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What is Sattvic Food Really?

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Sattvam is a vegetarian restaurant conceptualised on the principles of soulful sattvic food and age-old culinary traditions – founded by Chef Aditya Fatepuria and Arvind Chowdhary based on their experience of working with ISKCON

“There is a misconception that Sattvic is non-spicy, or raw food or minus dairy. Bhagavad Gita profusely advocates the use of milk and milk products. Gits says cow is the mother and milk is super food.” shares Arvind Chowdhary – co-founder of Sattvam.

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Arvind Chowdhary & hef Aditya Fatepuria

Sattvam is a vegetarian restaurant conceptualised on the principles of soulful food and age-old culinary traditions founded by Chef Aditya Fatepuria and Arvind Chowdhary.

Chef Aditya worked at ITC Sheraton before taking on the duties as Head Chef at Iskcon. He was also the head of the food lab at Iskcon where recipes from all around the world were recreated in Sattvic fashion.

Arvind on the other hand is an engineer and foodie who was part of ISKCON team that researched and promoted Sattvic food.

He adds, “Normally Sattvic is mistaken for Ayurvedic food. It is mistaken for a version of so-called healthy food. Food is healthy if its wholesome. It needs the right balance of fruits, vegetables, pulses, fats…”

iskconTogether they founded Sattvam on the principles of Sattvic food that they have followed at ISCKON, with menu created from years of research from ancient books and from their own experiences.

Arvind breaks that myth of healthy being about only raw fruits and vegetables – “It’s just not raw fruits and vegetables, or it’s just not salads that are just tossed up and given to you. There has to be a good balance of everything. At Sattvam all the vegetables that we use, we try to use them fresh, seasonal and locally available. Seasonal produce is more adaptable to your body during a particular season.”

He also says Sattvic does not translate to bland food. Using chillies is completely allowed in Sattvic. “We have some ancient reference books where we saw chillies were predominantly used. Food has to be wholesome. It has to bring happiness to you. It can have fat and chillies in moderation.

Traditionally if you see the naivedyam served in temples – it has pepper and other spices – is not bland. In Tirumala the puliyodharai is not bland – Pongal has pepper. We follow the sattvic method of cooking which is about eating fresh food. Whatever you eat is cooked fresh, served fresh. So, the food will not create or induce any denseness in your body. Even after 2 hours of eating it won’t come back like an acid reflex.

So, Satvic food is all about that. It has to be nicely spiced. It should be palatable. The whole idea is that once you have it, you should feel happy. Food has to make you feel happy. Happy in a positive way. Food is not for your body alone; its food for your soul. It’s prepared with sattvic mindset and is served in sattvic ambience.”

Sattvam Restaurant, Hyderabad

Rightly so, the newly opened Sattvam restaurant in Hyderabad has ambience based on the Puri Jagannath temple. It has a wide spread on its lunch and dinner buffets with recipes that are traditional, inspired and most importantly Sattvic, which goes beyond no onion – no garlic.

Evidently when you eat the Chatpata Puchka with Amardana shot – it is just that – chatpata and the Harabhara Paneer is just the right kind of flavourful.

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Desserts

At the Sattvam built on the foundation of Sattvic cuisine – the concept is to adapt various dishes and convert them into the Sattvic for with enhanced taste and flavour. Innovation and research is at the core of it all.

So you have the minced vegetable version of the Kakori Seek with freshly ground masalas chargrilled to a golden crust for melt in the mouth kebabs. And, the Sabj Lacheela Kebab and Chola Batura Tartlets – that are fun and extremely tasty.

On the main course look out for the likes of Sunehri Brocolli, Rasgulla Palak, Chote Samosa li Sabji, Paneer Pyaari Patti (from Dil leaves) and gwar patha panch phoren, the last one a childhood memory of Chef Aditya who recreated his mother’s Aloevera curry.

Barsana is another one of Chef’s finds from his travels this time – a chutney made from curry leaves with sweet notes.

Sattvam that already has two branches in Bengaluru before opening the restaurant in Banjara Hills has a tradition of hosting a new food festival every month in order to keep giving the customers something new to taste – the founders say they is no dearth of recipes – sky is the limit for waht they can recreate / adapt to Sattvic principles and make it taste heavenly. Speaking of which the food from the kirchsn is first offered to the diety beofre served on buffet – in short spiritual, soulful and tasteful is what Sattvam food all about.

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