Chef Joan-Roca swears by his Oyster Ying-Yang
Chef Joan-Roca swears by his Oyster Ying-Yang

Eat up for good health

5 top chefs pick one recipe that will give you what you covet today more than taste: Immunity!
By Rupali Dean | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON DEC 06, 2020 07:14 AM IST

Food is one of the most useful tools to inhibit disease, and a strong body begins with a fit immune system. Which is why, given the unhealthy climate that exists because of the pandemic, we asked five top chefs to share their thoughts on immunity-boosting ingredients and the recipes that use them.

Chef Joan-Roca

Chef-Owner of the three-Michelin star El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain

Favourite immunity-boosting recipe: Oyster Ying-Yang

Why? “In Mediterranean gastronomy, garlic is a good natural antibiotic. Catalan cuisine’s typical homemade aioli sauce is an emulsion made of raw garlic, salt and olive oil. We use it with fish, charcoaled meats and greens. From Andalusian culture, we have a wonderful cold soup named ajoblanco made of garlic, tender fresh almonds, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

At El Celler de Can Roca, garlic is present in one of our dishes, the Ying-Yang Oyster, based on two sauces, the cold ajoblanco, and a hot cream made of fermented black garlic.”

Nutritionist’s notes: Apart from immunity-boosting garlic, Oysters too are loaded with zinc, the gatekeeper of immunity. This recipe is a combination of powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, including Omega-3, selenium and Vitamin E.

Recipe: Oyster Ying-Yang

Serves 4

Ingredients and method:

For oysters:

4 oysters

500g sea water

Open oysters with a paring knife and remove them from their shells carefully. Cut the beard off with a paring knife and blanch oysters in boiling sea water for 15 seconds. Remove them from the water and place them on a baking sheet to blast chill. Reserve.

For black garlic sauce (yields 550g):

250g peeled almonds

500g of water

7.5g Sherry vinegar

12.5g extra virgin olive oil

3 black garlic cloves

3.75g salt

20g squid ink

Crush the peeled almonds with water and leave to stand for 24 hours refrigerated. Run through a cloth filter, applying pressure to squeeze out as much water as possible. Mix it with the remaining ingredients, blend, and strain and keep the resulting sauce very cool until serving.

For white garlic shots (yields 700g):

250g almond paste

250g water

1/2 garlic clove

166.5g water

15g Sherry vinegar

20g extra virgin olive oil

Salt

3 gelatine sheets

Hydrate almond paste for 12 hours with 250g water. Cut the garlic clove in half and remove the germ if necessary. Mix all the ingredients except for the gelatine and blend in the Thermomix. Separate a third of the mixture, heat it while keeping it below 35ºC/95ºF and dilute gelatine sheets, previously hydrated. Add in the remaining mixture and transfer it into a squeeze bottle. Let drops of the mixture fall into a container with liquid nitrogen to make frozen spheres; remove with a strainer and reserve in a container in the freezer until serving.

Oyster sauce (yields 550g):

10 oysters

50g shallot

5g butter

35g oyster water

20g oyster sauce

625g cream

Salt

Open the oysters and reserve their water. Julienne the shallot finely and toss in butter with a pinch of salt over very low heat until it cooks well. Add the oysters and sear them on both sides to brown them lightly; use the oyster water to deglaze, add the oyster sauce, cook for one minute and add cream. Simmer the mixture on very low heat for five minutes, remove and place in Thermomix. Blend the mixture and run it through a fine chinoise. Reserve in a bain-marie at 65ºC/149ºF.

Garnishing and plating: Cut in half the oysters and, using a paring knife, cut a small base at the tip of each oyster, so that they stand on the plate. On a small soup dish, set one spoonful of very cold black garlic sauce on one side and white garlic shots on top of it, as well as half a cold oyster. On the opposite side, with both sauces touching but not mixing, arrange the hot oyster sauce and the other half oyster, previously heated slightly. This way, a play with cold and hot temperatures is created with both the oysters and the sauces.

