Spicing Up Your Plate with Healthy Benefits
PHOTO CREDIT: Cheyney Barrieau for Eat IN Connecticut
There’s a whole new meaning to spicing up your meal in Connecticut. Whether you dine in West Hartford, New Haven or New Canaan, International Chef Prasad Chrinomula of Five Star Restaurant Group, (Thali, Thali Too, Oaxaca, INDIA New Canaan) dishes up a whole new meaning to savoring great, healthy Indian food locally across the Nutmeg state at his restaurant locations. INDIA, his newest restaurant which opened in December 2016 in West Hartford Center, boasts a menu with exclusive recipes delivering health benefits while complementing its exceptional fare. Guests can experience locally sourced, Farm to Table dishes with British Colonial overtones.
A master of his craft and a culinary artist, Chef Prasad is pioneering a new approach to healthy eating when indulging in Indian delectable dishes. “By integrating Indian spices and herbs such as Turmeric, Cardamom, Garlic, Ginger and Fenugreek into our dishes, we bring a whole series of health benefits to our dining guests,” says Chef Prasad. “From respiratory disorders, to join inflammation to relieving the common cold, many of our dishes have ingredients that help combat a variety of ailments that people experience every day.”
Take Chef Prasad’s Shrimp Moilee recipe, for example. Several ingredients provide a host of benefits. The black mustard seeds are generally rich in minerals and a good source of anti-oxidants, the ginger helps relieve the common cold, heartburn and upset stomachs, and turmeric helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and joint inflammation. Another dish in Chef Prasad’s cuisine collection is Bhel Poori. This Indian street food style dish includes cilantro, which is said to help treat skin inflammation, high cholesterol, anemia, indigestion, blood sugar disorders and other physical ailments. Tamarind, another ingredient included in this popular dish, is said to help treat rheumatism, fevers, sore throat, sunstroke and other conditions. “It’s a ‘win-win’ with these dishes,” says Chef Prasad. “The unique flavors combined with the health benefits puts INDIA and my other restaurants into a category of their own.” Other signature dishes on INDIA’s menu include the Chicken Tikka Masala, Vindaloo, Lamb Chops and their crispy baby kale (which also delivers a whole group of health benefits!) chaat drizzled with tamarind and date chutneys.
What other herbs and spices that are commonly used in Indian dishes are good for your health? Cinnamon, giving Indian dishes a refreshing taste and an aromatic smell, is said to be diabetes-friendly and insulin resistant. Cumin, which completes most Indian dishes, is said to alleviate digestion problems and causes of the common cold. Saffron, which adds color and spice to desserts and briyani, is said to have the ability to treat depression, improve memory, prevent the loss of vision and also serve as an anti-oxidant. Cloves are known to treat tooth problems and aid digestion. One of the strongest spices in Indian cooking is asafoetida. With its strong, pungent flavor, this spice changes the dynamic to any dish being served. It has been identified as a health benefit to help treat asthma, coughing and bronchitis.
Impressing the restaurant industry for over 30 years, Chef Prasad was featured on the Food Network’s hit television show, “Chopped”, where he demonstrated his masterful culinary skillset to compete against some of the best chefs in the country. He was also acknowledged by the esteemed Rosengarten Report as “the most exciting Indian Chef in the United States”. He has defined a whole new niche for “Indian” fare and seeks for all of his locations to be “foodie” destinations with a healthy twist.
“The local Connecticut community – including my fellow restaurateurs, chefs and dedicated patrons – have been very welcoming to my vision of delivering healthy and cutting edge cuisine,” says Chef Prasad. “I value the local support and think it is important to give back in whatever ways my teams and I can. Cooking up kindness in the community while delivering healthy dining options is at the forefront of our mission.”
Morgan Ferrarotti is a contributing writer for Eat IN Connecticut, a marketing and social media influencer group in Connecticut who thrives on telling the stories of great eats and drinks throughout the state. Morgan loves new culinary experiences and keeps a restaurant bucket list in Connecticut.
INDIA is a locally sourced, Farm-to-Table Restaurant featuring traditional Indian cuisine and bright new dishes with British Colonial overtones from Master Chef Prasad Chirnomula of “Chopped”, Thali, Thali Too and Oaxaca Kitchen fame. In addition to running his six restaurants, Chef Prasad leads tasting tours of India, hosts private tasting dinners, teaches cooking classes and offers his services at multiple charity events for such groups as the American Liver Foundation, Varli, James Beard House, the American Red Cross, Share Our Strength, the Connecticut Food Bank and the Food Bank for New York City; he was a celebrity guest chef at Foxwoods Food & Wine Festival to benefit Johnson & Wales University. Most recently, Chef Prasad was the winner of the 2011 & 2013 Elm City Iron Chef competition and appeared in Food Network in 2012. Contact info for India West Hartford is: 54 Memorial Road, West Hartford, CT, 860-726-4103, www.IndiaWestHartford.com
Bhel Poori Recipe
16 oz Bhel Mix
2 oz Chopped Red Onion
2 oz Chopped Tomato
1 oz Chopped Cilantro
1 oz Chopped Mint
2 oz Chopped Apple
Pinch. Chat Masala
8 oz Tamarind Date & Raisin Chutney
2 oz Mint and Cilantro Chutney
2 oz Thin Sev
Cilantro Sprig for garnish
In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients and toss and serve like a salad or as appetizer. Serves four.