Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Video of my first vegan demo at Vivanta by Taj Bangalore


A few weeks ago, a friend from Mumbai contacted a few of us Bangalore Vegans to let us know that the Taj was planning to hold a vegan demo and lunch event and the chef had mentioned to FIAPO, the event facilitators that he needed help with veganising the food. This project interested me very much and I went to Taj Residency (aka Vivanta by Taj) to meet Sous Chef Uday Nathan of Graze (their European cuisine restaurant).

Uday said that he thought veganising food would be very difficult and asked me to help him with the menu by cooking with him for the next few days and also on the days of the demos (they planned to have two and then maybe more later). I laughed and assured him that vegan food can be very simple to make and he just needs to stop thinking in terms of what he cannot use and start looking in the direction of the various dairy better-natives.

On the next day I got a chance to step into their kitchen and I taught him how to make almond milk, cashew milk, cashew cream and vegan ice cream. I also gave him a few more recipes and pointers on veganising stuff. That one session was all it took for Uday to see how easy vegan cooking can be. "Deceptively simple" is what he called it. :)

Over the following weeks Uday designed two delicious menus for 4 course meals and he consulted me for a few inputs here and there (mostly over the phone). I taught him how to make vegan chocolate mousse with tofu for when the press people (The Hindu and The New Indian Express) visited and there wasn't enough time to make the espresso brownies as originally planned. The mousse was such a big hit that it quickly replaced the brownies in the menu.

The first demo and lunch was on last Saturday, 28th April and I got a chance to do a mini demo at the end of Uday's main demo. I showed the process of making almond milk and also explained how to make nut milks, nut butters, nut creams and vegan ice cream using these. The next demo is on 5th May and I'll be demoing something else on that day.

I'll be sharing a fully detailed blog post, bursting with pictures of course, of the demo and the delicious meal we had as soon as I'm done working on the pics. For now, here's a video of my mini demo that hubby shot.

18 comments:

  1. This is super uber cool Sus! i mean you taught the chef and all..:) and such an amazing opportunity! this is awesome! way to go girl! i am so happy for u.. i hope they offer more and more vegan food!

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    1. Thanks Richa. Yeah even I can't get over the fact that I "taught a chef" haha. But seriously, Uday is very approachable and fairly down to Earth, plus he's closer to our age so there's nothing overwhelming about it like I originally thought it would be before I met him.

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  2. Wow!

    It' s so nice to read that vegan recipes is starting to get popular...

    Thanks for sharing this with us...

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    1. Yeah Kumudha, and it was their own initiative too. No one asked them to do this vegan demo or add a vegan section to their menu. They decided to do it all on their own because of the growing worldwide popularity of veganism. :)

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  3. Wow!

    So nice to see your photographs. We vegans are going to rock.

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    1. Thank you Dilip. :) I hope you can make it on the 5th. You'll enjoy it for sure!

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  4. How did I miss this fantastic video? When does your cooking show come to the states? You are so adorable, the camera loves you!

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    1. Thanks Gi. :) First let me get my butt moving and start that cooking show. Then we'll thinking about the show touring. haha

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  5. Fantastic! You look great, instructing the chef and everything. :) Very nice video Susmitha. I love it! Good going. :D

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  6. hey...this is soooo cool..

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  7. you are really cool susmitha. such a wonderful experience it must have been for you.

    your site will be very helpful to me now that i am transitioning into a vegan diet.

    i already have started cashew milk & almond milk. cashew curd was a disaster. so am scared of trying it again.

    just a few days ago, i veganised an indian sweet which is commonly made with milk - seviyan kheer.... it was awesome...

    i still don't know how to make a vegan butter or cream.
    will browse through your blog for vegan ice creams and other vegan treats. am following you on facebook :-)

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    1. Great to know you're going vegan, dassana! :)

      Have you tried peanut milk curds yet? Give that a try, you might like it. It's very creamy and delicious.

      What exactly went wrong with the cashew curd? Perhaps I can give you some pointers if I knew where it went wrong.

      For vegan cream there are two ways to make it depending on what you plan to make with it. For ice creams and curries and such where it'll be blended, you can make it by grinding cashews into a buttery paste and then adding as much water as you like to get the consistency you require. If you'd like cream in layers (like for kulfi and basundi) then just heat home made soymilk like you would regular milk and you'll get layers of cream. Add a little oil while blending the soybeans into a paste before making the soymilk to add more fat content and therefore more cream.

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  8. Thank you for stopping by my space :)

    You got a wonderful opportunity out there..nice video..Best wishes to you. :)

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  9. Nice. How is this low fat? I thought vegan food was generally low on fat and thus a good diet for those looking to lose weight. A lot of vegans I know are skinny! Do you have a diet plan to lose weight? Please share :)

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    1. Hi Anonymous, vegan food has absolutely no cholesterol since plants don't produce cholesterol. But when it comes to fat, only *healthy* vegan food is low fat. If people eat processed cookies and chips which are vegan, they will surely put on weight. :) But fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, beans etc... are very good for health and also help to lose weight when consumed in their whole form. The fats in things like cashews and avocados are good fats, which are beneficial to the body. So the weight gained from those is not high.

      Not all vegans are necessarily skinny but by personal experience, I can say that I lost a lot of weight by just becoming vegan. That's because I used to consume a lot of dairy before and eliminating that completely from my system removed all the unhealthy fat from my body.

      This Taj Vivanta event was not focused on a healthy vegan diet, so the demo here does not necessarily show low fat ice creams. But vegan ice creams are definitely far far healthier and lower in fat compared to the animal milk ice creams.

      If you're looking to lose weight, I suggest that you first go vegan. That itself will make a whole lot of pounds go away if you've been consuming a lot of dairy, eggs or meat. But additionally if you remove all processed foods and oils from your diet, you are bound to lose a lot more weight. Get 'oils' into your diet in their whole forms, have coconuts, olives, nuts and seeds instead of oils made of them.

      Eat a LOT of whole vegetables and fruits too. Especially in raw salad or smoothie form is best.

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