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Food Lite Blogs

Chef Kunal Kapur’s Eid Feast

As we draw near to Eid-ul-Fitr, a joyous occasion that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It is the time for get-togethers with family and friends where food plays a central role. To enhance this celebration, Chef Kunal Kapur recommends traditional dishes like Hyderabadi Haleem and Sheer Khurma for a heartwarming and memorable celebration.

These recipes prepared with the right ingredients and cooked in healthy blended oil with a good balance of MUFA and PUFA, antioxidants and vitamins, promise a delicious and satisfying dining experience.

Hyderabadi Haleem | Preparation time: 2 hours & 20 mins

A traditional high-protein savoury recipe that packs a unique flavour and texture along with nutritional benefits.

Ingredients:

For Grains & Dals:

50gm or ½ cup of Broken Wheat (Dalia) 

2 tablespoons of Barley (Jau)  

1 tablespoon of split Bengal Gram (Chana dal) 

1 tablespoon of skinless Black Gram (Urad dal dhuli)

1 tablespoon of skinless Moong Dal (Moong dal dhuli)

1 tablespoon of Red Lentils (Masoor dal)

5-6 nos. of Almond (Badam) 

5-6 nos. of Cashew Nut (Kaju)  

1 litre of Water 

For Mutton Marination:

½ kg of Mutton

250gms of Mutton bones (optional) 

Salt – to taste

1 teaspoon of Turmeric

1¼ tablespoon of Chili powder 

1 teaspoon of Garam masala 

1 teaspoon of Black Pepper powder 

2 tablespoons of Ginger garlic paste

¾ cup or180 grams of Curd

For Cooking:

5 tablespoons of Ghee or 3.75 tablespoons of SaffolaGold Oil 

2 nos. of Cinnamon stick (Dalchini)

8-10 nos. of Cardamom (Elichi)

8-10 nos. of Cloves (Laung)

10-12 nos. of Peppercorn (Kalimirch)

8-10 nos. of AllSpice (Kebab Chini)

2 teaspoons of Caraway seeds (Shahi Jeera) 

½ cup of sliced Onion

2-3 nos. of slit Green chillies 

Handful of Coriander leaves

Handful of Mint

Salt – as required

1 litre of Water 

For Garnish:

Fried onions 

Fried cashews 

Mint and Coriander leaves

Steps to follow:

Take a deep-rested bowl and add the grains, dals and nuts in it. Wash and rinse them twice with water. Pour a litre of water and allow the mix to soak for at least an hour

Put it to boil (including the water) and ensure the mix turns soft. Add more water while boiling, if required

Once the mix is cooked, remove it from heat and rest it to cool. Then, pour it into a mixer grinder, grind it to a paste, and set it aside

Take a deep-rested bowl, and put the meat and the bones in it. Add all the spices, salt, ginger garlic paste and curd over the meat and mix them well. Allow it to marinate for at least 30mins

Heat ghee or Saffola Gold oil in a pressure cooker. Place cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, allspice, shahijeera and temper them. Then, add onions and fry them till golden brown 

Now, add the marinated meat and cook it on high heat for 15-20 mins to ensure the meat absorbs all the flavours 

Add fresh mint and coriander leaves while cooking the meat, then pour water and close the cooker lid. Cook on high heat, until the cooker gives the first whistle. Then lower the heat, and cook the meat for another hour till it is soft and tender

Post an hour, turn off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to sit for 10 mins. With a steady hand, release the steam and open the cooker lid. Take a ladle and scoop some of the oil or ghee floating on top of the meat onto a separate bowl

Strain the meat from the curry and remove all the bones using a pair of tongs. Transfer the thin curry onto a kadhai and add the strained meat back into it. Use a masher to gently press the meat. No need to turn on the heat, at this stage

Add the puréed mix to the meat curry and turn on the heat. Continue mashing the meat with the masher for 10 more mins. Allow the meat porridge to come to a boil. Once it starts to release ghee from the mixture, check the salt seasoning and if needed, you can add a bit of ghee that was removed earlier

