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Food regulators red flag ‘cancer-causing’ ingredient in certain MDH, Everest

Food regulators in Hong Kong and Singapore have warned people against using four products from two big spice brands --- three from MDH and one from Everest -- over the presence of ethylene oxide at “levels exceeding the permissible limit”. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified ethylene oxide as a 'Group 1 carcinogen'. In a statement posted on its website on April 5, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS), Hong Kong’s food regulatory authority, said that three spice products of MDH -- Madras Curry Powder (spice blend for Madras Curry), Sambhar Masala (Mixed Masala Powder), and Curry Powder (Mixed Masala Powder) -- along with Everest’s Fish Curry Masala contain “a pesticide, ethylene oxide". Both MDH and Everest Foods were yet to comment on the food regulators’ claims. Also Read: NCPCR asks FSSAI to review sugar content in Nestle's baby food products Under its routine food surveillance programme, the CFS took the products from three retail outlets in Hong Kong. “The test results showed that the samples contained a pesticide, ethylene oxide,” said to a CFS spokesperson. The regulator instructed the vendors “to stop the sale and remove from shelves the affected products”. Recalls have been initiated on the products, it said. “According to the Pesticide Residues in Food Regulation (Cap. 132CM), food for human consumption containing pesticide residue may only be sold if consumption of the food is not dangerous or prejudicial to health. An offender is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months upon conviction," the CFS spokesperson said. The CFS noted that “investigations are ongoing” and “appropriate action” may be initiated in the matter. Meanwhile, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) also ordered a recall of Everest's Fish Curry Masala due to the presence of ethylene oxide at levels “exceeding the permissible limit”. The SFA posted a release on its website on April 18 that said it “has directed the importer, Sp Muthiah & Sons Pte. Ltd., to recall the products. The recall is ongoing.” The SFA noted that ethylene oxide is not fit for consumption, but is “used to fumigate agricultural products to prevent microbial contamination”. However, under Singapore’s food regulations, ethylene oxide can be “used in the sterilisation of spices”. While there is no immediate risk to eating foods “with low levels of ethylene oxide, long-term exposure may lead to health issues”, said the SFA, noting that exposure to the “substance should be minimised as much as possible”. It also advised people who bought the product to not “consume it”, and those who have concerns about their health after consumption must “seek medical advice”. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “ethylene oxide is a human carcinogen. It causes cancer”.

20 April,2024 04:24 PM IST | Mumbai | IANS
Indian chefs say you can not only make a classic kokum sharbat but also a cucumber mint cooler or apple, strawberry, watermelon cooler. Photo Courtesy: Special Arrangement

Mid-Day Premium From Kokum Sharbat to Rhubarb Lemonade: Beat the summer heat with these recipes

