Food can be healthier and tastier with the things you even hate to name !!
3rd June, 2013: The day was hectic, struggling to meet the deadlines in office; when suddenly a mail popped up “Dear …., On behalf of Saffola…”. Not willing to divert my mind, still clicked on the mail; and to my surprise it was an invitation on behalf of Saffola to meet up in the Saffola Masala Oats event with Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna. My delight had no bounds to see the invitation to meet the inspiration of my blog. It took off the burden of deadlines in office and and instant reply was sent to the invite.
6th June, 2013: A few days later the invitation came up in a pretty box with an personal invitation to meet up on 8th June 2013.
Image Courtesy: Sangeeta Khanna
Reached the venue and met Aashima, the glamorous lady who had sent the invitation. The warm welcome of the first person coming in, some gossips and overview about the event and the organization organizing the events was like time flying waiting for the event to start up with.
Soon, came in Sid Khullar, Charis Bhagianathan and later joined by Mukta Varma, Rekha Kakkar, Sangeeta Khanna, Himanshu Taneja, Parul Pratap Shirazi, Ruchira and many more bloggers. Served up with some snacks and drinks, which seemed dull inspite of its yummy and tangy taste; against the excitement of waiting for Chef Vikas Khanna.
And there he was; Chef Vikas Khanna entering the hall.
A down to earth humble chef, who has been so highly honored in the field of cooking was here in front of us. He was on the stage with the host introducing a self introduced personality!! A good sense of humor which the Chef always carries with him could be seen through out the event when he connected with every single person in the room.
Now, back to the event; it was all about either tasty food or healthy food or is it really possible to have a healthy food with a yummy taste. So the Chef started up with the one of the most boring vegetables tinde (Indian Baby Pumpkins). I would have been more excited if it would have been karela (bitter gourds) rather than the tinde.
Slicing the ends of tinda, scooping out the pulp and blanching it; later he filled it with a stuffing of cottage cheese and a few spices and bell peppers. Baked it and was ready with the non-oily yummy Paneer Stuffed Tinde. And yes, I being the first one in the event; was the first to taste the yummy Paneer Stuffed Tinde too.
Followed this cooking by Chef was a cooking competition by a six bloggers. It was a fun watching some of us cook there and some cooking for the first time; a great risk for the Chef about to taste the food !! 😀
When judging the first round, the way he judged the dishes was on a positive note for all of them, even if it was not up to the mark. The best part is the jolly nature that makes things even much better. The chef picked up one of the recipes as an idea and made up the second dish of serving oats with bread.
Saffola has been providing 6 flavored oats: classic masala, pepper and spice, curry and pepper, peppy tomato, veggie twist; and masala and coriander flavors. Every packet has a different flavor and one can use any one of them as per the taste buds to make up the own dish. And yes, it is not just the boiled oats that can be served, but a lot more can be cooked out of it.
Chef Vikas prepared a garlic bread with a layer of oats and topped with toppings. Bake it and you are ready to serve the instant dish. Following this part of his show, was a second round of cooking competition. Innovation at it’s best was seen in this round – oats ke pakore by Parul and pizza base with oats by Ruchira were some of the hits.
In the mean time Vikas was buzzed up by the people around and was busy meeting everyone while the cooking was being done. The best part was when he saw an uncle sitting around in a corner; he went to meet him personally leaving the crowd behind and discussed things with him.
Prize distribution followed the event for all the bloggers who had cooked in the competitions and then by lunch. It was time to bid the Chef good bye and then he was gone with some good memories left behind. Some presents of Saffola products with the great Chef’s cook book “Khana Sutra” was handed over to all of us.
Last but not the least, it was a memorable event meeting the Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna in the Saffola Masala Oats Event – The Other Side !! Looking forward for much such events !!