Cook until the Haleem slides smoothly off the spatula. Arrange it on a serving plate and garnish it with fried onions, fried cashews, mint and coriander leaves to top up the savoury porridge. Serve it hot and drizzle some leftover ghee before serving

Sheer Khurma | Preparation time: 30 mins | Serves: 4

It is an easy-to-prepare and one of the most popular desserts that is nourishing and delicious in equal measure.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of Desi Ghee or 2.25 tablespoons of Saffola Gold oil

1 tablespoon of Almondette (Chironji)

1 tablespoon of chopped Pista

1 tablespoon of chopped Walnut 

1 tablespoon of chopped Almond

5-7 nos of Dates (Chuara)

1 litre of Milk (full fat)

A pinch of Saffron 

½ teaspoon of Cardamom powder

½ cup of Sugar

40 gms or a handful of Wheat Vermicelli (Semiyan)

Steps to follow:

Take a pan, and add 1½ tablespoons of ghee or a tablespoon of Saffola Gold oil. Add chironji, pista, almond, walnuts and dates and stir it

Pour milk into the pan, then add saffron, cardamom powder and sugar into it. Keep stirring the mixture until the milk is reduced to half

Take another pan, add the remaining ghee or Saffola Gold oil and fry the broken semiyan till lightly brown

Pour the reduced milk over the semiyan and cook foranother 8-10 mins. Keep an eye on the pan to see when the milk has reached desired the consistency 

Remove from heat and serve hot or cold

Indulge in these traditional recipes and spice up your Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations. So go ahead and feast upon these traditional delights, creating memorable moments with loved ones as you savour each delectable bite.

ALSO READ-Eid Al Fitr: Emirates expands flight schedules

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Food Lite Blogs

Nutrition and Fertility

Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but it also plays a significant role in fertility. Proper hydration is often overlooked…writes Dr. Sulbha Arora

Proper nutrition serves as a foundation for fertility as the food we consume can have a big impact on our ability to conceive and it drastically influences both male and female reproductive health. With informed dietary choices, individuals can improve their fertility potential and increase their chances of conceiving.

Key Nutrients for Fertility:

When it comes to conceiving, certain nutrients play an important role in supporting reproductive function. These include:

Folic Acid: Critical for fetal development and reducing the risk of birth defects

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Support hormonal balance and promote overall reproductive health

Iron: Important for maintaining healthy blood levels and fertility

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is also crucial as it helps with egg maturation and embryo implantation

Zinc: It is necessary for sperm production in men

Eating a nutrient-rich diet not only boosts fertility but also increases the chances of having a healthy pregnancy. Foods like leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, and lean meats prepare the human body for conception.

The Impact of Sugar and Processed Foods

Consuming high levels of sugar and processed foods can hurt fertility. These foods may taste delicious, but they can damage our bodies in the long run. Excessive consumption of sugar has been linked to various health issues like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Processed foods are full of artificial ingredients and preservatives that can trouble our metabolism and gut health. They also tend to be high in unhealthy fats and sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure, inflammation in the body, disturb hormone levels, and negatively impact reproductive function. By limiting these items intake and focusing on whole, nutrient-rich foods, individuals can make their bodies more fertility-friendly.

The Role of Hydration in Fertility

Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but it also plays a significant role in fertility. Proper hydration is often overlooked. Proper hydration ensures that all bodily functions are working optimally, including reproductive health. Staying hydrated supports the body’s natural functions, including hormone balance and the production of cervical mucus. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in cervical mucus production, making it harder for sperm to reach the egg and implant successfully. In addition, being properly hydrated can help regulate hormone levels, support egg quality, and enhance uterine lining thickness—all factors are important in fertility. It’s recommended to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, but individual needs may vary depending on factors like activity level and climate. 

Creating a Fertility-Focused Meal Plan

Developing a meal plan that is rich in fertility-supporting nutrients foods is key to improving reproductive health. Incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the body with the essential nutrients it needs for hormonal balance and optimal fertility. One should focus on maintaining blood sugar levels throughout the day by including complex carbohydrates like quinoa and sweet potatoes. Additionally, prioritize healthy fats from sources like avocado and olive oil to support hormone production and should aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day. And finally, consider consulting with a healthcare provider or nutritionist for personalized guidance for specific needs and goals. 

