Indulge Time Pass: Excel in cooking and controlling stress with Chef Ritu Dalmia and Nikate Khaitan
Our lifestyles have irreversibly changed by the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus and the ensuing lockdown. We are left with no choice but to make do with whatever meals we are capable of rustling up without any assistance. Also, staying indoors without a break has taken a toll on most of our temperaments with many getting agitated and anxious over little things.
Keeping that in mind today's Indulge Time Pass had two experts, renowned Chef Ritu Dalmia and sound therapy expert Nikate Khaitan moderated by senior journalist Kaveree Bamzai, to make our lives smoother while we all are under house arrest.
"I have learnt to cook with whatever's available at home. I know that the world would change drastically post-COVID, especially in the food and service sectors since eating outside is not a necessity, it's serious luxury and people will no longer go to crowded restaurants and will be cared about hygiene. Things are not looking bright at the moment but as I said, I am okay and I will take each step as it comes," she shares during the session.
Ritu feels that the age of frugality will be to an extent back after the crisis is over since it will take a long time before luxury items like parmesan, Parma ham, cheese and olive oil are back in circulation. And hence we have to make do with local sustainable food. "I think I am in great shape both physically and mentally because I have been eating only freshly cooked local meals for all these days. It has been a complete detox diet for me and has done wonders. Hence today I will share an easy-to-make recipe with whatever simple ingredients are available at home," tells Ritu.
She could lay her hands on some cucumbers, roasted green mangoes, yoghurt and cherry tomatoes and rustled up a quick cold soup since that's apt for the sultry and humid weather. "I have some leftover green pudina chutney from yesterday and some crunchy bread crumbs which can work wonders as garnishing," she shares.
Ritu also tells us that one can even make pasta with the humble veggie called bottle gourd and that's delectable and actually quite popular in South Italy. "In fact, you can make anything out of any ingredients, simply go with the flow and play in the kitchen since no one will judge you and you have ample time and a few more days of the lockdown period to rectify yourself," she says, stressing that one must explore local food, the dishes we grew up eating.
Nikate Khaitan, an expert sound and vibration healer armed with a degree from the famed The Monroe Institute, which is a hub of consciousness explorers, made the participants in the sessions aware of the fact that not all chantings might work equally on all of us.
"Each human is slightly different from the other and any sound, chanting or music might have a slightly different effect on each individual. With time, the essence of chanting have got lost and no one can tell you for sure which chanting will work perfectly on whom. Finding what works on one is the key to balance oneself," tells Khaitan.
But music, he adds, always has a soothing effect on everyone. "You have to go by the hunch, which music suits you the most. Some feel relaxed listening to western music, some like jazz, some listen to bhajans while some others might find Hindi songs comforting".
Nikate is organising online chanting classes daily at 4 in the afternoon and anyone can join him after messaging him at 98300 32777. He can also be contacted for further individual analysis and exploration of one's consciousness.
Also, to do away with the lockdown blues, here's the recipe for the Cucumber Green Mango Cold Soup that Ritu just suggested:
All you need for making the soup for one person:
Three cucumbers, half of a roasted green mango (for the smoky taste), 2tbsp dahi or yoghurt, some fresh basil or mint leaves, cherry or plain roasted tomatoes and some bread crumbs or roasted peanuts for garnishing. Simply blend the ingredients with a lot of ice cubes and a little sugar, salt and black pepper to taste. Add the grounded peanuts or breadcrumbs and tomatoes to it for garnishing. You can also try it with musk melon instead of green mango.