How Sandeep Pandit, An Indian By Birth, Wowed MasterChef Australia Judges
MasterChef Australia is definitely one of the most popular cooking reality shows in the world and India is no exception. The show is an Australian competitive cooking game which was conceptualized on the original British MasterChef. This show is produced by Shine Australia and now the Indian audience can watch the show on Hotstar. Restaurateur and Chef Gary Mehigan, Chef George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston are the three judges of this show.
In 2018, this season was won by Sashi Cheliah in the grand finale against Ben Borsht.
In the current season (2019), there’s one contestant who won our hearts and collective applauses – he is the Indian-born Sandeep Pandit. As Sandeep narrated himself at the beginning of the show, he left Kashmir with his family when he was just eight years old. He was born in Kashmir and was living there before militancy forced them to move to south India. The family had to leave all their possessions and migrate to Bengaluru in 1990.
He expressed his happiness and pride in exploring the culinary heritage of his native land which left the judges of the show impressed. “Because of poverty, we had to make do with what we had. This is how I cultivated interest in cooking by teaching myself how to cook well with very little,” says Sandeep Pandit.
Sandeep managed to mesmerize by preparing Rogan Josh, Yakhni, Muji Chetin, Dhungar, Kahwa, Kabargah Tehr and his highly acclaimed dish ‘Crayfish Masala’. He cooked a traditional spread of lemon rice, lemon chicken and raita which won him a perfect score of 30/30 in his immunity-pin cook against Andy Allen. Judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston minced no words while praising his crayfish masala and said that it could possibly be the best dish they've tried this season - and maybe the best dish from all 11 seasons so far!
Sandeep has an eight year old son, Siddhant, with his wife Prahalika. He said that his family is incredibly proud of his MasterChef journey.
Hotstar: Hotstar is an Indian streaming service owned by Novi Digital Entertainment, a subsidiary of Star India. You can subscribe to Hotstar to watch movies in English and regional languages & much more.
(Image Courtesy: https://www.theindianweekly.com.au)
Craving For Juicy Burgers? Here Are The Top Burger Places In Mumbai!
Are you one of them who can’t think beyond McDonald’s or Burger King when it comes to Burgers? Then, now it’s the time that you start exploring different other Burger places in your city. McD or Burger King is surely great places for quick and cost-effective Burger meals but a real foodie won’t get satisfied just by that. So, the foodies out there, once in a while, try out other places in Mumbai city which serves yummy Burgers. Here is some inspiration for you:
Hard Rock Café - Hard Rock Café is undoubtedly one of the best places in Mumbai where you can sample some cheesiest and tastiest Burgers. Very distinctly different than any other pub, Hard Rock Café plays Rock music of different varieties. They have The Barbeque Bacon Cheeseburger, which is a non-vegetarian’s delight whereas there’s something for the vegetarians as well. Try their Hard Rock Veggie Burger if you don’t eat meat.
Exercise caution in terms of ordering too much as the place is definitely expensive, so, save it for special occasions.
Address - Bombay Dyeing, Worli & Veera Desai Road, Andheri
Cost for two – Rs. 2,000/- approx. excluding Alcohol
Jimis Burgers- Famous for its ‘The Jaw Breaker’ Burger, this place in Malad is a paradise for you if you are a Burger lover and also a meat eater. If you stay that side or are there for any reason, don’t forget to make a visit to this humble place and order their Jaw Breaker Burger, for sure. The Burger has got seven layers out of which two each are of chicken patties, bacon, and salami. It also got one layer of fried egg and one of cheese. Order this only if you are suitably hungry or share it with a friend.
Address - Pleasant Park CHS, Evershine Nagar, Malad (W)
Cost for two – Rs. 700/- approx.
Fat Man’s Café - This quiet little place is popular among regulars for its brunch spread and they serve some of the most delicious Burgers. Settled near Bandra Reclamation, Fat Man’s Café also serves delicious Burger sliders besides Burgers. If you happen to be there, don’t forget to try their Rosemary Lamb slider and Chargrilled Chicken Burger with fried egg.
Address - ONGC Building 3, Reclamation, Bandra (W)
Cost for two – Rs. 1,500/- approx.
Salt Water Café - Salt Water Café offers one of the best sea-side views among Mumbai Cafés. The specialty of this place is one very special Burger which has a typical sweet and spicy taste to it. If you try this Burger, this will surely tease your taste- buds in a unique manner. If you are someone who loves to experiment with food, you will find this Burger, fascinating. This Burger has chicken bacon with spiced brie and cranberry jam, which give brings the uniqueness about it. You can also try their fish and chips Burger.