In conclusion, by paying attention to the foods you eat and making conscious choices you can improve your reproductive health and can conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Prioritizing nutrient-rich foods, staying hydrated, and avoiding processed food items can lead to a successful fertility journey.

ALSO READ-St. Jude India Unveils ‘Happy Healthy Meals’ Cookbook

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Poshmaal Festival Celebrates Kashmiri Pandit Cuisine

Instead of the poet’s ‘garland of flowers’, we were treated to a cornucopia of flavours and a procession of food that brought out the depth of the Valley’s Pandit cuisine, which has been overshadowed by the fame of the Wazwan table that the Muslims lay out on festive occasions…reports Asian Lite News

The Kashmiri word ‘poshmaal’ at once brings to one’s mind Shankar Mahadevan’s mellifluous rendition in ‘Mission Kashmir’ of the 19th-century romantic poet Rasul Mir’s lyrical love ballad, whose refrain is: ‘Rind posh maal gindane drai lo lo’ (When the shadow of the posh maal, or garland of flowers, is so enchanting, what would be the effect of her physical presence).

The song, which is sung in Kashmir on all celebratory occasions, ironically, is the one Hrithik Roshan’s character belts out before he engages in the hateful act of blowing up Srinagar’s television tower.

But at the Kashmiri Pandit food festival named Poshmaal, which just concluded at The Lodhi in New Delhi, there was only love floating in the nippy breeze that made sitting in the vast outdoors area of the luxury hotel’s all-day restaurant a pleasure.

Instead of the poet’s ‘garland of flowers’, we were treated to a cornucopia of flavours and a procession of food that brought out the depth of the Valley’s Pandit cuisine, which has been overshadowed by the fame of the Wazwan table that the Muslims lay out on festive occasions.

Fortunately for Pandit cuisine, it has found celebrated guardians — the Gurugram restaurant Matamaal and singer-turned-chef Sanjay Raina, for instance — and now Rahul Wali, who’s a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef specialising in European cuisine, has become the ambassador of a culinary tradition he left behind in Srinagar after his family fled the city in 1990 with a suitcase packed with whatever his parents could stuff into it.

The cuisine travelled in his memories and in the food cooked by his mother and grandmother, and after years spent serving European food, Wali decided to go back to his roots.

If the meal prepared by him, which I polished off with my better half, who’s a Kashmiri Pandit, and whose mother is one of the best cooks I know of, was any reason for me to bubble over with love, then it can only be said that Wali’s change of heart has been for the good of all of us hungry souls. And he has found a talented mate in chef-entrepreneur Sidakpreet Singh, who shares his passion for putting Pandit cuisine on the map of global gastronomy.

What sets Kashmiri Pandit cuisine apart, I asked Wali. He pointed out that it must be the only mutton-led cuisine in the country that doesn’t use onions, garlic or tomatoes. And the Pandit kitchen also keeps a minimal number of spices — compared to Awadhi cuisine, it is almost Spartan — believing in the philosophy of getting the most out of the least. The spices used include fennel powder (‘saunf’), dry ginger powder (‘sonth’), red chilli powder, turmeric (‘haldi’), cumin powder (‘zeera’) and asafoetida (‘heeng’).

Our meal included surprises such as ‘warimuth’ kababs made with the jet black turtle beans and ‘sheyeem’, based on a 130-year-old recipe that the chef got from his grandmother — it’s very European in its presentation, being roulades of mutton mince, but the Kashmiri Pandit touch came from the spiced yoghurt gravy (‘yakhni’), which uplifted the preparation on the palate. There was also a havan dal made with whole moong dal cooked in ghee. It proved how the best things in life come in the simplest packages.

