Two years in his thirties… at 34 when he put on 22 kilos and at 37 when he had put on 12 kilos, and then the gradual 400 or 500 grams over 1 year in 15 years made him decide it was high time he ate healthy food. He was sorted in his brains and that gave birth to Sorted.Delicatessen, the healthy food restaurant that serves you tasty food.
Who said healthy food can’t be tasty?
No more huffing and puffing up the stairs, no more only ‘excercising’! Now what was more important was eating healthy food. Diet was the main source of one really losing all that fat. Girish Monie began to focus on the ingredients of his meal.
He was moving back to India.
“We are from a place called Palakkad – border line of Kerala, so we are Tamilians. I was born in Delhi. Left from here when I was 2 years old. Was brought up in the UK. Dad was between Abu Dhabi and London. He then was between the UK and the US. Then Dubai. Then came to Poona 2 years ago.”
His 12-year old called in the midst of the conversation that is when I got to know he has a 9-year old son and a 2-year old son. He said he was re-learning parenting. We all had a laugh.
Some free time on his hand made him do extensive research on the net.
After 6000 to 7000 hours of research on various diets cultural, Maharashtrian, tribal, Southern American as they consume quinoa, Central Asia as they are high on buckwheat consumption; Girish decided it was high time to experiment. He started his journey in a flat he owns in Wanowrie…He calls it the Test Kitchen.
He recruited chefs, and the first task was to take out/remove all of the ingredients that had refined sugar in it, namely processed refined flour made of wheat, rice, corn and soya. “The fibrous and nutritious part are removed from these grains when processed.” He began to work with natural ingredients.
His first desire was to work on the pizza base. No highly refined flour pizza, no processed cheese, only natural ingredients. He needed now to select chefs that were more malleable and ready to change their mind sets, move away from the regular and try something new and healthy. Much time had been spent with chefs who were rigid in their views and functioning. Challenges were many, with some pilfering products to some adulterating products in-order to produce some very artistic dish; however, not what was really required…healthy food!
The journey to making pizzas without refined flour had began. 5 pizza crusts-from almond, from cauliflower and whey protein, another from amaranta water chestnuts, one from buck wheat and quinoa.
Boy I had to taste this. I guess it would be a while until I did. I would just have to hold on to that desire.
The precooked pizza crusts became like a subway model. Choose your crust and your sauce and your toppings. “And if my ovens are fired up to about 800 Fahrenheit I can give you pizzas in 4 min.” now this is surely the QSR model…fast food restaurant service! Imagine getting a pizza at a gas station instead of a burger! (mostly in the US)
Girish now had to think India and how to make things work here. His pizzas were a hit! Why were; they still are. Imagine this 13 inch pizza at the brewerie at Amanora!
“I had 50 kids come down from their school. I did 13 inch cauliflower and whey protein crust base, 25 magaritas, 25 pepperoni pizzas. Each kid had about half a pizza. They stuffed it down. I told the parents that each of these children have taken 85 gms of gobi. These were foreign kids.”
This is proof enough that his pizza base is a hit with one and all!
The place Sorted.Delicatessen is situated near the Royal Orchid Hotel …the old senior citizen’s home, which of-course was a daunting task at first as they challenged him at every step of the way.
Serving alcohol or beer at Sorted.Delicatessen was another hurdle. Serving healthy food that had no refined sugar in it one would want a beer that was not made of wheat. However no brewery could help in making beer with quinoa and buckwheat.
Was it time to give up on his dream? Knowing Girish he persisted to finally come up with gluten free beer that had 60 percent gluten free barely which eventually was brought down to 12 percent barley. But then the beer was not grain free! The journey for the time being has been aborted. Back to the test kitchen at Wanowrie.
Spending 2.5 lacs every week, burning 50 to 60 kilos of nuts every day, working on the process of making breads, wraps and healthy foods for 2 long years; now that needs determination and patience above all. Cause, making a dough for pizzas and bread not using flour, using vegetables and nuts and other healthy food can be most challenging.
