Even before the pandemic struck, the focus of diners was shifting to healthy food, and in this time of COVID-19 crisis, it has increased manifold.According to many restaurateurs and chefs in Kolkata, not only diners visiting the restaurants but those ordering from home are also asking about the ingredients to ensure they are eating healthy food.
Since their reopening in the Unlock period, Yauatcha Kolkata, known for its Cantonese cuisine, has introduced a limited menu for both delivery and dine-in and are working with a smaller team. Head Chef Kushal Lama pointed out that the restaurant’s policy has been to stick to a limited menu so that they can easily procure quality ingredients. “A lot of our dishes use ginger, which is one of the best ingredients to build your immunity,” says Chef Lama.
Cantonese cuisine has always been known to have health benefits, using ingredients like ginger, chillies and garlic, all of which are high in antioxidants and are immunity boosting. “We have a lot of dishes that use fermented foods which are very good for your gut and helps digest your food better,” said Chef Lama. “If your digestive system has a proper balance of good bacteria, all the nutrients that you get from your regular food also gets absorbed better. It also helps you boost your immunity,” he said.
Chef Lama shared an immunity building drink and a dish from the restaurant’s repertoire:
1 chunk of ginger
40 ml white rum
50 ml apple juice
5 ml orgeat syrup
2 ml fresh lime juice
Muddle the chunk of ginger in a mixing glass.
Add the muddled ginger with ice and all the ingredients in a shaker and shake well.
Double strain the cocktail into a frozen martini glass.
Garnish with a ginger slice for the additional spice.
Stir fry chicken with Szechuan peppercorn (one of the best-selling dishes at Yauatcha)
For the sauce:
Chicken (boneless) - 160 Gms
Onions (diced) – 8 Gms
Bell peppers (diced) – 8 Gms
Scallions (chopped) – 8 Gms
Red Kashmiri chilli (whole) - 2-3 pieces
Ginger, garlic (whole pieces) - 2-3 pieces
Szechuan peppercorn – 2 Gms
Oyster sauce – 1 tbsp.
Fermented black bean paste – ½ tsp
Sugar – ½ tsp
Fragrant chilli sauce – 1 tbsp.
For the marinade:
Potato starch – 1 tbsp.
Egg white – 1 tbsp.
Start by marinating the chicken in egg white, potato starch. Keep it in the fridge overnight.
Combine the fragrant chilli sauce, oyster sauce, fermented black bean and sugar to make the Szechuan sauce.
In a hot wok, add oil and heat it to a high temperature.
Drop in the marinated chicken pieces and deep fry until it has been cooked and keep aside.
In another dish, bring the water to almost a boil and blanch all the vegetables. Take them out when done.
To a wok, add some oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onions for about 5 seconds.
Then add the vegetables and chicken, sauté for about 5 seconds more.
Add a tablespoon of water and the Szechuan chilli sauce that you’ve prepared above to the wok and toss it well. If needed, add some potato starch to get the right consistency of the sauce.
The dish is ready to serve.