I’m rejoicing! It’s a joy to discover Chennai’s amazing home-bakers and catering talent. To fly down from Mumbai for our”Whats hot Tasting session” and to get a taste of the delicious and healthy variety too that is cooked up at home. Today, I feature two of the talented participants. More follow in the fortnights to come.
Warm brown Baking Studio
Please take a look at the accompanying photograph. I shot it in the midst of our “whats hot tasting session”. You can see the array of home made goodies which Suresh and Vyanjana Nambiar from Warm Brown Baking Studio bake up. Not only are some of these healthy and tasty but have many a nutrient benefit too. They use flaxseed, millets, amaranth and more. Some are low calorie and others gluten free too. They are gifted home bakers who take orders for organic and regular cookies, brownies, cakes, breads and also pesto, hummus, pickles etc. Their USP is no margarine or preservatives in both the organic and non-organic products . Vegan, organic, glutenfree can all be sourced from them.
Before I tell you more about their creations, let me introduce my official tasters. Shvetha Jaishanker, former Miss India International not only painstakingly tasted through each and every item of each and every home baker (as did Chef Makwana) but also shared her opinion. Not only is she a discerning foodie but her book Eat well, look great will be a treasure trove of foodie-secrets to looking as fabulous as her. And ofcourse, the official taster-in-chief, was the brilliant and creative executive chef Dharmen Makwana. He heads up the stunningly beautiful Leela Palace by the sea. Having honed his skills nationally and internationally, Chef Makwana now masterminds the Leela Palace’s authentic Chinese and Indian restaurants and a versatile all day dining restaurant too. So together we tasted our way though “Warm Brown’s” organic 100% Whole wheat bread, gluten free Millet cookies, Vegan cookies, Organic, gluten free cakes and muffins, Organic savouries, Organic breakfast cereals, amaranth Ladoos, Millet Ladoos, Flaxseed sesame dates Ladoos, Fruit and nut energy bars.
We all loved the texture and flavor of the amaranth cookies the most. Delicious flaxseed onion crackers, Millet ladoos, and flaxseed sesame date ladoos too. We all agreed that those looking for Gluten free items have found their mecca here. As though all this wasn’t enough they also make the most delightful Hummus and Pesto to add zing to your snacks and meals and home made drinks like Jaljeera and Ginger Nectar. Cheers to that.
Warm Brown Baking Studio, 30/18, 2nd Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore. Ph. Tel 98840-60652
If you are looking for Italian herbs to spike your dishes with zing, but are particular about them being organic and grown with utmost care, then look no further. Sreehari Shete & Ishwarya Thirumalai from Milagro grown these herbs in their farm in Ooty. They do so with utmost care. They do not use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers and ensure that their herbs are completely organic. These herbs are then airdried. Ask for their Oregano, Rosemary & Thyme herbs. Here’s the best part, you can get them Bottled, Fresh and also Potted. Rosemary Crackers, Rosemary Scrub, Herb Regalo, a festive offering too.
Visit them on www.themilagro.org or facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/themilagro/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf or pick up the herbs from them at J block, No. 47, 7th street, Annanagar East.
YOU ARE INVITED
Discovering. Tasting. Writing. Especially about home bakers and caterers has been my passion for the past two decades. I ve done this in Pune and Delhi and continue to do it in Mumbai and Chennai. This column was a result of one such #whatshottastingsession. Are you a home baker? Provide foodie services out of home? want to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession? And be featured here? The please mail mail email@example.com,Anjalisharma966@gmail.com, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh. Call 9884065010 Watingly yours.
I write this column from Chennai, where I am conducting an exciting #whatshottastingsession too. Are you a home baker? Provide foodie services out of home? want to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession? mail firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh. Dr Rajul Matkar, from Dubai (a gynaecologist who for a passion, bakes, develops healthy recipes, caters malwani food too) came specially. As did Sameer Malkani, dynamic chief of the Food Bloggers Association of India who has been conducting many a #homechefmatters session. All are welcome.
Whoa ! What talent! What creativity and what a variety! Each time I conduct our “whats hot tasting session” for home chefs, caterers and bakers in Chennai I get delighted …and impressed. We conduct this just before the iconic grand dame, The Connemara went under revamp to emerge more beautiful than ever. Today, I serve up three yummy options…from eggless desserts and cakes to ready to cook chapattis and a culinary recreation school too.
