Monday, December 2, 2013

Food that helps you recover from common cold & cough

The chilly wind has arrived and is here to stay for the next three months. And generally, winters are the time when you love to hog on hot steamy food. Bud did you know, our Indian food, or to be a little more specific Indian spices is not just tasty but have a lot of medicinal value which is much needed specially, to help you escape the usual viral fever, cold and cough.

So these are the top 10 must have’s to get over this seasonal fever which is catching up:

Ginger Tea

Medicinal Value: Ginger is an excellent remedy for the common cold. Ginger tea can be taken thrice daily, along with half a teaspoon of sugar for best results. It helps drying up a running nose and expels phlegm from the respiratory tract

Turmeric Milk

Medicinal Value: Turmeric mixture is a popular and effective way to fight a cough

Lemon, Cinnamon, Honey Syrup

Medicinal value: Prepare syrup of lemon, honey and cinnamon to prevent a common cold

Honey and Brandy

Medicinal value: Brandy keeps your chest warm while honey helps fight a cough. A teaspoon of brandy and honey improves cough 


Medicinal value: Saute a few garlic cloves in ghee and consume this, it can help you fight the common cold and cough

Jaggery Solution

Medicinal Value: Boil water with black pepper, add cumin and jaggery to it to get relief from chest congestion

Carrot juice

Medicinal Value: Carrot juice, not only tastes yummy but is an excellent drink which helps to fight a bad cough

- Preeti Nair, Contributing Author

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pizza Hut ‘All You Can Eat Challenge’ experience

By now we’re sure all foodies already know that Pizza Hut’s started an ‘Unlimited Pizza Party’ offer where you can eat unlimited pizzas for Rs199/- only! To be more precise, in an offer running from 16th September to 20th October, consumers at Pizza Hut can have unlimited veg pizzas for Rs199 per person and non-veg pizzas for Rs299 per person. The offer is available across all 7 days of the week, during lunch and dinner, at all their outlets across the country.

And obviously like every brand would and should promote their offers, Pizza Hut’s also doing the same. They’ve rolled out TVC’s, sent direct mailers and even did a tweet-a-thon contest on Twitter.

But one stand out thing we’re reporting via this post is the ‘All You Can Eat Challenge’ that Pizza Hut hosted on 5th October. It was a showdown between 2 teams, with ample food enthusiasts in it. One was the team from Chef At Large, and the other team FOODATHON! Both teams, comprising of 4 members each, were given 30mins to eat as many slices of pizzas possible.

One by one, we managed to gulp 38 slices in 30mins, but were still defeated by team Chef At Large, who ate 41slices! Hats off to everyone on both the teams! I mean seriously! We eat fresh and hot pizzas, straight from the oven, with oodles of cheese on it and how! If you do the math, both teams respectively ate little more than 1 pizza slice every minute! That has to some record - if not a world or India record; maybe a south Delhi record!

More seriously, it was a fun event. It reintroduced Pizza Hut to most people on our team, as we mostly get cozy either with lounges or coffee shops! Personally, I had visited this same Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, Pizza Hut outlet, around 2-3years back and had a good experience. But I still never returned until now.

The pizzas too were great. They’ve always have been. The crust for me personally is a winner against Dominos, but still whenever you think of ordering pizzas, Dominos is the name that first comes to your mind.

Look forward to more such events from Pizza Hut!

- Karan Bhujbal, Contributing Author

P.S. Sadly, we couldn't take any pictures while we were eating, as we were too busy eating. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

What does drinking wine mean in different countries?

The topic of my blog does not indicate my addiction to drinking J but just a thought that meandered in my mind after I got the privilege of attending a bureaucrat party yesterday with my close relative.  Men in neatly ironed suits, expensive watches around their wrists and women clad in cocktail dresses with their shining diamond earring walked past me but what caught my attention is the beautiful sleek glass with red and golden colored liquid that depicted India’s growing cosmopolitan culture. The curious cat in me could not rest, so I wondered Is drinking wine just a formality or there’s more to it which led to me researching on the wine culture across the globe and what I learnt is a much wider perspective on my subject.

