December 9, 2020

Tangy Twist / Sustainability Checklist


                                                         Tamarind glazed Roasted Chicken 

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is the potential to maintain the product by using natural resources wisely for all human beings for now and future. In general, it is to reduce the wastage of products and save the environment. For example, if the product is sustainable, it can be recycled, or reused in some way because it has not consumed all the natural resources to produce the product. 

Sustainability in the Food industry:

Sustainable food is producing food using processes and systems that conserve non-renewable energy and natural resources.  It should be economically efficient and safe for workers, communities, and consumers, without compromising the needs of future generations. Sustainable food is always safe and healthy to consume since it is produced without any hazardous pesticides, chemicals, and antibiotics. 

Production, manufacturing or processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal are the five main parts of the food system. Sustainability in the food industry does not refer only to the food system, it also refers to the people involved in each system. The responsibility of the food industry is not only delivering quality food, but it is also directly related to the efficient use of water and energy, materials used for furnishings, appliances, etc. 

Being sustainable is making a responsible decision to understand and minimize the effect of environmental impact. Being mindful in sourcing the ingredients, choosing fair trade products, using natural resources to reduce wastage, etc. It also involves good employment practices, community support, and protecting health.

My Future Restaurant: 

Regarding my future restaurant "Tangy Twist", I would like to focus on a single ingredient "Tamarind" and deliver a delicious menu by being sustainable in all aspects to achieve profitability in business. 

I will try to utilize the key ingredient entirely to deliver tasty and delicious recipes like "Tender Tamarind Chutney" "Iced Tamarind juice using green tea", "Tender Tamarind leaves Rice", "Bellpepper - Tamarind leaves Chutney", "Pumpkin and Tamarind chutney", "Tangy Fish balls curry", "Tamarind chicken", "Tamarind Jam" etc. 

The reason for choosing Tamarind to design my restaurant is because it is a sustainable product. The tamarind is used for food, medicinal, cultural, social, environmental improvement and also, for income generation purposes. All parts of the tree can be used effectively. Fresh and dried fruit can be used in many dishes like stews, soups, condiments, etc. The pulp can be used as a meat tenderizer. After using the pulp, the leftovers can be used in polishing brass and copper, the branches and trunks can be used to make furniture, etc. 

A sustainable restaurant is one that makes a meaningful effort to reduce the impact on the environment. So considering this in my mind, I have designed a sustainability checklist that focuses on food wastage, serving and packaging materials, procuring food materials from sustainable sources, energy consumption, etc. 

Few standards which will be followed in my restaurant: 

  • Will use banana leaves for serving and packaging foods. 
  • Will try to utilize every part of the tamarind tree. 
  • Will offer organic waste to local farmers. 
  • Will use recycled materials. 
The ultimate goal of my restaurant will be Zero waste. Keeping restaurants who have achieved Zero waste in Canada like "Nada Market(Vancouver, BC), "The dandelion Cafe (Calgary, AB), "The Nook Cafe (Hamilton, ON), etc as a role model, I will concentrate my planning on waste to get listed on Zero Waste community.  

In order to run a sustainable restaurant, I will be asking the following few questions to my suppliers in the future. 

1. What type of raw materials is used and are they organic or made from recycled fibers?
2. Where are the raw materials coming from? 
3. What packaging material is used?
4. Does the supplier adopted any environmental policy for the reduction of the negative impact?
5. Whether the employees working in the supplier's place works in a safe environment? 

Mission Statement: 

Our mission is to serve high quality, fresh and nutritious meals that have been sourced responsibly. We believe it is our responsibility to deliver food from a clean and eco-friendly kitchen. Along with the health and safety of our employees, we empower them to learn and innovate. Our goal is to maintain and deliver an environmentally sustainable food preparation system, right from sourcing to disposal.

Sustainability Checklist: 

What is a sustainability checklist?

A sustainability checklist is a non-regulatory tool and it is created to evaluate that all the goals mentioned in the mission are involved in the food production, which includes sourcing, farmers, and suppliers. And also, it gives information about how food waste is managed, how the environment is protected, how the people and communities are involved, etc. 

                                                                    Image credit - 

The checklist below represents and covers all 4 pillars of Sustainability. The 4 Ps are Planet, People, Policy, and Profit. The planet is defied in terms of protecting the environment, ie our land, water, and other natural resources. The people sustainability focus on the importance of anyone who involved in making the products. The policy is a way for a business to document the way the company will handle sustainability issues in the organization. The sustainability profit means that the business provides a service of product that is both profitable and environmentally friendly. 

1. Going local - sourcing local and sustainable produce. 

Justification: Sourcing local food products will support the local economy. Buying directly from the farmers and communities helps to save money on transportation. This will encourage customers to know about their community farm and also, helps to understand the importance of local farming. Deal breaker! 

2. Purchasing organic meat, poultry, and dairy products from the local farmers and butcheries. 

Justification: Organic food means free from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Buying organic will have less impact on the environment. It helps in conserving soil and natural water resources. Organic produce is more nutritious because the organic livestock that is raised for meat, eggs, and dairy products are raised in a good living condition and fed only organic feed. Organic food is more appetizing, it helps in maintaining a sustainable atmosphere, and also, it increases the profitability of the business.