Looking for eggless (strictly) cakes and desserts? Cake pop bouquets, dessert cups, cupcakes, brownies and more? 100%veg mousse cups and dessert cups
The forever helpful Afzal Khan not only organises everything but also helps me with the tastings. He points out that their themed cake pops and cupcakes are delicious and sure-fire kiddie favourites.
Call the talented Ayushi & Akshita Agarwal of Sprinkles. Both are student entrepreneurs, use only the finest ingredients and take great pains to take ensure that their patisserie delights their clients. They take a minimum Order: for mini cupcakes and cake pops minimum order is 10 pieces while for brownies its 6 pcs
Aminjikarai, near Ampa Skywalk
How about celebrating and learning and eating…all at the same time? Unique and interesting food classes? Mom/Dad& Me, Couples Date Night, Kids Parties, Mom & me, Dad& me etc. Go check out this creative recreational culinary studio.
A great way to have kiddie parties and spend quality time with your kids. Entertaining and Educational Cooking Experience for Toddlers to Teens.
A delicious way to celebrate! Couples that cook together, stay together! Create a meal that will be memorable and romantic!
Take a look the fun group photograph of the founder Shree Periakaruppan as well as a few of her culinary team. From Bee Bee Martinet’s Malaysian fare to, Tasneem Ayub’s Moghlai to Neelima Sriram’s vegan and vegetarian offerings.
Damayanthi Paul, teaches Sri Lankan cuisine. Kamalika Krishmy. Winner of Superfchef is sought after for desserts, baking and Indian Food!Sumi Shroff specialises in punjabi, fusion and kids menuPreethi Venkatramani ,Baker Shyamala Sivaraman and ChefNaren specialises in Arabic and international cuisine. The founder Shree Periakaruppan a dynamic IT professional having lived for over a decade in Washington (and honed her cooking skills) set up Foodology two years ago. Since then, she has had Chennai eating out of her hands.
3A, Second Main Road, Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar. Landline: +91 24454885 and 900 305 4885. email@example.com
Here’s an amazing success story built around ready to eat chapattis. S. Srinivasan left his successful corporate career and his wife Uma also quit her job to take care of the production where two other women help her knead, roll out and seal chapattis. She continues to be a foodblogger. Giving me his expert palatte opinion, is The Conemmara’s brilliant executive chef Jaffer Ali. We conducted this Whatshottasting session The couple began by supplying 350 ready-to-eat chappatis a day. Today, on an average, the unit at Madipakkam rolls out 3,000 every day.
Ofcourse, they did not stop there. Snacks, healthy options and more. Chapatis, Pooris, Methi Chapatis and Ragi Chapatis, made with hygienic manufacturing and packing process ensures that the freshness of the Chapati is retained. High quality whole wheat flour, oil, salt and mineral water are used. Organic food including samosa, ragi rolls and short eats and podis. Bulk orders, snacks for Events are all part of their repertoire.
Plot No 3032, 1st Floor, 6th Main Road, Ramnagar South, Madipakkam, Chennai 600091
Phone: 9500021540 / 9962530871 / 044-22580049
AN OPEN INVITATION
Are you a home chef? Conduct any foodie services out of home? Would you like to be part of our next “Whatshottasting session’? Please mail your details of work and contact to firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh Please put “Chennai whatshottasting in the subject line.
I am rejoicing! I am celebrating! Chennai’s talented home chefs have this effect on me. Each time I visit Chennai and organise our #Whatshottasting session, I get blown away by the range of talent, by the sheer choice there is. Today, I write about two ends of the spectrum…from the deliciously healthy to the deliciously sweet.
Yes! Healthy can be tasty. Nutritious can be delicious. Handmade, natural, healthy, safe and tasty…that’s what Fouziya Kutty (a self-taught home chef) and husband Abdul Taher (an advertising professional) create and innovate. Pickles to jams…not only are they handmade, but also free from any kind of preservatives. They are also made from only the freshest and the best organic fruits and vegetables. To be sure only organic brown sugar and organic salt is used. And ofcourse, as they point our “ the secret to our jams & sauces being yummier, is the actual “content” of the main fruit”. For example, their strawberry Jam has an actual fresh fruit content of not less than “65” % and in their tomato sauce fresh tomato content is almost “80%”.
Take your pick from Lime Date Pickle Chutney /Tomato Sauce / Schezwan Sauce / Birds Eye Chili Sauce . For Rs 150 each. For those with a sweet tooth, Strawberry Jam / Orange Marmalade/ Apple Fig jam /Mango jam and even the unusual (5) Banana Jam
Sheik abdul taher – 9841063408
Fouziya’s Cooking products are handmade and marketed by Fouziya’s Cooking
# 5, Raja Garden, Kottivakkam, Chennai -41
A winner right through…International tennis champion, turned Public Relations expert turned ace patisseur. Cindana Manickavel’s ‘Sugar Monkey’ has a huge following for it’s cakes, cupcakes, cookies and dessert jars. Why the name “SugarMonkey? “When I first started baking, my mother always said the kitchen looked like it had been ransacked by a monkey!” explains Cindana. But that’s where the monkey analogy ends, because Cindana specialises in sophisticated and elegant patisserie. For those looking for healthy options, Cindana also makes eggless and vegan cakes. Ofcourse, the super-indulgent whisky and rum and chocolate options are all there. But most of all, it’s the dessert jars which are magnetising attention. Not only are they unique and handy and easy to carry but deliciously creamy too. They make for Sweet finales too!
Ph. 98848-57156. email@example.com
AN OPEN INVITATION
Would you like to featured in this column? What you are holding in your hands is an open invitation to do so. Be a part of our “Whats Hot Tasting session”. Mail details of your work, your signature dishes, a bit about your background and contact details. Contact me on instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh mail firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
Delicious surprises! The most amazing Michelin starred cuisine restaurant in a tiny, picturesque Italian village with a population of 750! That it is located in the worlds most dramatic and dazzling Dolomite mountains in Italy which are bathed in brilliant summer sunshine and sparkled with wild flowers magnifies the deliciousness. I shot this fun photograph in the unique chalet-within-the-hotel Rosa Alpina terrace garden where the brilliant Two Michelin starred and highly awarded Chef Norbert Niederkofler full of fun and genius kneels down to Hugo and Ursula Pizzinini who redefine the art of hospitality. In their family owned over seven decade old Rosa Alpina they make all guests feel like family. Here comfort, luxury and high-tech meld together in every exquisite detail. From the super-stylish Zeno chalet within the hotel, the bio hamam, yoga studio to movie theatre and ofcourse St Hubertus, the two Michelin-starred restaurant.
It is here that their two Michelin starred restaurant (the only one in the region) St Hubertus has been magnetizing global gourmets.
MICHELIN MOUNTAIN MAGIC
There is magic in Chef Norberts hands. “The best things are the simple things but at the same time also the hardest things to do” he says as he drives me to meet the producers from whom he directly sources milk, cheese, yoghurt, vegetables and more. “Cook the mountain” is his philosophy and local sourcing is the foundation. Having honed his skills and style under maestros around the world, it was 1993 that Chef Norbert set up St Hubertus in Hotel Rosa Alpina where he continues to dedicate his cuisine to the local mountain range, using ingredients produced in the Dolomites.
News spread of this ‘Cook the Mountain’ philosophy, as it came to be known, and in 2000 the restaurant won its first Michelin star. ‘We use twenty-five different kinds of carrots throughout the year and an almost endless variety of herbs including amaranth leaves, sorrel, wild onion and celeriac,’ he explains. ‘The most natural ingredients are the most important.’ He tells me this as we drive to meet these producers, I am fascinated and charmed and can fully comprehend the huge number of accolades Chef Norbert and his restaurant have been showered with.