Drinking fluids is important but more often than not many of us take it for granted. Unfortunately, the blazing sun isn’t kind and that stresses the need to carry a bottle of water to sip on regularly. Yes, the best way to do that is consuming water but that may often seem like a daunting task and overwhelming, especially if you are not used to it. The easiest way to deal with that is by substituting water with juices of different kinds. Some of them are among the more popular ones, but others can add a little zing to your refreshing cold drink on a summer day, say Indian chefs. With the abundance of fruits and vegetables during this time of the year, one mustn’t hesitate to make use of them in different combinations that are best suited to your tastes. Relying on the classics is always a good option. Imagine the kokum sharbat or a rhubarb lemonade, a version of the classic summer drink. These Indian chefs share different kinds of recipes for summer coolers that will help you drink fluids all summer long. If you want to skip the bottle of water and carry some juices instead, Indian chefs share easy recipes that don’t take long and can be made easily without any trouble, even before you head out for the day. Beyond the kokum sharbat and rhubarb lemonade, you can also make a cucumber mint cooler, an Apple, Strawberry and Watermelon Cooler, or a Virgin Apple & Grape Julep mocktail too. Kokum sharbatWhen you talk about hydrating during the summer season, it is impossible to miss out on the classic kokum sharbat, that has been enjoyed for generations in homes in India. So, it is no surprise when Dr Derek Monteiro, who is the manager of guest relations at Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa in Goa's Candolim says it is the first thing they serve guests during the season. He explains, "This is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. It is refreshing with anti-inflammatory properties, rich in antioxidants, helps immensely in digestion and is a natural coolant in keeping the body hydrated during the hot weather." Ingredients:Dry kokum fruit peels 5- 6 nosSalt to tasteGreen chillies, chopped as per requirementCoriander leaves handfulGarlic pods 2 nosWater as per requirement Method:1. Soak the kokum fruit peels in a glass of water along with chillies, coriander leaves and garlic.2. Set it aside till water soaks in the colour pink from the kokum. It should take about couple of hours.3. Strain it in a glass. Add salt and serve it cool (not refrigerated).4. Do not discard the fruit peels or the chillies and coriander, soak it again in a glass of water for your next use.  Rhubarb LemonadeGiving a unique take to the classic lemonade that almost all of us have grown up drinking during summer, Goa-based chef Tushar Malkani, says you can make a Rhubarb Lemonade. Malkani, who is the executive chef at The Yellow House in Anjuna, explains, "Packed with Vitamin C, this drink has that little extra we all can benefit from. Plus, the lemonade helps bring that spring into your steps – that boost of energy to the body and your immunity. It is very refreshing and hydrating in this scorching heat and high humidity levels." Ingredients:Lemons 6 nosRhubarb stalks 2 nosSugar 1 tspWater 4 cups Method:1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from 4 lemons. Squeeze juice from peeled and remaining lemons to measure 1 cup.2. Combine rhubarb, lemon zest, sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, and the rhubarb is very tender. Strain mixture through a sieve; add lemon juice, then chill thoroughly. When ready to serve, pour the mixture into a pitcher. Add the remaining 2 cups water.3. Pour over ice and garnish with lemon slices. Cucumber Mint CoolerWhile the kokum sharbat and lemonade are summer classics, Stanley Fernandes, corporate bar manager at Kyma in Bandra Kurla Complex, says if you want to make something beyond them, then the Cucumber Mint Cooler is an option. “You can stay hydrated and refreshed with this innovative mix of cucumber lemon, mint and honey melon dew as it is the perfect summer drink due to its ingredients," he adds. Ingredients:Cucumber 1 noMint leaves 5-6 nosMelon dew syrup 5 mlLime juice 10 mlHoney 5 mlCucumber and mint sprig for garnish Method:1. Take the cucumber and blend it with the mint leaves.2. Take a lime and extract its juice.3. In a glass, pour the blended mixture with the lime juice, and add melon dew syrup and honey to it.4. Shake and serve cool with a garnish of cucumber and mint sprig. Apple, Strawberry and Watermelon CoolerA classic fruit juice with seasonal fruits is always a no-brainer, but Chef Pawan Kumar at The Park in Navi Mumbai wants you to take it up a notch by making an interesting mix for an Apple, Strawberry and Watermelon cooler.  Kumar explains, "It can be a part of a detox diet, as it contains several ingredients that are beneficial for cleansing and promoting overall health. Watermelon is high in water content and contains essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. It is also known for its diuretic properties, which can help flush out toxins from the body. Apples are rich in fibre, which aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut. They also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that help detoxify the body and support liver function.”  The fact that strawberries are packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre make it even better because they can help support the immune system and promote healthy digestion, contributing to the detox process. “When combined with coconut water these ingredients create a refreshing and nutritious drink that can be a part of a detox diet or simply enjoyed for its health benefits," he adds. Ingredients:Seedless watermelon 2 cupsApple, cored and sliced 1 cupStrawberries 4 nosCoconut water 100 mlSparkling water or lemonade 2 cupsFresh mint leaves for garnishLime wedges for garnishCrushed ice 100 gm Method:1. In a blender, combine the watermelon, apple, and strawberries.2. Blend the fruits until smooth.3. Fill four glasses with ice.4. Pour the fruit mixture evenly into each glass.5. Top off the glass with coconut water.6. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a lime wedge, if desired.7. Serve immediately and enjoy your refreshing cooler mix.Virgin Apple & Grape JulepBeyond the juices, if you want to try sipping on a mocktail for a weekend party at home, then Manoj Alphonse, who is the beverage head and master mixologist says you can make a Virgin Apple and Grape Julep. Alphonse shares, "The julep is a delightful blend of frozen raspberry, strawberry puree, fresh seedless grapes, cold brew black tea, and ginger honey syrup. Perfect for any occasion, this non-alcoholic beverage is a harmonious mix of sweet and tangy flavours that will tantalise your taste buds. You can enjoy the crispness of apple and the juiciness of grapes in every sip, making it a truly satisfying drink for all to enjoy." Ingredients:Frozen Raspberry 2 tbspStrawberry puree 20 mlFresh grape seedless 3 nosCold brew black tea 120 mlGinger honey syrup 30 ml Method:1. In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients together without ice in the shaker.2. Shake well and strain into the glasses with ice cubes and serve with a straw. 