My way of checking out a chef’s expertise in Kashmiri Pandit cooking is to ask for two dishes — kabargah, or mutton ribs stewed in spices and fried, which can be overdone in overbearing hands, and haak, or collard greens cooked in a gently flavoured heeng gravy, which can be ruined if the heeng is not dealt with delicately.

Wali cleared the test with flying colours and we were in the mood for more — my favourites: dum aloo, where what to watch is how deep into the potatoes the red chilli gravy is able to penetrate; and, of course, the gold standard, roghan josh, a flavourful mutton preparation cooked in a Kashmiri red chilli gravy. All you need is saffron rice to do full justice to these beauties.

Having a love-hate relationship with paneer, or czaman, as the Kashmiris would call it, I make it a point to check out a chef’s comfort levels with this much-abused ingredient.

Again, Wali was able to reaffirm my faith in Kashmiri Pandit cuisine with his chaman qaliya, an addictive preparation of paneer cubes cooked in milk and haldi. Your doctor would certainly recommend it.

The chef also took care of his spread of chutneys — the ones from the Kashmiri Pandit table, the ‘czetin’, are indeed special: radish strips (mujj) and yoghurt; walnut (dyon); and dried pomegranate (dean). Given an opportunity, I can make a meal out of just the ‘mujj’ chetin (talking about mujj, you must have the Kashmiri Pandit speciality, mujj gaad, or fish and radish cooked together; no Kashmiri Pandit meal is complete without it). Wali, however, impressed me with his dry pomegranate chutney.

Kashmiris don’t have much to offer by way of dessert, but Wali was in no mood to make us end the treat he had laid out without us digging his brand of phirni made with sooji and not rice. It was clearly the showstopper that ensured we went back with a happy heart and contented stomach.

ALSO READ-MPs table motion to mark anniversary of ‘genocide’ of Kashmiri Pandits  

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Food

Finding Balance Through Food

Kapha, grounded in earth and water elements, is associated with stability and structure. To balance Kapha, opt for light, warm, and stimulating foods…writes Dr Govind

 In a world where modern lifestyles often lead to dietary imbalances and health concerns, the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda emerges as a beacon of holistic well-being. Ayurveda, the “science of life,” offers profound insights into maintaining balance and harmony within the body, particularly for those grappling with diabetes. The Ayurvedic diet, deeply rooted in this ancient Indian tradition, serves as a blueprint for fostering not just physical health, but a sustainable and balanced way of life.

For many with diabetes, the daily struggle centres on managing blood sugar spikes and dips. But what if there existed a natural, food-based approach to navigating this challenge? Enter Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of holistic medicine, offering a powerful lens through which to view and manage diabetes.

Understanding Ayurveda’s Foundation: Doshas

At the heart of Ayurveda lies the concept of doshas — three fundamental energies that govern our bodily functions. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the building blocks of our body and an imbalance in these doshas is believed to be the root cause of various health issues, including diabetes. For those with diabetes, understanding their predominant dosha becomes crucial. Ayurveda suggests that balancing the doshas through diet can alleviate symptoms and promote overall health.

Here’s a simple guide to embracing the Ayurvedic diet for diabetes:

Pacifying Foods: Vata, characterised by air and ether elements, is associated with irregularities and fluctuations. To pacify Vata, focus on warm, grounding foods. Opt for nourishing soups, stews, and cooked grains. Include healthy fats such as ghee and olive oil to lubricate the digestive system. Avoid raw and cold foods, as these can exacerbate Vata imbalances.

Pitta-Pacifying Foods: Pitta, fueled by fire and water elements, is linked to heat and intensity. For those with a Pitta imbalance, cooling and soothing foods are key. Embrace sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes found in fruits like apples and berries, as well as leafy greens. Limit spicy and acidic foods, as they may aggravate Pitta.

Pacifying Foods: Kapha, grounded in earth and water elements, is associated with stability and structure. To balance Kapha, opt for light, warm, and stimulating foods. Incorporate a variety of spices, such as ginger and turmeric, to enhance digestion. Minimise dairy and heavy, sweet foods to prevent excess mucus production.

