Chef Rohit Sangawan discovered cocoa butter five years ago when he ordered a steak at a French restaurant in Europe. “The meat had a rustic taste. So I went to the kitchen to observe the chef at work and discovered the secret ingredient. I just couldn’t taste the butter that gave it the taste, because its inclusion was that subtle,” shares Sangwan, Executive Chef, Taj Land’s End Mumbai. Having grown up in Haryana, the delicious white and golden swirls were part of his daily food. It was over a decade
ago when he chanced upon cocoa butter, which is the silent hero in his culinary repertoire.
Sangwan decided to get creative with his favourite dairy element—using cocoa butter in place of regular cooking oils was a no- brainer. Last month, he cooked up tawa pomfret masala in cocoa butter. “This dish is best suited for pescatarians. Usually, you cook fish on the tawa using ghee or mustard oil. Both leave a peculiar smell and taste on the fish, which is a delicate meat. I like the taste of my fish to stand out. Cocoa butter brings out its best facets.
The recipe is now on the hotel’s menu,” he says, informing that the butter he favours is premium Mycryo cocoa butter made by Callebaut. There are two versions of cocoa butter he uses: a powder version with the consistency of suji and a block that can be grated for use. The butter can be applied to sear meat or tossed vegetables. Cocoa butter is a plant-based fat extracted from the cocoa bean. “Butter is the healthiest fatty pick, especially in today’s times of palm oil-powered chocolates and margarine-laced cookies,” says Sangwan. “Different versions of it are available, from seaweed butter to
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard