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Retaining the real flavours

Our food is made in the authentic clay tandoor keeping the zests and essence of food accurate. There is minimum usage of gas and maximum usage of coal to prepare the dishes…says Chef. Vishay Vijan

Culinary Garage is a cloud kitchen based out of Chembur serving authentic Indian food across the city. Started Chef. Vishay Vijan – an IHM – Aurangabad alumni, in August 2020 it serves fulfilling meals to people around the city. The idea behind starting the kitchen was to serve people a food experience that they talk about from different parts of the country right here in Mumbai.

From the Black Dal taking you to the streets of Amritsar to the Soya Chaap reminding you of Delhi and the Laal Maas that brings a little bit of Rajasthan right here, the menu is vast yet limited. We caught up with Vishay to find out more:

When did you start the brand?

Vishay: I started Culinary Garage as a cloud kitchen based out of Chembur in August 2020 to serve fulfilling meals and authentic Indian food across the city.

A little about why you started this brand/ your inspiration

Vishay: The idea behind starting the kitchen was to serve people a food experience that they talk about from different parts of the country right here in Mumbai. Bringing together authentic local cuisine from across the country under one roof, the main objective of the kitchen is to be true to the dish and its roots. We aim to educate the people in Mumbai about the different dishes, and their flavours and give them a palate of foods from different parts of the country. The inspiration comes from the food itself and its ways of preparation from the origin city.

An insight into all the products/services/dishes on the menu you’re offering

Vishay: Each dish has been curated by sourcing ingredients from the origin place and made to excellence in our kitchen. Our food is made in the authentic clay tandoor keeping the zests and essence of food accurate. There is minimum usage of gas and maximum usage of coal to prepare the dishes.

There is no use of any artificial ingredients or colors in everything we prepare hence, retaining the real flavours of the dishes.

From the slow-cooked Black Dal taking you to the streets of Amritsar to the Soya Chaap reminding you of Delhi, the Laal Maas that brings a little bit of Rajasthan right here, and the Korma prompting the land of Nawabs, our menu is vast yet limited. A perfect blend of Fire and Coal brings the best of every Indian flavour to you.

Your Best-selling dishes

Vishay: Butter Chicken, Dal Makhni, Soya Chaap, Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, and Chicken Tikka

Is anything special about your products or something offbeat you would like our users to know about?

Vishay: We ensure to keep innovating and introducing new and seasonal produce items from various parts of India on our menu. We had a winter special menu that had the Kaali Gajar Ka Halwa which is made from black carrots that were brought from Lucknow.

ALSO READ-Recipes to fulfill your cravings

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Food Lite Blogs Recipes

Special recipes for to cherish special moments

When it comes to cooking for special occasions, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time, giving you more time to spend with your family rather than dealing with the details of meal preparation. The most valuable gift you can give yourself when cooking for special occasions is the time required to enjoy the special occasion.

Chef Manish Mehrotra curates special recipes:

Almond Cinnamon Tart

Ingredients:

. Almond flake (1 cup)

. Monaco biscuit (150 gm)

. Cinnamon powder (2 gm)

. Fine sugar (200 gm)

. Fresh cream (200 ml)

. Unsalted butter (60 gm)

Method:

. Roast the almond flake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes or till golden in colour.

. For toffee sauce, caramelise sugar, add 40 gms of butter followed by cream and thoroughly mix it.

. For monaco crumble, crush biscuits and mix 20 gm of butter with it. spread this mixture in a 6inch mould and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 10 min.

. In a bowl mix, roasted almond slivers and toffee sauce and pour this mix over biscuit crumble in the mould.

. Bake the mix set in mould in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 min.

. Serve once done and demould the tart. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

Masala Almond Tabbouleh

Ingredients:

Couscous (1/2 cup)

. Boiling water (1 cup)

. Finely chopped, onion (1/2 cup)

. Finely chopped, tomato (1/2 cup)

. Finely chopped, parsley (1 cup)

. Finely chopped, mint (1/4 cup)

. Fresh pomegranate seeds (4 tbsp)

..Lemon Juice (2tbsp)

. Finely chopped, green chillies (1 tsp)

. Olive oil (2 tbsp)

. Toasted almond flakes (1/3 cup)

. Chaat masala (1 tsp)

. Salt (to taste)

Method:

. Bring water to a boil. Add salt to taste and couscous. Remove from heat and place lid. Keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove lid and use a fork to loosen the fluffy bulgur/couscous. Keep aside.