20 April,2024 10:30 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
Avocado's creamy texture and mild flavour make it a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various dishes, from trendy avocado toast to refreshing salads.

Mid-Day Premium Avocado burger to Guacamole sauce: Try classic recipes with a twist

Avocado, the beloved fruit of Gen Z, has become a staple in modern culinary culture, particularly among health-conscious individuals. Its creamy texture and mild flavour make it a versatile ingredient that can be incorporated into various dishes, from trendy avocado toast to refreshing salads.   "I love experimenting with avocado. The most exciting concoction I have crafted is an avocado chaat, blending ripe avocado chunks with diced onions, tomatoes and spices like chaat masala for a tangy and flavorful twist,” shares Ankita Chawla, a Mumbai-based Gen Z food enthusiast.   This generation has embraced avocados not only for their taste but also for their nutritional benefits, as they are rich in healthy fats, fibre and vitamins. The rise of social media has further fuelled the popularity of avocado-centric dishes, with aesthetically pleasing avocado creations flooding platforms like Instagram and TikTok.   Ready to hop aboard the guacamole train? Mumbai's culinary scene is buzzing with five inventive avocado recipes shared by local chefs. Scroll to experiment with this superfood:   Insalata di tonno e avocado (Avocado tuna salad) by Chef Mahfuz Shaikh, Napoli by Shatranj    Ingredients: 1/2 avocado, halved 50g Tuna fish 20g pea shoots   For the Tuna Mixture: 50g Tuna fish 5g chopped celery 5g chopped onion 1 bird’s eye chili, chopped 1 tbsp chopped mint 1 tbsp fried Julian onion 2 tbsp eggless mayonnaise salt and pepper, to taste   For Serving: 1/2 avocado, marinated with salt, pepper and olive oil Bed of peashoots and baby arugula Almond flakes and garlic bread crumbs for garnish Slices of Italian lime wedges   Instructions: 1. In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna fish, chopped celery, chopped onion, chopped bird’s eye chili, chopped mint, fried Julian onion, eggless mayo, salt and pepper. Mix well to create the tuna mixture. 2. Take the halved avocado and fill each half with the prepared tuna mixture, ensuring they are evenly stuffed. 3. Arrange a bed of pea shoots and baby arugula on a serving plate. 4. Place the stuffed avocado halves on top of the bed of greens. 5. Garnish with almond flakes and garlic bread crumbs for added texture and flavour. 6. Serve with slices of Italian lime wedges on the side for a citrusy kick. 7. Enjoy your nutritious avocado and tuna stuffed avocado!   Avocado Burger with Zucchini Carrot Slaw by Chef Shailendra Kekade, Sante Spa   Ingredients: 1 avocado (about 150g) 40g zucchini, julienned 20g carrot, julienned 20g basil pesto 10g sweet chili sauce 10g dynamite sauce 40g red cabbage slaw 10g micro greens 2g sesame Seeds (black and white) Cassava Chips, for serving   Instructions: 1. Start by weighing all the ingredients according to the recipe.2. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. 3. Combine the julienned zucchini, carrot and red cabbage slaw with the basil pesto, sweet chili sauce and dynamite sauce. 4. Mix well until the vegetables are coated in the sauces. Add the microgreens to the mixture and toss gently. 5. Spoon the prepared slaw mixture into the hollow of each avocado half, filling it generously. 6. Place the other half of the avocado on top of the slaw, creating a burger-like appearance. 7. Sprinkle the assembled avocado burgers with black and white sesame seeds for added flavour and texture. 8. Serve the avocado burgers with baked cassava chips on the side and a dollop of dynamite sauce for dipping.    