Mindful Eating Practices: Beyond selecting foods based on doshas, Ayurveda places significant emphasis on mindful eating practices. Chew your food thoroughly to support digestion, and savour each bite to enhance the overall dining experience. Eating in a calm and relaxed environment promotes healthy digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Herbs and Spices as Medicine: Ayurveda harnesses the power of herbs and spices for their medicinal properties. Turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory benefits, and fenugreek, known for its blood sugar regulation, are valuable additions to the Ayurvedic diet for diabetes.

In a world inundated with fad diets, the Ayurvedic approach to nutrition stands out as a time-tested and sustainable solution for managing diabetes. By embracing the wisdom of doshas, choosing nourishing foods, and adopting mindful eating practices, individuals can cultivate a harmonious relationship between their bodies and the food they consume.

In the realm of the Ayurvedic diet, food is not merely sustenance; it is a conduit to balance, vitality, and holistic well-being. As we navigate the complexities of modern health challenges, perhaps the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda can guide us back to a place of equilibrium — a place where health is not just the absence of disease but the presence of vitality in mind, body, and spirit.

ALSO READ-Hacks to avoid sugary foods

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MasterChef’s Gary Mehigan: A Journey of Spice, Culture, and Butter Chicken

The dinner that Mehigan will lay out on Sunday will consist of seven courses, preceded by a “snack attack”, which will consist of dishes, each with his personal touches, representing the best of Japanese, French, Italian, and of course, Australian classics…writes Sourish Bhattacharyya

Gary Mehigan, who was behind the humongous success of ‘MasterChef Australia’, has become a registered Indophile by the look of it.

Somewhat like the Australian (and also Delhi Capitals) cricket star David Warner, who almost became the face of Tollywood during his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mehigan knows more about India than any homegrown desi would on a good day.

Not surprising, considering that he has been here 12 times in 18 months, travelling across the country from the highlands of Munnar in Kerala to Ladakh, soaking in the Hemis Festival, to Nagaland, chilling at Hornbill. Sampling ‘langarwali dal’ and roti at Anandpur Sahib one day or, on another, riding a truck in Kolkata carrying an idol of Goddess Durga being taken for immersion to the Hooghly, shooting for Nat Geo’s ‘India Mega Festivals’ series.

Gary Mehigan. (File Photo: IANS)

And of course, if you’re a chef who spends more time in India than back home in Melbourne, how can you not get interested in the butter chicken controversy that has pitted one of the Moti Mahal owners against the duo behind Daryaganj?

When Mehigan conducted a poll among his Instagram followers about their favourite butter chicken, Moti Mahal was trailing behind Daryaganj by 7 percentage points, and he also got advice on the other butter chicken offerings he must check out before arriving at any conclusion, notably Havemore, Minar, Mughal Mahal, Kwality, and even Aslam’s.

Mehigan, however, is at the Taj City Centre in Gurugram, along with a team from his Indian collaborators, the Bengaluru-based multi-vertical food platform, Conosh, and several cases containing the single malt, The Ardmore, for an event far removed from the world that his travels take him to. As he puts it, he keeps moving from “the pavement to the penthouse”.

The dinner that Mehigan will lay out on Sunday will consist of seven courses, preceded by a “snack attack”, which will consist of dishes, each with his personal touches, representing the best of Japanese, French, Italian, and of course, Australian classics.

No Iftar delicacies here, which he sampled in Hyderabad and Delhi, but definitely a platter of nigiri or a duck confit, and even the flavours of Alphonso. So, what would the pairing of The Ardmore and the Alphonso be called? The Alphmore? Mehigan broke into a hearty laugh. MoreAlph, maybe!

Being originally an Englishman, Mehigan loves his Single Malts, and he says they pair very well with food, contrary to the popular belief that they are best imbibed before and after a meal.

Although The Ardmore, which comes from the Highlands, is slightly peaty, Mehigan pointed out that it has clear notes of cinnamon, honey and toffee. The flavour profile makes it just right for cocktails, or, better still, to be paired neat with a duck or a lamb shank. Mehigan’s take: “That’s not a difficult one to pair. It has lots of flavours for us to play around with.”