. In a bowl, add chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped parsley, chopped mint, olive oil, lemon juice, green chillies, almonds, pomegranate seeds and chaat masala. Mix well.

. Add the couscous and mix. Serve immediately.


Recipes by Voltas Beko

Pea Pancake


Remember how mom would add peas to pancakes to help some veggies go down our systems? If yes, then this is the best recipe that you and your sibling can bond over while recollecting those good old days.

. Serves: 2-4 I Duration: 30 mins

Ingredients:

. 500 g peas and baby spinach

. 1/4 avocado

. 140 g corn flour

. 2 eggs

. Olive oil

. Tablespoons of water if needed

Steps:

. In a cooking pot with boiling water, cook the peas and spinach for 1 minute

Pour avocado, flour, eggs, olive oil and peas into a food processor. Mash and add water if needed to make a creamy batter.

. Add olive oil to a frying pan. Add a tablespoon of the batter. Fry over low heat until the batter browns, then flip it over to the other side.

. To make even healthier pancakes, you can take a large tray and spray some oil to the surface and place your pancakes on them.

. Microwave the chillas on high for 2 minutes. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make 9 more chillas in 3 more batches. . The Voltas beko microwave has a large turntable that allows you to maximise your cooking space and make many chillas in no time!

Banana Coconut Milkshake

This milkshake was not only the best part of summer vacations spent together, but also how the siblings competed against each other to see who finished their milk first!

. Duration: 10 mins I Serves: Per person

Ingredients:

. 1 large banana

. 1 spoonful pure cocoa

.1 spoonful maple syrup

. 1 50 ml coconut milk

Steps:

. Place all the ingredients in a mixer

. Mix until the liquid is uniform

.Vary thickness by adding more or less coconut milk

. Once ready, store it in the Voltas Beko refrigerator with StoreFresh Technology to lock in the freshness

Fruit Ice Cream

One of the best memories with our siblings was doing things together- both productive and unproductive. This recipe will definitely remind you of the holidays when you both wanted to scream for Ice Cream.

Ingredients:

. Frozen banana

. Other fleshy fruit: Mango, strawberry, peach, blueberry

. Optional: yogurt, soy yogurt, whipped yogurt

. Toppings: shaved dark chocolate, dried fruits, grated coconut, sunflower seeds, fruit cubes

Steps:

. Cut fruit into cubes or slices, remove peel, stones, and seeds, and freeze them.

When ready to eat, pour banana slices into the food processor and whip until it has the consistency of ice cream.

Add the rest of the fruit and whip again. Cream should be at least 50% banana for good texture. And what is even more important in this recipe is to use freshest of fruits! Voltas Beko refrigerators now come with HarvestFresh that keeps the fruits and vegetables in their natural original environment long after it’s been harvested, preserving their vitamins and freshness for longer.

. Top with desired toppings.

. Prepare it when ready to eat it or 15 minutes before, at most, and keep in the freezer; otherwise, instead of a creamy texture it will be hard ice.

ALSO READ-Coffee recipes to celebrate friendship day

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Food Lite Blogs Recipes

Coffee recipes to celebrate friendship day

What better way to show your buddies how much you care than by whipping up some delectable coffee mocha recipes for their coffee-obsessed friends? With delicious coffee mocha drinks, you can make your friendship day get-togethers lively. Girish Chandra, Beverage Training Manager, Lavazza India, has provided some delectable coffee mocha recipes that you can enjoy while spending time with your friends…writes GIRISH CHANDRA

MOCHA

Ingredients

2 espressos 25/30 ml each

Foamed milk 160 ml (80% milk – 20% foam)

Hot chocolate 75 ml

Dark cocoa 0,1 g

Whipped cream 70 g (Optional)

Preparations

Prepare the espresso in a large glass

Add the hot chocolate

Dust with bitter cocoa

Complete by adding the foamed milk

Option: Pour less milk and complete with whipped cream

COFFEE VIENNESE

Ingredients

2 long espressos 90 ml (40/45 ml each)

Whipped cream 25 g

Dark Cocoa 2 tsp

Dark chocolate flakes preparations

Preparations

Prepare the espresso in a jug and add cocoa

Mix and steam

Pour it into the cup and top off with whipped cream

Decorate with choco flakes (Glass Size 160 ml)



HAZELNUT LATTE

Ingredients

2 espressos 25/30 ml each

Foamed milk 170 ml (80% milk – 20% foam)

Whipped cream 50 g

Nougat crumbs 14 g (10 g bottom of the glass and 4 g on top)