Chef Srijit Girija Gopinath

Chef at the two-Michelin star Campton Place, and chef owner of Ettan, San Francisco

Favourite immunity-boosting recipe: Rasam

For chef Srijit Girija Gopinath, rasam works best
For chef Srijit Girija Gopinath, rasam works best

Why? “The key to consumption is to eat what is available locally and what is in season. There is a reason why nature delivers it at a certain time of the year. Indian cuisine is blessed with several immunity-promoting ingredients baked into our recipes already. There is curcumin in turmeric, gingerol and capsaicin in ginger, allicin (sulphur) in garlic, Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine and so on. When it comes to immunity-boosting dishes, though the idea of immunity boosting was never a question then, rasam was part of everyday life. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why we seldom fell sick those days. Today, I love making variations of rasams, with chicken, fish bones, lamb trotters and crab when in season. A good half a dozen ingredients in our humble rasam are today celebrated in the Western world for their immunity-boosting qualities.”

Nutritionist’s notes: The star ingredient for an immunity-boosting effect here is tomatoes, which are loaded with a strong antioxidant called lycopene that reduces oxidative stress and enhances immune response. Rasam brings added benefits with anti microbial spices such as cumin, turmeric and ginger.

Recipe: Chicken rasam

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

For chicken rasam base

3 tbsp groundnut oil

300g chicken thighs/ legs with bone (cut in to one-inch pieces)

2 tomatoes (medium-size, diced)

3 pods garlic (crushed with skin)

6 cilantro stems (crushed)

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Sprig of curry leaves

3 tbsp moong dal (soaked)

2 tbsp tamarind pulp

1 litre of water approx.

Salt

Rasam spice blend

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp pepper corn

2-3 small red chillies (torn)

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp urad lentil

6 curry leaves

1 pinch asafoetida

For tempering

3tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp mustard

2 shallots, sliced thin

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 cardamoms, crushed

3 cloves

½-inch piece of cinnamon

1/2 tsp black pepper, crushed

1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

Method:

Wash the moong dal and add half the water and cook it until soft. Keep it aside. Heat groundnut oil in a pan and add garlic, curry leaves, turmeric and chilli powder, cook for three minutes and add tomatoes and cook until soft.

Now add the chicken and sauce for five minutes on high heat. Add cilantro stems, tamarind nectar and moong bean along with water. Add more water if required. Pinch of salt. Let it simmer until chicken is 90 per cent cooked. Now, roast the rasam spice ingredients in a tsp of oil (add asafoetida after the whole spices are roasted). Blend it all together and add it to the simmering chicken rasam base. Continue cooking the chicken until fully cooked. Adjust the seasoning and turn the heat off after adding rasam spice blend simmer for not more than 12-15 minutes.

For tempering, add sesame oil and bring it almost to smoke, add mustard and let it splutter. Add all the whole spices and cook it for two minutes and then shallots until light brown. Once again adjust the seasoning, add the coriander leaves and enjoy it out of the pot or strain it and have the broth alone. I prefer to have with chicken and other vegetables

Chef Atul Kochhar

Chef, restaurateur & entrepreneur

Favourite immunity- boosting recipe:Lasooni dal

For chef Atul, this easy recipe from Punjab is what works best
For chef Atul, this easy recipe from Punjab is what works best

Why? “In Indian vegetarian families, lentil dishes are the main focus of the meal, replacing the meat. This is an easy recipe from Punjab, with a pronounced garlic flavour. Garlic has been part of Indian diet since times immemorial. It boosts immunity and is known to help kill cancer cells, especially colon cancer. Benefits come from raw and cooked garlic – not supplements. It’s known to work as an anti-inflammatory, especially as a rub for inflamed joints and muscles. Garlic improves cardiovascular health, it gives better hair and skin and protects your food. When wild garlic is in season, chop the leaves and add at the end for an extra garlic hit, as well as for the colour.”