Coming back to his love for India, Mehigan said he’s curating “food travel experiences” for just 60 world travellers along with his MasterChef Australia co-host Matt Preston and the international upper-crust travel company, Luxury Escapes. The India tours sold out in 12 hours.

And while he’s doing all this, and maybe wondering which one is truly Delhi’s best butter chicken, he’s soaking up more of India by reading up Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’, Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ and Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Inheritance of Loss’. Did anyone say chefs only read recipes and KOTs?

ALSO READ-Tata Starbucks unveils exciting India inspired beverage and foods

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Future of Taste: Encourages Rediscovery of Forgotten Foods

Swaminathan had the intellectual honesty to recognise the shortcomings of the ‘revolution’ he had spawned along with Dr Norman Borlaugh and speak up for the alternative paradigm of an “evergreen revolution”, which he defined as “improvement of productivity in perpetuity without ecological harm”…writes Sourish Bhattacharya

Why does the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which has been at the forefront of all major debates on the state of our ecosystem since its late founder, Anil Aggarwal, wrote the first ‘Citizens’ Report’ on the State of India’s Environment in 1982, need to bring out a lavishly illustrated book on food and recipes?

Why do we need to know from celebrated chefs how to integrate millets into our daily diet, or why we must reclaim the produce that are fast disappearing from our kitchens — from bathua to chow chow, from meetha karela to tender jackfruit, galgal and jalpai — or make sabzi with guavas and water melon rind, or perk up preparations with wild orange zest, or how to not waste carrot and chickpea leaves, or make pakoras with gulmohar flowers?

Leafing through the fourth book in the ‘First Food’ series conceptualised by journalist Vibha Varshney, this writer could think of many reasons for a book that reminds us constantly that what we eat impacts the life and livelihoods of millions of farmers. Anyone who says food is an indulgence should look beyond the plate to the producer.

Sunita Narain, Agarwal’s acolyte who has kept the torch of the CSE burning brighter since her visionary mentor’s death in 2002, astutely notes in her Foreword to ‘Future of Taste’: “As the world begins to rework the paradigm of agriculture so that it is climate smart, we need to reset [the] connection between food and livelihood, nutrition and nature.”

The volume being reviewed is dedicated to M.S. Swaminathan, the scientist synonymous with the Green Revolution, but criticised later for pushing Indian farmers into the trap of becoming dependent on high-yielding varieties that required soil-destroying chemical fertilisers, poisonous pesticides and huge amounts of water.

Swaminathan had the intellectual honesty to recognise the shortcomings of the ‘revolution’ he had spawned along with Dr Norman Borlaugh and speak up for the alternative paradigm of an “evergreen revolution”, which he defined as “improvement of productivity in perpetuity without ecological harm”.

‘Future of Taste’ brings the “evergreen revolution” to the kitchen by creating awareness about how India’s amazing biodiversity has within it a treasure trove of fruits, vegetables, flowers beans and leaves to ensure variety on our tables and to provide our marginal farmers the means of survival that are getting lost as more and more land is brought under industrial, monovarietal farming of high-yielding, chemical-depending, water-guzzling high yielding varieties.

The central premise of ‘Future of Taste’ is that it is up to us, as consumers, and up to the powers that be to create a vibrant market for sustainable produce. If we turn our back on produce that our mothers and grandmothers welcomed into their kitchens, we will only be compelling farmers to become more dependent on an agricultural system that ends up adding avoidable additives to our malnourished soils and ultimately hurting those who depend on them.

The Narendra Modi government-led celebration of millets, which are best suited to our water-scarce agriculture, underscored the need for initiatives on an all-India scale to integrate ‘Shree Anna’ into programmes such as mid-day meals.

To quote Narain, “… more biodiverse and climate-appropriate millets will be grown by farmers where governments include them in the schemes for mid-day meals … . Change of cropping patterns towards climate resilience will need this supportive structure.” This may lead you to wonder how we — individual consumers — fit into this vast national picture.

