Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What does the Godrej Food Trends Report 2018 say about Healthy Eating and Indian Super Foods?


The food, beverage and the hospitality industry are, in many ways, very interconnected. And these sectors are constantly evolving, so much so, it is hard to keep up. You often see trends in one industry overlapping the trends in another. And speaking of trends, there are several that have emerged over the years.

Many of these evolving trends are here to stay, while others are still finding ground. So what are these trends? Godrej, the consumer goods conglomerate, along with Vikhroli Cucina and A Perfect Bite Consulting has researched the myriad of interesting trends across industries and have composed the Godrej Food Trends Report #GFTR2018.

Source: http://www.vikhrolicucina.com/upload/content/images/food-trends-2018-book.jpg


This report categorises a number of trends across the food, restaurant, beverage, home kitchen, and health and nutrition categories. You also get to read about revered chefs and food writers, the likes of Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Rakhee Vaswani, Kunal Vijayakar, Chef Thomas Zacharia, Vir Sanghavi, Chef Kainaz Messman Harchandrai, Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, Kalyan Karmarkar, and Dr. Nandita Iyer, talking about the trend of their choice.

One of the trends that is here to stay

Having skimmed through the entire report, the Health and Nutrition Trends section was one that caught my fancy. Given that most of us and others we know are grappling with various lifestyle diseases, with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol being the usual suspects. Although these diseases have been prevalent in the country for a really long time, the rate at which citizens are being affected by these conditions is nothing but alarming.
Having said that, a good majority of them are understanding the need for adopting a healthier lifestyle with a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise and reducing stress. Health-conscious citizens are switching to healthier alternatives of the traditional foods eaten regularly at home. The Healthy Eating and Diets Trend makes a stark mention of this facet.


The importance of Indian Millets and Superfoods

Not only is the focus on replacing carbohydrate-rich ingredients like cauliflower, zucchini and millets being welcomed as a replacement for rice, wheat flour and whole wheat flour, but also being termed as a more healthier, low-glycemic alternatives to the staples.
Local millets and Indian superfoods will be all the rage in 2018. Importance is being given to the nutritive value of amaranth, jowar, bajra and ragi over wheat, maida and rice. In fact, they are also being widely used in global recipes in the form of salads, soups, appetizers and desserts as well. At the same time, with the popularization of the Golden Latte (the American version of Haldi ka Doodh), turmeric has been reinstated as an Indian superfood in a brand new avatar. Moringa leaves (drumstick) and wheatgrass must not be left behind from this list of Indian superfoods.

How to incorporate these foods into your daily diet?

Some of the best ways to feature millets like jowar, bajra, ragi and amaranth are to prepare items like idlis, dosas, paranthas and porridges. Instead of just having turmeric powder, incorporate the root in milk. With the help of a julienne peeler, zucchini can be made into zucchini noodles or ‘zoodles’ which will not only look colourful with other veggies like carrots and beetroots when made into a tossed salad. Keto dieters swear by cauliflower ‘rice’ by now, which is grated cauliflower tossed with spices.

In conclusion

Healthy eating is certainly here to stay, there is no doubt about that. The recipe or the ingredients may change, but being health-conscious won’t.

Do take a look at the Godrej Food Trends Report 2018 and tell me your favourite trend.

'This post is a part of Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest hosted by Fashionable Foodz in association with Vikhroli Cucina and should not be re-purposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest, Fashionablefoodz or Godrej is not responsible for any kind of infringement.'

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Restaurant Review: Stacks and Racks, Malad West

If you're like me who goes bonkers over burgers, you'd love to visit this place in Malad West. I'm talking about Stacks and Racks, a local restaurant in Malad West serving mouth-watering American, Mexican and Continental fare at pretty pocket-friendly prices. 

This review is based on my multiple visits to this venue when I was craving some good ol' American comfort food. I kept going back there for more, because I truly love their food!

I'm just gonna put all the photographs of the food first so you get to know why Stacks and Racks is awesome!

