This was an invite with a difference..the hosts were Tetley Tea and Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur, coming together to promote green tea, not just as a beverage but as an ingredient in soups, drinks, baking and even on the grill! Now, we must admit that we’re not ardent fans of green tea, but this sounded intriguing enough to have us pedaling all the way across town to the Taj Vivanta, Yeshwantpur. Suitably fortified by cups of green tea lightly flavoured with citrus and spices and some surprisingly delicious green tea cookies we settled down to watch Chef Uddipan fire up his stovetop and grills.
The first dish to be featured was a Thai-style vegetable soup. As the chef added aromatics, thick coconut milk, yellow curry and green tea concentrate to the soup we wondered if we would be able to taste the delicate flavour of the tea in this rich soup. Apparently not, but chef explained that even though the flavour may not shine through in every dish, the health quotient would definitely be upped with the addition of the tea.
For the uninitiated, research suggests that regular consumption of green tea brings about benefits like weight loss and lowering of bad cholesterol, and also protects against diabetes. All good reasons to down those cuppas every single day!
Another dish that the chef demonstrated was grilled chicken wings with green tea. The wings were marinated in a zesty mixture of ginger, garlic, honey and soy sauce. The chef then added some minced fresh herbs for flavour before throwing them on the blazing grills. Once the wings were almost done he broke open a few tea bags and sprinkled the crushed tea on them. They were then returned to the grill for the final cooking. The wings had definitely picked up the green tea flavour and we quite enjoyed them.
The drinks were a muddled apple with green tea and a green tea-melon fizz, both of which looked and tasted pretty good. We really liked the chef’s idea of having a jug of green tea decoction at hand to add a splash of its goodness to a drink or soup, and that was our major take-away from the afternoon.
The lunch that followed the cooking demos included a delectable and classic Tea Poached Norwegian Salmon, some fabulous dim sum and sushi, and a lovely Mediterranean spread. Among the desserts, there was a light and refreshing green tea mousse cake topped with a thin jelly layer and a little chocolate sphere, which was the pick of the sweets for us.
Our goodie bags included packs of Tetley green tea bags in several interesting flavours, a little package of the green tea cookies and recipe cards for some of dishes with green tea. We’re surely going to try our hand at those cookies! Here are some of the recipes, courtesy Tetley Tea and Taj Vivanta –
Green Tea Cookies
Ginger Tea and Coconut Soup
Tea-smoked Chicken Wings