Balance your food this monsoon...

Vinaya Patil
Thursday, 8 June 2017

...advises chef Sunil Joshi of the Hyatt Kalyani Nagar, as he puts up a wide range of food preparations in line with the Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy of a balanced life and diet

It’s the transition time — from the hot summers to the pleasant monsoons. The weather ahead in the immediate future is likely to be confusing — hot at times, cold at others, heavy showers, pleasant breeze and freezing nights — all of this is completely possible with the southwestern monsoon.

...advises chef Sunil Joshi of the Hyatt Kalyani Nagar, as he puts up a wide range of food preparations in line with the Chinese Yin-Yang philosophy of a balanced life and diet

It’s the transition time — from the hot summers to the pleasant monsoons. The weather ahead in the immediate future is likely to be confusing — hot at times, cold at others, heavy showers, pleasant breeze and freezing nights — all of this is completely possible with the southwestern monsoon.

What must follow this uncertain monsoon, is a good diet, for staying healthy and fit through the rainy season. This is precisely what the Yin and Yang festival at Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune, Kalyani Nagar, aims to do. Healthy food and methods of cooking must be followed through the season to avoid attracting illnesses.

Ancient knowledge tells us that the food we eat has a bearing on our state of mind, health and well-being. The Chinese call this the Yin-Yang philosophy. Stemming from the Taoist wisdom, the principle of the duality of Yin and Yang is embedded in the Chinese culture, from traditional medicine to martial arts to incorporating it into their food.

The culinary team at The Hyatt has thus put up a traditional Yin-Yang cuisine with ingredients that highlight this philosophy.
 
Among the many dishes that it offers, one must first make a broad choice among the vegetarian, non-vegetarian and exotic menus. All of these have dishes made with the right combination of Yin (ingredients with cooling properties) while others have warm, Yang properties. The challenge of preparing a diet that has a healthy balance between the two, has been quite successfully achieved by Hyatt’s chef de cuisine Sunil Joshi.

The concept is used to cook simple yet amazingly delicious and healthy food preparations. The one worth mentioning is the lamb preparation served as a starter along with a side dish that has a typical bamboo shoot flavour to it. It makes for a good beginning to the meal. The salad that follows doesn’t disappoint either; in line with the theme, the Smoked Chicken Rocula Salad is a perfect mix of spicy and sweet.

While Yin denotes boiling, poaching, braising and steaming, Yang exists in deep-frying, roasting, grilling and stir-frying, the chef explains. Certain foods like cabbage, carrots, tofu are Yin foods while meat, eggs and ginger are Yang foods.

Other interesting recipes on the menu are Hatchew Latchew Tahu — a preparation that balances the Yin properties of salmon with the Yang nature of sliced red chillies and pepper and the Wok-tossed Prawns with Mint and Peppers — seafood that lends its cooling nature to counter the Yang nature of garlic and pepper. The main course has Shredded Lamb  that has lamb and ginger shredded with naturally brewed soya. “The lamb provides a warming sensation in the body and when accompanied with Basil Rice and spinach water, it reaches the right amount of cooling necessary to carry out the metabolic activities,” explains chef Joshi.

The dessert, Yoghurt with frozen berries, however, didn’t impress us as much as the rest of the meal did. Tasting like our Mishti Doi, it wasn’t a bad finish but left us wanting for more.

The Yin-Yang concept, according to chef Joshi, can be a simple way to keep life in balance with a healthy diet.

ST READER SERVICE
The Yin and Yang festival is being held at Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune, Kalyani Nagar, next to Aga Khan Palace, till June 15 (Dinner — except Thursdays)

Follow the writer on Twitter @vinaya_patil

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