Also Read: Discover premium Pakistani suits: Your Eid fashion guide in Mumbai  Avocado Burst by Chef Shivraj Shendre, The Nines   Ingredients: 1/2 avocado (approximately 150g) 50g American corn 50g diced avocado 1/4 cup tempura flour 1/4 cup water pinch of salt 2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tsp sriracha sauce 1/2 tsp teriyaki sauce 1/2 tsp chopped scallion 1/2 tsp chopped onion oil for frying   For Soy dressing: 2 tbsp soy sauce 3 tbsp orange juice 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp ginger juice 1/2 tsp sesame oil   Instructions: 1. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Peel the avocado and slice it horizontally on a plate. Slide the slices with your fingers and shape them lengthwise. 2. Prepare the soy dressing by mixing soy sauce, orange juice, sugar, ginger juice and sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside. 3. In a separate bowl, mix tempura flour and water to form a smooth paste. 4. Coat the American corn and diced avocado with the tempura batter. 5. Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry the coated corn and avocado until they are crisp and golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. 6. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, teriyaki sauce, chopped scallion, chopped onion and the fried tempura corn and avocado. 7. Arrange the sliced avocado on a serving plate. Top it with the prepared tempura mixture. 8. Drizzle 15-20ml of the prepared soy dressing over the top. 9. Serve immediately as a delightful appetiser or snack.   Guacamole sauce by Chef Arun Jadhav, Poco Loco Tapas & Bar  Ingredients: 1 ripe avocado 300g onion, finely chopped 150g tomato, finely chopped 3 to 4 green chilies, finely chopped 20g coriander leaves, finely chopped 5g salt 5g black pepper juice of 2 lemons 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)   Instructions: 1. In a mixing bowl, crush the ripe avocado until smooth. 2. Add the finely chopped onion, tomato, green chilies and coriander leaves to the bowl. 3. Season with salt and black pepper. 4. Squeeze in the juice of two lemons to add a tangy flavour. 5. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. 6. For an extra touch, you can drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil into the guacamole and mix well. 6. Transfer the guacamole sauce to a serving bowl. Serve with tortilla chips, crispy papadums, or as a condiment alongside your favourite Indian dishes.   Avocado mango salad by Chef Raashi Gurnani     Ingredients: 3 medium avocados, diced 1 big tomato, diced 1 mango, diced 1/4 cup red onion, diced 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped 1 snacky pepper, diced 2 tbsp lemon juice salt to taste   Instructions: 1. Start by dicing the tomato into small pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl. 2. Peel and dice the red onion, adding 1/4 cup of the diced onion to the bowl with the tomato. 3. Finely chop the fresh cilantro and add it to the bowl with the tomato and onion. 4. Remove the stem from the snacky pepper, halve it and deseed it. Finely chop half of the snacky pepper and add it to the bowl of other ingredients. 5. Cut the mango in half, peel off the skin and dice the flesh into small cubes. Add the diced mango to the bowl. 6. Slice the avocados in half, remove the seeds and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Dice the avocado into small cubes and add them to the bowl of ingredients. 7. Drizzle the lemon juice over the ingredients in the bowl. 8. Gently fold all the ingredients together until they are well combined. 9. Season the salsa with salt to taste and the sala is ready to be served!  Mohalla munch: Iftar food walk guide for Mohammad Ali Road in Mumbai

17 April,2024 03:25 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Burmese New Year is being celebrated on April 17 this year. Photo Courtesy: Burma Burma

Mid-Day Premium ‘Growing up in Mumbai, Thingyan Festival felt extra special'

