Chennai’s Amethyst comes up with modern menu with indigenous rice

Rakesh Raghunathan demonstrates how versatile heritage rice could be, conjuring it into creative dishes and modern desserts at Amethyst’s Wild Garden Cafe

Rakesh Raghunathan demonstrates how versatile heritage rice could be, conjuring it into creative dishes and modern desserts at Amethyst’s Wild Garden Cafe

Let me inform you about dessert first: I can’t wait until the final paragraph. The mango phirni tart arrived like a slice of sunshine, that includes a resplendent yellow filling topped by slivers of Alphonso mangoes. As I scoop it out, I realise the mango has been blended right into a phirni with thooyamalli, an indigenous nice grained, aromatic rice from the Kanchipuram area in South India.

Next got here the Riz au Laita French dessert made utilizing navara rice and milk pudding with a touch of espresso caramel, which provides a aromatic, smoky be aware. Navara is exclusive to Kerala and is thought for its immunity constructing medicinal properties.

Thooyamalli mango phirni tart

Thooyamalli mango phirni tart | Photo Credit: Special association

The desserts are a part of a menu put collectively by Chennai-based meals historian Rakesh Raghunathan for a pageant organized in collaboration with Sempulam (CIKS) and Amethyst’s Wild Garden Cafe. Sempulam, a Center for Indian Knowledge Systems, has been serving to communities create an all-natural meals produce ecosystem by working with farmers and patrons for the previous 27 years.

“The spotlight right here is using numerous styles of indigenous or heritage rice. I’ve solely developed Indian recipes for this pageant with a twist, and have additionally innovated sure dishes from different cultures,” says Rakesh, adding, “This supplies a platform to current our distinctive rice varieties and showcase their distinctive flavors and textures.”

He worked with the restaurant’s kitchen for over a month to put together the menu, which includes kaivari samba ven pongal arancini, which are Italian-inspired rice spheres filled with cheese, then coated with bread crumbs and deep fried. Kaivari samba is an exquisite tasting, calcium, magnesium and folic acid rich rice from the dry region of Thiruvannamalai.

There is also a kalanamak Bannur mutton pulao. The stone flower compliments the aroma of Kalanamak rice so well in this preparation. Kalanamak also known as Buddha rice, has a low glycaemic index, and contains more than 40 minerals. “When the tsunami struck in 2004, the farmers in the Nagapattinam district were hit as sea water had entered the farm lands making paddy cultivation impossible, We intervened and helped by way of identifying saline resistant indigenous rice, Kalarpalai variety to be precise. Then during the subsequent years, the farmers benefited by adapting to this variety. We also found out that kalanamak, grown in UP, was also saline resistant and got those seeds also for our farmers and that is how we brought this rice variety into Tamil Nadu.,” says Vijayalakshmi, director, Sempulam Sustainable Solutions. “Even when disaster struck indigenous rice varieties are immensely helpful as we have saline resistant, pest resistant and even drought resistant varieties in this, she adds.

And the national dish of the Egyptians, the Koshari, is recreated using the kuzhiyadichan variety of rice, which blends well with mildly spiced lentils, tomato puree, chickpeas and pasta. Kuzhiadichan is from the water starved Ramnad belt in Tamil Nadu known for high nutritive value and flavour.

Kalvari samba ven pongal arancini with cheese stuffing

Kalvari samba ven pongal arancini with cheese stuffing | Photo Credit: Special association

Okay Vijayalakshmi, says there may be an elevated consciousness concerning the excessive dietary worth of indigenous rice. She provides that they’re hoping that this pageant would allow the city inhabitants to realize first-hand expertise of how versatile indigenous rice could be and and thereby widen the marketplace for it.

Among the mains, I select Anandanoor sanna thenga pal sadam (coconut milk pulav), which is wealthy with coconut milk and an abundance of ghee. Cultivated in Andhra area, this unpolished rice has scrumptious flavour. For the non-vegetarians, there may be mullan kaima Kongu Nadu mutton biriyan. This number of rice is grown by the tribals within the Wayanad belt of Kerala, is loaded with minerals and nutritional vitamins. Rakesh cleverly makes use of Karunkurvai rice, which has a lovely nutty taste (as an alternative of the same old arborio) to make a creamy French onion risotto. Karunuruvai by the way in which, is diabetic pleasant, stamina offering, and iron wealthy.

Anandanoor Sanna Thengai pal sadham

Anandanoor Sanna Thengai pal sadham | Photo Credit: Special association

The Indigenous Rice Food Festival is on on the Wild Garden Cafe, Amethyst from May 13 to 24; 10am to 11pm. For additional data, name 45991633.

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