Apple Pie A La Mode
Trust me when I say a visit to Stacks and Racks is incomplete without indulging in a perfectly crumbly warm Apple Pie with a scoop of Vanilla Ice-Cream on the side.

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Poutine
Canada's favourite snack/ appetizer - the Poutine - is nothing but a fancy version of the humble French Fries topped with condiments and garnish. But, let me tell you that this one with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese in gravy sauce is truly delicious! I can make a meal out of this one. If you don't eat Bacon (but, why?) then you can check out the Vegetarian and Chicken versions.

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Poutine with Chocolate Milkshake - The  Best Appetizer Combo

Another shot of the Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Poutine, I can't get enough of it

Louisiana Chicken Wings with Tartare Dip
On a friend's recommendation, I tried the Louisiana Chicken Wings. It was perfectly cooked with the right amount of spice but had a tangy after-taste. So, I personally don't recommend it but can be tried once.

A bottle of chilled Chocolate Milkshake
I could sing paens of this milkshake if I had to. They blend it perfectly to give you that chocolate-y goodness in every sip. I'm glad they don't put some cheap sugary crap masquerading as chocolate syrup in the milkshake.

Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies
On one visit, I was feeling like indulging in something healthier than burgers and poutines, I opted for this delicious Main course. Perfectly cooked Chicken, goes wonderfully with the peppery sauce and mashed potatoes. Special mention for the lightly seasoned veggies that had the perfect crunch.


Cuban Chicken Sandwich

If you're in the mood of a quick, non-messy bite to eat, then this sandwich is a perfect choice. It's quite filling too!

Another shot of the wonderful Apple Pie Ala Mode. The guys at SnR tell me it is made with a lot of love by one of the owner's mother.


The Naughty Sheila Burger - Chicken

Nothing 'naughty' about it. It was a good bite, but the patty lacked a bit of seasoning in my opinion. The smokey sauce made up for it.


That's my experience.

Have you been to this restaurant?
What has been your experience like?
Lemme know in the comments.

Until then, happy eating!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

7 Unusual Delicacies Eaten Only In India


Travelling around the world brings in a lot of experiences. And in these experiences you may have discovered the unique delicacies native to the land. In all probabilities, you may have tasted some with a taste that is familiar to the food you eat back home and then there are others that are simply unforgettable! The melting pot of cultures that India is, features a long list of bizarre delicacies for the fearless foodie in you. Of course, a meat-eater's list is longer with weird yet staple dishes like Red Ant Chutney and Dog Meat making the cut, however, let me take you on a gastronomic journey of 7 such vegetarian delicacies that veggie eaters can devour.


1. Bhaang Ki Chutney - Uttarakhand

Bhaang Ki Chutney -
Image Source: https://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.in/

Natives of Uttarakhand, particularly the Garwahli and the Kumaoni are proud of this delicacy made of roast bhaang (hemp) seeds If you are still in the dark as to why this chutney is bizarre, it is because of the use of a plant that is famously associated with the hallucinogen Marijuana. Though, contrary to the popular belief, the seeds are not psychoactive. I fact, it it said to have the perfect amount of protein thanks to the balance of fatty acids, fibre and amino acids. Undoubtedly, it as a chutney makes for a tasty treat and goes well with Bhaag Ke Pakode. Yes, it exists. Read on.

2. Bhaang Ke Pakode

Bhaag Ke Pakore -
Image Source: http://www.indianfoodrecipesonline.com/bhang-ke-pakore/


Pakode or fritters are perhaps every Indian's favourite tea-time snack. Come Shivratri and Holi and you'll find this fried snack being prepared in the homes of many North Indian households. Now, you may expect it to be as strong as the Bhaang drink, but in fact it is not. The batter is same as you make for making regular pakoras, added with the paste of the cannabis leaves. I also came to know that Bhaag Gujiya are also prepared

3. Pyaaz Ka Halwa



Pyaaz Ka Halwa
Image Source: http://ramyasrecipesandcrafts.blogspot.in/2013/12/onion-halwa.html

Onion in a sweet dish? Who would've thought! Pyaaz ka Halwa or Onion Halwa is a made by frying onions in butter and then cooking on sow heat with milk and sugar. So basically, it is like Gajar Ka Halwa, but with onions instead of carrots. If this seems intriguing and something you'd like to try out, you can check out the recipe here.

4. Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi - Rajasthan

Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi
Image Source: /www.morethancurry.com/

The favourite dessert of most Indians is also available in a savoury avatar. I bet the creator must have loved Gulab Jamun so much, that he/she ended up making it into a curry. The creators certainly belonged to Rajasthan as it is quite popular across Jodhpur. This Rajasthani recipe calls for making balls out of Khoya, deep-frying them and sliding them into a onion based curry.

5. Fermented Bamboo Shoot - Assam

Fermened Bamboo Shoot - Khorisa
Image Source: axomiya.net

The Assamese love this delicacy which they refer to as Khorisa. It is made of fermented Bamboo shoots that is either relished raw or as a pickle.


6. Rotten Potatoes - Eastern India



Wait before you think of throwing a rotten potato. As they say, on man's trash is another man's delicacy, this is true for Phyan Pyut, a delicacy made of rotten potatoes. That's right. Loved by several communities in Eastern parts of our country, potatoes are allowed to rot in soil, excavated and then mixed with spices. How does that sound?


7. Benami Kheer

Benami Kheer
Image Source: https://buzznomad.com/9-bizarre-food-items-around-world/

You may be wondering why is Benami Kheer called so? Though the word Benami has a negative connotation, here it refers to 'unknown' in Hindi. As to why it was named so, well, you have to taste this 'dessert' to find out. And the taste is unlike anything as it has garlic - yes, you read that right - as the main ingredient. Garlic pods certain have strong aroma and so they are boiled in water and then added to the milk to prepare the kheer. This is one kheer you shouldn't miss.

Now that you've gone through this list, tell me, which ones you have tried and which ones you are willing to try very soon?


Monday, September 18, 2017

Quick and Easy South Indian Style Rasam


To be very frank, South Indian delicacies are not my favourites - even though I am a South Indian, by birth. Though I grew up on South Indian staples like Idli, Dosa, Sambhar, Rasam and Coconut based curries, my taste-buds are more partial towards North Indian, Oriental and Continental flavours. However, there are days that I crave for a piping hot and satiating meal from the South. And the lazy person I am, (a total Garfield sometimes) I would rather make a quick and easy version of the otherwise seemingly arduous delicacies from the South of India.

And so, for the days when I crave a satiating rasam rice with a dollop of ghee on top, this recipe is what I stick to. I bring to you a classic, the quick and super easy recipe of South Indian style rasam.

Serves: 2
Time: 15 mins

INGREDIENTS:

For the rasam:
1-2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoon sambhar/rasam powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida powder or concentrate, diluted with water
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

For tempering:
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
6-7 fresh curry leaves
Coconut oil

METHOD:

  1. Quarter the tomato and blend until lump-free and runny.
  2. Transfer into a bowl. Add equal amounts of water, or till desired watery consistency.
  3. Add the masala powders and salt. Mix well and set to boil for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Later, add the chopped coriander.
  5. In a tempering vessel, heat 2-3 tsp coconut oil. When hot add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add curry leaves and switch off the heat.
  6. Add the tempering to the rasam mix. 
  7. Mix well and serve hot with steamed rice, poppadoms and ghee.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When is the best time to book flights?


Haven't you Google-d this question before planning your dream vacation?

Have you ever wondered if there is some kind of secret formula or pro-tip that only the secret cult of frequent fliers or travellers know about?

To be very frank, I have wondered about this fact whenever flight bookings have featured as a part of my travel planning. Given that air travel is the best way to practically get anywhere we want to, we want to seek the best possible rates to economize our travel costs.
Besides ticket price, we may also consider preferred flight timings, the duration of layover or seat preferences when booking flights online to our choicest destinations. Even if we get cheap flights, we may get a long layover or if are lucky to get the desired flight times, the price of the flight is too high.