Nutritionist’s notes: Lentils are a good source of zinc and Vitamin B6 that help support our immune system. Allicin is the magic component that gives garlic its immunity-boosting properties. However, to unlock benefits of garlic, crush, mince or chop it and keep away from heat for about 10 minutes before cooking.

Recipe: Lasooni dal

Serves 4

4 garlic cloves

1 small thin green chilli

200g split yellow moong dal

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

Several sprigs of fresh coriander

Sea salt

For the tadka

4 garlic cloves

1 tomato

½ onion

2 tablespoons rapeseed or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoon red chilli powder, or to taste

½ teaspoon garam masala

Method:

Bring 750ml of water to the boil in a large covered saucepan and assemble all the ingredients and other equipment before you begin. You also need a sieve and a sauté or frying pan. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Remove the stalk from the green chilli, if necessary, and split the chilli lengthways, but leave it whole. Rinse the lentils in the sieve with cold water, then add them to the boiling water and stir in the garlic, green chilli and turmeric. Return the water to the boil, then boil the lentils, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. When the lentils are tender, stir in extra water if they are too dry for you. Meanwhile, to make the tarka, peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Finely chop the tomato. Peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the rapeseed oil over a medium-high heat in the pan. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and stir until the seeds crackle. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and continue to stir until the onion is lightly browned. Add the ground coriander, chilli powder and garam masala, and stir for 30 seconds to cook the spices. Watch closely so they do not burn. Stir in the tomatoes, lower the heat and continue stirring until they soften and break down, pressing down with your spoon or spatula. Stir the tarka mixture into the lentils and bring to the boil.Just before serving, rinse and finely chop the coriander sprigs. Stir half the chopped coriander into the lentils, then adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Sprinkle over the remaining chopped coriander.

Chef Ranveer Brar

Chef & television host

Favourite immunity-boosting recipe:Ashwagandha-Amla- Hibiscus Iced Tea

Chef Ranveer Brar picks traditional ingredients as reliable immunity boosters
Chef Ranveer Brar picks traditional ingredients as reliable immunity boosters

Why? “I believe that our traditional ingredients and our traditional food medicine have enough power to heal and make us resilient. I have spent most of the lockdown trying to research five immunity building ingredients in our food: peepramul, ashwagandha, turmeric, amla and mulethi. Ashwagandha, also called the Indian ginseng, is an ancient medicinal herb. It’s known to help reduce stress levels and keep depression at bay. Hibiscus has natural antioxidants and is good for the heart. And amla is packed with Vitamin C and is a natural diuretic.”

Nutritionist’s Notes:An all-rounder that can support various features of the immune response. Mulethi keeps the respiratory tract healthy; peepramul acts as a natural pain reliever; ashwagandha, a potent adaptogen, reduces stress and improves the body’s defence system through cell-mediated immunity; turmeric is popularly known for bringing inflammation down, and amla is an excellent storehouse of Vitamin C.

Recipe: Hibiscus tea

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For immunity tea masala

2 tbsp mulethi Powder

1 tsp ashwagandha Powder

½ tsp peepli Powder

1 pinch turmeric

1 tbsp amla Juice

For Tea

2 cup water

2-4 large dry hibiscus petals

2 tbsp. Honey

½ tsp immunity tea masala

A few mint leaves

1 tsp lime juice

Method

On medium heat, place water in a saucepan and bring it to boil. Turn off the heat. Now add dried hibiscus petals, immunity tea masala, mint leaves and keep for five minutes or more. Pour hot hibiscus tea it in a glass, mix in honey, lime juice and enjoy. Alternatively, let the tea cool down to room temperature and serve.

Chef Nelly Robinson

Chef-Owner, Nel, Sydney, Australia

Favourite immunity-boosting recipe:Green Pea Vellouti with Cured Ham and Fresh Pea

Chef Nelly Robinson believes in the immunity-boosting qualities of green peas
Chef Nelly Robinson believes in the immunity-boosting qualities of green peas

Why? “At Nel, we use a lot of ingredients like citrus, ginger and garlic that are very good for your immune system, but one of my favourites is a green pea vellouti with cured ham and fresh pea. Green pea has Vitamin C, which is good for fighting viruses and good for the immune system.

