Month: August 2015
A SPICE TRAIL TO HEALTHY INDIAN DINNING
When the email came from Ben York asking me to join U Fit event at Chutney Ivy, in the back of my head I would say no because my blog and myself focus on Indonesian recipes and foodie culture. I said yes anyway nothing wrong to try Asian Diet Food for a change and to be fair I will talk about the food here.
I arrived 10 minutes early Mr Hanney the founder U Fit Studio and Head chef and co owner of chutney Ivy Shaf Islam greeted me with a welcome, and shortly after I was presented with a watermelon and passion fruit unalcoholic drink and two different canapés I sat at the table which was already set. By the way the two canapés were rather lovely but the spicy paneer and sun-roasted tomatoes was exquisite, small portion bites never give any harm before a big meal. The starter I had was tuna salad with roasted cumin dressing, the question for myself is that just because a meal on a diet my salad had minimal dressing secondly I was a bit curious with the palate cleanser “salty lassi”, a shot in my opinion with my coffee experience is only 2oz, the salty lassi was rather big for me it was almost flat white size, but if you cherish cumin like I do, this palate cleanser worked so well.
I love rijsttafel, so when the main course came on sharing plates I could try everything the fish cooked to perfection the spices weren’t over powering very subtle. Another fish dish was sea bass, as a home cook I barely use dry turmeric powder and for the sea bass dish that definitely used fresh turmeric. The vegetarian dish blew me away, the spiced pumpkin made me feel autumn is coming early, once again very subtle taste, choosing the right spices and the ingredients is sometimes harder for a vegetarian dish but this dish once again blew me away.
Back to diner on a diet, Joe sat in front of me so just pick few things that every one on Diet :
Joe an accomplished performance and change specialist with over 14 years experience in personal development, motivation and health and fitness. And He helps people break through challenges, reach their true potential, transform their lives and achieve the body of their dreams.
Part of the process above, involves educating their clients on nutrition and lifestyle. It is common knowledge that anyone who is doing some kind of diet feel that they either cannot eat out (avoid social situations) so that they don’t run the risk of falling off the diet or plain and simple just don’t know what to eat, U Fit’s philosophy is a very different one, they don’t ask clients to diet and fact they actually encourage them to eat out and socialise. Personally, Joe can not think of anything worse than feeling the odd one out on a diet or having to put their social life on hold for the sake of a diet.
This is where dining on the diet originated from. He wanted to provide an educational dining experience for dieters and non dieters alike, whereby they didn’t have to worry about calories, points, shakes but instead eat tasty delicious food that was nutritionally healthy and at the same time not to worry about their waist line in fact it could help reduce it.
Diners can now feel confident when eating out at certain restaurants across leicestershire which have been approved by the U Fit ways.
Anyway let’s leave the exercise with Joe and the U Fit team, I prefer to go back to another palate cleanser, mango lassi.
For the desert, jackfruit was part of the dish which was so inspiring, I personally love jackfruit, but normally I use it for savoury dishes when unripe or sweet dishes and deserts when ripe, jackfruit coconut ice cream was my favourite in my childhood.
Rate the dinner?, in Javanese culture, food is symbolic for health and prosperity of the guest so rating the dinner is rather taboo for myself personally. For more information about U Fit Studio here’s the link http://www.ufitstudio.co.uk/features-services/.
Serve 1 comfortably
This recipe using Espresso Machine with steamer wand attached.
65g dark chocolate (green and black 85% cocoa), grated
60ml double cream
1tsp vanilla sugar
1 ½ tsp muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
Put Dark Chocolate and 50ml milk into a milk jug, and using streamer espresso machine, steam into 70°C, pour into mug or glass add vanilla sugar, muscovado sugar and ground ginger whisk until smooth like honey. Mix remaining milk and double cream into milk jug steam the milk and try to aerated milk to create smooth foam similar if we make cappuccino, stop steaming when temperature reach 70°C. pour the milk into the chocolate mixture, hold the foam using a table spoon when pouring the milk and pour the foam at the last drop to hold dark chocolate topping or caramel butterscotch sauce on top.
This hot comfort drink just a bliss in the middle of the night
If you don’t have thermometer, you know you can stop steaming when you can’t hold the jug comfortably – keep a hand cupped around milk jug while steaming.
If you don’t have espresso machine, use small pan on the hob, use a whisk or a spoon to stir the milk constantly and melt the chocolate in a microwave.
(Opor Ayam dan zukini)
This creamy coconut soup came from when my Italian friend popped in to my house when I was in Bali with a strange vegetable, the texture was like “oyong” one of Indonesia’s vegetables that we use for sweet and sour soup. The first time I cooked this vegetable I am in love with it. For the pickled courgette and cucumber I love to make the night before I use or serve.
Serves 4 comfortably
For the pickled courgette and cucumber
4tbs rice wine vinegar
1tbs black pepper
3 star anise
Using a vegetable peeler, cut the courgette and cucumber by length to get thin long strips, only use the skin and white flesh, discard the seeds. Put the strips of courgette and cucumber in a bowl add cracked black pepper and star anise, sugar and rice wine vinegar. Wrap the bowl with cling film and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Creamy coconut chicken and courgette soup:
3 courgettes, washed and cut 2cm length
500g chicken thighs, 3cm diced
330ml coconut milk
400 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised the stem
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tbs vegetable oil.
for the paste :
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
5 shallots, finely sliced
1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
3 candle nuts
2 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
To make the spice paste, use a pestle and mortar or food processor to pound the garlic, shallots, coriander seeds, candle nuts and ginger.
In a wok heat the vegetable oil, fry the paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves for 3 minutes, add the chicken and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, bay leaves and kaffir lime leaves. Add courgette and coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes to soften the courgettes. Add salt to taste.
Serve immediately and top with the pickled courgette and cucumber, garnish with chopped parsley and fried shallots.