But today Sorted.Delicatessen has sorted the lives of many. The food at Sorted.Delicatessen is not just gluten free, as most people think. “It is more and above.” It is eating healthy food that has a great balance of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and nutrients. In Girish’s words, “This is not a weight loss place. This is a weight management place. It is just the house of good carbs, good fats and good protein.”
And yes if eaten regularly you are bound not to put on weight. Every dish is well thought out and researched on. To mention again the food is stripped off any refined sugars! The culprit!
This is what Girish had to say about refined flour and sugar! And he explained it simply. After ages I understood what happens to our body because of sugar.
“Type 2 diabetes has reached pandemic heights. Today children are born with type 2 diabetes…50 percent of the global population suffers from this type of pre-diabetes. What do you put this down to? Processed food, refined food. This is the most fundamental learning in my research. You are stripping out the fibre. In Tribal diets the feces is denser than ours in the cosmopolitan society. They consume a lot of fibre. Fibre is what we need. We don’t have fibre as Processed food takes away all the fibre. It changes the glycemic index factor. So what happens is it breaks down the sugar rapidly in your blood stream. You get a sugar spike you get a sugar crash….that crash gives you the craving to eat more and that creates the insulin imbalance. Insulin is a fat blocking hormone. So, if you have a high carb diet, and if you don’t get a chance to burn it off, those carbohydrates will get stored as fat in your body. The low GI diet with these ingredients, even if you don’t have a chance to burn it off, because you are not spiking sugar up rapidly in your blood stream, these carbohydrates have a much higher likelihood of getting stored as glycogen in your muscles to use later as a source of energy. That is all it is. So you don’t want to eat food like oats. It looks super healthy it looks like it has roughage in it, however it is a bowl of sugar.”
“So as you see sugar is the issue. I use natural sweetness, no refined sugar. I don’t use stevia. I am working on my own extract. I haven’t found one that does not give you that bitter after taste. I am working on a couple of reductions. I am soaking some alcohols and reducing it. I choose not to use anything other than natural sweetener. My sweeteners are a berry reduction so no added sugar. The sweetness comes from the fruit itself. Over and above I go with raw honey, maple syrup, dates, and coconut sugar.”
Eating healthy food leaves you not only energized but eaten regularly can cure you of illnesses. And that is what Sorted.Delicatessen offers you. Healthy food that is tasty and keeps you healthy.
Girish over the period that he has been running Sorted.Delicatessen has managed to help 3 people with type 2 diabetes.
The healthy food that Girish has been working on is also very good for children suffering from autism. I asked him if he worked with autistic children?
Yes parents with autistic children do visit the delicatessen often.
Autistic children have to follow a diet that is good for them. Apparently food containing gluten viz wheat, barley and rye, and food containing casein which is found in milk and dairy products are removed from the child’s daily food intake. Nearly one in five children with autism are on a special diet
The healthy food that is served at Sorted.Delicatessen helps you to counter even Celiac which attacks the intestines.
Whilst we were in the thick of our conversation there came a waiter and placed in front of us chips made of sweet potato and yam. Teasers they were. You wanted to stop but you could not. And the sauces were also temptation enough.
The tomato sauce is boiled, and on a candle flame is thickened for over four days. The process strips it off sugar completely. It is then mixed with some balsamic vinegar. The other sauce was the one with a hint of spice. We also had a light mayo made with olive oil. The shelf life of the sauces is short as everything is natural with no preservatives added. “The dream is to keep food in your fridge for shorter periods and not horde and store.”
Girish is passionate about his healthy food concept and his passion is infectious. You want to listen to him. I was not very attentive when the drinks came. It was later I saw the colorful drinks placed on our table.
Red Velvet a pretty picture to the eye is a mixture of pomegranate, beetroot, apple, and mint. It was heavenly. The next was Aqua Friska a combination of papaya, lime and 3 different kinds of berries (strawberry, blue berry, and black berry) and chia seeds. I could have guzzled a few glasses of the Mean Green made of spinach, lettuce, cucumber, celery, and green apple. All three were heavenly. None of the flavors were overpowering.
