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  Life   More Features  02 Dec 2017  Buy gold, eat it too!

Buy gold, eat it too!

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIKHITA GOWRA
Published : Dec 2, 2017, 7:36 am IST
Updated : Dec 2, 2017, 7:38 am IST

With the gold leaf ice cream being the latest craze in the city, we take a look at the many uses and benefits of the yellow metal for the human body.

Suvarnakalpa, a gold based Ayurvedic formulation
 Suvarnakalpa, a gold based Ayurvedic formulation

Aptly titled The Mighty Midas, the Gold Leaf ice cream at a newly opened dessert place in Hyderabad is the rage in town right now. The majestic look of the ice cream that seems to have the power to substitute an entire meal is attracting many city dwellers, leaving the new outlet thronging with customers. The ice cream, which boasts of 18 other elements, definitely stands out because of the fine 24 carat gold sheet that tops it off like a boujie cherry.

However, it isn’t uncommon for gold to be used in food. In fact, if taken in the right amounts, the coveted metal is even good for one’s health. Designer Vinita Pittie, whose late mother-in-law swore by a medicine, one of whose ingredients was gold, says, “Gold is exceptionally good for general debility and weakness. In many households, a gold coin is boiled in water, diluted with regular water and had every day. This is given to people who have less heat in their bodies and shouldn’t be given to those who have excess heat. My mother-in-law used to take a medicine that used gold. I would manually mix gold powder along with many other ingredients like Ashwagandha, Shilajit, etc. She definitely could feel the benefits. It made her walk steadier and gave her a confident posture.”

Swarna BhasmaSwarna Bhasma

Backing Vinita’s claim is Dr M. Chandrashekhar, an Ayurvedic practitioner and owner of the Charaka Hospital. He says, “Gold in itself has a potent quality but when mixed along with another medicinal ingredients, it increases the other ingredient’s potency at least four to five times. It’s a kind of stimulant. It’s a great rejuvenator, increases immunity, improves vigour and vitality and has anti-aging properties.” But, he warns, “It cannot be ingested directly. There’s a complex process by which the gold is converted into its safest form — Swarna Bhasma. It looks like powder and there’s no risk of heavy metal toxicity. It’s clinically proven.”

Medicinal properties aside, the sheer look of the metal on anything edible elevates the dish to a gourmet level! Masterchef Smita Dugar weighs in on how gold is used to decorate food. “In the modern context, a gold leaf enhances the richness of the food. I make a recipe called Sone Chaandi ke Longde, an adaptation of a traditional Rajasthani recipe. It’s a gravy dish with kofta balls that are covered in gold and silver to give it that Rajasthani royal look. Gold is mainly used for aesthetic value and doesn’t really have any flavour. It can be used in Indian desserts and even in some pulavs. It is also used to cover up dishes that don’t look very palatable, like animal roasts, etc. It’s topped on caviar in many restaurants and very widely used in French cuisine,” she explains.

cake

Srinivas Beokar, the man behind The Mighty Midas, explains why they chose to go in for the unique idea of using the yellow metal in their ice cream creation. “We had to make a themed ice cream for Diwali this year and wanted to make it as grand as possible. And we thought what would scream Happy Diwali better than gold, sweet and surprises? The ice cream was launched on Diwali in our Ahmedabad store. It has more than 18 elements; each layer has a surprise from the start till the end. The gold is FSSAI approved and safe,” he says.

Tags: suvarnakalpa, yellow metal, swarna bhasma