Caramel sauce 17 g (15 g bottom of the glass and 2 g on top)

Cup Size 60/160 ml

Preparations

Set 10 g of nougat and the caramel sauce in a large tumbler

Prepare the espresso and pour over

Add foamed milk and whipped cream

Decorate with extra crumbs and a drizzle of chocolate spread (Glass Size 350 ml)

CHOCOLATE


Ingredients

2 espressos 25/30 ml each

Foamed milk 170 ml (80% milk – 20% foam)

Whipped cream 50 g

Nut crumbs 1 g

Chocolate spread 30 g (+ drizzle)

Preparations

Decorate a large tumbler of chocolate spread

Prepare the espresso and pour over

Add foamed milk and whipped cream

Decorate with extra nut crumbs and a drizzle of chocolate spread

ICED MOCHA

Ingredients

2 espressos 60 ml (25/30 ml each)

Ice cubes 100 g

Cold chocolate 100 g

Chocolate sauce drizzle 2 g

Whipped cream 30 g

Preparations

Place the ice cubes in a large Lavazza Tumbler

Add the cold chocolate and 2 espressos

Stir gently

Complete with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce (Glass Size 350 ml)

For cold chocolate: dilute 50% hot chocolate and 50% cold milk. Keep refrigerated for max 2 days.


CARAMEL ICED LATTE

Ingredients

Long espresso 40/45ml

Cold milk 120 g (80% milk – 20% foam)

Ice cubes 150 g

Caramel sauce 30 g

Preparations

Place the caramel sauce at the bottom of the glass

Fill the tumbler with ice cubes

Add the milk

Brew one long espresso and pour it on the top (Glass Size 350 ml)

(Girish Chandra is Beverage Training Manager, Lavazz)

ALSO READ-Meatless happiness! Chickpea Salad Sandwich  

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Meatless happiness! Chickpea Salad Sandwich  

This is not your average sandwich. For starters, it’s meatless! Second, it’s extremely flavorful, filling and healthy – basically the three things I’m going for with any good sandwich. And  simple ingredients required. The base starts with tender, smashed chickpeas that add a nutty, crunchy touch. Then comes the simple dressing of fresh lettuce leaves                 

Ingredients

  1. Whole Wheat Bread – 8 slices
  2. Boiled Chickpeas – 2 cup
  3. Carrot – Half [grated]
  4. Onion – 1small [chopped]
  5. Cucumber –1small [chopped]
  6. Red Cabbage – ¼ cup [ finely chopped]
  7. Tomato – 1small [chopped]
  8. Coriander – 1 tbsp [chopped]
  9. Hung Curd – ¼ cup
  10. Tahini – ¼ cup
  11. Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
  12. Mustard – 1 tsp
  13. Salt – as per your taste
  14. Black Pepper – ½ tsp
  15. Lettuce
  16. Butter- to toast the bread

Method

  1. In a bowl mash up the boiled chickpeas.
  2. Add in the chopped onion, grated carrot, red cabbage, chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, coriander, hung curd, tahini, lemon juice, mustard, salt and black pepper.
  3. Mix this nicely until fully combined.
  4. Toast the bread slices with butter and spread the chickpeas salad over it.
  5. Keep the lettuce on it and cover it with another toasted slice.

               Your high protein chickpeas      sandwich is

                                 ready. Enjoy!

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Nutty facts on nuts

The nuts have come into their own in the wake of Veganism gathering momentum. Milk made with nuts– almonds and cashew nuts — is preferred over the run-of-the-mill soyabean milk. Peanut butter is a popular substitute for the dairy-based counterpart…writes Pushpesh Pant

Abdul Halim Sharar, in his classic work ‘Last Phase of an Oriental Culture’ has provided a vivid description of exotic dishes prepared by the bawarchi employed by Nawabs of Lucknow. He mentions a khichdi cooked with almonds slivers and bits of pistachio substituted for grains of rice or mung lentils. It was so heavy that even a wrestler employed in the court could not have more than a couple of mouthfuls after a workout. Nuts have always inspired legend and lore creating a mystique around them. From prehistoric times, nuts and seeds along with fruits and roots have provided essential nutrition to humanity. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors relied on them to almost the same extent as they did on the flesh of animals, birds and fish they could trap. As agriculture was mastered and wild grasses and grains were domesticated, animal husbandry flourished. Nuts and seeds slowly receded into the background. Their use was confined to additives and garnishes. It is only recently that they are enjoying a robust revival and some nuts have even acquired the status of ‘super foods’.