Again, Narain provides us a timely reminder: “… the choice of food that farmers grow is in the hands of consumers — us; what we eat and why we eat it. If we change our diets, it provides signals to the farmer to grow differently.”

Setting the tone for the book, Narain adds: “We know that food is medicine, yet we continue to eat … junk. … We are in danger of losing the knowledge of good food — what our mothers and grandmothers cooked in different seasons. This is why we must be part of the changed agriculture story.”

Here’s a recipe book that is in a league of its own — it talks about the challenges confronting farmers, the need for climate-resilient agriculture, the growing negligence of proper nutrition and making good food with unexpected ingredients: all in the same breath. It is a book that must stay with us because it teaches us not only how to cook appropriately based on the principle of eating local, seasonal and nutritious, but also why what we eat makes a real difference to the lives of the millions who work very hard to feed us.

ALSO READ-Foods to lower cardiovascular disease risk

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Food Lite Blogs Travel

Immerse Yourself in South India’s Coffee Blossom Season

Step into the captivating realm of South India’s coffee blossom season, where the landscape transforms into a stunning canvas adorned with delicate white flowers. Amidst the tranquil settings of Coorg and Chikmagalur, premier luxury resorts invite travellers to experience this ephemeral wonder.

The blossoming of flowers signals the transition from winter to spring—a time of renewal and rejuvenation. While this phenomenon is celebrated in various forms across different cultures, one particularly enchanting manifestation is the coffee blossom season. In regions like South India, the landscape undergoes a remarkable transformation as delicate white flowers adorn the coffee plantations.

The Ibnii Spa Resort, Coorg

Nestled amidst the tranquil landscapes of Coorg, The Ibnii Spa Resort offers guests a serene sanctuary to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the coffee blossom season. Surrounded by picturesque vistas, this luxurious retreat provides an idyllic setting for travellers seeking relaxation and adventure. From indulging in wellness activities to experiencing the enchanting spectacle of delicate coffee blossoms, guests can savour every moment while enjoying the epitome of luxury accommodation.

Evolve Back’s Chikkana Halli Estate, Coorg

Evolve Back, Coorg, nestled within a 300-acre working coffee and spice plantation, offers an ideal setting to immerse oneself in this seasonal spectacle. During the Coffee Blossom Season in Coorg, the landscape transforms into a mesmerizing sight, with delicate white flowers adorning the coffee plants. The enchanting aroma reminiscent of jasmine fills the air, creating an atmosphere of magic and tranquillity. While the blossom season typically begins towards the end of March, it might extend into April or bid adieu earlier than expected. Visitors are advised to check in with local sources about the bloom to be sure of experiencing the enchanting coffee blossom season.

Java Rain Resort, Chikmagalur

Located amidst the picturesque landscapes of Chikmagalur, Java Rain Resort provides a tranquil escape for guests seeking to witness the beauty of coffee blossoms in South India.

The Tamara Coorg

Tucked away in the lush hills of Coorg, The Tamara offers guests a luxurious retreat amidst the stunning scenery of coffee plantations, making it an ideal destination to experience the coffee blossom season.

The Serai, Chikmagalur

Set amidst the verdant hills of Chikmagalur, The Serai allows guests to witness the captivating beauty of coffee blossoms while enjoying world-class hospitality and luxurious accommodation.

As you plan your long weekend getaway, consider these five irresistible destinations and resorts that promise unforgettable experiences amidst nature’s splendour. From romantic retreats to luxurious spa getaways, there’s something for every traveller seeking relaxation, adventure, and romance.  Pack your bags and embark on a journey to rejuvenation and bliss in these captivating locales.

ALSO READ-Guillam Coffee House: Redefining the Coffee experience

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Vibrant Cold Brews to Brighten Your Celebration

This Easter, let’s make vibrant cold brews that are guaranteed to be the highlight. We’re talking sunshine in a glass, complete with a playful layered surprise and flavours that’ll have your guests saying “Wow!”

With key essential ingredients and minimal effort, these recipes are designed to lift the spirits of your guests effortlessly. So buckle up, because we’re about to show you how to turn your Easter dinner from drowsy to delightful with these easy-to-make, flavour-packed cold brew recipes!

