india

RESTORE. REGENERATE.REJUVENATE 

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I write from paradise. And it’s not only because the biblical forbidden fruit, the apple is the focus today, or because we are standing under it’s “tree of knowledge”. It’s also because I am in the  divinely beautiful mountainside overlooking meadows and forests in the world famous Lanserhof medical institution. It  has been at the forefront of cutting edge research and is based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine.

I’m on a quest.  As a food critic I not only research (read eat) and write about what’s delicious and assess the world’s best restaurants as regional jury chairperson of international academies but am on a mission  to find out what’s the final word on what to eat. How to eat and when to eat. And I’m in my mecca.

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Awesome apple: Chef Karston Wolf, Dr Benedetto Reisch. 

THE AWESOME  APPLE …

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Easy delicious Apple Chutney.

The photograph I shot just outside the dining room says it all… Along with the brilliant chef Karsten Wolf who specializes in “Energy Cuisine” is the highly qualified and experienced Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic  medical Director. And this is exactly how the food and the recipes have evolved here…on the basis of research of 70 chefs and as many doctors. Today we focus on the nutritional powerhouse, the apple.

Its always mystified me why the apple has been projected as a “forbidden fruit” in many religious traditions and not just in the biblical story of Adam and Eve.

It’s almost magical in it’s nutritional benefits. You name it…Good source of soluble and insoluble fiber
Vitamin C , heart-healthy potassium
B-complex vitamins, anti-oxidants,

 flavanoids, and dietary fiber. Studies suggest that its components are not only essential reducing cholesterol levels,

recommended for arthritis, obesity, gallbladder stones but also for optimal growth, development, and overall wellness. And since,

Europe’s leading Lanserhof medical institution, is based on the Classical Mayr Medicine, it’s focus is on the digestive system and food. Not only is their “Energy cuisine” nutritious and delicious, but the dynamic and caring Dr Benedetto Reisch, also shares the basic principles. What we eat, how we eat and what time we eat is a very crucial part of the basic concept. And chef Karsten Wolf shares the recipe of his apple chutney which can sparkle every meal and make for a great dip too.1 kg  (diced) apples/

200g (finely chopped) onions/200g of brown sugar /25g of (finely chopped) ginger/2 chili peppers /1tsp salt/1tsp anchovy apple pie spice (optional)400ml white wine vinegar. Cook all ingredients till soft and then put into a mixer. Enjoy!

 SUPERENERGY SPROUTS 

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Sprouting health…Shobha Golecha

From Germany to Chennai. Here’s the most amazing source of energy…sprouts. I’m a great believer in the healthy magic of sprouts and the good news is that, in Chennai you can source the freshest, made to order …moong ,moth, black horsegram, brown horsegram, methi, peanuts, masoor, wheat, ragi ,jowar, etc and Shobha Golecha’s signature sprouts… the Alfa.

The enterprising Shobha not only sprouts from organic grains but also  teaches  and advises on various ways to enrich dishes as well as new recipes.

She ensures that these  builders, repairers,and maintainers of our body and mind are made integral to our diet…in a tasty way.

“Sprouting  increases the nutritional value from 20 – to 500 times the grain value.” She points out. “Its the tastiest way of going healthy ,for the busiest to  the serious health enthusiasts.

Sprouts in general are protein rich full of amino acids, high fiber so detoxes,cures constipation, high in antioxides, anti inflammatory, increases immunity, controls sugar, helps weight management, and loaded with vitamins and minerals.

avorite dishes shades healthier, and boring foods more tastety, crunchy and appealing.

Use as salads, sundals, soups, in wraps, sandwiches, roti, kakra , breads,chaat, dips and chutneys, dosa , idli, raita ,accompaniments or maincourse, dressing or garnishing to where imagination can take you. Shobha home delivers, teaches on how to make sprouts at home. Her ultimate aim…”We want thousands to learn, earn and be a part of making INDIA one of the healthiest country’ s of the world, easiest way to overcome malnutrition, under a single banner.