Botanists insist that many of the nuts can’t be categorized as true nuts, but we shall let that pass. Strictly speaking, a nut is a seed covered by a hard shell. Chestnut, Walnut, Peanut, Pine nut, Pistachio and Cashew nut may all be cited as suitable illustrations. For the purists, among the indisputable is the Brazilian nut. Even the coconut falls in the twilight zone. Most of the nuts in India are given the name ‘mewa’ and are lumped together with dried fruits like raisin, sultanas, apricots, dates and figs. In recent years, imports have made exotic nuts like hazel nuts and Macadamia nuts to urban Indians. Not all nuts are born or created equal. In the Indian mind, pistachio, almonds and cashew nuts are arranged at the top of the heap in descending order.

Mostly they are used in the preparation of expensive sweets. Some traditional cooks claiming a linage traced back to princely kitchens used to prepare a shahi gravy with almond and cashew paste. The same gravy is used to glorify any vegetarian or non-vegetarian delicacy. At times corners are cut and ground nut paste is used to adulterate the ‘shahi’ gravy. Chilgoze ki Kheer using pine nuts for long-grained rice is perhaps the most exotic of kheers. Peanuts have always been treated as the Cinderella of the nut family, it was once referred to as the ‘chiniya badam’ (almonds from China) and this was at a time when during the colonial period Chinese and Japanese imports were considered ‘sub-standard’. A lowbrow Punjabi play once had a snide comment about a character at the expense of poor peanuts. The pretentious lady, it was said, ‘gorged on peanuts but belched of almonds’. In the era of globalization the range of nuts available has expanded even when one takes almonds, one can snack on honey roasted, pepper roasted or Peri Peri-tinged almonds. Salted, roasted and fried spicy cashew nuts seem to have lost out to this competition. Surprisingly, peanuts have been reinvented, many companies market them in different avatars, deep fried, draped in batter or shelled in different flavours. Even the plebeian peanut salad, the staple accompaniment in down-market bars has entered the five-star eateries and has been tweaked to become special. Boiled peanuts continue to be served on the bed of crisp papar drizzled with diced tomatoes and chilis sprinkled over with olive oil and enriched with black and green olives along with sun-dried tomatoes.

Salan made with pistachios was believed to be an aphrodisiac recipe created for the ravenous appetites of the princes in Patiala. The best quality peanuts came from Kabul and were valued for their delicate colour and taste. Piste ke longie ranked much higher than any other barfi. Very little sugar syrup was used to bind the flavours of the nut together. In southern India, Kaju continues to be the most preferred nut that is added to almost everything to make it special from halwas to upma and in the western coast, kaju curry and kaju pulav are also made. This is understandable as it was in Goa where the Portuguese first introduced cashew nut to India. The Goans distilled a delectable alcoholic beverage feni from the cashew fruit as well. No one in India has made a liquor like amaretto from almonds, but badam-rogan shirin has for generations been valued for its therapeutic properties.

In Sindh (in undivided India) it was customary to prepare reinvigorating nuts and dried fruit paste called majoon to be served to the bride groom as breakfast on the morning after the wedding night.

The nuts have come into their own in the wake of Veganism gathering momentum. Milk made with nuts– almonds and cashew nuts — is preferred over the run-of-the-mill soyabean milk. Peanut butter is a popular substitute for the dairy-based counterpart.

Consumers are suddenly getting interested in the history of different nuts and are curious to know if scientific research has validated their nutritional claims. The oldest trace of cultivated wild peanuts is found in Peru dating back about 7600 years. Cashews are said to be native to Northern Brazil and Southern Venezuela until they were distributed around the world through colonial expansion. Pistachios are believed to have come from Central Asia, more precisely near Iran and Afghanistan. Archaeological evidence corroborates that pistachio seeds were a common food in this region as early as 6750 BCE. Almond fruits found in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt depict that they were domesticated in the fourth millennium BCE. Walnut travelled from Byzantine Empire (where it was commonly known as royal nut) to Kashmir through the silk routes.

A handful of nuts pack a lot of nutritional punch. A 100g of raw peanuts contain about 567 calories, 25g protein, 49g fat. Walnuts have higher micronutrients like vitamin E, Omega-3’s, and Manganese while cashews have magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Pine nuts are a great source of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat and Omega-6.

All this is reassuring but the cost of nuts-including peanuts- continues to keep their consumption restricted to the affluent section of society.

