include smaller portions and more variety of dishes.

Veganism and vegetarianism

The number of restaurants that serve only vegan dishes have grown in the last couple of years. Culinary experts have also started to incorporate more dishes for vegans and vegetarians in their menu. Chefs say that they want to cater to people who understand the importance of avoiding milk and meat-based products for the environment.

Swasti Aggarwal, food strategist at Foodhall, says, “Of all the diets and lifestyle trends in 2018, veganism was the most popular. Considering there are many Indian dishes which complement to this lifestyle, it is a trend that is here to stay.”

Oat milk is the latest entrant in this department and has many takers. Healthy desserts like ‘Frozen Banana Ice Cream’ as well as other alternatives to overindulgence will be in vogue.

Ingredient menu

Sometimes when you go to a restaurant, you want is to know what actually went into your food. So instead of having to go through 20 dishes with names you probably can’t pronounce, you can choose the ingredients you want and have a dish made out of that. This, however, will be the freshest product of the day, based on seasonal availability and cooked to the customer’s liking. It could be made in any cuisine of your choice.

Millets are here to stay

We saw a lot of millet-based dishes in 2018 but chefs want to explore more of it. Chef Dominic Gerard of The Leela Palace Hotel Bangalore says, “There are 12 other varieties of millets available that we are experimenting with. It includes pearl millet, finger millet, proso millet, kodo millet and barnyard millet, to name a few.”

And these millets are not just used to make Indian dishes. You can soon expect even risotto and pancakes made with millets.

Slow food

It’s a concept that was evolved by a company called Agricola in Italy in the year 1986. The aim is to promote regional cuisine and local produce. Chef Dominic explains, “This year, we are hoping to use ingredients available from the outskirts of the city to make local dishes. So instead of buying vegetables that are commercially produced, we will aim
to buy it from organic farms that produce it locally.”

Each dish will have a story to tell

Chefs think that today’s food preparation will be more relevant if it has a story to match. Chef Sushil Dwarkanath of The Fixx says, “In our family, we always make a one-pot lamb dish with kohlrabi, cubes of lamb and specific spice powder, all added in a pot and slowly simmered for two hours. This dish was made only on the day when there was a derby to be attended.”

Food brings back memories for us and if it’s a first time, then the impact will stay on one’s mind. It might even have a social and emotional effect in the future.

 

Sustainable seafood consumption

With fishes slowly dying in our waters, only about 84 per cent is left for future consumption. Research groups have come up with fish calendars which tell you which fish to eat in a month and which ones to avoid (because of breeding season).

If restaurants also adhere to this practice, chefs believe that we will be able to save some of our seafood wealth for the future.

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