Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why you should incorporate dry fruits into your kitchen and your daily diet

As a kid, I can fondly remember how I used to look forward to a preparation of a traditional sweet dish at home. Not only did it follow a traditional recipe, but also did employ the use of rich ingredients like dry fruits. And I loved to polish off the doodhpak or sheera and leave the best for last – the dry fruits.

Dry fruits are incorporated into not only sweet dishes, but in savoury items as well. Don’t we love our biryani with the aromatic seasoning of raisins and cashew nuts? Who doesn’t love to pick a pack of masala peanuts to munch on?

And who doesn’t love to be gifted a stunningly decorated box of assorted dry fruits? And any Eid feast is incomplete without a pack or two of seedless dates (khajur) or stuffed variety of dates. Dry fruits are undoubtedly the centre of attraction for gifting at Indian festivals.

With the confluence of various international cuisines, we’ve also incorporated a lot of nuts from the overseas into our diet. Take hazelnuts for instance; kids no longer load their sandwiches with jam or preserves, but instead liberally apply some delicious hazelnut chocolate spread. An authentic pesto pasta is incomplete without a handful of pine nuts (chilgoze) and our salads miss the nutty crunch without their addition.

Aiming to bring the finest dry fruits to your table is the website called It’s India`s first marketplace for specialty Indian foods, ethnic foods, regional specialities, where all food products are sourced directly from the producer and delivered direct to the end-consumer.

Shop for your choice of delicious dry fruits, keeping in mind goodness they are packed with:
Cashew nuts (kaju) contain trace nutrients like Manganese, Magnesium and Copper to help maintain your bones, nerves and muscles in ship shape. Pick your bag of cashews native to the Goa, Maharashtra and Kerala coast.

By consuming walnuts (akhrot) you add copper, a vital trace nutrient which primarily helps our body utilize and process the iron from our diet. Bake a mean walnut chocolate brownie to satisfy your cravings and daily nutrient requirements.

Dates are one of the good sources of iron. Pine nuts are loaded with Vitamin K and Zinc to help develop immunity. How about a date and pine nut laddoo?

Packed with protein, Riboflavin, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium and Vitamin E for developing a sound body and mind, no wonder our intelligent mothers used to pester us to munch on soaked Almonds (badam). Gorge on some lip-smacking kheer with the finest mamra almonds, with origins of Iran and Afghanistan.

So incorporate your daily diet with a handful of dry fruits as is or in a yummier version of your choice.

Disclaimer: This article has been written for a brand incorporating my honest opinion/review.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Place of Origin - Delivering the best of India's culinary delights from their origin

“Don’t forget to get me the banana chips!” is exactly how I ended my conversation over the phone with my friend. She was visiting Kerala with her family and I pestered her repeatedly to get me a bag each of banana and jackfruit chips that were deep fried in coconut oil. I can still recall the first time I visited Kerala, it was unlike any run-in-the-mill chips I’ve eaten before here in Mumbai. It is an amazing feeling crunching and munching on the coconut oil deep-fried thinly sliced plantain chips.
Or the time when I simply missed sampling my favourite Chiroti from Chitale Bandhu, just because the queue to the counter was too darn long, that I would’ve missed my bus back home.
Doesn’t it happen to all of us? Don’t we all do that?
We visit a place, sample the local fare, fall in love with the taste, carry A LOT of it back home and miss the lingering taste on our taste buds right after we’ve finished the lot. It's amazing how we associate most our memories with food. It’s natural for any and every foodie. It’s the beauty of India’s culinary abundance. One cannot resist the sheer abundance of flavours. 
To bridge this gap an innovative initiative for those who don’t wanna miss the regional delicacies and specialties was born. The website is a portal to get home all your favourite regional culinary delights at one place.
Be it crunchy banana chips from Kerala, long leaf black tea from Assam, handpicked coffee beans from Chickmanglur and Coorg or even juicy Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri – take your pick.
A wide range of staples in tea and coffee are available here. Choose from popular CTC tea brands or from the choicest sommeliers as they hand-pick the most fragrant leaves infused with various spices and flowers. How about starting your day with a refreshing cup of Himalayan Tulsi green tea with delicate, flaming red Rhodenderon flowers?
Or perhaps your preference is a steaming cuppa of brown brew? Then make your choice from whole coffee beans, freshly roasted and ground gourmet French Vanilla coffee or ground filter coffee.
Accompany these beverages with gossip and with crunchy snacks from various parts of the nation, ranging from Ramprasad Chiwda’s Cornflakes Chiwda to Kale Chips from The Green Snack and Co.
And what’s even more impressive is the impeccable packaging utilized to pack your favourites only for a nominal cost. has my vote for being a one-stop shop for delivering India’s choicest delicacies right to your doorstep. 

Disclaimer: This article has been written for a brand incorporating my honest opinion.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Yelow - A bathroom concierge service

I love shopping. Most of us do, except when there is a rush.
Nobody likes a crowd when they shop. And nor does anyone like to dash for a tube toothpaste or a sanitary napkin in the middle of the night.

If you think online shopping is the answer, well, it's half the answer. As I don't want Flipkart delivering shaving cream after my husband has grown a beard like Gerard Butler in the movie 300.

That's precisely why we need to be organised in this scheme of things. That's far from happening, but there is someone who can make things a bit easy for us dis-organised folks. (Yes, its you who I'm talking about!)

Yelow - yes, notice the missing l. This is a personal care and hygiene products subscription service for men and women. Incorporated in May 2015 by ISB classmates Arjun Shah, Viraj Mehta and Nakul Vakil, which I bet was for an MBA project :P It was then full-fledgedly launched in December 2015, and since then they've already crossed more than 1000 users and more than 400 orders.
Sounds baffling? Not quite.

Its quite nifty actually. Choose from ready to use kits with all the bathroom essentials for use or for your travel. Else, you can make your own kit by selecting items the a la carte way. Categories are broadly classified into Oral Care, Men Grooming, Women's Hygiene, Bath & Body, Skin Care and Sanitizers.

Alternatively, customized something known as the 'Yelow Parcel' by building your own parcel, timing your own delivery and receiving it and chilling. It's as simple as that. It's like a gift from you to you!

They also take pride in introducing the one-of-a-kind women period kit. And men can be inducted into their exclusive Yelow Shave Club.

What inspired me to write about them? Their candid press release. Try it out and lemme know piques your interest.