History of wine spans thousands of years and is closely intertwined with the history of agriculture, cuisine, civilization and humanity itself.Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known wine production occurred in what is now known as  the country of   Iran around 7000 BC and today every nation has its own concept of wine drinking.

A symbol of wealth and being cultured in CHINA
In China, drinking wine has become a sign of being cultured and of wealth. Red and white wine is often served chilled in small quantities and in a Chinese banquet, it’s not unusual for someone to propose a toast in the traditional form of gan bei where a whole glass could be finished at once. 

Completes the meal in FRANCE
France is the biggest wine producers in the world and therefore it is regarded customary to drink wine in France. Wine is considered to be healthy for the heart in addition to being a great way to accompany a meal! French take sweet white wine with white meats and dry red wine with red meat.

Nourishment for the ITALIANS
Wine drinking is an important aspect of the Italian culture. Considered as nourishment to the Italians, it was used often as a supplement to the diet of the lower classes that needed additional calories, which were provided by the wine. Among youth in Italy, males drink more often than females, and wine is most often drunk at home with the family.

Social Affair in Spain
In Spain, many consider meals to be incomplete without wine. Spain believes in “proper drinking” wherein a person knows when and how to drink. The country is known for its bar culture and therefore drinking too becomes a social affair.

Country of women winers-Germany
Due to the northerly location of the German vineyards, the country has produced outstanding quality wines. Wine is the second most popular drink in the country after beer. In Germany, women drink more wine as compared to men who prefer beer over wine.

Whether it’s a family or a social affair, the importance of wine has evolved over time and across the globe it has different importance, changing from an important source of nutrition to a cultural complement to food and a healthy lifestyle. 

-Preeti Nair, Contributing author

Monday, September 30, 2013

The 4 Must Have Delicacies in Lucknow

Food, food and food!! Being born and brought up in Lucknow, I know that the city has so much to offer in terms of cuisines, it is what I would call a foodies paradise (Ranging from Kebabs to biryani to Nahari Kulchas). Even after having lived in Delhi for almost 5 years, the thing I miss the most are those eateries. Although I have learnt to appreciate ‘Delhi’ food, but nothing beats the kebabs one gets at Tunday and DastarKhwan’s biryani.  So here’s a list of must have Lucknawi food.

1) Mouth-watering Galawati Kebabs

Those soft galawati kebabs melt in your mouth, and with just the right amount of spicy tinge coupled with Mughalai parantha makes you forget all other tastes in the world (including chocolate, no kidding). You would know if you have seen the long line of people clambering to get a plate. The recipe of Tunday Kabab’s is a secret and is passed on from generation to generation by family members. It is said that the kabab’s are made using a 100 different spices!! Makes me wonder how they make all the kabab’s on different days taste the same? Quite a task I must say.

2) Aromatic Biryani

Coming back to the biryani, allow me to describe it!! It is said, that half the taste of the biryani comes from the aroma. One whiff and you won’t be able to resist the temptation of getting a taste. The spice that gives it the tantalizing aroma is saffron (Saffron though has no taste). It has to be cooked to perfection so that the taste of both rice and mutton blends together. The wide variety of spices used, makes one always guess what all could possibly have been used to give it the exquisite taste.

3) Finger licking Afghani Chicken

When at Dastarkhwan, I never gave up the opportunity of having Afghani Chicken (yet another speciality of theirs). You will be left licking your fingers, long after it is all gone, leaving you craving for more (despite the huge amount of quantity served). The richness of the dish lies in the perfect blend of copious amount of cream and cashew nut paste. 

4) Chaat Corner

When in Lucknow one cannot miss the opportunity of having chaat. This delicacy is a favourite with all Lucknowites and they pride themselves on it (I know I sound a little smug). One visit to the Jain chaat corner and you will be a fan forever (the place doesn’t even have a sign board anymore). Ranging from Dahi Vada’s to pani patasha, matar and dahi tikki the place has a wide variety of chaat to offer which is starkly different from chaat one finds across India. The unique mix of curd and tamarind chutney makes it all sweet and sour at the same time. 