3. Using fresh ingredients, preparing from scratch, and avoiding store-bought processed food items. 

Justification: Processed food is changing the natural form of food for convenience and safety. Avoiding processed food is challenging but it is a must to maintain a sustainable restaurant. The store-bought processed food items include additives or chemicals to increase their shelf life and it is harmful to the people. Using fresh ingredients and preparing from the scratch helps in maintaining a healthy business. For example, in my restaurant with tamarind as the key ingredient, preparing tamarind paste, pulp, and powder from the scratch using fresh tamarind is always best rather than buying readymade processed paste. This also attracts customers because of the taste and increases the profitability of the business in a sustainable way. 

4. Buying seasonal produce. 

Justification: When fruits and vegetables are bought during the off-season, it lacks in flavor and texture because the products are picked before riping as they take time for shipment. When products are in a season that means there is an abundance available and also, you can find it much cheaper. For example, the Tamarind harvest lasts from November until February and the product will be cheap during the season. Deal breaker! 

5. Growing our own produce. 

Justification: Growing our own produce like herbs and vegetable help in minimizing the purchasing cost, transportation cost, and storage expenses. Usually, herbs have a tendency to lose their texture fast when it is not maintained properly which results in food waste. So, growing our own produce saves our money and also, helps in delivering fresh food. 

6. Practising canning, pickling, and fermenting techniques to reduce food waste. 

Justification: These heritage techniques extend the life of seasonal and local goods. Though utilizing fresh ingredients is best, these techniques help in food wastage. Around 81% of the fruit is wasted because it is not used at the time but most of the fruits can be frozen and used for desserts and smoothies. This not only helps in food wastage but also saves money. 

7. Maintaining the proper disposal of used oil. 

Justification: The used cooking oil should never be disposed of down the drain. It can clog pipes and make it costly to fix. Also, the business owners get fined if the disposal of grease is not done properly. To avoid this issue, used oils should be collected in a bin or tank and given to a reputable service provider who collects on a regular basis. The processed used cooking oil can also be used as a nutritional supplement for animal feed and in the production of numerous household and commercial products. For more information, check Rothsay company who deals with the processed used oils. 

8. Focussing on menu selections. 

Justification: Instead of focussing on a large menu, shrinking the menu list will help in maintaining sustainable standards. This provides a chef to contribute more effort and make each dish as sustainable as possible. 

9. Using every part of vegetables and meats instead of throwing away. 

Justification: Using the whole vegetable from stem to leaf or the whole chicken from beak to tail will help in reducing food waste. And also, it means maximizing the profit of the business. For example, vegetable peels, a root of herbs like mint and cilantro, etc. can be effectively used in making stocks or chutney. 

10. Providing organic waste to the local farmers. 

Justification: Disposing of organic waste effectively is one of the great ways to reduce food loss. Instead of throwing them in the garbage, organic waste can be collected in a bin and given to local farmers which can be used as manure for their field. Use "Local Harvest's Website" to find farmer's markets and farms near you. 

11. Proper maintenance of food storage areas. 

Justification: Food storage is an essential part of food safety and it is the responsibility of management to ensure that the food storage areas are cleaned and maintained properly. Regular cleaning will help in saving the cost of pest control management. 

12. Serving a small portion sized meals.

Justification: Serving a larger portion of the meal is a trend now and it is one of the major reasons for food wastage. Minimizing the serving portion or reducing the size of the plate and reducing the price will help in managing food waste. 

13. Weekly purchase or shop when required. 

Justification: Doing weekly shopping or when required will help in minimizing the food items getting spoiled. 

14. Serving fresh, healthy, and nutritious food. 

Justification: Cooking and delivering fresh and nutritious food is not only healthy, but it also attracts customers. Re-heating the food should be avoided. Nowadays, the concept of healthy food choices is massively increasing among people, and serving fresh will benefit the business and increase profitability in a sustainable way. 

15. Run the dishwasher only when the load is full. 

Justification: Using the dishwasher only when required saves energy and water resources which eventually helps the business to grow healthy. 

16. Use energy effectively. 

Justification: A better way of using energy can increase profit and reduce business overheads. Turning off heaters or light when not in use, providing better air circulation through carefully planned windows, using digitally controlled air conditioners, etc helps in saving energy. 

17. Avoid using cling or plastic wrap.

Justification: Cling wrap can keep the food fresh but it pollutes the planet. By reducing such wraps, we can control the wastage production and also, can reduce the negative impact on the environment.   

18. No take out plastic boxes. Using bio-degradable products or encouraging customers to bring reusable boxes. 

Justification: To maintain sustainability, no plastic take out boxes are allowed. Plastics are the biggest enemy of the environment. Replacing it with a banana leaf is a great option and also, encouraging customers to bring reusable boxed by giving discounts helps in reducing the environmental impact. In simple, making a simple transition from plastic to bio-degradable packaging will help to run a business in a sustainable way. Deal breaker! 

19. Donating extra feeds to charity. 

Justification: We can control food waste by donating the excess or extra feed to charity. This will also help in reducing the waste sent to landfills and saves the environment. 

20: Taking menu orders through mobile apps to reduce the usage of paper. 

