A parfait explained in an American way is a layered dessert with varied elements such as cream, fruits, seeds, granola and so on. The French and the British have a different definition for a parfait; more on that later.
So can there be a ‘non-dessert’ parfait? There surely can be.
You have heard of salads in mason jars surely?
So, how about a savory parfait in a south Indian way? Does that sound unreal? All too made-up?? No, it doesn’t have to be and it isn’t.
I have come to believe, just about every Indian meal is in reality nothing but an American parfait! Ok let me explain.
Let’s look at a very traditional serving of a simple Indian meal. We lay our base with a grain, rice for example, then a gravy (dal/sambar varieties), with of course a vegetable (bhaji/poriyal) , in addition to rouse the palate we add in a spec of a pickle, the crunch from papad. Yes?
It may all seem like a lot of elements to a meal for someone involving many bowls and spoons with a cumbersome serving process; but when served layered as a parfait, while still having all of the same elements, not only will it make the process simpler, portion sizes easier to manage, less use of utensils (bowl, plates, spoons etc) and the result delicious! No fuss, no mess. Are you buying it yet? It will become clearer, I promise.
So, let’s now learn how to create a simple Healthy Layered Lunch Parfait, the south Indian way.
And oh! You can try your own take on this. I have a feeling I’m going to see a few around sooner if not later! Feel free to try this Healthy Lunch Parfait combo – I can assure you it was delicious!
Try as a lunch box preparation (just add papad later, else it will become soggy), or try as an ‘at work desk meal’.
Method for Healthy Lunch Parfait prepared the south Indian way:
- About ½ cup Cooked Foxtail millet
- About ½ cup Avial (A south Indian Vegetable medley in a coconut based sauce)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of finely chopped raw mango
- 2 tablespoons of crushed fire roasted papad(poppadum)
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh coriander
- To prepare the raw mango >>
- red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste.
- For the fire roasted papad>>
- urad dry papad available in Indian grocery stores.
- To prepare avial>>
- Follow the link to the recipe in the post*
- This is the method not a 'recipe' in the real sense.
- To cook foxtail millet, check the recipe in the post**
- To prepare raw mango >>
- In a bowl, mix the finely chopped raw mango pieces with few pinches of red chili powder, a small pinch of turmeric powder and salt to taste. Keep this ready.
- To prepare fire roasted papad>>
- Hold a dry papad sheet directly over the fire using tongs. Roast until no raw areas remain.
- Prepare Avail as per the recipe in the link provided in the post*
- The assembly>>
- I used a tall, wide glass (4½"X3¼"). You can also use a jar.
- Now layer the bottom of the jar with cooked foxtail millet.
- Top this with a layer of the chunky vegetables from the avial, follow this up with some of the liquid gravy part.
- Next, spoon over few pieces of prepared raw mango.
- (you can used instant raw mango pickle instead, which is nothing but raw mango prepared as above followed by a tempring of oil, mustard seeds and asafoetida poured over once cooled)
- Top this with a few pinches of chopped coriander.
- Lastly crushed fire roasted papad.
- Follow the above with a repeat of all the layers.
- Serve with a spoon.