ALSO READ-Plant-based meat more sustainable

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Plant-based meat more sustainable

The team reviewed 43 studies into the health and environmental impacts of plant-based foods, as well as consumer attitudes. One study found that almost 90 per cent of consumers who ate plant-based meat and dairy were in fact meat-eaters…reports Asian Lite News

Plant-based dietary alternatives to animal products are better for the environment and for human health, according to a study.

The study, published in the journal Future Foods, argued that because these foods are ‘specifically formulated to replicate the taste, texture, and overall eating experience of animal products’, they are a much more effective way of reducing demand for meat and dairy than simply encouraging people to cook vegetarian whole foods.

The study, conducted by psychologists at the University of Bath in the UK, concluded that plant-based meat and dairy alternatives ‘offer a healthier and more environmentally sustainable solution which takes into account consumer preferences and behaviour.’

“Increasingly we’re seeing how plant-based products are able to shift demand away from animal products by appealing to three essential elements consumers want: taste, price and convenience,” said Dr Chris Bryant from the university.

The team reviewed 43 studies into the health and environmental impacts of plant-based foods, as well as consumer attitudes. One study found that almost 90 per cent of consumers who ate plant-based meat and dairy were in fact meat-eaters.

The paper also found that these plant-based products caused lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions than the animal products they were replacing. One paper found that compared to beef burgers, plant-based burgers were associated with up to 98 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions.

The team suggested that plant-based products generally require much less agricultural land, need less water and causes less pollution than animal products.

Studies focusing on the healthiness of plant-based products also found that they tend to have better nutritional profiles compared to animal products, with one paper finding that 40 per cent of conventional meat products were classified as ‘less healthy’ compared to just 14 per cent of plant-based alternatives.

Others found that plant-based meat and dairy were good for weight loss and building muscle mass, and could be used to help people with specific health conditions.

Food producers may be able to add ingredients such as edible fungi, microalgae or spirulina to plant-based foods, boosting properties such as amino acids, vitamins B and E and antioxidants. Future innovations in processing and ingredients are likely to lead to further nutritional improvements.

ALSO READ-High meat intake may up liver disease risk

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Food

Keep sugar out of your diet

Eating a large number of sugary foods may mean you gain weight. Sugar has a low effect on satiety meaning you will not feel full after eating sugary snacks…writes N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE

Sugary snacks and drinks are abundant on supermarket and retail shelves. While it is possible to enjoy these on occasion, regular consumption is an easy way to go over your required calorie intake, and too much sugar can lead to a variety of health problems.

According to the studies, your sugar intake should not exceed 5 per cent of your total daily calories. This means that a typical adult’s sugar intake should not exceed 30g per day. The most harmful type of sugar is free sugar, which is found in fizzy drinks, fruit juices, biscuits, cakes, and chocolate.

There is also a ‘no sugar diet,’ which eliminates all sugar, including those found in otherwise healthy foods like fruit and dairy. This is not recommended because fruits are high in fibre and micronutrients. Myprotein India, a leading sports and nutrition brand, experts explain the benefits of a low sugar diet and how to reduce sugar intake to stay healthy. What are the Benefits of Reducing your Sugar Intake?

Weight loss

Eating a large number of sugary foods may mean you gain weight. Sugar has a low effect on satiety meaning you will not feel full after eating sugary snacks. This means it’s much more likely you will exceed your required daily calorie amount which may lead to weight gain in the long run. Switching your food choices for those with a higher protein and fibre content may result in weight loss.

Tooth Care

Large amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth. If you want to stay fit and healthy and avoid a toothless smile, its best to make sure you are not going overboard with your sugar intake. Specifically, free sugars are the ones that do the most damage and put your dentist in a bad mood.

How to Follow a Low Sugar Diet

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your daily sugar intake and many of them may result in improved dietary habits in general. Using the tips below will help to reduce your daily sugar intake and improve the quality of your diet.

Take Notice of Food Labels

It can often be surprising just how much sugar is in your preferred drinks and snacking options and sugar can often be in foods you wouldn’t expect. Being attentive and making sure to read the food labels can be an informative process helping you make the right choices when it comes to meals, snacks, and drinks.

Avoid Sugary Drinks

Your favourite fizzy drinks may well be loaded with sugar well worth looking for the ‘diet’ counterparts. Not just the typical soda drink though, drinks often marketed as ‘healthy’ or ‘low fat’ may also contain a fair amount of sugar.

Things like ‘healthy’ smoothies or fruit juices can also have a substantial amount of sugar and whilst trying to pick a healthy option you could inadvertently add unnecessary sugar to your diet.