Nutritionist’s Notes: Green peas are packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and flavonoids that help build strong immunity. As a good source of fibre, peas help support gut health, which is closely related to a well-built immune system.

Recipe: Pea and Ham Soup

Serves 10

Ingredients:

For the pork hock terrine

2 Raw ham hocks

3 bunches coriander root

4 garlic cloves

4 shallots

50g ginger

3 carrots

1 stick celery

1 leek

Peppercorns

Star anise

Juniper

Fennel seed

4 gold leaf gelatine

Method:

Place in a pot the ham hocks, coriander, shallot, ginger, carrots, celery, leek, peppercorns, star anise, juniper, fennel seeds in a pot and fill with water, bring to boil and simmer for four to five hours until the meat falls off the bone, drain and strain the stock and reduce, while the stock is reducing pick the meat off the hock and place in a bowl. Soak the gelatine and melt in the stock, add to the meat a little at a time and mix, place in gastro trays and press overnight. Once set, dice into 2cm cubes and breadcrumb.

Pea Soup

Ingredients:

1kg frozen peas

2 onions

100g butter

3 cloves garlic

400ml chicken stock

500g fresh peas

Pick pea shoots

Toasted buckwheat/sesame mix

Method:

In a pot place the butter on a low heat, add the sliced onion, garlic and sweat for three-four minutes, add the stock. Let the stock cool down and in a blender add the peas and stock, a pinch salt and blend, pass through a sieve and check seasoning.

From HT Brunch, December 6, 2020

Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch

Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Armaan Jain says that even when he made his debut as a leading man in a movie called Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014, his passion for food was a notch higher than his interest in films; Make-up: Shibu Khan; Hair: BBlunt; Wardrobe:Anushka Khanna (Rohan Shrestha)
Armaan Jain says that even when he made his debut as a leading man in a movie called Lekar Hum Deewana Dil in 2014, his passion for food was a notch higher than his interest in films; Make-up: Shibu Khan; Hair: BBlunt; Wardrobe:Anushka Khanna (Rohan Shrestha)

HT Brunch Cover Story: The Kapoor family’s best-kept food secrets!

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 08:45 PM IST
Raj Kapoor’s grandson, Armaan Jain, 30, shows how the love for food runs as strong in India’s premier film family as the love for films
Close
Prateik Babbar being his sporty self while posing for a picture exclusively for this HT Brunch column
Prateik Babbar being his sporty self while posing for a picture exclusively for this HT Brunch column

“I slept like a bear in hibernation during lockdown,” says Prateik Babbar

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 08:40 PM IST
The actor confesses he’s a guy version of Monica Geller from Friends and is still crushing on Karisma Kapoor, in an intimate chat with HT Brunch
Close
Instead of High Intensity Interval Training, do a few stretches and some strength exercise like a few push-ups or air squats every one-two hours (Shutterstock)
Instead of High Intensity Interval Training, do a few stretches and some strength exercise like a few push-ups or air squats every one-two hours (Shutterstock)

Fit and fine by Kamal Singh CSCS: Move over high intensity workout

By Kamal Singh CSCS
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Low-intensity exercise throughout the day will keep you physically and mentally fit, especially if you don’t have access to your gym or park
Close
Rohena Gera’s latest movie Sir has received rave reviews in India and abroad
Rohena Gera’s latest movie Sir has received rave reviews in India and abroad

Maid for each other

By Shunali Khullar Shroff
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Rohena Gera’s new film shows a wealthy homeowner falling in love with his domestic help. How did the writer-director do away with Bollywood’s rich-poor clichés and address this with realism and sensitivity?
Close
In India, the only Western condiment we were really familiar with for decades was ketchup
In India, the only Western condiment we were really familiar with for decades was ketchup

Rude Food by Vir Sanghvi: It’s time to ketchup!