Justification: The life cycle of paper starts by destroying the trees and ends by being burned which emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Using mobile apps instead of paper menu card helps in reducing paper wastage. This also saves the environment and also reduce the cost spend on customizing the menu card every time. 

21. Managing better waste management. 

Justification: This is one of the most important practices to be maintained in order to maintain sustainability in the food business. Practicing better waste management reduces the production of garbage. And also, it helps in maintaining efficient inventory management. To control waste management, we can also ask suppliers to deliver the products without packaging. 

22. Purchasing fish products from sustainable sources.

Justification: Asking the following questions to suppliers or local retailers or fishmongers will help in buying fish products in a sustainable way: where the fish was caught, how it was caught, and how the fish was handled after getting caught?. Sustainable fish is attached with methods that don't suppose negative impacts on the population or other species. Purchase fish only in season. By supporting sustainable fisheries, we can keep our fish supply healthy, and also, respect the environment and species by avoiding overfishing, harmful catching methods, etc. This method helps to save our oceans and lakes. The "Called community-supported fisheries" (CSFs) program allows us to understand the source of fish and help local fishing economics. Check "local" to find community-supported fisheries nearby. Deal breaker! 

23. Purchasing fair-trade products. 

Justification: Purchasing products that are fair trade certified can reduce poverty and encourage environmentally-friendly production methods. Fairtrade products are free from genetically modified ingredients. The workers on fair trade farms are treated well mannered, enjoy the freedom of association, work in a safe condition and importantly, are paid properly. Forced child and slave labor are strictly prohibited in fairtrade farms. Deal breaker! 

24. No water bottles or aerated drinks. 

Justification: The bottled water industry is growing in recent days but plastic water bottles are bad for the environment. Extracting water for bottled drinks dries up the natural resources. According to the New York Times, importing water generates 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 700 cars. 

25. Using re-usable glass jars to store ingredients in the pantry. 

Justification: Storing ingredients in a re-usable glass jar helps in reducing the usage of plastic containers. Buying re-usable jars are a one-time investment and also, does not harm the environment. 

26. Organising the refrigerator properly and follow the FIFO method. 

Justification: Properly organizing and maintaining the refrigerator helps in food wastage and food spoilage. By following the "First in and first out" method, we can use the food efficiently. The food items are labeled with the dates and stored in a way that older food items are kept in front so that we can use them first. 

27. Providing three sink method for cleaning and washing. 

Justification: The three sink method not only helps in cleaning and sanitizing the vessels, but it also saves water. The water can be filled with a soap solution in one sink and can be used effectively. 

28. Educate the staff about sustainable cooking, environmental impacts, and proper usage of natural resources. 

Justification: This is one of the most important checklists to improve the standard of business. The employees should understand the mission properly to run a profitable and sustainable business. Deal breaker!

29. Using energy star rated appliances and flow reducing taps. 

Justification: To reduce the usage of energy, opting for more energy-efficient appliances is the best option.  Using flow reducing taps is also another great solution to control water and energy. 

30. Cleaning the floors and carpet using hot water instead of using harsh chemicals.

Justification: Green cleaning is the best way to reduce the usage of chemicals. The harsh chemicals contain harmful substances that can cause skin allergies to employees and also, the chemical waste can pollute the environment by causing harm to plants and animals. 

31. Always clean and neat washrooms with eco-friendly tissues.

Justification: Toilet paper is one of the most dangerous product which spoils the environment. It clogs the drainage which results in spending more money. Using eco-friendly tissues made with recycled materials and Green seal certified is an environmentally friendly alternative. Such type of tissues is manufactured using water and energy-efficient process without using chlorine, which is harmful to the environment. Check the "Sustainable supply" website for more eco-friendly tissues. Using air hand dryers and refillable reusable soap containers with a natural hand soap will also help.  

32. Using safe and eco-friendly chemicals for washing and cleaning. 

Justification: Eco-friendly cleaning products are made using sustainable manufacturing practices,  naturally derived, safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients that produce no harm to the environment. 

33. Health and safety measures for employees. 

Justification: Health and safety of employees are very important. Providing a safe environment for employees improves the productivity and quality of work which eventually increases the profit of the business in a sustainable way. 

34. Providing weekly one-day free food for the homeless. 

Justification: It is our responsibility to contribute something to the community. By providing weekly one-day free food for the homeless helps homeless people getting a nutritious meal. And also, we can donate to local food banks. Many local food banks will pick up food donations free of charge which also saves the warehouse storage and disposal costs.

35. Using furniture made with rapidly renewable wood like bamboo or FSC certified wood. 

Justification: Eco-friendly furniture is good for health and importantly, it is created in a way that has minimum negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable furniture is made exclusively from recycled materials, which is a great deal to run a business in a sustainable way. 

36. Introducing meatless Monday. 

Justification: Reducing meat products will create great benefits in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the pressure on land and water use. Since my restaurant includes meat products, introducing one day as the meatless day and focusing on more plant-based food will help in contributing to a better environment. 

37.  Inform about the practice to customers. 

Justification: Informing about sustainable practices to customers is more important. This practice will benefit both the customers to practice in their life and also, by making them understand the values we can run a healthy business. This can be done by fixing posters in the restaurant which are printed on eco-friendly material. 

