Guest celebrity blogger, Gurpareet Bains, on his ‘Indian Superfood’ journey

Gurpareet Bains

Gurpareet Bains, the celebrity chef, on his groundbreaking ‘Indian Superfood’ concept

My Indian Superfood journey
Hardly a day goes by when I’m not heckled and prodded and asked about how I first started out on my Indian Superfood journey. So, I guess that I can use the blog as a perfect platform to set the record straight for once and for all…
It was a quintessential English summer’s day (pouring torrential rain) back in 2007 when I was sitting in my living room watching television.  And, on this particular day there was a lot of hype on the box about superfoods. What roused my interest particularly were highly-nutritious basic foods such as oily fish, tomatoes, cabbage and spinach now being hailed as superfoods as these were already being used in traditional Indian cooking… Then for a reason unbeknown to me now, as I turned my head to peer into the kitchen, all of a sudden my roaming eye stopped to stare at little bottles of spices sitting on the kitchen worktop that were seemingly looking back at me. I started to ponder that if I were to combine superfoods with spices at mealtimes, surely we would have meals that would be even more super then superfoods alone, as the nutritional properties of spices would add bonus health benefits to what the superfoods would contain on their own. That was my light-bulb moment… I had arrived at my concept of Indian Superfood. My life would never be the same.
For approximately two years I would burn the candle at both ends and create new Indian Superfood recipes by combining superfoods + superspices in recipes. Merging together ingredients that previously had never been combined and especially with ‘curry’ and in a low-fat, healthy as well as user friendly manner would be a bigger challenge then I could have ever encompassed. Some of my unique and successful flavour amalgamations would include seaweed and dairy, cocoa and curry, sweet potato and rice paper, blueberries and chicken and so on. And of course, as you would imagine there would be some kitchen disasters. One that stands out to mind is salmon and strawberry. Enough said. But creating the recipes wouldn’t be enough on their own. I would also have to back up my claims, and this would include studying masses of research from major educational and scientific institutions. Namely, this would come about through the United States Department of Agriculture whose research would verify Indian Superfood recipes to be the most antioxidising recipes ever to be fashioned.  Consequently, this lead me to creating a meal that contained as many antioxidants as 23 bunches of grapes per serving which would be dubbed as the ‘world’s healthiest meal’. It would include blueberries, goji berries and an obscene amount of cinnamon in a chicken curry recipe.
I totally bastardised classical Indian cuisine to create the recipe and Indian Superfood. I raised eyebrows along the way and I can still hear the tutting disapproval from traditionalists. However, over a period of years, I would win over even the most ardent of my adversaries, and end up leading the Indian kitchen into its new golden era where scientific research would back ancient Ayurvedic principles pertaining to spices and bring this knowledge to our plates in a delicious new fusion cuisine.
Sometimes I’m asked “why Indian Superfood, why not a different cuisine?” My simple justification for this is that it is only possible to enjoy a large quantity of spices with superfoods at mealtimes in the Indian kitchen. In a nutshell, Indian Superfood meals are the most antioxidising and powerful disease fighting meals ever created. It had to be Indian food. Where else could we ‘shovel’ in such a huge quantity of spices and superfoods? It certainly wouldn’t taste great in sushi or pasta!
I hope you can join me next week when I share my publishing journey and delve in-depth into Indian Superfood.
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Indian Superfood by Gurpareet Bains

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