Friday, September 20, 2013

recipes with kiwi fruit and health benefits | learning more kiwi recipes from Chef Darren Conole

Kiwi fruit is known as Chinese gooseberry as it originated in China. It is also known as China's miracle fruit, owing to it's nutritional value. The fruit is also known as 'horticultural wonder of New Zealand' as the fruit took really well to the climate of this country, so much so it has become a popular backyard vine there. Aptly the national fruit of New Zealand.


Kiwi fruit is now being cultivated in India as well, in Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and North eastern states and we have been getting a lot of locally grown kiwi fruits in the markets. This is a good thing as the fruit is quite nutritious, I hope it becomes a popular backyard vine in India as well. I would love to grow it some day for sure. Read about a Kiwi Pomegranate Salsa, a Kiwi Pineapple slush and a Kiwi Quark Mousse that I made recently.

With a high ORAC value  (The antioxidant value of Kiwi, gold, raw described in ORAC units is:
1,210 μ mol TE/100g.) kiwi is excellent anti oxidant containing leutin and zeaxanthin which is further aided by a great vitamin profile that this fruit has. Rich in Vitamin C, E and folic acid the fruit is one of the most nutritious ones. The black seeds of kiwi are edible and provide a nice crunch, not only that, they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The skin is also rich in omg 3s, but many of us don't like to eat the skin though it is edible too, just brushing off the fuzz makes them better for consumption. The rich mineral profile of the fruit helps to improve metabolic rate. Many reasons to eat this fruit frequently, better to grow it in my backyard. One day I must.
I was invited for a masterclass with Chef Darren Conole and a four course lunch at Shangrila's-Eros Hotel, designed by the Chef himself. The menu was created with Zespri kiwis of New Zealand and the team created wonderful salads, gazpacho soup, a lamb main course and a wonderful dessert sushi platter.

A Kiwi Marinated Civiche of Clam with Rocket Cress was such a refreshing salad that I polished it off within seconds I remember. The raw clams are marinated in a mix of kiwi puree and coconut milk so the acids in kiwi make the clams really succulent (no more slippery that clams are naturally) and flavorful. The micro greens of mustard, some dill leaves and rocket cress was just amazing in this salad.


The soup was a cold gazpacho, a Chilled Roasted Pepper, Chinese gooseberry (that's kiwi) Soup. Very interesting with undertones of kiwi, the red bell pepper is yummy when roasted but I think the garlic in the soup didn't go well with the overall flavors. I love garlic and yet it was something where I felt it was out of place. The soup was not something I would want to have again.


The meat main course was excellent. Loin of New Zealand Lamb with 'Kiwi de Menthe' jelly and Moroccan Jam Quinoa. I liked the way lamb was cooked just medium rare, very succulent and soft. I loved the carrot, celery and onion salad that was served on the side. Quinoa was okay, I don't like quinoa much, Kiwi de Menthe jelly was nice. Good balance of flavors for me.


The desserts looked stunning. It was a platter of Kiwifruit Sushi, arranged alternately with dehydrated chips of apple and pineapple. I found the chips rather bland and plastic like, I have had better dehydrated chips and the sushi didn't make a mark either. Although I liked the California rolls coated with toasted sesame. Sticky rice was created with a thick kheer which didn't work for a sushi. Also, milk products should not be paired with kiwifruit, I am addressing the issue later in this post.


Before the lunch, Chef Darren Conole demonstrated making a nice kiwi based mayonnaise and a salsa dip along with cooking tips to prepare a medium done loin of New Zealand lamb. I love such classes and Chef Darren Conole is a funny man. He kept quizzing us and informing us about little trivia about the country, the kiwis and how kiwi enzymes are used a s meat tenderizer as well.


The enzyme Actinidin in kiwi fruit is proteolytic in nature and can be used to tenderize meats. Just as Papain from papaya is a meat tenderizer, raw papaya is used extensively in Indian cuisine for meat marinades. Bromelain from pineapples is also the same kind of proteolytic enzyme apart from being a great antioxidant.

Came back from this masterclass with a box of Zespri kiwifruits, fresh, succulent and perfectly juicy. And then I used these kiwis for making a few of my favorite things.


These recipes are so quick I always struggled to take pictures as they would be consumed as fast as they are made. This time I decided to make smaller quantities and take pictures for the blog as well.

I use kiwi for occasional salsa or smoothies sometimes. Eating the fruit raw is the best way to consume it, and eating it as soon as it is peeled and cut is great. Here are a few things I tried with kiwi fruit recently.

Kiwi salsa with pomegranate 


This is a very simple yet very flavorful salsa. We had it with a Amaranth flour crackers this time, a wonderful pairing of flavors.

The recipe of kiwi salsa with pomegranate arils..

To make about 1.5 cup of this salsa you need one ripe kiwi peeled and chopped. 2-3 tbsp of finely chopped red onions, 1/2 cup of pomegranate arils, one chopped fresh Thai bird chilly or any hot red chilly and salt to taste. Just mix everything and mash up a bit and the salsa is ready.

The sharpness of onions is well balanced by the crunch of pom seeds and the slushy kiwi bits. The nutty crackers were a delight with this salsa. Recipe of the crackers will be shared very soon.

I love this pineapple and kiwi slush as well.


Very refreshing drink that aids digestion as well. You can have it diluted with more water along with a meal or in a thicker avatar as a snack smoothie for detox benefits.

Another recipe with kiwi is a dessert that has been a favorite with us, more because it is so easy, raw and pleases everyone owing to it's exotic looks. Kiwi is an exotic fruit for us till we start growing them in our backyard right?

Kiwi quark mousse infused with tulsi


Quark cheese can be made at home easily, you just mix a carton of Amul fresh cream with 500 ml full fat milk, heat to a lukewarm temperature and add a little live yogurt culture to it. Let it set kept in a warm place and then drain it through a muslin lined colander, the colander and dripping curds refrigerated till drained. The yogurt cheese that you get after about 6-10 hours is a creamy cheese that tastes like fresh homemade yogurt, but is creamier.

ingredients for kiwi quark the mousse
(for 4 servings)

quark cheese 2 cups
2 kiwi fruits peeled and chopped
a dozen tulsi leaves (holy basil) macerated along with a tbsp of sugar*
1-2 tbsp sugar if required or as much honey

procedure

*To macerate the tulsi leaves with sugar, put both of these into a marble mortar and pestle and rub together using the pestle lightly. Now scoop out this fragrant sugar and use as required.

Mix all the ingredients together and serve immediately in glass mugs or shot glasses.

Note that I mentioned 'serve immediately', this is for a reason. The actinidin enzyme starts acting on the milk products and it changes the taste a little bit towards bitter after an hour or so. Not that the milk proteins become toxic or something, it definitely changes like cheeses do. So the fresh taste of quark will be changed if you keep this dessert after assembling it. So chill the ingredients separately, mix them all just when required and serve immediately.

Finally, try growing a kiwi vine in your backyard. May you get lucky.
I am looking for a seedling now, pretty desperately.

3 comments:

  1. When I was pregnant I suddenly started craving Kiwis and used to have them a lot every day. And once my baby was out the craving just stopped completely. Your pictures are making me crave Kiwi again. :)

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  2. Hey....once again, a post we so many dishes with one main ingredient. This time it's Kiwi...am so going to try kiwi salsa and soup.. :)

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  3. Yum! I'm going to try the kiwi-pomegranate salsa soon, that's for sure!

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