Address - 82, Nagin Mahal, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate
Cost for two – Rs. 1,200/- approx.
Image Courtesy: https://www.delish.com)
Best Places In Mumbai To Have Scrumptious Food During Ramadan
It’s the holy month of Ramadan and it’s also time for some lip-smacking Iftar! In the city of Mumbai, one is never short of option when it comes to delicious foods but this is one time when it becomes like a food festival for many in the city. If you are planning a food adventure during Ramadan and are looking for some inspiration; here are some:
Bade Miyan: Iconic Bade Miyan needs no introduction for Mumbaikars. Sitting humbly next to Minara Masjid Gate in South Mumbai, Bade Miyan serves super delicious Haleem besides its staple kebabs & Biriyanis. This place is crowded throughout the year but during Ramadan month, foodies from all over Mumbai cue up here for delicious food.
Approx. cost: Rs. 900/- for two people
Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar: This place serves authentic Haleem besides their other specialties like Mutton Biryiani, Chicken Tikka Biryiani, Rabri, Reshmi Paratha, Firni, Tandoori Chicken etc. Known for its quick and courteous staffs this place serves food which is value-for-money and delicious. This eatery is located at Marine Lines.
Approx. cost: Rs. 1,200/- for two people
Barah Handi: This place in Grant Road is famous for its special Paaya. Probably, your Ramadan food trail can never be completed without this delicacy which is cooked with great care and involves lots of complex steps. When you are there, don’t forget to sample their Khamiri roti which is as crispy as it gets.
Approx. cost: Rs. 450/- for two people
Chinese-n-Grill: Name of this place may confuse you but one look at their menu and you would know that you can’t give it a pass until you try their Nalli Nihari with Sheermal. Tucked in the foodie’s paradise, Mohammed Ali Road, this place would leave you wanting for more. While here, you can also try their Seekh kebab and Kaleji fry.
Approx. cost: Rs. 500/- for two people
(Image Courtesy: https://www.vogue.in/)
Want To Order Food Online? Here Are The Best Apps For You!
The market for food delivery apps in India is currently cluttered yet full of potential. Though it experienced a downward slump in 2016; it revived and the revenue in the Online Food Delivery segment amounts to US$7,092m this year. Revenue is expected to show CAGR 2019-2023 of 9.9%, resulting in a market volume of US$10,363m by 2023.
Considering the potential, many players have stepped into this market. Here are the few top ones:
Swiggy: This Company is based out of Bengaluru, India. Swiggy started with an objective of providing a completely online food ordering and delivery solution from the nearby outlets to the customers. Swiggy’s biggest strength went on to be its own exclusive fleet of delivery executives which allows them superb flexibility and that’s how they can still provide their customers a ‘no minimum order’ policy which has been one of their biggest USPs since the beginning of their journey.
Zomato Order: If you are a foodie, your phone must be having the ‘Zomato’ app in it. The app was launched in 2008 by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah. In the beginning, their business model was to provide reviews, and other information about all types of restaurants, pubs and bars. Next, they introduced online table reservation and online food delivery. Zomato is operational in 24 countries across the world and they have a very ambitious expansion plan.
Uber Eats: Uber Eats is gaining popularity very quickly, in all major cities including Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Delhi. Their mobile app is available on both Android and iOS. This business is owned by Uber Technologies, Inc. the pioneer and global leader among app-based taxi services. Uber Eats operates in 1000+ major cities around the world.
FoodPanda: FoodPanda is headquartered in Berlin and was launched in 2012. Foodpanda is operational in 40 countries across the world. It was launched in India in 2013 and has been operating with 10000+ restaurants in India. Foodpanda often offers attractive deals and discounts for its customers. The app is available for both iOS and Android users and it offers a nice and easy user experience.
(Image Courtesy: https://www.whatech.com/)
Top Places In Mumbai To Have Breakfast
They say, eat breakfast like a king! It’s a fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In today’s busy time, more than often, we have hurried breakfast before rushing to work but weekends are the perfect time when we can truly indulge in some tasty breakfast platters. There are many places in Mumbai where you can enjoy a healthy and kingly breakfast spread. Here’s some help for you:
The Yoga House: This place in suburban Bandra is housed in a Santorini-style bungalow. The theme eatery offers an excellent option to healing through tasty vegetarian food and yoga, Decorated in cornflower coloured walls, the place oozes warmth and peace. The food at The Yoga House uses ingredients like seeds, vegetables, and grains with healthy oils and homemade sauces. They offer all-day breakfast and freshly squeezed juices.
