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Spa Mantra demystifies the much in fad term, ‘spa cuisine’

Three peas arranged geometrically on a plate garnished with a sprig of parsley. Right? Not exactly. Spa cuisine is not just for people with model-like bodies anymore. It can be satisfying food with enough left that no one leaves the table hungry. It’s not a diet. And that is why they say, ‘You are what you eat!’

Spa cuisine, created and popularized in the late 1970s and 1980s, has moved out of the world’s health spas into mainstream hotels, restaurants, and even your home kitchen and freezer. Spa cuisine is often simple to prepare, with fresh ingredients and little fuss. Today, the term is somewhat nebulous, usually meaning lean, healthful cooking, but with a special emphasis on the beauty of the presentation. Menus can be tailored to individual tastes and genres: vegetarian, vegan, kosher, raw foods, but the main component is always taste.

At the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, the Quan Spa offers a wide variety of treatments and massages ranging from the western massages to the Indian Ayurvedic massage. They also have in their spa menu, the most popular Goan Magic and Thai massage. Quan Spa recently introduced the Fitness Transformation Program, which combines structured exercise, relaxation therapy and a balanced nutritional meal. The FTP food menu combines all the nutrients required by one during the course of a day. Their fitness manager Dr. Asif Khan and executive chef Sunil Kumar evaluate and discuss upon the quantity of nutrition required to customize every client’s meal plan according to their requirement. According to the fitness manager, “FTP focuses on three different kinds of wellness treatment.”

a)      Fat Loss – for fat loss, the food served must be high in proteins, vitamins and mineral, like fruits, broccoli and avocado soup, beef roast, etc.

b)      Muscle Gain – for muscle gain one must consume good qualities of fat and carbohydrates, as in fish, chicken, rice, etc.

c)      Improving your overall lifestyle pattern – for improving one’s lifestyle pattern, one needs to take a detox diet including organic vegetables, berries, country chicken, homemade yogurt, etc.

For all the above the treatments, says Asif, the cuisine is designed as per individual requirement of nutrition.

Fresh. Seasonal. Local. Organic. Wholistic. Nutritious. Aesthetic. Natural. These are just some adjectives used to describe a new wave of eating preferences by spa-goers worldwide. Spa food not only satisfies the body of hunger, but stimulates the mind with its beautiful presentation and serves the soul through the energy of those preparing and delivering it. Ayurveda plays a major role in most spa treatments and spa cuisines. It aims at perfecting the balance of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Club Renaissance, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel has a fine blend of treatments – Ayurveda, Thai, Balinese, Reflexology and Aroma therapy. According to Dr. Girish Baria, Spa Manager of Club Renaissance, “The imbalance between the three constituents gives rise to various illnesses. Ayurvedic recipes help to recover.  Ayurveda always advocates eating food according to the three doshas of the body. Ayurvedic recipes help us to detoxify the human body.” At Club Renaissance, the spa cuisine lays special emphasis on herbs, vegetables and fruits along with plenty of water added in the plan of the customer.  

As food constitutes a large portion of the body’s equilibrium. Physicians suggest the consumption of a combination of ingredients that would bring about this state of perfect balance in the body. But while spas spell luxury, there is the need for a diet that is also tasty. This is where chefs throw in ideas to bring forth a menu that would satisfy any spa connoisseur.

Recipes from Goa Marriott Resort and Spa

Grilled salmon with zucchini ribbons and warm tomato


250 gms Salmon steak

10 ml Extra virgin olive oil


100 gms Zucchini thinly sliced

1 Tomato


  1. In a hot pan take olive oil, add ribbons of zucchini, salt pepper and turn it once the colour is light golden brown. Make a stack and keep a side.
  2. Cut the tomato in 2 pieces and grill on a hot plate with seasoning of salt pepper.
  3. Marinate the salmon steak with few drops of extra virgin olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. In a pan add extra virgin olive oil, once hot, place salmon steak carefully and cook both the side till it’s cooked.
  5. In a plate, place the stack of the zucchini and arrange the salmon steak on top and serve it hot.


