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Home » My Kolkata » Food » IIHM's latest masterclass on US cranberries was all about introducing students to innovative fusions using America's superfruit

IIHM Kolkata

IIHM's latest masterclass on US cranberries was all about introducing students to innovative fusions using America's superfruit

Cranberries, popularly known as America’s original superfruit, are one of three commonly cultivated fruits native only to North America

Ashmita Ghosh (t2intern) | Published 27.09.23, 07:12 AM
Mumbai-based chef Rakhee Vaswani presented an instant version of Cranberry Kalakand Ghevar. The textures were laid down with the fusion of ghevar and cranberry. Ghevar is a disc-shaped Rajasthani dish made from ghee, flour and sugar syrup. “We wanted to make a modern version although the culinary students are more familiar with the traditional methods. This was a faster instant method that we did with kalakand and cranberries because it adds that beautiful colour, texture, and the right balance of sweetness and tartness. I have always been a fan of fusion and like to create something different or out of the box. The festive season is around the corner, so this was the most unique idea that just happened to me. It is time to cook something special and also make your dear ones feel special,” said Rakhee. 

Mumbai-based chef Rakhee Vaswani presented an instant version of Cranberry Kalakand Ghevar. The textures were laid down with the fusion of ghevar and cranberry. Ghevar is a disc-shaped Rajasthani dish made from ghee, flour and sugar syrup. “We wanted to make a modern version although the culinary students are more familiar with the traditional methods. This was a faster instant method that we did with kalakand and cranberries because it adds that beautiful colour, texture, and the right balance of sweetness and tartness. I have always been a fan of fusion and like to create something different or out of the box. The festive season is around the corner, so this was the most unique idea that just happened to me. It is time to cook something special and also make your dear ones feel special,” said Rakhee. 

B. Halder

US cranberries were the element of culinary experimentation at the recently held International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) Kolkata’s one-day workshop for students, in collaboration with US Cranberries Association. Expert chefs from different parts of India, including Rakhee Vaswani, Vicky Ratnani, Harpal Singh Sokhi, Nishant Choubey, Yogesh Uteker, and renowned mixologist Shatbhi Basu, came together to conduct the masterclass at IIHM Global campus in Salt Lake.

Cranberries, popularly known as America’s original superfruit, are one of three commonly cultivated fruits native only to North America. The roots of its importance lie deep in American history. Having a versatile flavour and being nutrient-dense, the fruit can be easily incorporated into sweet and savoury dishes. While the chefs taught unique dishes to the students, mixologist Shatbhi Basu presented interesting cocktails. Other than their presentation of dishes and drinks, the experts also shared with students tips and tricks for incorporating this superfruit in their cooking and drink. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor had joined the session virtually to interact with the students, too. Glimpses:

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(l-r) Chef Nishant Choubey, Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, Chef Vicky Ratnani

(l-r) Chef Nishant Choubey, Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, Chef Vicky Ratnani

Chef Nishant Choubey took culinary creativity a notch higher as he cooked the all-time Bengali favourite, Bhetki in Cafreal Masala. Cafreal masala, which is extensively used in Goan cuisine, was infused with cranberry juice, and the fish was cooked along with some kokum. Nishant believes in cooking that has six senses — sweetness, sourness, bitterness, spiciness, saltiness and strangeness. “I have a very simple way to think about cooking. Cranberries are something that absolutely complements the entire cooking sense, which is missing from a lot of action that we do. I don’t think ingredients have any boundaries. As chefs, we ought to be free to use ingredients, where they are used in the appropriate ways. People have become more conscious after the pandemic. Therefore, health cannot be neglected at any cost," said Nishant.

Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi made the learning session entertaining as he taught students to make Mixed Millet Tikka Kebab with cranberries while dancing to the beats of Bhangra. “We all know how millets are rich in fibre content and nutritional value. We have a beautiful chutney with cranberry puree, tempered with mustard and curry leaves as a topping. The tikka is served on the base of a multigrain cranberry paratha. Cranberry adds great value to Indian delicacies ascribing to the sweet and sour taste. The colour of the fruit is brilliant in reddish maroon, thus adding a natural colour to whatever food is being prepared. Overall, it goes with any cuisine, and there lies the advantage and significance of using cranberries,” said Harpal as he demonstrated various forms of pickles and chutneys in Indian cuisines.

Chef Vicky Ratnani’s special Masala Berry Filled Prawns on Cranberry Pearl Millet Garlic Mint and Cranberry Yogurt was an excellent fusion that provides a wholesome platter of nutritional value. It not only included Indian spices but also lent the right balance of taste with cranberry yoghurt. He said, “I tried my hand at this dish to establish the versatility that a cranberry possesses. Owing to its combination of both sweet and sour tastes, it gives a unique flavour that makes the dish stand out from the rest.”

Mixologist Shatbhi Basu prepared two refreshing cranberry cocktails — Scarlet Mist and Crantastic Sour. In Scarlet Mist, juicy cranberry was craftily used along with mint in a sweet and sour ginger fizz ice mist, served in a hurricane or jam jar. Mint spring and dried cranberries were used as garnishing options. The smoky Crantastic Sour was a unique blend of silk cranberry sour with a crackle of curry leaves and a touch of spice.

Last updated on 27.09.23, 07:13 AM
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