38. Reusable towels for wiping and cleaning. 

Justification: Like plastic covers, single-use towels are also not best for the environment. Reusable cloth or reusable paper towels are a great option to maintain a sustainable practice. These can be used for a week and then when disposed of, it gets decomposed which is safe for our environment. 

39. Increasing employee engagement in sustainability. 

Justification: The employee contribution in sustainability is as equal as changing all the products into eco-friendly products. By making every employee a sustainable champion and by creating a healthy competition among employees by rewarding them helps the business in maintaining sustainability. Providing flexible schedules will improve the staff's quality of work. Ultimately, if employees can see how it will benefit the company which in turn benefits them with stable employment, then they will start supporting the business.

40. Smoking is banned at work to establish a positive lifestyle. 

Justification: Smoking not only affects health, but it also pollutes the environment and reduces the quality of the air. The major impact of using tobacco is deforestation. Tobacco is grown by using a large number of fertilizers and pesticides which impact both the environment and the workers on tobacco farms. Also, cigarette butts are not biodegradable so we can reduce the negative impact on the environment by banning restaurants. 


I have chosen Yorkshire Valley Farm Organic Whole Chicken and Maple leaf prime Whole Chicken for the evaluation. 


Maple leaf Prime Whole Chicken 

  • Chicken is raised without antibiotics.
  • No animal by-products are given to chickens as feed. Only vegetable proteins like soy and corn are included in their diet.  
  • Chickens are raised on a Canadian farm. 
  • In the terms of respecting animals, all chickens are humanely raised and also, given more space in barns with natural lighting and outdoor access.
  • Chickens are fresh and not frozen. 
  • Packaging - Packaging is made more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and recyclable. 
  • Maple leaf foods are a carbon-neutral company means that it has reduced carbon emissions as much as possible. In areas, where they can't reduce, they have invested in local environmental projects to bring footprint is zero. 
  • Maple leaf foods have reduced natural gas consumption across operations by 9.8% since 2014. 
  • Supports all employees. 
  • Price - $18.83 / 1.4 -1.7 kg 

Yorkshire Valley Farm chicken 

  • Farms are run at an organic standard and are certified by "Pro-Cert Organic systems".
  • Chickens are raised on wholesome, non-GMO organic grains without antibiotics. 
  • In terms of respecting animals, all chickens had access to roam freely in barns with natural light, ventilation and also, have seasonal access to outdoor pastureland. 
  • Raising stress-free birds and allowing their own immune system to keep them healthy. 
  • No artificial light is used to over-stimulate animals. 
  • Packaging - Chickens are packed using polystyrene trays, which are recyclable in many municipalities. The frozen products are packed in boxes made with post-consumer recycled paperboard and can also be recycled. 
  • YVForganic participated in community events to reduce food insecurity. 
  • Transparent with the policy to customers. 
  • YVForganic products promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability. 
  • The animal nutrients are collected from barns is composed and returned to the land as a natural fertilizer. 
  • Price - $19.82 / 1.2 - 1.5kg 


The checklist was really helpful. Based on the above comparison of both the products, noticed that almost both share the same standards in terms of environmental safety, packaging, maintaining, and raising chicken in a good condition. Though the price of Yorkshire valley farm chicken is a little high compared to Maple food's chicken, when reviewing community involvement, and transparency policy, I feel Yorkshire farm chicken is best. The Yorkshire farm valley is focused, dedicated, and passionate about producing organic chicken in a sustainable way which is very clear in the usage of animal nutrients as natural fertilizers. Also, Yorkshire valley farm is certified by the "pro-cert organic system" which is also a value-added. 

I usually compare prices and buy cheaper food items but this evaluation changed my thought completely. Though the price is an important factor to save money, the supplier's dedication towards the environment and sustainability factors are majorly vital. 


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Tobaccofreelife, Author. "Smoking And The Environment – How Smoking Harms The Planet". Tobacco-Free Life, 2020,

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Mapleleafprime, Author. "Maple Leaf Prime | Raised Without Antibiotics". Mapleleafprime.Ca, 2020,

November 30, 2020

Spicy Lemon Pickle


Spicy Lemon Pickle is a traditional Indian condiment made with fresh lemon, salt, red chili powder, and gingelly oil. 

Pickling is the oldest food preservation method used for several food items like lemon, mango, cucumber, meat, etc. Generally, pickling is done to preserve the ingredients for a long time so that it can be used even after a season. In India, summertime is the perfect season for pickling. Most of the houses will be filled with fresh mangoes and lemons. The prepared pickles are stored and consumed during the winter season. 

The raw ingredients are immersed in an acetic acid until it changes in texture and taste or until it is no longer raw. The pickles can be prepared either fermented or unfermented method. The fermented pickles are further classified into two ways: sour fermented pickles and sweet fermented pickles. The sour fermented are made by immersing the raw vegetables in a dilute brine (i.e 2-5% salt). In this method, the bacteria grow naturally in 1-2 weeks to produce lactic acid and helps to prevent the growth of food poisoning bacteria and other spoilage microorganisms. And in a sweet fermented pickle, acetic acid, sugar, and salt are used for preservation. Likewise, the unfermented pickles are produced by two methods: Salt - stock pickle and vinegared pickle. In a salt-stock pickle, concentrated brine is used and the preservation is done due to salt and not by fermentation. And in vinegared pickles, the vegetables are immersed in acetic acid/vinegar, salt and sugar. The pasteurization is done by heat in the unfermented pickles method. 