Stir-fried lamb chops with oyster sauce


  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 4 Tbsp miso paste
  • 4 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened black soy sauce
  • 400 g lamb chops, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 240 g bok choy, leave trimmed
  • 200 g straw mushrooms, boiled for 2 minutes and drained
  • 3 spring onions cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
  • pinch of ground white pepper



In a heavy wok, stir-fry garlic using vegetable stock. Once fragrant, add miso paste, oyster sauce, honey and unsweetened black soy sauce. Add lamb and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until half cooked, and add bok choy leaves and cooked straw mushrooms. Once bok choy is soft and lamb is well cooked, sprinkle with spring onions, red chilli and ground white pepper. Remove from heat and serve with brown rice.


Recipes from Club Renaissance, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel

(Recipes courtesy: Dr. Girish Baria, Spa Manager of Club Renaissance).


This therapy is a beautiful combination of classical Ayurveda treatments; lukewarm herbal oil is applied all over the body by two Ayurveda therapists in a special rhythmic movement. The massage is very slow and light without exerting much pressure followed by a medicated oil bath; the warm oil induces the removal of toxins from the body.

Tandoori Scallops Raw Mango Salsa


Scallops                                 3 nos

Hung Curd                             30 g

Red Chilli Powder                  2 g

Ginger garlic Paste                10 g

Lemon Juice                           ½ no.

Green Cardamom Powder    ¼ g

Thymol Seeds                                    1 g

Mustard Oil                           10 ml.

Salt                                         to taste

For Salsa:

Raw Mango                           50 g

Capsicum, Roasted                50 g

Onion                                     10 g

Green Chilli                           ½ .

Fresh Coriander                     ½ gms

Green Onion                          1 no.

Olive Oil                                15 ml.

Lemon Juice                           ½ no.

Salt                                         to taste


For Bread:

Millet  Flour, Sorghum          80 g

Warm Water                          as needed

Salt                                         a pinch

Ghee                                      10 g



Prepare marination by mixing hung curd, red chili, ginger-garlic paste, green cardamom powder, thymol seeds, mustard oil, salt and lemon juice. Mix well.

Apply on scallops. Let it marinate for 2 hr.

Skewer the marinated scallops in a thin rod. Cook in tandoor till it is cooked.

Meanwhile apply little oil on capsicum and roast in tandoor. Let it cool. Remove the skin and chop them coarsely. Peel and chop raw mango coarsely. Assemble them in a mixing bowl. Add chop onion, green chili, coriander herbs and green onion. Add lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Mix well.

For Bread.

Mix millet flour and salt in a bowl. Make dough using warm water. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 20 g balls. Roll them into a 3 inch diameter and cook them on a hot plate. Brush with little ghee.

For assembling put the bread as a base. Spoon out salsa on top. Then place the scallops on top.


This package is designed to keep your body; mind and soul in perfect harmony and restore your body’s natural healing potential and rediscover the feeling of well being. Abhyanga body massage and Shirodhara

Deconstructed Greek Salad

For Salad:

Feta Cheese                           `           50 g

Capsicum (Red, Yellow, Green)         50 g

Onion                                                 10 g

Cucumber                                          50 g

Tomato                                              50 g

Olives                                                 50 g

Olive Oil                                            15 ml.

Lemon Juice                                       1 no.

Romaine Lettuce                               10 gms

Salt                                                     to taste


Cut the feta into cubes. Finely dice the peppers. Slice onions into rings and cucumber into lengthwise slices.

Make a tapenade with the olives and olive oil. Arrange on top of the cucumber slices

Blanch, de-skin, cut the tomatoes into quarters, deseed and roast in medium oven for 5 mins.


Arrange all the ingredients as shown above.

Drizzle with lemon olive dressing.





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