Go easy on condiments

Ketchup and brown sauce contain a substantial amount of sugar. Making sure you don’t go overboard with the ketchup serving size and reducing the number of meals that you add sauce to can help reduce your overall sugar intake.

Plan your meals ahead

Planning your meals in advance has many benefits. As well as allowing you to monitor your calories, planning your meals can be cost-effective and kind to your wallet.

Importantly for sugar intake, planning ahead can also help to avoid the last-minute unhealthy processed choice on the shelf. Although they can be convenient when time is limited, these processed foods often have a high sugar content, which is why it’s recommended to cook your own with fresh and wholegrain ingredients.

Planning ahead also allows you time to check your labels for sugar content and fit in sweet treats here and there.

Don’t shop when hungry or tired

Traipsing the shops after a long day at work when you’re tired and hungry can make the sugary snacks hard to resist. Especially those placed next to the checkout.

Shopping after a healthy meal (containing fibre and protein) can help you fight off the temptation of fighting the food choices that can have a negative impact in the long run. Once it’s bought and in your cupboards, at home, it’s much harder to resist the sugary snacks whilst watching your favourite box set.

To conclude, reducing the sugar intake in your diet can lead to improved body composition and reduce the likelihood of tooth decay and long-term diseases. Following the tips above can help reduce your intake in a sustainable way, while still enjoying tasty food.

ALSO READ-Inflammatory diet may lead to depression

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Food Lite Blogs Restaurant Reviews

Pop-ups a way to explore

Existing restaurants are usually the best option because all of the necessary equipment is already on hand, and the hosting restaurant can also generate some cross-promotion buzz…writes N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE

What better way to showcase the diversity of Indian cuisine than through pop-ups? India is known for its diverse culture, appearance, and cuisine. We are all aware of how well-known India’s street food vendors are at this point. Everyone, including office workers and college students, appreciates a food innovation that blows their minds, even if it’s a simplified maggie.

“Food pop-ups in my experience are one of the best things that could happen to the food industry. Many aspirational restaurateurs have the inherent ability to produce Instagram-worthy food but lack the funding and capital required to set up mainstream restaurants and cafes.

“The concept of food pop-ups in tandem with the factor of becoming viral on social media, disrupts the traditional food industry. It also instills and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit in the people, which is crucial to the economy from a micro-perspective.

“Food pop-ups have the added advantage of mobility, which allows them to serve locations strategically, all while acting like a QSR with commendable service time,” says food blogger Vishal Bharadwaj.

Food pop-ups have been shown to be very effective in terms of showcasing creativity and earning, while also creating a fun food idea for visitors, giving new meaning to eating on the streets.

People in the food industry have been extremely vocal about their experiences and according to Maj Dinesh Sharma, Founder, and Director of APCA – Academy of pastry & Culinary Arts, “Pop-up restaurants are a fashionable but powerful force in the food industry. The food industry took on new meaning with the pop-up, Chefs frequently use pop-up restaurants to showcase their culinary skills to a larger audience and potentially attract investors for a future restaurant.”

Maj continues to tell about the concept’s benefits and drawbacks, “The pop-up restaurant could potentially set up shop anywhere it is legal and safe to do so. They’ve been discovered on everything from city building roofs to the insides of barns.

Existing restaurants are usually the best option because all of the necessary equipment is already on hand, and the hosting restaurant can also generate some cross-promotion buzz.

Every business has advantages and disadvantages, and this one is no exception. It’s a relatively inexpensive way for a chef to get their name out there and start getting people familiar with their work or establishing themselves in a new area, but there’s a pretty hard cap on the number of people that can be present, and you’ll frequently find there’s more interest than you can accommodate”

Food blogger Bharadwaj who believes food pop-ups will thrive with the right infrastructure, such as a street cart food court, and basic amenities such as hand washing and nearby seating said, “The food tastes quite different, to be honest. Pop-ups’ main concentration would be towards quantity and pricing it cheap whereas posh restaurants look at quality and plating. The crowd differs and that would be one of the key differences.

“For me, I would surely prefer a food pop-up for some great Indian or Indo-Chinese quick food and go to restaurants for some great Continental food or probably a fine dining experience.”

“Pop-ups are as much a way for consumers to explore their palates with different cultures and styles of cooking, as it is a marketing and an engagement tool.

“Be it moving out and doing a pop-up or having one of my chef or mixologist mate coming over to my restaurants/bars and doing one, there’s always something new for people to explore, thereby also making it a great way to tap into a new audience, all while retaining your patrons. It’s also a great way to enhance your skill set as you get to collaborate with the best and learn a few new tricks from them,” says Chef Tarun Sibal, who recently collaborated for a pop-up with Rooh, Delhi around Gourmet casual.