I would love to go back to those clustered lanes, teeming with people to have an afternoon full of delicacies that take you to the Mughal culture. This is something that I have already told ‘n’ number of people, and would love to take them all along.

-Nishtha Gurmani, Contributing author

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

6 eating habits of FOODIE Nations!!

Well folks, we all are aware of the fancy wine n dine which we once in a while splurge in… And also the informal-casual café style food spree we are on most of the time! Then being an Indian adds another gallop of mannerisms attached to one’s eating habits. So, I thought of shedding some light on the eating Habits of people,, errr… I am not asking you guys to change yours, rather just give you a sneak-peak into the dining habits of various countries, their natives, across the globe!

1) Slurping goes well in Japan
So Slurping while eating is a big No, well at least in my home. My Mom is practically not going to serve me any food, especially in front of guests, EVER! But in JAPAN, slurping is considered next to showing your appreciation towards the food and chef, i.e. if you slurrrppp while eating your noodles or soup, it means you simply love it. Also, chopsticks are very sacred to Japanese people. So next time you visit Japan, or well any Japanese restaurant, remember to never cross your chopsticks, lick your chopsticks, or stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice. Chop. Chop.Chop.

2) Asking to split the bill: a NO-NO in France
From my college years to till date, alike all my friends I am always short on cash. So when we guys plan to go out, I make it a rule for all my friends to split the bill and share the expenses. After all, I am no Tata/Birla, can’t throw parties all the time like Siddharth Mallya! But in FRANCE, what so ever the occasion is, it is considered highly rude and unsophisticated if you split bills. Either you don’t pay it at all or just don’t ask anyone to contribute money.  Oh my, this had me in fits of laughter , I will go bankrupt if I had to do this way.

3) Mexicans prefer the Indian way
Now expensive places demand all the jazz of Fine Dining concept, especially if you are dining with royalty or in TAJ! A seven course meal, impeccably placed cutlery, a butler by your side and so on and on,,, Though in MEXICO, to eat with Fork and Knife is reflected as almost a snobby practice! They prefer eating with their hands. (Licking fingers after a scrumptious meal is allowed or not, I will confirm that asap, and get back to you guys, A’lrite!! 

4) Trust your Chef: Do not ask for  salt in Portugal  
Salt is the king of any meal, lesser of it make your food goes bland and more of it turns it poisonous…arghhh. So each one of are supposedly used to the sight of Salt and pepper bottles on our dining tables, kitchen platforms-always handy to make your meal Edible. Strangely, but it’s true, in PORTUGAL it is like a downright insult to the chef if you ask for additional salt and pepper. Unless it is not on available on your table, asking for salt/pepper is like offending the chef’s seasoning skill.

5) The Spoony affair in Russia
We all are addicted to comfortably enjoying our food, eating in a relaxed manner even when we are on our dining tables. RUSSIAN people in this context have a peculiar habit, they consider it polite when an individual rest their wrists to the edge of the table but not in their laps. And please remember; keep your fork in your left hand and knife in your right. 

6) Sharing food from a single plate
In India, when you share your food in one plate, it’s only at the time of your wedding, when that videographer is after your life asking you to feed each other and that from one plate! What a mess!! I mean, if you are a non-vegetarian and your husband is a veggie, what are going to do? Make partition in the plate (umm, with spoons or gravy or sauce or just simply go through the ordeal, smiling – REMEMBER, you are being covered on the video, so Smile J. But, in ETHIOPIA, individual plates are considered to be simply wasteful. Food is always shared from a single plate without the use of cutlery -- just hands. AHH, so much love and well… chaos.

Well, that is how the world dining habits work. And I have a simple tip for anyone who is travelling to any of the above mentioned companies; Carry a copy of this post, like a guide book. It will help you steer through the meal merrily, else I hope none of you wants those icy-i-will-kill-you- dagger looks from the person seated next you in any pub, restaurant, café out there! 


- Ankita Bhalla, Contributing author

Monday, September 2, 2013

Who needs dieting??? Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea room review

Elma’s Bakery, Cakes and Tea room, Hauz Khas Village

If you’re in Hauz Khas Village and you’re looking for a cosy place where you could spend your evening with a friend, Elma’s Bakery is the place to be. 

