Published: 25th October 2021
Cook along with this 27-year-old former MasterChef contestant and make healthy desserts, just in time for the festive season
The cook-along class, organised via the e-learning platform MiDigiWorld, will be held on October 27 and here's why you should get in on it
Healthy eating has been much talked about and many are adapting to it as well, but when it comes to cooking these healthy meals oneself, that's another task altogether. Where does one even begin with the range of millets, honestly? Natasha Gandhi has been dishing out healthy bites for a long time now, even desserts for that matter, like millet modaks. Millet sushi rolls and roti tacos might sound like a lot of work, but in the able hands of this MasterChef star, who was in the top five of the reality cooking show's sixth season in India, this too can be achieved.
The food wizard is joining hands with MiDigiWorld, an e-learning platform that helps one upskill their hobbies and skills, for a virtual cook-along to help you transition from healthy food lover to healthy food maker. And we're talking about tasty desserts here. Chocolate besan ladoo and rose truffles with gulkand and jaggery — oh what joy this festive season is going to bring us. "For besan ladoos, the traditional route is an endless sauté of besan (gram flour) but we will accomplish the same using a microwave within no time. Thus, making healthy cooking actually easier and faster," says the 27-year-old. And since this is going to be an interactive cook-along, the session will go on for an hour or longer and will be conducted on October 27. And there is going to be a contest as well!
READ ALSO : Here's why Abinas Nayak, winner of the MasterChef India Season VI, wants you to try out Odia cuisine
Starting off with millets
So many millets, it's almost like being spoilt for choice. But how does a newbie start off with these grains? "Millets like ragi (finger millet) or bajra (pearl millet) are slightly sandy when it comes to taste so perhaps starting off with sorghum or barnyard millet makes more sense. The simplest step you can take is replacing polished rice with foxtail millet," suggests the Instagrammer who has all her 162K+ followers hooked on to easy-peasy recipes via her posts and Insta Reels. She also suggests masking the taste of millets. For example, ragi goes perfectly with chocolate and hence, can be used to bake brownies, cakes or even cookies. And those who are yet to take to jaggery, an acquired taste indeed, can opt for coconut sugar. "Not only does it have a lower GI index (glycaemic index, a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates) but has a wonderful caramel-y flavour as well," she points out.
The poster | (Pic: MiDigiWorld)
And if you are under the impression that healthy desserts are more time-consuming to make, then you are highly mistaken. Try the Natasha Gandhi way and you'll find that, soon, you are able to whip up any healthy dessert in a jiffy. "The whole reason I actually started making healthy desserts was because it takes less time," Natasha laughs as she shares. More so because all the ingredients are available at home, plus you don't need any fancy equipment. In 2019, Natasha turned entrepreneur when she initiated House of Millets in Mumbai, via which she makes super-yum yet relatively healthy desserts and delivers them right to every Mumbaikar's doorstep. So, trust her when she says that desserts can be healthy and can be made quickly too.
What to expect in this space
As far as the F&B space is concerned, Natasha rues that, "It took a pandemic for us to realise the importance of healthy eating." And since the United Nations declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the youngster who pursued her Bachelor of Commerce from Mulund College of Commerce in Mumbai, is very hopeful that now that the limelight has shifted to millets, it will stay there for a long time to come. "Regional food will gain prominence as well. Several young entrepreneurs have started initiatives where they are providing authentic and home-cooked Goan, Himachali and even Malvani cuisine, which seems like a very promising avenue," she notes. So, home chefs, it's your time to shine!
So, don't forget to sign up for the cook-along and get your knives ready this October 27.