Indeed, his philosophy of “cook the mountain” shines through in his “simple, clear and clean” cooking, where he skillfully combines only a maximum of 3 or 4 Flavours. His brilliant beetroot gnocchi plump with the surprising horseradish cream, barley risotto with black garlic are some of the vegetarian dishes that dazzle. I have many of his recipes and happy to share them with you. Please instagram, tweet@rashmiudaysingh email firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE’s – THE ETHICAL CHEF DAYS
Making a global mark is Chef Norberts forte… Other than writing bestselling books, being the only Italian chef invited to the World Gourmet summit, organising the Chef’s Cup in San Cassiano, cooking for Lufthansa Sky Gourmet (LSG)
It is now CARE, Ethical chefs which in it’s very first edition (in January this year) already has already magnetised the worlds greatest chefs. CARE, set up by Chef Norbert with Paolo Ferretti and Michelin starred chef Giancarolo Morelli, brought together , 5 continents, 20 nations, 30 chefs for 4 unforgettable days.
The goal of the “CARE’s – The ethical Chef Days“ project is to bring together chefs and people from around the world who all share a common vision: a new, innovative, sustainable and ethical approach to food.
It is a new way to teach adults and children, to raise awareness and encourage respect for nature, to promote environmentally friendly attitudes, and to show how to experience our environment without misusing it. From round table discussions on the future of food and nutrition and discussions on sustainability, ethics and development, to cooking masterclasses, and lunches in Cook the Mountain style, guided food tastings, wine tastings, wine and infusion tastings and more. The gourmet Gala dinner marks the highlight where the brilliant chefs prepare a gourmet dinner using ingredients that are usually considered “waste”, turning them into culinary delicacies.
Proof that (almost) all parts of raw ingredients can be used and that haute cuisine is not made only with expensive and exotic ingredients, but it can and must be sustainable and educational. The next edition of CARE is scheduled to be in January 2017 in the very same charming San Cassiano village with it’s population of 750 inhabitants which will magnetise the world here with Chef Norbert’s “cook the mountain” philosophy. Whoa! Mountain magic at it’s best!
It’s the ultimate dream: to love food, enjoy it, and still remain fit and healthy and forever young. For most of us, that’s what it remains: a dream.
It’s doubly difficult for me, because as a food critic who has eaten her way through 37 books and countless columns, it don’t “eat to live” “I live to eat” ( Literally too).
So its been a lifetime search for me to find the balance and the answer. Im on a continuous search… having written weekly health columns for 15 years and scripted, directed, produced and anchored a weekly TV show on health blessed me with the opportunity to spend time with brilliant experts in the medical field. From Deepak Chopra in LA to our Ayurvedacharyas at home. I questioned them relentlessly, chewed on every single answer they gave and digested it. I continue to zig zag the world in my quest…here’s the latest on the greatest…
It is here, in this luxurious, historic Palace Merano, in the picturesque Italian spa town of Merano that I get my answers. Here luxury combines with high-tech and scientific principles behind this ultra-royal pampering deliver great health and energy. It’s the dynamic and charming couple and global pioneering health gurus Dominique and Henri Chenot ‘s Chenot Method that hits the sweet spot. Having majored in Anthropology, Philosophy Chinese Medicine, as well as Bio-Energetic Psychology and Naturopathy (natural remedies to cure illnesses) Henri Chenot created the first of a series of phytocosmetics and phytotherapy laboratories.
In 1999 Henri Chenot created Biontology, a new concept for studying the evolution of psycho-physical ageing.It reconciles contradictions, takes within it’s sweep the union of Chinese and Western medicine and aims at achieving balance between body, mind and soul. This slows the ageing process, to eliminate toxins and tiredness at all levels: physical, sensory, emotional, mental and physiological. Food and digestion are at the heart of this.
FOOD BE THY MEDICINE
Unbelievable flavor and color, presentation and taste…hard to believe that it is calorie restricted, nutritious and vegan fare. Behind it is the brilliant and knowledgable Dominique Chenot.
Nutrition is at the heart of the experience with a mostly vegan diet being adhered to and with strict calorie control, between 800-1000kcals a day. The chefs weave magic and instead of feeling deprived you feel pampered and coddled.
DOMINIQUE CHENOT’S TIPS
Eating and drinking for health
- Fruit : ofcourse we all know about the importance of fruit and its detoxifying effect. Its naturally rich in potassium and minerals. But did you know that fruit is best eaten before meals? digestion is much faster if the fruit is eaten on it’s own? If you eat it after a meal it will tend to stagnate in the stomach.