Daily Sprouts

7200028271 /9444711247 / 42850016

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Review: PALI THAI

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Enter through  Pali Bhavan, walk through a dimly lit narrow curtained archway and enter a totally different world. Sexily glamorous space. Mood lighting, pendant lamps (inspired by ngob,  Thai farmers’ palm leaf and bamboo hats), indoor palm and plantain trees, masterful orchestration of vibrant colour and design by the brilliant Ashiesh Shah in this intimate 40 seater space charms.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

Pali Thai 3
At Pali Thai:  Soraya Homcheun, Cholada Siddhivarn and Amish ChinaI.

 

INDIAN SHINES IN RUSSIA

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Surprises never cease! This young enterprising doctor turned restaurateur is from Malad (his parents still live there). He came to Russia to complete his medical education, practised as a doctor and than passion for food turned into a business and today he owns 20 restaurants in South Russia. I came to know of Ajay Singh just by chance when a common friend mentioned his name in passing.  No! none of Ajay’s restaurants serve Indian cuisines. It’s Russian, Pan asian ,frontier ,multi cuisines,  sushi bars too. He is all set  to open a Italian restaurant with  renowned Italian chef Mirko Zago joining hands with the Tsar of Russian restaurant business Arkadi Novikov. Jai ho!

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Ajay Singh does India proud in Russia.

Review: TAFTOON RESTAURANT & BAR

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Regional Indian

Regional Indian cuisine zindabad! I’m a big fan of our  country’s diverse and complex  regional cuisines and am constantly writing about the need for more restaurants serving these. I welcome Taftoon! It  celebrates the regions along the Grand Trunk road.

Read my full review on whatshot.in

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Balle balle on the Grand Trunk road highway: dining at TAFTOON.

Review: FOO

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Foo-dies rejoice! The brand new  Asian Tapas restaurant “Foo”  translates to “ fortune” “goodluck” in Chinese And fortunately (for us and the owners) it serves up  well-made food, moderate pricing, great ambiance and friendly service. All four elements of what makes a restaurant tick. Add to that the fifth, buzz…Foo is buzzing already.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

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Rejoicing at the brand new  FOO…Asian tapas time.

Review: CAFÉ ARPAN

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I’m an admirer. I have a big fat soft corner for the restaurateurs who use their restaurant not just to make more and more money (nothing wrong with that) but also for a good cause. To help the differently abled.

Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!

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FEELING GOOD With Arjun, Siddhartha and Namrata Chatterjee. With the Café Arpan staff 
(Samvit Desai, Anand Jangir, Nazneen Kagalwala, Nandini Rajwade, Aarti Nagarkar  in the background).

Review: EFFINGUT

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Pune’s Effingut opens in Colaba (in place of  Alibaba). Effingut serves up comfort, music, and fun and that’s why it is buzzing and mobbed. And that explains why even on a weeknight it’s Effingut.

Please read my full review on whatshot.in

Review: XICO

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Atlast! Mexico in Mumbai. Authentic ingredients, ( Hass avocados, homemade ground Masa for  tortillas, Mexican Cheese  Cotija, Requeson , Queso Fresco, Mole sauce too).

Read my full review on whatshot.in

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XICO: Freshly made  guacamole on the table by Deepak Dining with Shamit , Nina and PK Vasa.  

HOME TALENT UNLIMITED

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Please take a look at the accompanying photograph! What you can see are Chennai’s super-talented home-bakers and caterers. The youngest twosome are eighteen years old.  What you cant see are their tasty and innovative creations which they brought along to our “Whats Hot Tasting Session” held a few days ago.

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HOT HAPPENING HOME TALENT…

A SNEAK PEAK

So here it is, just a quick peak at our newly discovered foodie talent. Due to space constraint I can only give a one line intro to each. To get  complete details you’ll have to wait for my friday column every fortnight. Are you particular about home-cooked fare? Looking for gluten-free? Healthful? Vegan? Pickles? Luxuriously sinful? Your search ends here.  From home made probiotics to home made strawberry and gin icecream, from vegan peanut chocolate cups to prawn pickle. Each one brought their samples to taste and set them up in the hall, on the display tables  graciously provided by the multi-talented chef Ajit Bangera in the ITC Grand Chola. We sipped tea and tasted each one’s creations, shot photos on the grand staircase and moved onto the lush green gardens outside, Thanks Anjali Sharma, Chef Sai Chand,  Chef Ajit Bangera, Sanjukhtaa Roy, Sayani Sinha Roy for making this Whats hot tasting session possible.  A memorably delicious evening.