Average cost for 2: Around Rs. 1,500/-
Must-have: Signature Hash brown, Quinoa Burger
Fat Man’s Cafe: Fat Man’s Café (in Bandra & Juhu) is known for their king size breakfast portions. Any lazy Saturday or Sunday, head to one of their outlets to kick start your day with yummy breakfast dishes. The place offers delicious waffles, pancakes and a variety of egg dishes. Come once to go back there, again and again.
Average cost for 2: Around Rs. 1,500/-
Jamjar Diner: If you are in a mood of some juices and smoothies, head straight to this place (Versova) to feel good! The place wears a vibrant décor and easily comes in the list of Mumbai’s most favorite breakfast joints. When you are here, don’t forget to try waffles, eggs and toast with fun toppings.
Average cost for 2: Around Rs. 1,400/-
Must-have: Smoothie bowls
The Pantry: This place (Fort) is worth a visit for its beautiful décor, alone. The tasty breakfast is a cherry on top of the cake. Also, if you are a health-conscious person or are trying an alternative diet such as Veganism, they offer great vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free dishes.
Average cost for 2: Around Rs. 1,000/-
Must-have: Granola, gluten-free crepes
Aromas Café: If you stay around Andheri or Vikhroli, you must have heard the name of this Café which sits pretty in Hiranandani, Powai. This place offers excellent breakfast and casual dining options and is even ideal for a brunch meeting if you work nearby.
Average cost for 2: Around Rs. 1,000/-
Must-have: Roasted chicken burger, Grilled chicken sandwich
(Image Courtesy: https://horseshoeresort.com/)
Food Trends To Watch Out For In The Wedding Season!
Wedding season is here and besides all other sweet madness, food is one thing that is going to take the center stage. Let’s see how our plates would look like at wedding feasts:
Regional Cuisines is a hit: Indian regional cooking is gaining momentum and that’s getting reflected on wedding spreads as well. For last few years, in urban weddings, we saw a trend of international dishes in the menu; such as risotto, lasagne, or creme brulee but this year, regional dishes like daal baati churma, bohri samosa etc. are going to be served. We are already excited to sample some authentic regional food.
Moveable food counter: Meal on wheels has become a recent hit among Indians. Besides everyday eating out even modern wedding planners are experimenting with it, big time. Normally, Food trucks are used for serving Indian chaats like pani puri, kebabs, rolls etc. and even for global hits like sushi, mini burgers or cheese fingers,
Healthy food: Healthy eating has become one of the most popular eating styles these days. With increasing awareness about importance of eating right to keep fit, more and more people are considering to take the trend on to the wedding platter as well. From gourmet salads, wraps and rolls made with healthy grains, to desserts which are low on sugar – we are seeing the newest trend setting in,
If you are getting married this season, here are a few of the top wedding planners in Mumbai – Weddingwale, F5 Weddings, Weddings by Ekta Saigal Lulla, Bride & Baraat etc.
So, tie the knot and while we say Bon appétit!
Healthy Snacking Is Possible!
It’s an eternal struggle of a mother or a wife to plan a balanced diet for her kids and husband. When it comes to snacking, it becomes even a bigger challenge because of the availability of numerous packaged snack options in the market.
A typically balanced meal for an adult individual would always be a combination of good carb, protein, veggies and enough fluid. If you love Indian food, rotis or paranthas made of multigrain Atta and vegetables are good meal choice for you. However, if you like non-vegetarian food, you can try mixing eggs and meat with your paranthas.
The real problem though is the snacking. The ‘in-between’ meals hunger is what always throws you the bigger challenges. Be it an evening snack or a late night cravings, you tend to pick up a pack of chips or namkeens, a bottle of fizzy drink or a chocolate bar. Although there’s not much harm in having them once in a while, if you happen to fall for such traps every now and then, then you should think how you can curb such cravings.
Cookies, cakes, namkeens – almost everything contains flour (mostly maida). What if you substitute maida with multigrain aata (Aashirvaad Atta with multigrains is a very good choice for you) and bake cookies or cakes etc. It will be doubly awesome if you throw in dry-fruits, nuts, dried fruits etc. into your cakes and cookies.