Home pickling is always the best because sometimes, the store-bought pickles taste too salty or the vinegar taste dominates the pickle which eventually spoils our taste bud. The pickling process is quite easy and interesting. Pickle is one of the best condiments for most Indian dishes. It can be served with roti and rice varieties. Personally, I love pickles with curd rice. 

Pickles always reminds me of my mother. She is an expert in pickle making and every summer, she prepares jars of pickles like mango pickle, dried lemon pickle, grated mango pickle, cut mango pickle, sweet mango pickle, spicy lemon pickle, etc and distributes to our relatives. For my today's pickling recipe, I chose my mother's "Spicy lemon pickle". Prepared this spicy and tangy pickle under her guidance over the phone and it was a great learning for me. The pickle came out well and it exactly tasted like my mother's pickle. Though it takes a week time to consume, it is worth the wait :) 

In this recipe, lemons are washed and dried using a kitchen towel. Moisture is the biggest enemy when it comes to pickling. So, always make sure to dry the vegetables and jar. The jar should be sterilized and dried. The washed and dried lemons are cut into pieces and salted along with turmeric powder. Then, the salted lemons are fermented for a couple of days. The fermented lemons are mixed with red chili powder to give s spicy taste and then added to the oil. In this method, pasteurization is done by heat. The oil is heated up and seasoned with mustard seeds, asafoetida and then, the chili powder coated lemons are added to it. Generally, the pickles are removed from the flame, cooled, and transferred to a jar but if it is to be consumed immediately, then the cooking process should be extended for 5-7 minutes until the peel of the lemon gets soft. I did not cook the lemon in this recipe so removed the pickles immediately from the flame and transferred it to the same jar in which salted lemon was fermented. 

Ingredients used in this recipe:

Fruit: The fruit used in this pickle is lemon. The quality of lemon is very important when picking for pickle. Always pick blemish-free and fresh lemon. Cut the lemon into small pieces and also, reserve the juice while cutting the lemons. Add the reserved lemon juice along with the lemon pieces. 

Salt: Traditionally coarse salt is used in pickling. If not available, table salt can be used but be cautious while adding salt because too much salt, makes the pickle too salty. 

Turmeric powder: The turmeric adds an earthy richness and gives a lovely color to the pickle. And also, turmeric is good for our health. 

Oil: Gingelly oil which is also known as sesame oil or Til oil is best for this pickle. This oil is rich in vitamins and also, controls the heat from the spices. The nutty flavor goes well with the pickle. 

Asafoetida: Asafoetida is an Indian spice. Since it has a strong and pungent flavor, only a pinch of it is used. This spice is very good for digestion and used in most Indian curries. 

Mustard seeds: This is one of the important ingredients in many regional foods. The mustard seeds should be added to hot oil and it should splutter before adding the next ingredients. 

Red chili powder: Red chili powder is added to give a spicy taste. Adjust the quantity of chili powder according to taste bud. I have used Kashmiri red chili powder in this recipe to get a lovely color. 

Fenugreek seeds: Slightly dry roast the fenugreek seeds and ground them to a fine powder. The fenugreek powder has a strong bitter taste, so add just a pinch of it. Fenugreek seed is supposed to have a cooling effect on the body. Since this pickle contains chili powder, fenugreek powder is added to balance the heat from the spices.


4 Big Lemons 

3/4 Cup Coarse Salt 

1 Tsp Tumeric powder 

1 Cup Gingelly Oil 

2 Tsp Mustard seeds 

A pinch of Aesofatida / Hing powder 

1 Tbsp Red chili powder (Adjust according to taste bud) 

1 Tsp Fenugreek seeds 


Sterilize the glass jar, wipe it dry, and keep it aside. 

Wash the lemons, dry them using a kitchen towel. 


Cut the lemons into small pieces and transfer them to a bowl. 


Add coarse salt and turmeric powder. Mix well.


Transfer it to a jar and let it rest for one or two days. Shake the jar at least once a day so that the pickle blends well and gets a uniform texture. 


After a couple of days, transfer the lemon pieces to a bowl and add red chili powder. Mix well. 


Heat gingelly oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add aesofatida and the lemon pieces.  



Mix well and immediately remove from the flame. If you want to consume the pickle the same day, then cook it for 5 minutes so that the lemon gets cooked fast.


Cool the lemon mixture and transfer it to the jar. Rest it for a week by shaking the jar at least once a day. 


After a week, the lemon gets soften and looks like the one in the below picture. 

Serving Options: 

Serve with Curd rice, Sambar rice, and Rasam rice.  


Variations can be made by substituting with Wild lemon, Mango, and Lime. In the North and East part of India, mustard oil is used in pickles to retain body heat as they have a colder climate. Nowadays, as a trend and dietary reason, olive oil is used but there will be a huge difference in the flavor. Jaggery can also be added to the lemon pickle to balance the citrus flavor. Ginger can also be included which is good for digestion. 