According to Tarun, Pop-ups have been becoming increasingly popular especially post Covid since they have huge perks for both – the chefs and the diners.

He adds, “They bring freshness to an existing menu while giving guests a unique dining experience. They make restaurants accessible to diners in different geographies and give chefs an opportunity to experiment with their craft.

“Collaboration of chefs and cuisines from different countries, and different cities, diverse thought processes, food philosophies, new techniques, and ingredients are things that are at play when we talk about pop-ups. The guests end up as the winner.”

ALSO READ-Restaurant insolvencies jump by over 60%  

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Recipes to fulfill your cravings

Grey skies, light drizzles and the earthy aroma of monsoons give us that much-needed escape from the sweltering heat. There’s a misty veil over the city, and the moment calls for a hot cup of tea or filter coffee. But is the moment really completing without a steaming plate of tasty snacks?

Celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur shares a few recipes that fulfil your cravings without compromising on taste and won’t set you back when it comes to your fitness goals.

Chatpata tandoori mushroom cheela

For all of us, cheela for breakfast is an all-time winner in any North Indian household. It is light, healthy and can be a quick-fix for time-pressed mornings. For this delicious chatpata tandoori mushroom, marinate the mushroom in ingredients like salt, ajwain, sooji, water and leave for 15-20 minutes and in another bowl prepare cheela batter with besan, sooji, ajwain, haldi, salt and water.

Make sure, the batter gets a dosa like consistency. Then, heat a kadhai or frying pan and add the marinated mushroom to it and toss on high flame to soak excess moisture. You can also use a microwave or oven to prepare the tandoori mushroom.

Now, place a tawa on medium flame and grease it with some oil. Pour some cheela batter at the centre of the tawa and spread it out. Cook till the edges turn golden brown in colour. Flip and cook the other side. Add more oil if needed. Add some mushroom filling on one half of the cheela and fold. You may add some cheese to the filling to make it tastier.

Ingredients:

. Besan- 1 cup

. Sooji- less than half cup

. Water- as much needed (to bind)

. Salt- as per taste

. Ajwain- half teaspoon

. Haldi- a pinch

. Saffola Gold Cooking Oil- For cooking the cheelas

Ingredients for Tandoori mushroom filling:

. Mushroom- 2 cup (each sliced into two halves)

. Onion- 2 (finely sliced)

. Capsicum- 1(finely sliced)

. Green chillies- 2 (chopped)

. Tandoori masala- 1 tablespoon

. Dahi- 3-4 tablespoon

. Fresh coriander leaves- 1-2 teaspoon (chopped)

. Salt- for taste

. Lemon juice- 1-2 teaspoon (optional)


Honey chilli makhana


Makhanas are rich in protein and hence make an amazing addition to fasting food. The health benefits of makhanas are attributed to its antioxidant and aphrodisiac properties since it improves physical strength, increases stamina, and helps to manage diabetes and other diseases.

Dry roast the makhana with a small portion of Saffola cooking oil in a pan for 5 minutes, tossing them regularly to make sure they don’t burn. Alternatively, you can roast them in the oven at 170 degrees C for 5-6 minutes. This will make the makhanas crunchy. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool at room temperature.

In the same pan, heat ghee and add jaggery. Keep stirring till all the jaggery melts and there are no lumps. Turn off the heat. Once the flame is off, immediately add chilli flakes and Saffola organic honey. They will cook in the residual heat. Pour this mixture over the makhanas and mix till they are evenly coated. You can have them any time as a snack!

Ingredients:

. 150 g plain makhana

. 25 g Saffola organic honey

. 40 g organic jaggery

. 10 g chilli flakes

. 5 g sea salt

. 1 tsp of Saffola Gold cooking oil

Aloo tikki chaat

A cup of hot tea or coffee paired with a healthy bowl of Aloo Tikki Chaat enjoyed in the comfort of your home during the monsoons is a ‘me time’ luxury like no other! First, boil and peel potatoes and mash them when warm, add corn flour, breadcrumbs (grind bread slices in a food processor) and lemon juice and mix well to make a stiff dough. For the stuffing, heat one tablespoon of cooking oil in a deep pan.

Add washed and soaked (for two hours) chana dal, peas and grated carrot, salt and red chili powder. Mix well and cover the masala to cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes. Turn off flame and let the masala cool down at room temperature and make small balls out of potato dough.