If you are not a cookie or cake person, you can try fruits with cottage cheese or home-made hung yogurt; for example, split banana and cut strawberry with cottage cheese. Epigamia, Dannon etc are good yogurt brands which are readily available in the market.
It’s not really difficult to eat healthy; all it takes is a little planning and a lot of strong will.
Winter Delicacies Of India You Don’t Want To Miss!
Come winter and there is this awesome vibe in the air which entices us to eat more, eat rich! When it’s sweltering hot outside, we tend to keep aside heavy foods and go for light meals but winter is the time when we truly feel like indulging.
India has to offer countless winter delicacies, from different parts of the country, both sweet and savory. Winter is the season when the vegetable market is full of seasonal fresh vegetables which are high on goodness of nature. As we are about to welcome the season, let us reminisce a few winter delicacies from different states of India.
Nolen Gurer Sandesh: Ask a Bengali why they wait all year to taste Nolen Gurer Sandesh which is an exclusive winter produce and they will tell you the date palm jaggery which is only found in winters makes this Sondesh what it is. This sweet dish is a mouthful of heaven and nothing short of it.
(Image Courtesy: https://www.scoopwhoop.com/)
Sarson ka saag: Punjab, the land where the freshest of the vegetables are grown all year round offers this epic dish which has numerous mentions in literature and movies of all times. This dish is cooked with green sarson leaf which is produced only during a very short duration in winter. The saag is traditionally served with Makki ki Roti shimmered in ghee.
(Image Courtesy: MEnutritious)
Undhiyo: This mixed vegetable dish was originated in Surat, Gujrat. The name of this dish has come from the Gujrati word ‘Undhu’ which means upside down. This dish is traditionally cooked upside down underground in earthen pots. The dish is made with winter produces of south Gujrat such as green beans, eggplants, potatoes, yam, unripe banana etc. Sometimes, the dish is finished with fresh grated coconut sprinkled on top of it.
(Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen)
Beetroot Thoran: Thoran is a traditional dish from Kerala while beetroot thoran is a winter specialty. This dish cooked with fresh Beetroot which is produced during winter with turmeric and chilies. This easy-to-make dish is easy on stomach and mellow on taste-buds.
(Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen)
If you want to find a slice of Bengal, Gujrat or Punjab in Mumbai, you are spoilt for choices. There are many regional restaurants in and around Mumbai which serve authentic winter dishes like the ones we talked about above. You may try Sweet Bengal for Nolen Gurer Sondesh, Hiralal Kashidas Bhajiawala for Undhiyo or Urban Tadka for Sarson ka Saag.
(Image Courtesy: https://food.ndtv.com/)
Keto Diet- Fab Or Fad
Ketones are produced extremely in the body when there are fewer intakes of carbohydrates (rice, wheat) and judicious amounts of protein with it. The liver produces ketones from fat. These ketones then serve as an energy source throughout the body, especially for the brain. On a ketogenic diet, your whole body switches its energy supply to run mostly on fat, burning fat 24-7.
It is also called as Ketogenic diet. Some other terms related to it is Low-carbohydrate diet, Palaeolithic diet, Atkins diet.
In this diet, the amount of carbohydrates is very low and it is a high-fat diet. The diet significantly reduces the number of carbohydrates in the body and replaces it with fat; this process is called as ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes extremely capable of burning fat for energy. It further reduces the blood sugar and insulin levels.
There are a number of ketogenic diets namely –
As surprising as it sounds consuming high-fat diet can help one reduce weight. One study established that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet. Triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels also improved. There are several reasons why a ketogenic diet is better than a low-fat diet, including the increased protein intake, which provides abundant benefits. The ketogenic diet is beneficial for those suffering from type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. In yet another study, the ketogenic group lost 11.1 kg, compared to 6.9 kg in the higher-carb group. This is a vital benefit when considering the link between weight and type 2 diabetes. Hence the ketogenic diet can improve insulin level and cause fat loss leading to major benefits.
It is also important to know people having the listed things shouldn’t go under a keto – diet
They should contact their doctors before opting for the diet.
Lets again move back and see what the other benefits of keto – diet are
What to eat in a keto-diet?
The carb intake for the diet should only range from 50g to 100g. Try to avoid food items like rice, potato, bread, chocolate bar, banana, other fruits, beans or legumes, unhealthy fats as they bring in a lot of carbs with them. The food should mainly be high in fat, and only moderately high in protein, as excess protein can be converted to blood sugar in the body.