The same recipe can be prepared without adding oil and red chili powder. If you want to prepare in that way, just make a cross-cut on top of the lemon and add turmeric powder along with coarse salt. Leave it for a week and use it. The same can also be sun-dried. This pickle is perfect for digestion and especially, we include this pickle in our diet when are sick. 

The main advantage of pickling is to prevent spoilage and it extends the shelf life. Pickles are the best way to use leftover vegetables. The same recipe can be prepared using just lemon peel instead of throwing it away and also, with vegetable peels, orange peels, etc. This controls food wastage. 


Since Mustard is one of the priority allergens, people who have mustard allergy should not consume this pickle. If not, while preparing this pickle, just skip the mustard and follow the procedure.  

Health benefits:

Indian pickles have antioxidants properties. Pickles boost immunity and improve the process of digestion. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals. People who have high blood pressure should control the intake of pickles since the salt content is high. 

Reflection and Sensory Evaluation: 

The Spicy Lemon pickle took around 7 to 8 days to get soften. Usually, it takes around 5 days and it depends on the thickness of the lemon peel. Since the lemon which I have used had a thick peel, it took around a week. After adding salt, the lemon started leaving juices which helped to soften them. The texture of the lemon before seasoning was hard. After seasoning, the lemons were immersed in the oil. Approx. around the 6th day, noticed the change in texture and taste. The final product of the pickle tasted salty, spicy with a sour taste. The texture of the pickle was soft enough that it got cut by the fork. The pulp of the lemons blended well with the oil and salt and gave a thick saucy texture. The pickle looked succulent and tasted delicious with rice. Shaking the bottle helped to get the uniform texture. The pickling process changed the taste, color, and texture over the period of days. 

Critical points to follow while making and using pickle:

Make sure the jar is sterilized well and no moisture in it. 

The vegetable or fruit should be washed and dried well before adding to the jar. 

Do not touch the pickle, it may spoil very soon. 

Always use a clean and dry spoon while taking out the spoon. 

Make sure that the pickle has enough oil in the jar. 


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November 4, 2020

Ceviche / Peruvian dish


Ceviche is a tangy and delicious marinated fish salad that is cooked in lemon juice without heat and served along with Avocado, Red onions, Tomatoes, and Chilies. 

Ceviche is a Peruvian dish that is also known as Cebiche and Seviche. This is a unique recipe because of the fact that there is no cooking involved through heat. Ceviche is originated by Moche of Peru some 2000 years ago. Initially, the Moche civilization people used fermented juice of passion fruit to cook the fish, and later it is modified by Spaniards and spread to Latin America. During the olden days, the fish is caught from the ocean and kept in brine for several hours. Later, this method got simplified by reducing the size of the fish which speeds up the cooking process. 

This dish is served as an appetizer and involves science behind the cooking process. Generally, the proteins change their structure either by applying heat or adding acid which is called denaturing. For example, when an egg is cooked, the white part turns hard. Likewise, in this recipe, when acid (lemon juice) is added to the fish, it changes the structure of the fish and gets cooked. The raw fish is marinated in citrus juice for a maximum of 20 minutes. The marination time varies according to the chef but marinating too long will turn the texture of fish rubbery and bitter. This is quite an easy recipe to prepare but needs lots of attention, as the raw fish is used and no cooking involved. The quality of the fish is very important while preparing Ceviche as the marination will not kill all the bacteria. 

The best type of fishes used in ceviche is Sea bass, Bram, Halibut, Polack, Tilapia, and Grouper. The softer and flakier fish takes less time to marinate compared to the denser and tougher fish. The shelflife of the recipe is shorter so, it is always safe to consume immediately when it is fresh. Refrigerating Ceviche is not advisable.  

Ingredients used in this recipe: 

Fish: In this recipe, I have included Tilapia fillets. Since the texture of the fish is very soft, chopping into small dice should be handled gently. The smaller the pieces, the shorter the cooking time. 

Acid: I have used lemon juice to cook the fish. Squeeze the lemon and remove the seeds before adding it to the chopped fish pieces. Marinate the fish with a sufficient quantity of lemon juice. Lesser the quantity will not cook the fish uniformly. 

Herbs: Herbs like Cilantro, Parsely Rosemary, and Fennel can be used in preparing Ceviche. I have used Cilantro in this recipe. The addition of cilantro enhances the taste and gives a refreshing flavor. 

Vegetables: Red onions, Tomato, green chilies, and Avocado were the vegetables involved in this recipe. The addition of red onions makes the dish attractive and also, the natural sweetness in the red onions balances the acid. The tomatoes should be de-seeded before adding to the dish. Chop the avocadoes just before adding it to the dish. Generally, aji chili peppers are used in Ceviche but in this recipe, I have used regular long green chilies which is not very spicy. 

Seasoning: Salt and pepper are used as a seasoning. The freshly ground peppercorns give a lovely aroma to the dish. 