The Burmese community in Mumbai will celebrate their Burmese New Year today, as the Thingyan Festival that started on April 13 culminates into celebratory rituals and food on April 17 this year. Having first been introduced to Burmese cuisine at an ‘Atho Kadai’, a street-side stall in Chennai’s Perambur in 2018, this writer had the opportunity to relish -- ‘Atho’, a street food snack; Egg Bhejo, eggs stuffed with wok-tossed vegetables, and Mohinga or Moinga, a delicious soup – bringing back sweet memories of a small kadai standing out in a bustling street because of its food and smiling faces. While the community is known to settle in Burmese colonies in different parts of the country including Chennai, among other metros, many of them moved to Mumbai and have called the city their home for many decades. Through all of this, it is their food and culture that keeps the community close-knit.   Even as Mumbaikars are busy with their daily lives of work, family and fun, it is the festivals that make them reflect on their individual culture and identity. It gets even better because the ‘Maximum City’, as it is more popularly called, is celebrated as a melting pot of cultures and it is these festivals that are a microcosm into their lives. The communities include people that are not only from the different Indian states, but also from outside of it. Over the years, the city has not only seen the Iranis but also the Chinese make the city their home among others. While their population may not be large in number as compared to other communities, it is the festivals like Parsi New Year and Chinese New Year that bring them together more than other occasions -- at the family as well as community level.  One of the many communities that the city boasts of is the Burmese community, migrants who moved from Burma (modern day Myanmar) over the last few decades to make India their home. Interestingly, many of these are also Indians who lived in Burma and came back to the city but not without soaking and becoming part of the Burmese culture. One of the many is Urmila Gupta, whose Burmese roots and food, shaped her son, Ankit Gupta’s love for Burmese food.  Owing to his Burmese roots and love for food, mid-day.com spoke to Ankit Gupta, who is the co-founder of Burma Burma in India, about his favourite festival memories growing up. He also dwells on the food and rituals, which form an important part of the festival. Incidentally, 10 years after Gupta opened his first outlet in India in the by-lanes of Mumbai’s Fort area, he opened the second outlet in the city in Goregaon’s Oberoi Mall in March, in time for Thingyan Festival. What are some of your fondest memories of Burmese New Year growing up in Mumbai?Gupta: Thingyan Festival or Burmese New Year was always special to us while growing up in Mumbai as it was a way of celebrating the culture of the country my mother grew up in.  We felt extra special because this was a one-of-its-kind occasion that was unique and different from our friends and neighbours. Feasting and celebrations always go hand-in-hand and we would all gather to enjoy a delicious home-style Burmese meal with special festive dishes cooked by my mother and aunt.  Thingyan is also known as the Water Festival and we would start the festivities by splashing water at each other, an act that symbolised purification. We follow the ritual of paying homage to elders in the family by washing their feet before all the fun begins. My aunt and my mother would deck up the house with yellow flowers to try and recreate the traditional concept of Burmese adorning their homes with Padauk flowers that bloom in this season. They would prepare Mont Lone Yay Paw, a traditional Thingyan sweet made with glutinous rice flour dumplings filled with palm jaggery and topped with shredded coconut. It was our responsibility as children to then distribute this delicious sweet to our friends. The meal was always a sumptuous and delicious affair accentuated by laughter and bonhomie.  What are the celebrations with the food, rituals and culture for Burmese New Year like in your home?Gupta: Burmese New Year celebrations at our home are marked by a mix of food, rituals, and festivities. We prepare traditional Burmese dishes like Tea Leaf Salad (Laphet Thoke), Coconut Rice and special condiments along with some of our favourite dishes like Shan Noodles with vegetables, and Sanwin Makin. How have the celebrations changed over the years?Gupta: For us as a family, it was always about lots of good food and unique sweets and that continues in a smaller yet traditional format. It's a day to have our extended family over and share a meal.  