Crunch and Taste? it’s Rocket Science- The New Indian Express

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My son was amused when my wife summoned him to finish the “rocket” on his plate. The name is indeed funny. Rocket is an edible plant and is commonly known as salad rocket. Eruca Sativa is the scientific name which also is variously known as roquette, rucola, rugula or colewort.

The leaves are widely used in salads especially in the US, France, Turkey, Morocco, the Mediterranean and now in India as well .Its been written about since Roman times and many have described it as an aphrodisiac. In ancient Roman poetry, rocket leaves have been described as leaves that excite the sexual desires of drowsy people , and because of this reason they were forbidden to be grown in monasteries. I don’t know how far this is true but I enjoy eating rocket leaves in my salad and have invented many variations of my own salad concoctions.

Rocket has a pungent and peppery flavour. It resembles longer leaved open lettuce. The leaves are rich in potassium and Vitamin C. Rocket seed and young pods are also usable and edible. Rocket was traditionally collected in the wild or grown in home gardens along with such herbs as parsley and basil. It is now grown commercially.

I first tasted rocket many years ago while I was traveling in Europe. It was a summer afternoon I was walking on the streets of Rome, where I saw this small eatery which specialised in salads.

Seeing fresh juicy salads was enough to make my mouth water. I inquired from the salad bar supervisor about the special of the day salad which was Rocket on My Plate. The salad was so fresh and unique. I had not eaten something like that before. It was then that I fell in love with the rocket. Fresh rocket with strawberries and vinaigrette—a simple but most delicious salad.

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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