1 cup Lemon juice 

1 Tilapia, Fillet 

1 Small-sized, Red onion, sliced 

1 Small-sized Tomato, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 green chili, finely chopped 

1 Avocado, chopped 

Salt to taste 

Freshly ground peppercorns to taste 

Fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped 


Cut Tilapia fillets into small pieces. 

Marinate the chopped pieces in lemon juice for 15 - 20 minutes or until the texture of fish pieces changes firm. 


In a bowl, add onions followed by tomato and green chiles.


Add chopped avocado. 

Drain the fish from lemon juice and add it to the bowl along with salt and pepper. 

Add the freshly chopped cilantro leaves, toss well and serve. 

Serving Options: 

Serve as an appetizer with Tortilla chips. 

Reason for choosing Ceviche for Sensory Evaluation: 

I always had a curiosity about this dish and wanted to try to understand the flavor of fish since it is cooked in citrus juice instead of heat. Though I have read about this method of cooking, personally I wanted to experience the structural change of the fish. 

My reflection on Ceviche: 

To be honest, I was very skeptical about trying this recipe but to my surprise, I enjoyed the flavor of this dish. The fish cooked in lemon juice tasted almost similar to the cooked ones. The interesting part of this recipe is, the doneness of cooking is done by visual sense. It is always better to look at the fish and check whether it is cooked or not.
I noticed the transition of fish from clear and pliable to firm and opaque texture. The texture of the raw fish was very soft and delicate but the cooked ones were firm. The color of the fish changed from clear white to mild pinkish white. The cooked fish had a mild tangy taste because of the acid marination and also, noticed the absence of the raw smell of the fish. The addition of red onions, avocado, chili, and tomato complimented the acid cooked fish very well. The raw red onions gave a lovely crunch and sweetness to the dish, the addition of chili gave a mild spicy flavor to the dish, the buttery taste of avocado balanced all the flavors and gave a refreshing palate. Overall, the dish "Ceviche" tasted delicious, light, refreshing, and pleasantly acidic. 

The first bite of the dish gave a refreshing taste of fish followed by the pleasant acidic taste, then spiciness from chili, and sweetness from red onions. The mild acidic flavor in the fish was very pleasant to my palate and also, the fish tasted a little buttery for me. The dish looked bright and appetizing because of the ingredients used. 

Since, I am impressed with the flavor of Ceviche, planning to try it again in the future with the variation by including ripe mango, Mexican chilies, fennel, and passion fruit instead of lemon juice as done by Moche of Peru. Preparing marinated fish salad "Ceviche" was great learning for me. This learning has changed my thought on the cooking process and tasting analysis. I am more confident to try interesting and unique recipes which I have never tried so far to understand the five basic tastes. Also, I have decided to do more research on this cooking method and try many more interesting recipes. 

Hope you all loved this interesting and unique recipe. If you try this recipe, please feel free to share your feedback with or tag me at on Instagram. 


About Eat PeruPeruvian foodie. I've been writing about the food of Peru for over 10 years., E., Hosel, H., EatPeru, E., Oban, N., G, A., & Prince, E. (2020, November 04). What is Ceviche? Everything About This Peruvian Seafood Dish. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

Dupre, B. (2017, August 25). Ceviche: How Peru's Most Treasured Dish Became a National Phenomenon. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

Says:, G., Says:, S., & Says:, V. (2020, April 17). How to Make Ceviche - Science of Cooking Fish with Acids. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

17, J., Says, S., Soledad, J., Says, B., & Bev, J. (2020, July 17). Classic Ceviche Recipe. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

October 7, 2020

Chicken Millet Soup


Chicken millet soup is nutritious, healthy, easy to make, and the most satisfying soup to enjoy the cold weather. 

Well, if you ask me what kind of person I am when it comes to food. I am a soup person! I love including soups in my regular menu. In other words, I can define that soup is my comfort meal. There are many varieties of soup available around but personally, I prefer my soup loaded with vegetables, proteins, and carbs to make it a complete meal. My today's soup post is a simple variation of my regular chicken soup in which I have included Kudo millet and also, used the technique which I recently learned from my culinary class. I have prepared this soup with the basic ingredients which are readily available at home. 

So far I have posted many interesting soups on my page like Betel leaves chicken soup, carrot, and Beetroot soup, Veggies, and dal soup, Chayote soup, Sausage coconut milk soup, etc. but including millets in my soup was on my to-do list for a quite long time. Apart from chicken and millet, I have included vegetables and spices to the soup which indeed makes the soup a complete balanced meal. We know that a balanced meal consists of proteins, grains, and vegetables. Likewise, this soup consists of all the elements required for a balanced meal. And for all vegetarians, who are looking out for an option for chicken. Don't worry! Just skip the chicken and make a lovely vegetable stock using onion, celery, and leek. And, include chickpeas to get the protein in the soup. 

