Hailing from Dharwad, I was born and raised in a family of bakers. Both my grandfather and father owned a bakery, so it was not news to me when I decided to go to culinary school too. The interest only grew over the years.
I went on to pursue my studies in hotel management and landed my first job in the pastry kitchen at The Oberoi.
I worked in Abu Dhabi, too, for a few years and returned to India due to personal reasons. I was unemployed for a few months before I looked for another job.
During those few months, I realised that food isn’t just about creating something unique or making it look appealing with lots of colours and textures. There was a lot more going into it, especially the health factor.
I started to read as many food articles as I could and learnt about the new trends. Keto, gluten-free and vegan were the highlights then.
Luckily, Bengaluru has a lot of people who were trying out these new fads. Many were keen on shifting to a healthier lifestyle. That’s when I decided that it’s time to shift from conventional hotels to something new.
Fresh Pressery were doing well with their cold-pressed juices at the time. They had healthy salads and sandwiches too.
I got in touch with the owner and now I work there as the head chef and manager. I took my time to learn about the trends and came up with different products that suited the brand.
Everything from gluten-free cakes, meal in a bowl and making salads interesting became the task.
In my honest opinion, leading a healthy lifestyle is not that difficult. Yes, it takes time to get used to it — you will have to make a conscious effort. But as soon as you start to see the results, you’ll want to live like that.
I was 110 kg. I took to the keto diet and the results were amazing. It was definitely tough to make sure that I followed the diet but I soon became accustomed to it.
Cooking at home may not be an option all the time, especially with our work schedules.
That’s why there are brands that offer healthy meals on a subscription basis. In fact, that’s the new trend now. Having said that, if you can make your own meal, there’s nothing healthier than that. As long as you have the passion and interest to cook, you are already on a healthier path.
Let’s take a look at ‘Puffed Quinoa Bhel’ today. Not everything healthy you have has to be bland and boring.
With this dish, you get the chaat flavours that we all love and it doesn’t take too long to prepare either.
We are substituting the bhel with puffed quinoa and mixing it with tasty dressing and syrup. With healthy fats like peanuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, you get the extra crunch too.
It’s best to have as soon as you make it as storing it will spoil the taste. Play around with the ingredients, choose what you think you will like. Just make sure that you use fresh ingredients.
Puffed Quinoa Bhel
- Pomegranate molasses, 1 tbsp
- Date syrup, 1/2 tbsp
- Mint, 7 to 8 leaves
- Ginger, 5 gm
- Cumin powder, 1 pinch
- Salt, 1 pinch
- Chop the vegetables and set aside.
- To make the dressing combine all ingredients and blend well.
- Keep it aside.
- Mix popped quinoa, vegetables and dressing and put the mixture to the serving dish.
- Garnish with roasted mix nuts and sprinkle dry Mango powder and pomegranate.