A flight of wooden stairs lead you to a warm room, with English music playing in the background, cups and saucers nicely arranged in wooden cabinets, and an aroma of cakes in the air. When you look around you’ll find everything that’s nice and pretty. The whole place has a very English feel to it- pretty flowery curtains, a white piano, wooden cabinets, tea cups, vintage furniture and tall windows. Everything about this pretty little tea room seems perfect, the decor, the music and not to forget, the CAKES! 

The Warm decor

I bet your mouth will start watering when you lay your eyes on those delicious cakes. And I won’t judge you if you’d want to try out everything that’s there on display, but if you were to ask me what’s that one cake that one should never miss, it’ll be the Wild berry Cheese Cake. It melts in your mouth, and tastes perfect! A must try…. it’s definitely heavenly!

Wild Berry Cheese Cake

Another thing that your eyes will not miss is the different types of Tea on the menu card! I sure have never seen such a wide variety in Tea! Ranging from the refreshing Ginger, Lemon and Honey to Chamomile and at least twenty other kinds! Elma’s Bakery sure has a personality of its own; kinda takes you back in time. 

The Grand Hi-Tea

Aakanksha Sidhu, Contributing Author

Friday, July 19, 2013

Evernote Food 2.0 – your culinary travel companion

How often is it that you’re travelling and go out to taste the local cuisine? Atleast for me, that’s often the case. For example, I was recently in Mumbai and had heard so much about the sea food served at Mahesh Lunch Home that I had to go and pay it a visit. Now, considering that a friend of mine ditched me at the last minute, I spent quite some alone time with the fish, prawns and lobsters I gorged on.

Only that, now I want to boast about the spectacular food to my friends, but have nothing to show for it. But wait a minute, that’s where Evernote Food 2.0 comes in handy. You can save all your favorite food and meals in it, and park it this virtual foodie memory of yours forever. The app, Evernote Food 2.0, not only allows you to save all the food and meals you love, but also search for recipes and take down recipes too. You can also search for the restaurants and eat out places in your vicinity.

The app was tested out by popular food writer and consultant, Parul Shirazi, by taking it out for a spin at the Kingdom of Dreams. Here goes the video from the same.

Share your Evernote Food 2.0 use case and we could feature it here as well.

- Karan Bhujbal, Contributing author

Saturday, July 13, 2013

4 Must Visit Restaurants in Noida

After spending 20 years in Noida and watching it grow from an abandoned to a well-populated place, I thought it would only be right if I shared my love for the city, in the form of the gastronomic delights that lie within it. Enclosed below are 4 must visit restaurants of Noida.

1.) Barbeque Nation
Last weekends’ treat at BBQ Nation would always be remembered. One because of the crazy company I had and second, because of the place itself.

The warm greeting at the entrance with a bowl of sweets makes you feel like a king or queen. Then the best part is the grill that is kept at your table. Normally we see salt and pepper bottles or sauces kept on the table but BBQ Nation is different, they have all kinds of oils kept on table with BBQ brushes.

Talking about food, the starters are amazing and filling. Specially the vegetarian food served there is fabulous and so up to the mark. From veg kebabs, grilled potatoes, fried corns to tikkas; it’s a delightful place for vegetarians. For people like me, who’re hard core non-vegetarians, chicken drumsticks were good, and prawns and fish were too good to be true.

The main course was not as good, but the desserts compensated that. The rabri and firni grabbed my attention at first as both were served in small matkis, but taste wise, I loved the Gulab Jamun and ice cream.

 In conclusion, it is a good place, with good food, remarkable service and warm ambience.
Last but not the least, the amazing thing that we noticed was their ‘NO TIP TAKING POLICY’! How cool…J           

2.) Fortune Cookies
One of the oldest and most authentic places in NOIDA that serves Chinese food is Fortune Cookies.

Located in Sector 18, this restaurant is one of my favorite Chinese restaurants and really shows that ‘Old is Gold’. The red and black theme, with chinese craft work and lots of gold embellishments, give the feel of mini CHINA.  