Things to eat in a keto – diet is natural fats like butter, olive oil, meat, eggs, vegetables, fish, cheese, meat, avocados, low – carbohydrate vegetables.
For the liquid intake, one can drink coffee, tea and avoid sweetening drinks like aerated drinks and wine.
Let’s see the different keto – diet recipes to follow –
First one is the plan for one week, and the diet given is day wise.
As you see the above diet plan, a good amount of protein intake is visible in form of meat, pork, and chicken along with the other nutrients.
Let us see a good recipe for keto – diet
Name – keto bread
Along with so many benefits, there are also some side – effects to keto – diet, some of them are listed below –
That’s all about the essential things of a keto – diet, there are a number of ketos – diet charts available online, it is suggested that one should consult a dietician for diet charts as they prepare it according to the patient’s body habits and needs. Also, there are exciting recipes of keto – a diet which mainly includes meat and chicken available online.
So, is Keto diet fab or fad?
Keto Diet is very beneficial and shows great results in a very less span of time, many people all over the world are slowly experimenting with this diet and are happy with the result. The ketogenic diet is usually a very safe diet with no major health risks reported from the people trying keto – diet. However, because you are switching your metabolism from carb-fuelled to fat-fuelled for the first time, you should pay attention to a few body markers and be careful if you have any pre-existing health conditions. People suffering from conditions like kidney stones, high cholesterol, thyroid, pregnancy should avoid keto-diet as it can have a bad side effect to the body. In any key change in diet or exercise, you should consult with your doctor so that they can guide you whether this diet is safe for you, and especially if you are a Type 1 diabetic, it is concerning that you should not start keto-diet without close supervision by a doctor because you could go into ketoacidosis which is a dangerous condition. But for most people, the keto diet is a safe way to lose weight, increase energy, improve sleep, help with many autoimmune conditions, and many other things.
Best New Year Buffet In The Town
Mumbai is the megacity of India which is known to be a great attraction for entertainment and exotic cuisines among the people. This city is densely populated and every year thousands of people are settling into this city in order to do a job, study or starting a new career.
People here are known to be fun loving and they spend their leisure time with family and friends in restaurants, resorts, clubs and more exotic places. New Year party is one thing which is planned by the people in the early December as they want to make the party memorable for them. Mumbai is home to many restaurants that offer an exquisite buffet in the New Year night with exotic dishes and heartwarming environment. In the night of celebration, it is difficult to find a place to celebrate as the seats are occupied and there is very less vacancy available for the people so it is necessary to book the table in your favourite place.
Some of the Best places for Buffet in the Town are: -
1. JW Cafe
Situated at the IA project Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Andheri, Mumbai this place awaits you for its unparalleled luxury and world-class service. It offers exotic flavors from various food options such as Japanese, Indian, Asian, Thai, Chinese and many more. This place is review to be a perfect place to forget everyday hustle-bustle and spend some quality time with family and friends. The place becomes a great attraction at the New Year night as it hosts some of the best buffet in the town which will ignite your taste buds and makes you feel good.
The top dishes which are ordered by the people are Waffles, Sushi, Pasta, Veg burgers and many more. In the New Year Buffet the restaurant offers many dishes from North Indian, Asian, Continental and Italian which people love.
This place is a destination for many people to celebrate the starting of a new year so it is recommended to book a table before the night to experience the best of this restaurant.
2.Lake View Cafe
This beautiful place is at Renaissance Mumbai Convention central hotel, 2 and amp, 3B, chinmayanand ashram, Powai, Mumbai. The ambience is top notch but what makes it one of the favorite among the people is its service. This place offers various exotic dishes from North Indian, Chinese and Italian which are touched from some ethnic flavors. This place is kid friendly making it a perfect place to spend the New Year night.
As you sip on a cocktail and watch the panoramic view with palm fronds swaying to the breeze of Powai Lake, you will begin to fell in love with the place.
It is recommended to book a seat for the New Year party as it hosts some of the best New Year buffet in town so it becomes crowded. This place is truly a place to recreate time, have fun and make this night memorable.
3. Lotus Café
Arrayed around a lotus pond, this relaxed hotel venue is open for international food for 24 hours. It is located at the JW Marriot, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai. It is known for gourmet dishes for 24/7 and hosting one of the best buffet in the Town for New Year night celebration. It offers cuisines such as Italian, continental, north Indian and Asian. The Top dishes which are at the Buffet are Pasta, Marriott Burger, Pizza, Cocktails and many more. The exquisite flavors from different cuisines attract many people to come here and have a great time with their family and friends.
