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Let's get natural

Summer is the time to go full hog with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Minakshi Saini tells more.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2007 18:05 IST
Minakshi Saini

Sun is shining fiercely, the temperature is soaring high, the perspiration level is at its peak. Summer is the time to go full hog with seasonalfruits and vegetables like watermelons, musk melons, cucumber, corn, papaya, cherries, lemon, cabbage, beans, cauliflower, spinach and the list is on.



Experts Talk


"In the sizzling summer heat, getting adequate fluids and electrolytes is a must to support the healthy functioning of the body and to detoxiffr it," suggests nutritionist Shikha Sharma.



She further adds, "Fruits and vegetables are the body's best friends as they help in maintaining the nutrient level in the body to compensate the loss of minerals due to excess sweating".



As revealed by Bakshish Dean, Executive Chef of The Park Hotel, "We are taking full advantage of summer fruits and vegetables. While fruits are I being utilised in coolers, salads, accompaniments, vegetables are clubbed with non-vegetarian food I to make the preparations lighter"



The juicy watermelon is the best choice to beat the heat. Not only the flavour of this cool fruit is delectable, it is a perfect package of nutrition as well. Chef Jagdeep, the executive chef at The Grand, shares, "Melons are a chefs de- light. It is used in salads, chilled soups, smoothies and is also an important ingredient for a variety of punches."



<b1>Papaya is another irresistible summer fruit and could be served chmed as salads, sorbets, salsas and lassi. Sunil Gadihoke, executive chef, ITC Maurya says that summer menu depends upon "Taseer" which means the effect of the fruits and vegetables.



Therefore, he prefers the use of sour fruits like tamarind, gongura, ambara, raw mango, etc. Even vegetables like mint, gourds, beat root finds enough space in his cooking as he adds, "They have a cooling effect on the body"



Well, did you know this that according to Chinese belief, green chillies replenish the fluids and keeps the body cool. A hot thought there. High intake of cucumbers and

kakri

in salad is advisable. Sweet lime, pear, pineapple are the best options for juices to keep you cool. And if you despised them so far, read on - bitter gourds work as an antibiotic for skin. So have them in plenty to avoid skin disorders, caused by sweltering heat.



Special Features


There is one foreign truit that has become very popular in the Indian market. And you get no prizes to guess kiwi.



"Available throughout the year, its relishing taste and high vitamin content have made kiwi a household name," asserts Chef Jagdeep.



The summers should not make you an indoor person as almost every hotel in the town have exclusive summer menus. Says Chef Sunil, "The business traveller prefer light and home style meals. Therefore, we incorporate coolers, refreshers and light dishes that not only raise appetite but also lift one's spirits high."



Adds Chef Jagdeep, "Our visitors are health conscious and demand food which is season friendly" So eat fruits and vegetables the way nature provides you or try fat free or low fat cooking techniques for healthy eating.



Steaming, grilling or baking are the ideal processes to keep your meals light. Use of low fat dressings with herbs and spices adds flavour and raise appetite. To keep healthy, try consuming freshly cooked meals, include leafy salads in the meal, use fruits in place of rich desserts, indulge in lemonade and yogurt based quenchers. After all a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.



Instant Recipes

From Executive Chef Sunil Gadihoke, ITC Maurya


* A nice punch of watermolon and mint with pepper and black salt.


* Garden salad that consists of yellow and red lettuce, popper, olives, tomatoes, salt and black popper to test, dressed with vinogar and mint leaves.



From Executive Chef Jagdeep, The Grand

* Chilled melon soup or smoothie with crushed ice and mint for flavour.


* Raw mango lassiand papaya lassi (pulp of the fruit is mashed with curd).



From Executive Chef Bakshish Dean, The Park Hotel


* Guava Guzzler, Mango Panna, Plum Passion, Tangy Tamarind are the refreshing summer coolers.


* Punches like lichee and white wine, kafir lime and honey, raspberry and mint, mango and ginger.