Place the balls in between your palms and press to flatten them gently. Put one teaspoon of masala in the centre. Close the edges and give a round shape again and flatten it little with the help of your palms. Heat oil in a deep pan for frying. Shallow fry the tikkis at a medium temperature till golden brown in colour. Take them out on a kitchen towel to soak excess oil. Serve hot with a sprinkle of chat masala, beaten yogurt, pomegranate seeds, tamarind chutney and coriander chutney.

Ingredients:

. 2 large Potatoes

. 5 Bread slices

. 2 tbsp Corn flour

. 1 tbsp Lemon juice

. 1 cup Peas

. 2 cup Carrot

. 1 tbsp Chana dal

. Salt to taste

. 1 tbsp red chilli powder

. Saffola gold cooking Oil for shallow frying

. 2 tsp chaat masala

. 1 cup (thick and fresh) Yogurt

. 2 Onion

. 1/2 cup Pomegranate seeds

. 1 cup coriander chutney

. 1 cup Tamarind chutney

Oatmeal and Raisin pancakes

Perfect for those with a sweet-tooth who like to lead a healthy life, these Oatmeal and Rasin Pancakes will become your go-to monsoon meal. Start by preparing the pancake batter by whisking the eggs, honey, vanilla extract, and Saffola gold oil together.

Add the oatmeal, raisins, and buttermilk. Mix and set aside for the oatmeal to soften. In a separate bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Fold till the dry ingredients are just incorporated; do not over-mix. Now the next step is to cook the pancakes. Preheat your griddle or frying pan to medium-high and then lightly brush the oil onto the griddle.

Ladle the batter and let it cook for a few minutes, before flipping and let it cook through. Keep in mind these pancakes do take longer to cook than regular pancakes. Serve immediately with warm Saffola honey.

Ingredients:

. 2 large eggs

. 2 tbsp Saffola honey

. 2 tsp vanilla extract

. 1 .5 tbsp Saffola gold cooking oil

. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick oats)

. 1/3 cup raisins

. 2 cups buttermilk (or plain yogurt)

. 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

. 1/2 tsp baking soda

. 2 pinches freshly-grated nutmeg

. 1/2 tsp baking powder

. 2 pinches ground cinnamon

. 1/2 tsp sea salt


ALSO READ-Squid ghee roast : A must try delightful seafood delicacy

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Squid ghee roast : A must try delightful seafood delicacy

Today’s recipe is about squids with a wonderful aroma of spices cooked in ghee and fresh curry leaves. This squid ghee roast  is a delightful seafood delicacy that you’ll fall in love with!

A selection of spices toasted, freshly ground, and fried in ghee, forms the base of this dish. Squid rings are then cooked to perfection in this flavourful base with curry leaves.

Some delicacies are so special that you only have to try it once to become a lifelong fan. This squid roast carries it’s flavour of goodness with a little twist of mine.

Ingredients to boil the squid

  1. Squid – 800gms
  2. Onion – 2 medium (finely chopped)
  3. Tomato- 2 medium (finely chopped)
  4. Green chillies – 2 (finely chopped)
  5. Cumin powder- ½ tsp
  6. Ginger garlic paste-1tsp
  7. Salt –  as per your taste
  8. Turmeric – ½ tsp

Ingredients for red masala

  1. Dry red chillies- 4 to 5
    1. Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
    1. Tamarind – very little

    Method for red masala

1.Dry roast the red chillies and coriander seeds for 3 to 4 minutes on low medium flame.

2. After its cooled grind it into paste along with the tamarind.

Ingredients for roast

  1. Soya sauce- 1tbsp
  2. Red chilli sauce- 1 tbsp
  3. Garam masala- ½ tsp
  4. Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
  5. Garlic pods-3 (finely chopped )
  6. Ghee-  3 tbsp
  7. Curry leaves – handful

Method

  1. In a heavy bottom pan add the washed and cleaned squid, onion, tomato, green chillies, salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder,  cumin powder.
  2. Add the red masala into it and half a cup of water . Mix everything nicely and keep it to boil in low medium flame. Close and cook it for 15 minutes until the squid is well cooked and the water is dried. Keep it aside
  3. Heat an another pan add ghee and the chopped garlic and curry leaves. Saute for 2 mins
  4. Add the soya sauce red chilli sauce mix it and add the cook squid masala into it. Mix everything nicely check the salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on low medium flame.
  5. Add the garam masala and coriander leaves and give a final mix and switch of the flame.

ALSO READ-Healthy snacks combo for Monsoon cravings