Book flights to Bali
Beautiful Bali on your mind?
Image source: www.balimystique.com
or wanna gaze at the enchanting New York skyline?
Image source: www.cubebreaker.com

Now, Skyscanner did the research by asking 1000 Indian travellers if they were aware of the best time to book flights?

Results of this research:

  • 72% were clueless about the best time to book flights. 
  • According to 69% of travellers, the ideal time to book flights was LESS than 12 weeks before departure, which is in fact, WRONG.

For international and domestic ticketing, you would get the best deals on flights when you book tickets well in advance.

Skyscanner has made it easy for you to understand the best times to book flights in advance to top holiday destinations, in India and across the globe, and the savings you can enjoy! Just check out the info-graphic below:



Happy Holidays!

Friday, January 20, 2017

10 Moments you won’t have to miss if you’re smooth

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored Post

Epilation: 10 Moments you won’t have to miss if you’re smooth

It’s the worst! A last minute opportunity to have fun…an invite from friends, a fun party, a smoothie with your crush…but you have to miss out because you’re, how do we put it, not at your smoothest! We hate those in-between days when stubble means you can’t wear your favorite outfit, or you just feel you have to say no to that exciting invitation. Here we celebrate 10 moments you won’t have to miss out on if your skin is smoooooth; because with Braun epilators, you can be silky smooth at a moment’s notice!

POOL PARTIES-
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WEARING THAT NEW DRESS NOW!
It’s the one you’ve had your eye on for ages. The one that will catch your crush’s eye, and make you feel FAB-U-LOUS! But what an epic fail if stubble stops you in your tracks. You can’t possibly wear it until you are super smooth. No need to worry, Braun epilators can remove hairs as small as a grain of sand. Get that new dress on, and cause a sensation!




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PARK VISITS
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LAST MINUTE TICKET TO A GIG.
Your favourite band’s in town, and you’ve managed to get your hands on tickets. YES! Now how to look LEG-endary? Wearing your favourite mini, of course. And rocking the look with super smooth legs.



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Sunday, November 20, 2016

OLO Review: Burgundy Box - SERVED Meal Box


After reviewing the Burgundy Box DIY kit, I got the chance to taste one of their freshly served and ready-to-eat meals as well. Burgundy Box has now established themselves as one of the options when it comes to ordering from a highly curated list of gourmet meals. You can pick and choose from a variety of cuisines in meals, snacks or salads.

And so one fine Wednesday, I placed my order for a Konji Chicken with Hakka Noodles meal for lunch.


I was already starting to get hungry by the time I place the order through the website.


And as promised my served box was delivered to me within the promised time slot.

My food arrived in a neat and clean packaged plastic box with plastic cutlery like a fork, a spoon and a paper tissue.

What was in my Burgundy SERVED Box?

Konji Chicken and Hakka Noodles Burgundy SERVED Box

I was truly impressed by the hygiene and presentation maintained by them. A majority part of my box was the Hakka Noodles, which was tossed with colourful bell peppers and finely chopped spring onions. As you can see, there's also a sizable portion of dry Konji Chicken and Kimchi was also in my box.

My Review:

Taste: The Konji Chicken and Hakka Noodles combo worked for me. Though the chicken was a tad too dry for my taste, its tanginess blended well the freshness of the noodles. The Kimchi was a downer with the cabbage being a tad too soggy. Then again, to be fair, I've never really developed a liking for Chinese pickled cabbage.

Portion Size: For a meal for one, this meal is indeed perfect for a working lunch. Not too overbearing on the stomach, and at the same time will not make you want to place an order for something else.

Value for Money: I would say yes, considering the hygiene factor and the near perfect presentation, I would vouch for this particular box. (This comes from a person who more often than not relies on the oily, questionably healthy office canteen food during lunch-time.)
I paid INR 230 for this box.

Would I Try it Again?
Definitely. Will want to try the boxes in other cuisines as well.


Psst...A Tip: Burgundy Box also offers discounts from time to time. Currently they offer a sweet discount when you order your food on a Wednesday.