A bunch of top chefs recently gathered in Kerala to change the perception that eating healthy necessarily mean eating tasteless. They gathered for a “retreat” called ‘Healing Recipes: Back to Roots’ at the Kairali Ayurvedic Resort whose mission, among other things, was to prove that nutritious eating can be appetising.
“Healing Recipes is a platform (for) healthy eating with master classes from some of the best culinary names in the country,” explained Kairali Ayurvedic Group Executive Director Abhilash K. Ramesh.
The retreat covered the entire gamut. “From growing your food to prepping it for a good meal to understanding the various health fads that you may have grappled with — raw food diet, veganism, vegetarianism — and, most importantly, how to make each meal simple, nourishing and yet gourmet,” Ramesh said.
And the cast he assembled was clearly impressive. Among the chefs who attended were Manjit Singh Gill, Corporate Chef at ITC Hotels; Abhijit Saha, an early proponent of what is called Progressive Indian Cuisine; Mexican cuisine artist Vikas Seth; and Arun Kumar T.R., who specialises in south Indian coastal cuisine.
“Famous for their signature cooking styles, these chefs have, over the years, perfected the art of not only creating delicious meals but also techniques that can help you get the same taste without compromising on the health factor,” Ramesh noted.
And here, in the incomparably lush-green and tranquil setting of the Kairali Group’s resort, they were marrying their art to one of the world’s oldest sciences, Ayurveda, which believes that anything that grows naturally and is edible is good for health. For Chef Arun Kumar, the idea has been “to cater to people who are in the process of changing their lifestyle, have changed it or wish to do so”.
Known for his traditional approach towards ingredients and cooking, his knowledge of Deccani food — especially that of its erstwhile ruling dynasties — is unparalleled and he is one of those chefs who are privy to the healing secrets of some of the finest dishes of this region.
Food is the single most important investment that we make in ourselves, day-after-day and year-after-year, irrespective of whether we eat to live or live to eat. And according to Ayurveda, healing foods support a healthy body, stimulate its repair and help it rejuvenate.
So, how does one begin eating for wellness and health? Simple: By adopting what can be called the Ayurveda Diet which has, as its core principle, the philosophy of eating seasonal and buying local. And, of course, adopting the recipes churned out by the master chefs so that you do not lose out on taste.