The view and heartwarming place fill the people with ecstasy and make it a perfect place to spend the night.
The place becomes quite crowded in the New Year night so it is recommended to book a seat earlier as it one of the hotspot for gathering and get together.
4. The Lalit Mumbai
This 24/7 restaurant is located at Sahar Airport Rd, Navpada, Marol, Andheri East, Mumbai. It is reviewed to be a place which makes you to dive to the bottom of the plate as it lays out exquisite seafood grills cooked in a variety of styles with a live food counter. It will be a beautiful experience for the people as it serves one of the best buffets in town and the delicious dishes from European, Italian, North-Indian and Asian. The exquisite flavors of the international dishes are garnished with ethnic spices.
The place is heartwarming and beautiful which attracts many people for the New Year Night celebration.
The place is quite in demand in the celebration time so it is recommended to book a seat earlier to make the night special and memorable.
5. Boulevard- The Orchid
The Orchid hotel is situated at level 1, 70/C, Nehru Road, Adjacent to Domestic Airport, vile Parle East, Mumbai. A true place for buffets this place is considered to be Eco friendly as it is based on the beautiful orchid hotel. The Ambience is that of an old world which charms everyone who comes to this place. It’s been a favorite among the people as it serves some of the most delicious food in the buffet such as North Indian and Seafood. The Top dishes which are ordered in this 24/7 restaurant are Paneer Lababdar, Dum Biryani, Bhuna Gosht, Masala Tea, Brownie, Chaat and Dahipuri.
It is open for 24 hours so it is recommended to book a table for the New Year Buffet so you can experience this place and make this night special and memorable.
Image courtesy-Global buffet, Andheri West
Vegan Diet: Just A Fad Or A Better Life Choice?
Veganism is fast gaining popularity, not just globally but also among Indians. By definition, a vegan diet consists of plant-based foods and beverages while completely devoid of animal products. The core objective of Vegans all around the world is to eradicate the consumption of living beings and produces which come from living beings. The main difference between Vegans and Vegetarians is the later consume dairy and eggs, but Vegans don’t even use any animal byproducts as foods. Vegans don’t eat meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products and their entire diet is made of veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, and grains.
If you are planning to the Vegan way, you can face a lot of challenges at the beginning. There are a lot of information is available online on this topic and it’s quite easy to get lost in that. You may encounter a lot of questions such as ‘what Vegan food should I eat so that my body gets enough energy?’ ‘What kind of groceries should I stock?’ Here are a few useful tips –
Plan ahead: Before going plant-based, one should do a fair amount of research which might include rounds to the local supermarket. Vegan produces may not be available easily in all the supermarkets; hence you should consider online grocery stores and other available sources to stock up on kitchen.
(Image Courtesy: https://www.st-christophers.co.uk)
Street Food And Healthy? We Say, Possible!
Street food is rarely considered to be healthy, not at least in India. The moment we say street food, all we can imagine is over-fried, dripping-in-oil, high-on-carb and stale munchies which are sold by vendors, almost on every busy street of Indian cities, towns and villages.
Let’s face it; we all crave for the yummy street foods once in awhile but what about the consequences? The task in hand to identify the healthier options of street foods for you and it’s a tough job! Let’s see what we have got here.
Sweet Potato Chaat/Shakarkandi
Image Courtesy: http://images.mapsofindia.com/
Come winter and streets of North India will start selling this extremely delicious and healthy snack, called Shakarkandi. It’s nothing but boiled sweet potato chunks tossed in Indian spices, a dash of lemon, salt and pepper. You can simply have plain roasted sweet potato as well. Sweet Potato is an extremely healthy vegetable which aids weight loss and is loaded with Vitamins A, B, C, Iron and other nutrients.
Corn on the cob/Bhutta
Image Courtesy: Pinterest
It’s difficult to resist the urge to bite into a piping hot Bhutta being sold on the street when it’s pouring. The great Indian corn is a healthier street snack option which is low in calories, fat, and is a rich source of anti-oxidants. A corn on the cob is best enjoyed when a pinch of salt, chat masala and lemon juice are sprinkled. However, this is eaten in various form in various parts of India. Below is one such hugely popular snack called, Bhutte ka Kees which is widely consumed in the state of Madhya Pradesh and is made of grated corn.
