So you thought you were dreaming when black sesame chicken sashayed onto your table, or when the charcoal glazed pav bhaji snuggled up as a starter, or when the coal complexioned Vitamin E powered rice pirouetted on your plate? Black is back, and is suffusing the palate teasers listed on modern menus.
“Black coloured foods are healthier due to the presence of anthocyanins,” explains dieititian Sarika Nair. “These are powerful antioxidants and are present due to the deep pigment in these foods. This antioxidant protects your body from free radical damage along with many other benefits.”
You can win the black sweepstakes in the veggie kingdom by fermenting regular garlic to obtain the dark black garlic that comes strapped with twice the antioxidants than in regular garlic. It has anti-allergic, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammation and anti-carcinogenic properties. And for seafood lovers the natural squid ink suffices in lending a distinct umami flavour to the foods. Rich in iron and dopamine it carries anti bacterial properties too.
Finally, the secret to staying young and glowing is here. Pack in the black chowder to fob off the mean ageing process and bolster your immunity level through fortified cell power.
(Recipe by Chef Swasti Aggarwal, Food Strategist, Foodhall)
- 60 gm boiled black rice
- 30 gm shredded kale
- 30 gm shredded batton beetroot
- 20 gm bean sprouts
- 5 gm roasted sunflower seeds
- 20 gm button mushroom
- 10 gm shiitake mushroom
- 15 gm wild mushroom
- 30 gm tofu (strips)
- 5 gm roasted sesame seeds
- 30 gm soy ginger vinaigrette
Sauté the mushrooms for five minutes and keep it aside. Sear the tofu.
In a bowl, mix the mushrooms, tofu and rest of the ingredients including the soy ginger vinaigrette, and serve.
Black rice Avocado California sushi roll
(Recipe by Vikram Khatri, Business Head and Executive Chef, Guppy, Delhi and Hello)
- 3 cups cooked black sushi rice
- 2 nori sheets
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 avocado, halved, stone removed.
- Each half sliced length-wise into strips.
- 2 cucumber, shredded
- 1 pickled radish, shredded
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 4 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp flax seed
- 1 tbsp wasabi paste
- 4 tbsp gari (1 tbsp per portion)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce (1 tbsp per portion)
- 4 tbsp sushi vinegar
Cut the cucumber, radish and carrot into thin long strips and slice them further into juliennes. Pickle carrot and radish in sushi vinegar for two hours.
Cut each nori sheet into two halves. Place one half, the shiny and smooth end of the nori sheet, on a chopping board facing downward. Dip your hand in water, shaking off the excess.
Take a quarter of the black rice and place it on the middle of the nori sheet. Use your fingers to spread it out evenly till the edges. Sprinkle roasted sesame seed and roasted flex seed on rice and turn the nori sheet with the rice upside down.
Apply wasabi with fore finger. Start spreading the other ingredients — avocado, cucumber strips, pickled carrot and radish followed by a spoonful of cream cheese and roll. Moisten the knife with a cloth, wipe off the excess water and cut the uramaki into eight equal parts. After each cut, please moisten the knife. Wipe off excess water.
Repeat the process with the other three nori sheets. Serve with gari, wasabi and soy sauce.