Life in Gurgaon

What makes strawberries special and the best ways to cook them

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Considered one of the most versatile berries, strawberries are used in almost everything — from sauces, syrups, and baked goods to jams and jellies. However, chefs also swear by their use of the berry in savouries such as salad dressings and the good ol’ chaat. Chefs share tips on using the berry in different preparations and also reveal some interesting dishes made out of it.

A hit in the kitchen

Strawberry season means it’s time to let your favourite fresh and fruity dishes come out to play. From skillet cakes to parfaits, there are plenty of ways to infuse this fan favourite. Celebrity chef Ajay Chopra says, “I personally feel nothing is more inspiring than a seasonal, ripe, juicy and gorgeously plump strawberry.”

Chef Gautam Samel shares that other than eating fresh strawberries, they can be dried or frozen and made into preserves. The berry can be also be used in cereal-based nutrition bars. The natural sweetness, complex flavours, and acidity from strawberries make it a great choice for desserts, too. Samel adds, “Strawberries and strawberry flavourings are a popular addition to dairy products, such as strawberry-flavoured milk, strawberry ice cream, strawberry milk shakes, strawberry smoothies, and strawberry yogurts, making them one of the favourite berries to be used by chefs in desserts.”

Chef and expert Karen Anand says, “It’s sweet, refreshing, and kids love it. It has the right balance of acidity and sweetness, making it a versatile ingredient to use for desserts.” Chef and restaurateur Amit Sharma says, “Strawberry is an acidic fruit which goes best with chocolate. In India, strawberries are the only berries that are easily available in the market.” Corporate chef and entrepreneur Kelvin Cheung says, “Depending on when the strawberry was picked, you have one ingredient with multiple different flavours — from tart to super sweet.”