I chose to include millet in chicken soup is to make my little one learn about the benefits of millets. Being a picky eater, he doesn't prefer to include millet in his menu but as a mother, isn't my responsibility to feed him a nutritious meal? So, I decided to include millet in his favorite chicken soup and he loved the soup especially the addition of millet excited him and asked me whether I included tiny ball pasta in this soup :) What else do I need to be happier :) 

The ingredients used in this recipe to make a delicious soup: 

Millet - Millets which is considered a poor man's food in olden days is a trend food ingredient now because of the awareness of its nutritional values. Millet is a whole grain and used in meals, in the substitution of regular rice. There are different varieties of millets available in the market. Little millet, Kudo millet, Pearl millet, Foxtail millet, etc, are some of the varieties of millets. Incorporating millets in our diet helps in weight loss, improves immunity, controls blood sugar, helps in digestion, acts as antioxidants, etc. Apart from serving millets as rice, these can also be included in the baking. Many interesting recipes like Burnt garlic fried rice using foxtail millet, Kudo millet - Poha idly, Millet maple syrup Pongal, Millet chicken pulao, etc. can be prepared using millets. In this recipe, I have included Kudo millet which can also be substituted with any varieties of millet. Kudo millet resembles the rice compared to the other varieties. The cooking method is also similar to regular rice. The millet is soaked for a few minutes before adding to the soup which fastens the cooking process.  

Chicken - Boneless chicken is used in this recipe for convenience but adding chicken with bones gives a lovely flavor to the soup. But, make sure to separate the flesh after preparing the broth. The cooked chicken is shredded and added back to the soup. 

Vegetables - I have included only the basic vegetables like onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic in this recipe. Variations can be made by including carrots, pumpkin, etc. The ginger and garlic are included in the soup to aid the digestion. 

Spice bag - The spice bag consists of bay leaf, crushed peppercorns, and fresh thyme. I have included 4 varieties of peppercorns to enhance the flavor of the soup. All the ingredients are tied in a muslin cloth and dropped in the stockpot. The spices can also be included directly in the soup but this method helps to discard the spices easily. 

Butter - Butter is used as fat in this recipe which also helps to enhance the flavor. If you are health conscious, feel free to use olive oil. 

Water - I have included water in this recipe but to make it more flavorful, include chicken stock or vegetable stock. 

Here come the recipe and procedure for the Chicken Millet Soup... 


70 gm Kudo Millet 

15 gm Butter 

180 gm Onion, Medium dice 

60 gm Tomato, Medium dice 

330 gm Chicken, boneless 

6 gm Ginger, chopped 

10 gm Garlic, peeled and chopped 

750ml water + 240 ml water 

Salt to taste 

Finely chopped Spring onions for garnishing ( alternatively, coriander leaves can be used ) 

Spice bag / Sachet: 

1 Bay leaf 

2 Sprig of Fresh Thyme 

3 gm Peppercorns (I have used 4 varieties of peppercorns in this recipe) 


Keep the mise en place ready. 

Heat butter in a stockpot and add onions. 


Sweat the onions and add chopped garlic followed by ginger. 

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until it turns soft. 

Add chicken pieces and saute. 

Now add 750ml water along with the spice bag. 

Tie the spice bag at the handle which helps to remove the spice bag easily. 

Skim regularly to remove dirt and oil from the surface. 

Let it simmer for 30 - 40 minutes. Once done, remove the spice bag and discard it. 

Remove the cooked chicken pieces, shred, and keep aside.  

Transfer the remaining ingredients to the blender and grind it to a smooth puree. 

Strain the ground puree and keep aside. 

Soak the millets for half an hour. Wash and drain the water. 

Heat the strained puree and add the washed millets followed by the remaining water and salt. 

Let it cook until the millets get cooked. 

Add seasoning and the shredded chicken to the soup. 

Boil for a couple of minutes and remove from the flame. 

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves. Serve hot. 

As I mentioned above, though it requires an extra step to prepare the broth, it is quite easy to make the recipe. Grinding the cooked vegetables into smooth puree gives a lovely body to the soup. The texture will be smooth and creamy. The starch from the millet also increases the thickness of the soup. The soup tastes delicious with the dominant flavor of the chicken. The perfect blend of millet, soup, and shredded chicken in each spoon will satisfy the palate for sure. The addition of seasoning is always one's preference so adjust according to the taste bud. 

I have involved a few techniques like skimming, preparing a broth, and preparing spice bag/sachet in this recipe. Skimming is nothing but removing the dirt and oil from the surface of the broth. It is always recommended to simmer the flame which helps the dirt and oil to float on the surface of the stock/broth. I felt really great to involve a few skills in this recipe from my culinary learning. The majority of my soup post (which I had posted earlier) had spices but I never tried them making a sachet. And also, after implementing the skimming technique in stock/broth, I noticed a major difference in the texture of the soup. I would love to try more soup recipes in the future which includes the other techniques too. In fact, I am planning to prepare this soup again but with the addition of diced vegetables and cream to make it healthier and rich. And also, planning to try seafood soup with the addition of millet. 


 If you want to add more vegetables to this recipe, follow the below procedure. 

Cut the vegetables like carrot, celery, etc. into small dice.

Before boiling the strained puree, heat 5gms of butter and saute the diced vegetables. Then, add the strained puree and follow the process as mentioned in the recipe. 

Substitute water with vegetable stock or chicken stock to enhance the flavor of the soup.  

I have garnished the soup with finely chopped spring onions but can also use coriander leaves which gives a lovely and fresh taste. 

I hope you all loved this interesting soup and if you try this recipe, please feel free to share your feedback to or tag me at on Instagram. 


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