‘NOT BREAD’ IS NOT BREAD! It is made of buck wheat, and flax seed. However, to look at it is so akin to bread, so porous and so soft. You can make it crispy by frying it in a bit of butter. So here it is. “The texture at the beginning is like a dosa batter. You bring it back to it being a dough by adding fibre.” It is a dough that does not rise. But my spirits rose! My morning breakfast sorted at – Sorted.Delicatessen. I would normally have a slice of bread with butter and cheese. Now I have a healthier option.
The bowl placed in front had this milky white look and texture that was right for a soup. A potato, leek, and Kale soup. The whiteness to the soup is from goat cheese added to it. Every sip screamed for another. The combo – perfect! The cheese used at Sorted.Delicatessen is sourced from Italy and Holland.
As we continued chatting we were soon served with Asian Style Chicken Wings. I was expecting chicken with soya sauce the moment I heard Asian. To my surprise, the chicken was served with a sauce that looked as good as soya, color and texture; however, the sauce was made of black bean sauce. Let me tell you it looked appetizing but I was skeptical of the flavor. Black bean is not one of my favorites. But on tasting it I had no complaint. I could have eaten all the pieces.
There was more to come. So I had to be careful of my intake of every dish. I was eager to taste it all.
The Roasted Vegetable Bruchetta – The base is the NOT BREAD lined with pesto sauce made of pine nuts sourced from other parts of the country, and topped with some roasted vegetables. The pesto sauce was delightfully different from the ones I had had before.
The Salad is called Keto Star. It had practically all the leaves and coconut sauce as the dressing.
Interesting were the wraps. I did not expect to see what I saw.
“These are my wraps– spinach wraps, and carrot wraps. The entire thing is made from vegetables. It is a labour intensive process to get it up.”
“The carrot wrap is made of 95 percent of carrot, some flax seeds, chia seeds, and selium husk. The wraps are brushed with olive oil.” The spinach wrap is also made of 95 percent spinach. The carrot wrap had the falafel as stuffing.
I could not believe my eyes. How could he have gotten such a texture…it was like a soft round roti.
The stuffing in one of them, The Moringa wrap ,was lamb that was cooked for 20 hours. Can meat be so soft? Gosh it just melted in my mouth. The meat is not tenderized with any tenderizer, it is cooked in the rational oven- a special oven.
What made it so special!
“It helps me dehydrate the meat, it helps me air fry the meat, it helps me do everything.”
The chicken paprika is cooked for 6 hours on slow fire so that the meat falls of the bone.
What is this sauce? Paprika with a subtle flavor of celery. It was beautifully plated. The gravy/broth of the chicken was thickened with water-chestnuts; Served with stir-fried broccoli, zucchini, pepper, fried to the right texture where you get the crunch of the vegetables yet cooked, and some quinoa. Some dried parsley added more flavor to the gravy.
A plate full of desserts arrived, well laid out and plaited. Two of each. Gulab jamun, tira misu, the cheese cake, lemon tart .
What’s different about the tira misu? The Italian liqueur Amaretto that originated in Saronno, Italy, which is one of the main ingredients in a Tira misu is actually not used. Yet! yet! the tira misu is to die for. I don’t know how he does it! Never have tasted a tira misu as good.
“There is no amaretto, the mascarpone is very pure, no preservatives, the normal biscuit has been replaced by my almond biscotti which is soaked in south Indian coffee bean. The coffee is sourced from the estates in the south…a family property and some other friends.”
He sources coffee from the best. One needs to taste it to be understood and savored. The products especially the mascarpone, are all imported. Yet his prices are affordable. Now that says a lot about the marketeers! The sweetener in the tira-misu is maple syrup. The almond biscuit is made of almond and the chocolate is made from coco beans and raw honey.
The base of the blue berry cheesecake is made from almonds with no added sugars in it. Sweetness comes from the berry reduction. The Black Jamun is made of sweet potato. I could not believe it. It felt like all of it was made of khawa. He sold 5000 of these during the festive season. He credits a lot of these Indian deserts to his boy called Umesh.
The conscientious, assiduous, and diligent Girish is committed to living up to his promise and goal….to continue serving healthy food, to innovating at every stage, to breaking down ingredients to its macro nutrients only to serve us his customers better.