- We all know sugary drinks are not good, but did you know that fruit juices are not either? It is beneficial to the whole fruit. When eating cereals it is best to accompany them with water and lemon.
- Be careful not to eat too many raw vegetables, because they tend to cause swelling. Go for vegetable soups, which moisturize the body and furnish a good supply of vitamins.
- Breakfast is not optional. If you’re going to use your car you fill up with first to avoid being stranded…eat lighter at dinner.
- Hold the salt! Try using herbs or spices, fresh if possible. Drink plenty of water!
DETOX BIRYANI TO YOGA MASSAGE
Its here, that for the first time ever that I have the most flavorful detox biryani and the most relaxing, stretching yoga-massage. Over the decades, the super-luxurious Palace Merano has been magnetizing global royalty to sportsmen, the super-stylish fashionistas to the those in need of healing…it also has a huge share of the well-known Indians. I personally know three of the leading industrialist families (who prefer not to be quoted) who come back twice a year. Its an amazing experience …energy meridians are checked and energized, daily mud baths, jet-hose showers, celllular resonance therapy, massages using the Chenot method and along with all this there’s a hi-tech laboratory for instant diagnostic results. And the most amazing gourmet vegan food, served in super-plush surrounding. A stay here helps you jettison kilos of weight and heavy psychological stress too. Helps you rejuvenate, celebrate…
P.S. I have specially got the detox biryani recipe and also Dominique Chenot’s favorite Agar-agar recipe. (you can also download plenty from Amazon) Should you need the recipes, please instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh email@example.com
Stop press. Our very own Keralaites are making international headlines. They are being applauded and awarded. Celebrated and feted. I must confess that though I’m a North Indian, I’ve always had a big fat soft corner for South Indians and South India. It was during my tenure in the Indian Revenue Service (I resigned as commissioner of tax after working for 15 years) that I got to know South Indians closely. And since then have been a fan. So it is with great delight and pride that I write about the three superstars…
2 MICHELIN STARS IN SAN FRANCISCO
He’s the only Indian chef in the world to receive two Michelin stars. Soft spoken, brilliant Keralite Chef Srijith Gopinathan grew up being influenced by his grandmothers cooking and the exotic spices in his Kerala home’s backyard. From the perfumed kitchen of his family to culinary school and then working with Raymond Blanc, the genius of cuisine in London gave Srijith a huge headstart. For six years in a row, Chef Srijith earned a\Michelin star and it was just recently that he got the highly coveted two stars.
I had his most mindblowingoriginal Californian-Indian masterpieces in San Francisco’smost prominent century old, award-winning landmark hotel restaurant located in Campton Place, the throbbing heart of this beautiful city. Helmed by the dynamic and charming AshrafiMatcheswala who never ceases to amaze me with her prowess in hospitality but also as an award winning marathoner. It was with the two of them that I not only tripped out on an amazing dinner but also learnt more about the Dungness crabs, famous over here. Infact Chef Srijith has shared his fabulous recipes of “Crab and peaches” but space constraint prevents me from including it here. Should you need it please mail, tweet or instagam @rashmiudaysingh
COOKING UP HISTORY IN NEW YORK
Making waves in New york city and getting rave reviews for his brand new Perineis executive chef AshferBiju. This brilliant and friendly Keralite chef heads up NYC’s 85 year old iconic landmark which keeps reinventing itself. Escoffier, the King of French chefs (and codifier of French cuisine,) did all the initial menus at this magnificent stately Pierre. Today, AshferBiju is making history again. To bring back the era of celebration of food and dinind, he researched menus and recipes from 1930s 40s and 50s (when Pierre had opened its doors to public. He found dishes / recipes that are classic which fell into three categories – New York Classic, French Classic & Pierre Classic – with several overlaps. While some classics are retained with its original recipe, other dishes are made relevant using local produce from Upstate New York and Long Island.Interestingly there is a spice thread which runs through the menu and pays tribute to “The Pierre Grill” one of the first (or the first) fine dining Indian restaurant that existed at the hotel in 1950s. I not only taste history here but have many an amazing meal withJoint-degree holder from the finest in America and France, the great wit and dynamo Francois Olivier Luigi. He helms this exquisite icon andnot only ensures that it retains it’s historic grandeur (handpainted murals et al) but also rocks ahead youthfully. Chef AshferBiju and Michael Mignano share many a superb recipe with us, should you need it please mail, instagram or tweet @rashmiudaysingh
GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD WINNER
“Best Indian cookbook in the world” is her most recent award given by the numero uno Edourard Cointreau of the highly prestigious and coveted Gourmand World cookbook awards. These awards are the worlds most respected and sought after, global culinary awards. Nimi Sunil Kumar, Our very own Conoor resident, was given this honor in China recently. She is a highly accomplished author/culinary teacher/freelance writer / food photographer and a part time food blogger/ dietitian. It is for her third cookbook “4 o’clock temptations of kerala” that she won the title “Best Indian cookbook in the world ” (209 countries competed for it)
She has written three books on authentic Kerala cooking. “Lip smacking dishes of Kerala”.The book bagged the third place for the “Best Local Cuisine Book in the world” in Beijing in 2014. She started “Nimi’s Lip Smacking Classes” in Jan 2012 for foreigners and for these is listed on international websites and books and has received many a certificate of excellence.
