Vicky Ratnani is one of the most celebrated chefs in India. He revolutionised food when he stepped into the world of television with shows like Vicky Goes Veg and Vickypedia and now he’s back once again with a show that will make you quit junk food in a jiffy. By Analita Seth
In conversation with celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani:
Vicky Ratnani is back to host Disney Delicious, where he cooks some of the most scrumptious and loved dishes with a healthy twist. A soon-to-be-favourite show for parents and children alike, you will witness Vicky Ratnani cooking everything from burgers to halwa with the most unconventional and healthy substitutes from your pantry.
We caught up with chef Vicky Ratnani to find out more about his latest venture and share his personal picks from his city. Excerpts…
Tell us a little about Disney Delicious…
We shot the pilot almost last year. Rangrez, who is shooting the show got in touch with me, and it was something which I thought was very different, something I haven’t done before. I fit perfectly into this spot where the whole banter is between this kid and me. I’m almost like his Agony Aunt and he goes back really happy every time. I think it was a great experience, and it’s been written really well. I felt this would work really well, and I think the chemistry worked out.
How much trial and error and research work went into making these substitutional junk food dishes?
I do this for a living. The thing is that I’ve been cooking for many years. I’ve been cooking for different kinds of people, making different types of food in different parts of the world. There are certain elements which make food healthy or not healthy, and there are elements which will change in terms of the quality of ingredients or the choice of ingredients you can use or the way you cook with them. These are the only way you could make them unhealthy and vice versa. So basically, it’s not completely junk food. It’s more like innovative food or simple dishes which have done with innovation. This gives even the mothers a lot of knowledge and motivation that such food can be cooked at home without a big fuss. The skill level is about five to six out of ten. I feel that you can win your child’s heart with food. You can even educate your child about the nutrition of food, and at the same time, it’s the way you prepare it, the way you plate it, how it looks. The food looks good in the whole show, so I think moms are going to learn a lot from this.
What was the most unpredictable dish that you made out of the most unconventional ingredients on the show?
I think there were quite a few. We did beetroot and carrot halwa. It is almost like gajar halwa, but we didn’t use sugar. We used jaggery in it. These were then served in tartlets which were coated with chocolate. So that was one very amazing and innovative recipe. We also made an utappam with green moong. We did multi grain roti tacos. We also made a handmade pasta with a white sauce.
What are 5 best substitutes or unhealthy ingredients?
Jaggery for brown sugar for white sugar, multigrain flour for maida and, olive oil for vegetable oil. Then, instead of deep frying, it could be air frying or baking and definitely adding more vegetables to the diet.
If you were to pick just one dish each, respectively, for lunch, breakfast, and dinner that you can have for the rest of your life cooked by you or not, what would be those three dishes?
I think for breakfast, it will be an egg white masala bhurji. I can eat that all the time. For lunch I could eat rajma chawal and dinner, I could do a whole wheat pasta with aglio olio.
Could you tell me. What are your favourite places to eat in Bombay?
I don’t know where to start and when to stop. I have my local favourites. Literally. Where I live in Versova, there is kebab wala, which I really like. It’s called Farid’s. Then the guy below my building has the best pani puri. I also like restaurants like Masque. I visit that restaurant pretty often. I also like Americano by Alex . I like Sifa’s fourth high, and I like Jaffer by his biryani.
What’s the most unconventional dish you might have tried?
I’ve tried alligator, crocodile, kangaroo,
What do they taste like?
Texture wise alligator and crocodile taste like a kind of a chicken, kangaroo is lean, tastes like veal. I’ve also eaten bugs and crickets in Thailand and cheese with bugs in France.
One city you visit for its food…
I visit Amritsar every year for the food and the temple.
Main and Feature Image Credit: Disney
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India