Five edible flower masterpieces from Chennai that will change the way you look at your garden
A chance discovery of a homemade ‘blue ice cream’ inspired by the Butterfly Pea Flower, led us down an unconventional garden path. Our mission: to find edible flowers used beyond a mere garnish. And lo! We found some intriguing preparations that you probably, have never come across before. From crispy fried orchids to a cheesecake contrasted by delicate notes of Marigold petals — we present you a bouquet of choice fuelled by flower power, on full throttle!
This work of art features the unlikely combination of mango purée and marigold petals. Fresh out of the oven, this ‘golden’ cheesecake promises delicate and earthy notes from the petals, which beautifully balances the flavour of the cheese. We also love that pop of orange from the browned slivers of marigold petals that make for an aesthetic garnish. By request. At Cappuccino, Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park.INR 270 plus taxes per slice.
Tempura-fried orchids to snack on, anyone? Traditionally called Dokmai Tod, this Oriental appetiser is best paired with a sweet and sour Thai dipping sauce. The latter is prepared with coriander root, garlic, red chillies, a light soya sauce and palm sugar syrup. Dip and pop in your mouth for a delicious treat! At Benjarong, by request. INR 248 plus taxes.
Butterflies in your stomach?
You might say we got butterflies in our stomach — when we discovered Butterfly Pea Flower Fried Rice for the first time. This novel dish served up by The Park Chennai is created by first brewing the petals of the flower in enriched flavoured stock or broth. Fresh summer vegetables which include the crunchy edamame and water chestnut are wok-tossed with a bit of roasted chilli paste for some heat. Fragrant jasmine rice brings the ensemble together with the brewed butterfly pea liquid. The dish is then wrapped in a lotus leaf so that the fragrance stays intact. Available at the Lotus. By request. INR 395 plus taxes.
Ice ice baby!
On the hunt for natural flavouring agents, Rekha Reddy found the Butterfly Pea flower on Amazon which led to the most sought after ice cream choice on her menu — blue scoops of delight. The fact that it is blueberry-flavoured turns out to be secondary. Operating out of Nungambakkam, the home ice cream maker's brand True Glace, now a year-old, prices it at INR 800 a litre or INR 80 a scoop. Order online.
Get a quick detox over lunch with this Veppam poo or Neem flower rasam. Popular in Ayurvedic cooking practices for its medicinal properties — every part of the neem plant (bark, leaves, fruits, roots and flowers) are known to serve a purpose, right from acne relief to boosting one’s immunity. And this traditional South Indian preparation, with mild bitter notes from the flower petals offers a delicious way to enjoy its benefits. By request. At Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel. INR 410 plus taxes.
Bed of roses
This homemade rose petal ice cream is fresh and irresistibly fragrant. Prepared with fresh petals and a dose of rose gulkand (a preserve made of rose petals) for sweetness — the mix is churned till perfectly smooth and creamy, and then placed in the deep freezer for 12 hours before you can dive into pink scoops of heaven. Available by request. At all restaurants at the Savera hotel. INR 263 for two scoops.
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