All those who crave for authentic Chinese with minimal salt and perfect flavor, this is the place to be. The golden fried prawns, garlic chicken and chinese vegetables in Cashewnut gravy are just too delicious and appetizing. Though the food is a bit expensive, the quantity is good enough to balance it out. The service is the best part of this place, as no matter how crowded, you would be served without any delays.

One can surely trust this place when you are extremely hungry and just want to hog. Not to forget the interesting end, the Fortune cookies. Crack open those little cookies and read your fortune!

3.) Kaffiiaa
One of the places where I’ve spent most of my college days, hanging out with friends, is Kaffiiaa. The Italian restaurant in Sector 18 market has a lot of good memories associated with it. Its Pastas, Bruschetta’s, salads and even shakes, are good and delightful. It’s also one of the places that serves Hookah in Noida.

The ambience is very similar to the popular Big Chill, with Old Hollywood movie posters adorning the wall and comfortable red couches adding funkiness to the place. It is a place where you will find all age groups of people, from school kids to Amitians to corporate staff. It is one of the most happening places situated in the center of the market. So, all the Hookah lovers in Noida this is the place to visit if you haven’t.

4.) Karims
As I introduced myself earlier, am a hard core non-vergetarian. Now I’ve always wanted to go to Jama Masjid and try the alluring kebabs and chicken biryani. But no problem guys, my smart dad found a solution to this – Karims!

The KARIMS in Noida is the place to be if you like to eat well cooked, rich Mughlai food and never got a chance to visit Jama Masjid for Mughlai food. This outlet in Noida brings out the best of Mughlai food and the taste is exactly similar to its Jama Masjid outlet (As my Dad says).

Personally I Loved the Chicken Biryani and Kebabs. But it has more than just starters; the menu is filled with variety of chicken and mutton dishes. In vegetarian, Makhani Daal is a must try.

Tell us about your favorite places to eat in Noida?

- Mriga Arora, Contributing author 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Ultimate Foodie Quiz – test your food IQ!

Time and again a quick check on your food IQ is not a bad thing and that’s exactly what was done at the Saffola Masala Oats ‘The Other Side’ meet up. In an earlier post we revealed the exact flow of events that occurred on the day, but among all other interesting things, the foodie quiz was something we wanted to give special focus on, by means of this post.

A bunch of questions were asked to the 40+ group of food bloggers, all experts in their field and not many knew the answers, which showed the level of questions that were asked. Having said that, here go the same questions for you, to judge for yourselves how big a foodie you really are!

1.      The name Beefsteak is given to two ingredients, one is made of beef which is the other one?
(a) Tomato
(b) Onion
(c) Cauliflower

2.      What is that one thing that makes you go red when you eat carrots?
(a)    Carotene
(b)   The fibre

3.      Which is the best vegetable source of naturally occurring sodium
(a)    Apricot
(b) Celery
(c) Sun dried tomatoes

4.      In 1995, which plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space. Which plant was it?
(a)    Bananas
(b)   Apples
(c)    Potato plant

5.      Which is that one fruit which is more proficient at waking you up in the morning than coffee?
(a)    Apple
(b)   Grapes
(c)    Peach

6.      What is a Spanish Tortilla?
(a)    It’s a Spanish version of the commonly found chips
(b)   It’s a basic Spanish omlette        
(c)    There’s nothing called a Spanish Tortilla

7.      Which edible thing is an ingredient in dynamite?
(a)    Peanuts
(b)   Salt
(c)    Sugar

8.      How many honeybees does it take to produce one tablespoon of honey?
(a)    12
(b)   24
(c)    48

9.      Which is the only fruit which has its seeds on its outer skin?
(a)    Strawberries
(b)   Oranges
(c)    Blueberry

10.  Which was the first fruit eaten on the moon?
(a)    Pear
(b)   Peach
(c)    Banana

1(a), 2(a), 3(b), 4(c), 5(a), 6(b), 7(a), 8(a), 9(a), 10(b)

Now tell us honestly how many you got right?

- Compiled by Amit Roy and Karan Bhujbal