Image Courtesy: Rediff
Image Courtesy: Migrationology.com
Fruits need no introduction when it comes to healthy eating. Almost all fruits are high on anti-oxidants and possibly the healthiest choice when it comes to street foods. It’s said that the best way to have fruits is in assortment. To balance the sweet taste of Indian fruits, you can mix Chaat masala in moderation. However, be careful about one thing, choose only those stalls where freshly cut fruits are sold, it’s an absolutely no-no to eat fruits which were cut long back.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
This one is a mouth-watering Gujarati snack which is made of of gram flour and subsequently steamed. As a streamed variant, it’s healthier as compared to the fried variants. The fermentation of the Daal further enhances its nutritive value. Gujratis love to pair it with green and red chutney and a unique accompaniment called Sambharo which is made of grated raw papaya
Image Courtesy: WeRecipes
Image Courtesy: Indobase
This snack is quintessentially Bengali. It’s a yummier version of Bhel which is eaten in other parts of India. Jhal Muri is a mixture of puffed rice, green chilies, onion-tomato, coriander, secret spices, peanuts and slices of coconut. The dash of mustard oil makes it tastier but less healthy. So, it’s best avoided; instead you can ask for extra green chilies to add to the punch.
Our streets are not full of junk, if we may say so! It takes a bit f research and alertness to choose the right options. So, dig in and let us know your healthy snack recipes in the comment section.
Authored: 9amstories editorial
Image Courtesy: http://images.mapsofindia.com/
The Underrated Vegetables Indians Should Brace For Good Health
We Indians are high on spicy and oily food, at least in most parts of the country. When we are asked to lose weight or to eat healthier for a physical condition, we want to do it in a fad way. Going for a western style diet may be a trendy way to announce that you are choosing a healthier life on Facebook; but do we really need a Kale or a Broccoli when we have the mighty Fenugreek leaves or Pointed Gourd?
We love to eat; let’s face it, many of us live to eat. Every Indian state has its own variety and specialties. There are numerous traditional and modern ways to cook vegetables the Indian way and believe you me; most of them are damn tasty.
Let’s look at the jewels our Sabji Mandis got!
Pointed Gourd or Parwal
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Easy to digest, Parwal is a humble vegetable which is rarely grown outside of India. The vegetable is rated as one of the nutritious choices which is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin C. Parwal is also a very less calorie food and helps to keep your cholesterol levels in control. According to Ayurveda, Pointed gourd is also beneficial for purification of blood.
So, go grab those beauties next time you plan to buy Lettuce! (No offence to Lettuce though, as that too is a healthy option). If you may ask about the taste, once treated with respect and a little creativity, Parwal can do wonders. Below is ‘Potoler Dolma’ or stuffed Parwal, commonly eaten in Bengal where Parwals are stuffed with a tangy and tasty mixture of shrimps and masalas.
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Plantain Stem & Flower
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Plantain flowers and stems are commonly eaten in eastern India and parts of south India. It has got many local names, like ‘Mocha’ in Bengal. These small flowers are loaded with health benefits and are considered one of the best foods for lactating mothers and diabetics. It is also believed to help high blood pressure patients and cases of Ulcers.
Below is ‘Mochar Chop’ which is a fried ball made of Plantain flower and is unbelievably scrumptious when eaten with pungent mustard sauce. This delicacy is regularly consumed in eastern parts of the country.
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Although typically this is a fruit but unripe jack fruit is cooked as a vegetable in some parts of India. Jack fruit is extremely rich in has potassium which lowers blood pressure. It is also a rich source of vitamin, minerals, carbohydrate, electrolytes, fiber and fat. Jack Fruit regulates the levels of thyroid in human body.
Unripe tender Jack Fruit curry or poriyal is eaten across Kerala. It’s also widely eaten across north-east and eastern parts of India.
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Fenugreek leaves, lovingly called Methi in many parts of the country is a native of Indian subcontinent. Methi Saag is a super friend for your kidneys. Also for diabetics, Methi helps immensely to regulate insulin levels.
You can never run out of cooking ideas when it comes to Fenugreek leaves. It is eaten as dry side-dish, stuffing for Paratha (Indian bread), Fritters etc.
Time to dig in some Methi Pakora (Fritters) with hot chai when it rains! (and when it doesn’t, too)
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Authored: 9amstories editorial
Good Morning, India! Start Your Day With A Healthy Breakfast
Next time when you rush out the door in the morning without eating something healthy, remember that skipping breakfast can lead you to overeating throughout the day. Doctors say correctly that a healthy and hearty meal early in the day will load you up with energy, keep your mood upbeat and keep you fit and alert for the entire day.
