Healthy cooking: Chef Joel Basumatari ends 4-day workshop at Umdiengpoh

Chef Joel Basumatari on Thursday emphasized on the importance of incorporating nuts and seeds in green salad menus to enhance the nutritional value of the food consumed during the last capacity building workshop at Umdiengpoh (East Khasi Hills).

He also held a cooking demonstration on the same day where he taught several Mid Day Meal (MDM) and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) cooks how to enhance their menu. The programme was held under the theme ‘Enhancing nutritional diversity as a means of supplementing the mid-day meals (MDM) of primary school children using local resources’ as part of the ongoing GIZ project.

Chef Joel Basumatari gets a community member to help him during the cooking demonstration

It may be mentioned here that Chef Basumatari is a member of the Slow Foods Chefs’ Alliance, holds a degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University and also from the International Institute of Hotel Management (Kolkata). He has worked at the Crown Plaza London, Washington Mayfair and at the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai. He has been felicitating capacity-building workshops and holding cooking demonstration at three other partner communities of NESFAS this week.

Chef Basumatari said, “Using roasted pumpkin seeds in green salads is a great way to boost the nutritive value. However, when we ask community members, they say that they would use just a handful of pumpkin seeds to eat and store the rest and would even throw the remaining seeds.” According to a research done by NESFAS, pumpkin seeds are a rich source of omega 3, calcium and protein.

Chef Joel Basumatari and Badarishisha Nongkynrih

Badarishisha Nongkynrih, a nutritionist and an associate at NESFAS, who has been assisting Chef Basumatari in the cooking demonstrations, said the importance of adding lemon juice or other forms of citrus/Vitamin C rich foods in raw dark green leafy vegetables would usually enhance the absorption or iron content from the plant.

Chef Joel shared the importance of how incorporating nuts and seeds in green salads can enhance the nutritional value of the food consumed. He added that adding honey, salt and lemon juice creates a perfect taste when added to wild edibles that are mostly bitter in taste. He also stressed on the importance of presentation of food and how mothers should try it out at home to make their children eat more food

Community members at Umdiengpoh community

“I feel personally that people in the Northeast are not fond of desserts after food,” he said, while preparing a local vegetable desert for the community members during the community feast that was held in the evening.



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2 Responses to Healthy cooking: Chef Joel Basumatari ends 4-day workshop at Umdiengpoh

  1. Roy says:

    Job well done

  2. Another great day with Joel and it is great to see how traditional systems and modern experience and education are being mixed together. Joel is one of the best trained Chef of North East India and Badarishisha Nongkynrih, a NESFAS staff in the photo above with Joel is a trained and qualified nutritionist. Thank you community members for celebrating with NESFAS and thank you NESFAS Team for your dedicated work.

    One think we need to think a bit more: how can our cooking become more smokeless. If we are not careful we also could end up as in Delhi.

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