BAGS OF GOODNESS

Palagapattu Bags

We just have to buy these cloth bags…  bags  made by women whose husband’s were farmers and who committed suicide because of drought. The sale of bags is their only source of income.

Sara koshy And Smitha Kuttaya brought these to our “Whatshottastingsession”  These cloth bags are perfect to hold cake boxes, for vegetable shopping, etc (Smitha is holding one in the photograph)

 

VIVA VEGAN

Would you believe that the most delicious peanut chocolate cups, also fudge brownie in a jar, are sans white sugar and actually vegan too? We have two 18 year olds Ranjani  and Akhil of Herbistore to thank for these. Baking Organic vegan chocolate cake is Smitha Kuttayya ‘s specialty. No maida, or preservative. And only Sulpher free sugar. Global theeni is her brand name and Pork chicken prawn pickle are her other specials.

Smitha Kuttayya (4)

 

HEALTHFUL …from sprouts to probiotics

You name it…alfa alfa, moong ,moth, black horsegram, brown horsegram, methi, peanuts, masoor, wheat, ragi ,jowar… Shobha Golecha sprouts it all. From organic grains and only on order basis. She also teaches  and advises on various ways to enrich dishes as well as new recipes.

 

I’m a great believer in the benefits of probiotics. I’m excited. This is the first time that I taste home-made probiotics. Abha Appaswamy makes the most delicious and much needed Kombucha, Milk Kefir, Beet Kvass, Ginger Ale. She also makes  Sauerkraut, Korean Kimchi, Hummus. All products contain live beneficial bacteria.Abha s Probiotics (3)

Snacky mood? Hungry? nothing better than munching on Seed crackers

Granola bars

Prathima Manikandan uses only natural sugars with low glycemic index, finest of seeds, nuts and dryfruits to make these. Pratima Manikandan (3)

WE ALL SCREAM FOR…

Get high on icecream! Literally too! Roasted strawberry in gin,

Bailey’s ice cream cake are Bhavana Arya’s signatures. Feeling particularly celebratory?

She makes Motichoor ladoo ice cream too.

 Named “Intox” (short for intoxication) she adds alcohol to some but ensures  that no colour or essence or sugar is used.

Jumana huzefa bakes tarts from millet and  tops them deliciously with zucchini and cheese. Delightful

Amaranth cookies, Granola with almond, blueberry  and gluten free oats.

Hummus fans, 24 year old Anoli Mavani not only makes ten different hummus flavors but makes the tahini at home too. Ask for her eggless whole wheat Walnut cake too.

Sweet finale? Baking is a passion with 23 year old Samyuktha Vale. The result? Most delicious

Earl grey short bread.

Baked mango cheese cake and the crazily addictive flourless chocolate cake. She also bakes Vegan desserts to Wedding cakes. Go ahead pig out…Ever had a kheema stuffed, pig shaped bread? Deepasri Kar Specialize in bread.Chicken Stuffed Braided Bread Pumpkin buns and more.

Home sick Gujaratis ask for Paruls’ classic Chundo and Methiya Keri.  Many a seasonal vegetable  pickle too.

Juhina Sabrina Samuel’s Andhra Chicken malabar fish konkani prawn pickles are her forte.And her wine (black currant jaggery cinnamon) is in great demand too. Home made! Ofcourse!Hamaree rasoi (2)Samyuktha Vale (2)

Cheers!

BE PART OF OUR NEXT WHATS HOT TASTING SESSION

Should you want to be be part of this “whats hot tastingsession” please email your details (background, specialities, pricing, home delivery, contact details) rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.cominstagram or twitter @rashmiudaysingh email anjalisharma966@gmail.com Call 9884065010