We Indians are blessed when it comes to delicious food choices, inspired by regional recipes from different parts of the country. Our foods are tasty, flavorful and can be healthy too if cooked in a proper manner.
Here are a few healthy Indian breakfast dishes which are surely going to give your days a powerful kick start.
Green Moong Daal Dosa
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This power-packed dish brings the goodness of cereal and pulse which gives you adequate protein at the beginning of the day. These are thin and crisp Indian pancakes made of Moong Daal and rice which are rich in fibre and vitamin.
You can use par-boiled rice which is commonly known as Ukda Chawal for extra benefits. Another way to make it healthier is to use less oil and salt. This is popularly paired with Coconut chutney, however, you can improvise and can have it with Tomato salsa or Sambhar as well.
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Upma is a favorite breakfast dish across the country but it’s more frequently consumed in South India. This dish is made of ‘Rava’ or ‘Rawa’ and can be prepared in very short time which is ideal for working professionals.
You can add vegetables like carrots, beans, green pea etc. to make it packed with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and iron. Upma made of wheat Rava is digested slowly which keeps you full for longer. The vitamins present in wheat Rava especially Vitamin B and E boost one’s immune system.
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Traditionally, chila is a thin pancake made of Gram flour and Tomato but you can turn this into a healthier option by using Jowar and whole wheat flour making it a great source of protein and vitamin A. This simple dish, made of either Gram flour or Jowar is full of Protein which can be made tastier if grated vegetables or Paneer is mixed in the batter. Chilas are best enjoyed with green coriander chutney or a dollop of butter.
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Idli is one of the healthiest breakfast choices you can make. Idlis are full of vitamins, minerals and carbohydrate and cooked in zero oil which makes them a very healthy dish. However, you can take its health quotient to another level by simply punch in some Palak (Spinach) in the batter. Palak is one super-food for its wholesome nutritional values and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Thepla is a staple breakfast dish in Gujrat which is cooked using a combination of spices and flavor. It is mainly made of wheat flour, Fenugreek leaves and Indian spices. Theplas are healthy, filling and are also low in calories and saturated fats. Another excellent advantage of Thepla is they can be stored for long and hence can be carried while traveling.
Authored: 9amstories editorial
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5 Offbeat Indian Dishes That You Must Try
Indian cuisine is much much more than Butter Chicken and Rava Masala Dosa and a true food enthusiast will vouch for the variety and complexity of many lesser-known dishes that come from different Indian states.
Every Indian state is blessed with individual styles of cooking and local ingredients and the diversity is simply astonishing. Here are a few uncommon preparations of different states of India which will certainly wake up the foodie in you.
Eromba from Manipur
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Eromba is one the most popular dishes of the north-eastern state of Manipur. Eromba is typically made with steamed or boiled vegetables such as stink bean, yam or bamboo shoots etc., king chili and fermented fish. The look and consistency of this dish are much like chutney.
Suran Chutney from Bihar
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The popular Suran chutney or ole chutney from Bihar is a flavorful yet simple preparation. This dish is made from yam and is rich with mustard flavor. This dish is among the regional Indian dishes which aren’t cooked often these days. Suran chutney is a vegetarian’s delight and easy to cook. The only thing one needs to be careful of is that certain variety of yams can cause itching while eating. So, be careful in choosing yam for this recipe.
Raja Mircha Pork from Nagaland
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The residents of Nagaland love their Raja Mircha or the sizzling Naga chilies. For the inexperienced, this chili is so hot that you should be wearing gloves while handling it. The more common name of this chili is Bhut Jholokia. Raja mircha pork is made from this chili and pork meat. This dish should ideally be eaten with white sticky rice. One thing is for sure that this dish is not for the faint-hearted.
Gushtaba from Jammu And Kashmir
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You may have tasted the more famous Kashmiri dishes such as kahwah, rogan josh or yakhni but you just can’t miss this delicious dish from Kashmir which is called Gushtaba. This delicacy is made with minced lamb meat and lamb. Small round balls of meat are cooked in a rich yogurt based gravy. If you are a non-vegetarian, this is a must try for you.
Bajre Ki Khichdi from Haryana
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This humble khichdi is healthier because it’s made of bajra (millet). This dish is eaten in Haryana and it releases awesome aroma while being cooked. You can try this simple recipe easily at home and this wholesome khichdi will surely warm your heart after a tiring day. You can pair it with raita made of curd.
Authored by 9amstories.com Editorial