Congratulations to all three. You do not just South India but also India proud! Jai ho.
It’s a treat to beat all treats: to be here with Deepak Chopra, the iconic fountain of youth and well-being, the repository of ancient wisdom and modern medical scientific knowledge. Over the years, I’ve interviewed him for my TV show on health and many a column. Each time I’ve come away with many a nugget of wisdom, but this time I get the most eye-opening perspectives of food.
Through my 36 books on food and countless columns, I’ve been on the constant quest to find out more about food, but it’s Deepak Chopra interpretations of food, on the physical, gourmet, medical, spiritual and even genetic aspects that are mind-blowing.
FOOD AND GENETICS
Here’s the mind-blowing great news: food can actually alter our genetic makeup. Spearheading this research on Epigenetics, Deepak explains the complex scientific mechanisms of mind, brain, genome and microbiome. Together with prof Rudy Tanzi, authority on genetics ( who discovered the Alzheimer gene) their groundbreaking research, on the Super gene (and the role of the plant-based diet) has been making global waves. For me its this cutting edge finding of how food interacts with our genes that is thrilling.I talk to Prof Rudy. he is Vegetarian (loves indian food, paneer korma, in particular). Deepak is vegan. Both explain how we need not be at the mercy of our genetic inheritance. Super genes. Super news indeed!
FOOD AND GOURMET
It can’t get better than this. Would you have credited the thousands of years old Ayurveda with gourmet sensibilities? Deepak Chopra points out… “If the meal isnt delicious it isn’t nourishing you. Enjoy your meal. If you are struggling with a diet that you think is good for you but you do not find it appetizing, it will ultimately not be nourishing and you will not be able to stay with it for long”.
According to Ayurveda. everything can be classified according to one or more of six basic tastes; sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. If you sample foods that correspond to these tastes your food will provide an assortment of health promoting nutrients. In fact Sweet:- Sweet is the taste of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. (Breads, grains, nuts, fruits, starchy vegetables, fruits, dairy, oils and animal products are considered sweet.) Sour:_ Any food that is mildly acidic is experienced as sour. Favor oranges, berries, tomatoes while reducing your intake of pickles alcohol and vinegar.
Salty:- Salt is the flavor of ion producing minerals on the tongue. In the right dose salt adds flavor and promotes digestion. Too much salt can aggravate high blood pressure and cause fluid retention.
Pungent;- Most pungent foods contain natural antioxidants and infection fighting chemicals Due in part to their anti-spoiling properties pungent spices have been valued for millenia. These include chilli peppers, black pepper, fresh and dry ginger, cloves, mustard, garlic cardamom. Adding spices and herbs will serve your palate and
Bitter;- Bitter is the taste of most green and yellow vegetables. Bitterness is due to natural plant chemicals known as phytochemicals which have detoxifying, disease preventing and healing properties.
Astringent;The last of the six tastes is more of an effect than an actual flavor.Astringent foods have a drying, compacting and puckering influence on your body. Beans, legumes, peas, pomegranates are all considered astringent.
