Aimed at creating awareness on the versatility and suitability of Canadian split green lentils particularly, in the HORECA sector in India, a culinary demonstration on Canadian lentils was organised by Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG), Canada, in collaboration with Bhakti Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (BIHMCT), Chennai.
More than 20 chefs participated in the event and experienced various aspects of cooking with Canadian lentils in various dishes. Chef Himanshu Sahoo, Principal – BIHMCT, engaged the participants by demonstrating several unique and interesting features of Canadian lentils in terms of cost savings, adding value to F&B offerings, and creating unique dishes beyond traditional foods.
The participants experienced first-hand cooking with lentils, and also showcased their creativity in making innovative veg and non-veg dishes which included starters like soups, shorba, appetizers, main courses and snacks. Various dishes that were made using Canadian lentils included Qubuli Dal Chawal, lentil stuffed chicken steak, chicken lentil stew, lentil fizita, lentil frankie, lentil cheesy mushrooms, lentil shorba, chicken alagreek, lentil khati rolls, lentil chicken briyani, lentil dhokla and chicken lentil soup. A creative lentil cheesy mushroom was chosen for the first place followed by chicken alagreek and qubuli dal chawal for second and third places, respectively.
India is a strategically significant market for Canadian pulses and its out of home food service industry (including the HoReCa business) is one of the biggest consuming segments. Canada is a large exporter of pulses, and the province of Saskatchewan is the prime source of the exports. While India is one of the largest producers of various pulses, it is also the biggest importer with imports to the tune of 20 to 30 lakh tonnes of pulses every year from countries such as Myanmar, Canada, Australia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Canadian (yellow) lentils are being imported into India since several years as a substitute for tur dal and hence their usage is limited to traditional dishes (sambar, dal, rasam).