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:13 PM IST
From chutney to mustard to Sriracha, it’s the condiments that add a kick to your food on a regular basis
Close
Ricky Pond’s Bollywood numbers like O Betaji have garnered over 500K likes
Ricky Pond’s Bollywood numbers like O Betaji have garnered over 500K likes

Social Media Star of the Week: Ricky Pond

By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:12 PM IST
Meet the American dad in his 40s, who has become a rage amongst Indians worldwide for his Bollywood dance Reels
Close
Kamna Chhibber is a Clinical Psychologist and Head, Mental Health for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare
Kamna Chhibber is a Clinical Psychologist and Head, Mental Health for the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare

HT Brunch Game Show: Which personality type lived through the pandemic better?

By Shruti Nair
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:12 PM IST
The introvert, extrovert or ambivert? Three different personality types talk about productively spending time during the pandemic
Close
Leslee Lewis with his first electric guitar, he brought from Singapore, which was shaped like a gun
Leslee Lewis with his first electric guitar, he brought from Singapore, which was shaped like a gun

“At 22, I had left home to make it on my own,” says musician Leslee Lewis

By Shruti Nair
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 08:43 PM IST
The musician talks about earning 1,700 per month, marrying his girlfriend and making it on his own in the industry
Close
Sex and the City’s new season out next year will not star Samantha Jones
Sex and the City’s new season out next year will not star Samantha Jones

No sex without Samantha!

By Moksha Hegde and Reeti Kohli
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:11 PM IST
Two fans argue the elimination of Sex & the City’s most progressive character in the upcoming revival show
Close
What really grabs your attention are new headlights capped by a striking LED strip that lift the looks of the car
What really grabs your attention are new headlights capped by a striking LED strip that lift the looks of the car

Sunday Drive by Hormazd Sorabjee: The comeback car

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:10 PM IST
Audi’s A4 marks the start of an onslaught of new models from the German carmaker, which has been starved of models for the past year
Close
The Olympian exudes an unattainable coolth with perfect poise and a worn-out T-shirt, or none, if you’re Milind Soman!  (Parth Garg)
The Olympian exudes an unattainable coolth with perfect poise and a worn-out T-shirt, or none, if you’re Milind Soman!  (Parth Garg)

Humour: The five kinds of runners

By Rehana Munir
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:16 AM IST
From form snobs to statistic addicts, the streets are just packed with all types of runners come morning or evening
Close
Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, is set in Regency London and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn (Aparna Ram)
Bridgerton, the new series on Netflix, is set in Regency London and based on a series of novels by Julia Quinn (Aparna Ram)

Spectator by Seema Goswami: Facts about fiction

By Seema Goswami
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:08 PM IST
Many may try, but only some writers can actually bring a world alive in their books. Especially when it comes to regency romances
Close
Sohrab gives tips on how to lose weight efficiently and how making the muscles around your knees stronger can help
Sohrab gives tips on how to lose weight efficiently and how making the muscles around your knees stronger can help

Sohrab Khushrushahi: Of planning your weight loss diet and strengthening your knees

By Sohrab Khushrushahi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:07 PM IST
Get back on track with a weight loss plan that focuses on your diet and how you can work on making your knees stronger
Close
Ranveer Allahbadia gives tips on social media etiquette you should follow
Ranveer Allahbadia gives tips on social media etiquette you should follow

Ranveer Allahbadia: Does posting selfies make you get taken less seriously at work? And… should you follow your boss?

By Ranveer Allahbadia
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:07 PM IST
Is it okay for a doctor or teacher to post frivolous on their social media handles? And should you send a request to follow your new boss if their account is private?
Close
Here’s how you can flaunt the lungi to social events
Here’s how you can flaunt the lungi to social events

Rahul Khanna: Where can you wear the lungi to?

By Rahul Khanna
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 07:06 PM IST
You can now flaunt this garment beyond South Indian weddings to make a style statement according to the style icon
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP