Milk, cinnamon, turmeric, honey and a flaming shot of whiskey. Suggest that recipe to your grandmother the next time you have a sick day… The Park’s inspired concoction of Turmeric toddy at 601 with other contemporary uses of the golden spice in everything from a French-style Mornay to Mango Kulfi, is part of a festival that is a little over a week long, and kicked off yesterday.
The yellow pages
As you can tell, there are no curry clichés on this spread. According to Chef Saravanan who curated the menu, the idea was to expand on the global trend that turmeric lattes have become in the West, courtesy the spice’s well-known anti-inflammatory and healing properties. “The challenge here was to move away from the medicinal association that pops into your head when you think of turmeric and create a contemporary appeal,” he says. The latter goes for both the choice of cuisine and the plating. We start to understand what he means as the various courses begin to arrive.
Test tubes and popsicles
Turmeric Ginger Tonic with Chia Seeds come in test tubes that are chilled in a pail of ice. Baby carrots and pumpkins stand in a straight line with psychedlic swirls of ‘sun dressing’ as vibrant as a painting. Grilled Garlic Prawns go alongside an accompaniment of turmeric beurre blanc (an emulsified butter sauce). To ensure that the palate is not overpowering through it all, “The turmeric root is boiled before to temper it down before we use it in most recipes,” adds Chef Saravanan. This definitely comes in handy with the delicately flavoured dessert selection. To showcase various textures of turmeric, there is a sunshine yellow Mascarpone Foam, a Nutty Crumble and the aforementioned Mango Turmeric popsicle.
Bowls like bulbs
In case you were hoping for something familiar, there is a traditional Mulligatawny (rasam) to opt for. Although, you may not recognise it at first. Instead of a steel tumbler, it is placed before us in… (wait for it) an upstanding light bulb. To drink the soup, you must pick up the bulb and pour the soup from an open socket. The bowl it goes into, by the way, is not just any bowl. It turns out to be an essential oil diffuser. The flame beneath warms up your soup, and chopped veggies in different colours sit pretty where your candle usually is. So there you go — a warm, comforting classic with an inventive twist. Let there be light folks.
Average price for two is Rs 1,600. Available for lunch and dinner till March 5. Details: 42676000.