FOOD AND EMOTIONS
Ofcourse, we are all aware of the connection between food and emotions, about how mothers express their love through food, romance blossoms over that candlelight dinner or families bond over the table. But I learn even more when I spend time in California’s sprawling and picturesque headquarters of The Chopra center, four hundred acres of lush, sun-dappled, palm-tree-lined beauty. Here I meditate, attend talks and enjoy some superbly delicious vegetarian food. I explore the connection between our environment, physiology, food and emotions. Much as I wish to, I cannot compress all that in one column, Suffice it to say that the mind controls the body and even what we eat is metabolized depending on the state of mind we eat it in. I learn to eat mind fully and in a calm state of mind.
FOOD AND BEAUTY
“Radical Beauty “ ………. is what happens when two powerful, influential founts of knowledge and experience come together. Deepak Chopra and Kimberly Snyder serve up trailblazing solutions on “how to transform yourself from inside out”. Kimberly is a nutritionist for the mind, body & soul, a yogini and the New York Times best-selling author of The Beauty Detox Solution and many other books and nutritionist for many of the top celebrities.
Deepak brings his unique medical, spiritual perspective and together they share secrets everyone can use to experience extraordinary health, vitality and a radiant glow. How to transform yourself from inside out. And Deepak is an inspirational example of this!
HEALING & YUMMY
Joy of joys! My latest “Whats Hot tasting session” not only served up delicious surprises but an amazing range too. Home enterprises run by passionate foodies and look what they are upto. From anti-bacterial, anti-aging healthy fare to traditional, home made Muslim sweets.
Age old flowers, forgotten recipes, organic fruits and vegetables…you name it. Sonya Srinivasan grows them in her own organic farm (be it Avarampu flowers or modakathan) and makes the most delicious Anti -inflamatory anti bacterial, anti-aging chutneys, decoctions et al. We do a tasting of the tasty and wholesome Aragarkovil dosa of Black urad dal. Delightfully vibrant and flavorful chutneys and more. Plenty more. Dual grained atta with a little twist, wheat and oats spiced with dry ginger powder and a hint of fennel powder, wheat sprouted ragi powder with Jeera powder, azhagar kovil dosa batter made of whole Urad with skin and spiced and atta with powdered curry powder and corn flour too.
Sindhi food lovers delight: sweets and savories such as Singhar ki mithai ( made from non – salty sev of besan or gramflour), Tosho ( sweet flour rolls) , Seero Malpuro ( Malpua served with sooji halwa) and Sindhi khicha ( Tapioca). Loved the healthy yummy Peanuts and rock.ginger sweet too.
And all that wasn’t enough, Sonya grows and sells Indian pittu apple to Dragon fruit and avocado too. Ph. 944444-2662
Can home deliver too.
AZRA & SOBIAs SWEETS
I cant stop eating it. The purest and sweetest taste of the finest almonds in this “badam ke bhukath”.And to think that its made of only almond and sugar. Making these traditional Muslim sweets are Azra Zafar and her daughter in law Sobia Habibunissa. These traditional Muslim sweets are made during marriages. Making these sweets is a time consuming exercise and needs lot of hard work such as Ande ki piyousi (eggs ,khoya ,saffron and ghee ), badam ke loaz ( pure badam and khoya and saffron). And they also make the humble pumpkin into a delight in their kaddu ke loaz ( pumpkin khoya and saffron ) and dum ke puri ( puri stuffed with badam halwa and baked). When I request for the recipes I am told these are “fiercely guarded recipes, handed down over generations and cannot be shared with outsiders.” Atleast we can eat them, and that’s fabulous!
Call 98405-38889 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A MILLION THANKS
I have to place on record my thanks to the ever helpful, knowledgable Foodies who helped me taste my way through this tasting session. Brilliant Executive chef Jaffar Ali who has honed his skills over the years, showcases them brilliantly be it in the Connemara’s Oriental or the Chettinadu cuisine restaurants. Afzal Khan’s amazing knowledge and skills in food and beverage are well known. Infact it’s thanks to the everhelpful Ahmar Siddiqui, that we hold this whats hot tasting session at the Connemara hotel. Rakesh
Raghunathan, food entrepreneur, blogger and TV show host peppers the evening with his lively food comments and Anjali Sharma coordinates and puts it together. Thanks to all the participants and foodies our Tasting session turns out to be a truly “Whats hot” one!