Easter Sunshine Cold Brew

Ingredients:

240 ml Cold brew coffee

120 ml Orange juice

60 ml Pineapple juice

15 ml Grenadine syrup (Pomegranate syrup)

Orange slices for garnish

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Ice cubes

Instructions:

Fill the serving glasses with ice cubes.

In a pitcher or mixing bowl, combine 240 ml of cold brew coffee, 120 ml of orange juice, and 60 ml of pineapple juice. Stir well to mix everything.

Pour 15 ml of grenadine syrup slowly over the back of a spoon into each glass, allowing it to sink to the bottom and create a gradient effect.

Carefully pour the cold brew coffee mixture over the grenadine layer in each glass.

Garnish each glass with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Serve immediately, allowing guests to stir the drink to mix the layers, just as they are about to plunge into the drink.

Enjoy your vibrant and refreshing Easter Sunrise Cold Brew Mocktail!

These measurements ensure a balanced and flavourful mocktail perfect for Easter celebrations. Adjust the quantities according to your preferences or the number of servings needed.

Classic Cold Brew

Ingredients:

30 grams (about 3 tablespoons) of coarsely ground coffee beans

240 ml (1 cup) cold or room temperature water

Instructions:

Grind the coffee beans to a coarse consistency, similar to breadcrumbs. (grinding too fine can result in a cloudy and overly bitter brew).

Add the coarsely ground coffee to a clean glass jar or a French press.

Slowly pour 240 ml (1 cup) of cold or room temperature water over the coffee grounds, ensuring that all the grounds are saturated. Stir gently to ensure even saturation if using a jar.

Seal the jar tightly with a lid or, if using a French press, gently press down the plunger until it’s just above the water level.

Let the coffee steep at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. The longer you steep, the stronger and richer the flavour will be. You can adjust the steeping time based on your preference.

After steeping, if using a French press, slowly press down the plunger to separate the grounds from the brewed coffee. If using a jar, strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve or a coffee filter into another clean container.

Once strained, your cold brew concentrate is ready. You can dilute it with water or milk to your desired strength when serving.

Store the cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator for up to one week. It’s best served over ice.

Enjoy your homemade cold-brew coffee! Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio or the steeping time to suit your taste preferences.

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Food Lite Blogs Recipes

Recipe: Easter Simnel Cake

Ingredients

Flour 250 g

Butter 250 g

Egg 5 nos

Caster sugar 100 g

Brown sugar 150 g

Brandy 25 ml

Raisins 25 g

Blackcurrant 25 g

Cashew nuts 25 g

Orange zest 10 g

Lemon zest 10 g

Dry fig 25 g

Cherry 25 g

Almond paste 150 g

Apricot jam 25 g

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius for 10 min. In a mixing bowl place butter and sugar and keep mixing at in slow speed. Add egg one at a time and let mix completely in the batter once mixed well reduce the speed. Add flour, dry fruits, and a brandy mix without lumps. In an 8 inches baking dish pour the batter and bake it for 25 minutes. Cool down the cake for 30 min after baking. Apply the apricot jam on top of the cake.

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Food Lite Blogs Recipes

Recipe: Carrot Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  1. Oats – 1 cup
  2. Chia Seeds – 1 tbsp
  3. Cinnamon Powder – ¼ tsp
  4. Carrot – ¼ cup [grated]
  5. Milk – 1 cup
  6. Maple Syrup – 2 tbsp
  7. Yogurt – ¼ cup
  8. Walnut – 2 tbsp [chopped]
  9. Raisins – 1 tbsp
  10. Salt – a pinch

Method

  1. In a container, combine oats, chia seeds, cinnamon powder, grated carrot, milk, maple syrup, yogurt, chopped walnuts, raisins and salt.
  2. Whisk to combine all the ingredients. Close the container and refrigerate it overnight.
  3. Stir well the next morning before eating. Top it with some  greek yogurt, chopped walnuts, raisins and grated carrots.

ENJOY!

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