Also Read: Toasted pumpkin seed shrikhand to rose puran poli: Salivating Gudi Padwa special recipes  What are some of the unique dishes made for Burmese New Year in your home and by the community?Gupta: Both at home and within the community, unique dishes like coconut rice with peanut chutney, pumpkin curry, and bitter gourd fritters are prepared during Burmese New Year, adding a special touch to the festivities. Do you believe Mumbaikars know enough about Burmese food and culture?Gupta: While there's a growing interest in global cuisines, I believe many Mumbaikars may not be fully acquainted with Burmese food and culture. There's certainly room for greater awareness and appreciation and that is why we felt it was an opportunity to showcase a special ala carte menu at Burma Burma not just in our restaurants in Goregaon and Fort but also a chance for our diners to experience a menu curated based on our team based on their visits to Burma over the years. What are some of the signature dishes that you have added to the Thingyan Menu? Can you tell us a little bit about them?Gupta: On our Thingyan Menu, we have added:  Sweet Lime & Shallot Salad: A zesty blend of sweet lime, garlic oil, roasted gram flour, shallot, and crushed green chillies, inspired by a fresh lime salad enjoyed by the locals in Yangon. Assorted Fries Platter: Featuring mock mince samosa, sweet potato tempura, and rice crackers, paying homage to Burmese-love for fritters and all things fried. Peppery Tofu & Onion Stir Fry: Slow-cooked caramelised onions with lemon leaves, soy, crushed pepper, and seared tofu, showcasing the Bamar cooking style.  Coconut Rice (Ohn Hatmin): Fragrant rice cooked with raisins and onions in fresh coconut milk, a ceremonial dish served on special occasions.  Pumpkin & Broad Bean Curry: A flavourful blend of yellow pumpkin and broad beans cooked with shallots, coconut, and chili. These are vegetables that grow in abundance during this time of year.  Banana Sanwin Makin: A traditional semolina cake with banana and strawberry baked in coconut cream, offering a sweet conclusion to your meal. Plum Sour: A delightful drink with tangy plum puree, lime, ginger ale, and black grass jelly. Curious about the Burmese New Year menu at the restaurant, this writer tasted the menu anonymously at the Fort outlet and was left pleasantly surprised. Simply because it presented unique flavours of the cuisine through ‘Village Set’, a meal for two that showcases the flavours of the cuisine like a traditional Indian thali, and it was interestingly only vegetarian food.  Also Read: Sweet, sour, bold and spicy: What is Nikkei cuisine and why is it becoming more popular in Mumbai We were welcomed with water rubbed on our hands with betel leaves. It was followed by a server, enacting a roadside-seller coming to us with a tray that had a choice of some bite-sized pickled plums, plum leather, coconut sweet and spiced raw mangoes that ignited fire for some Burmese food. With a kaleidoscope of colours showcasing the dishes, on a large plate made of cane, we started off with the Sweet Lime & Shallot Salad, which produced a burst of sweet and sour flavours that were refreshing from the first bite. The salad had flavours and crunch that are a striking feature in the cuisine. The assorted fries platter was familiar yet unique as it had a samosa (samosa with mock-mince), deep-fried tempura made from sweet potato, as well as rice crackers to keep you busy while you decided what to dig in next.  While the Peppery Tofu and Onion Stir Fry is spicy-sour with a hit of pepper that is surprisingly not heavy on the palate, the Roselle and Mushroom Stir Fry is tangy-sour pairing perfectly with a refreshing bite of mushroom and roselle with it. They can be eaten with palata, which are forms of bread. The coconut rice when eaten with the pumpkin and broad bean curry is comfort food in a bowl. Even as you are navigating these many flavours, the chilli tamarind relish is inviting but is balanced by the radish slaw with its mellow flavours that will make you halt and savour the food with each bite. The Banana Sanwin Makin is a unique dessert that is bound to surprise you but help you end your meal on a sweet note and yet reminds you of how Mumbai boasts of unique cuisines that are still waiting to be explored if you only care to steer clear of popular cuisines.  Also Read: Chinese New Year 2024: Here's why you can indulge in a delectable feast at Tango Tamari in Mumbai

17 April,2024 10:30 AM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
Indulge in nihari, keema kaleji, and butter-laden parathas, which are a part of the menu celebrating old Delhi. Photo Courtesy: Conrad Pune

Indulge in a feast that takes you through Delhi's rich heritage at Conrad Pune

Visit Delhi by dining in Pune as Conrad Pune hosts 'Purani Dilli Ek Rivaaz' at Coriander Kitchen with traditions and history as every dish tells a story of eras and cultural legacies. Diners can experience the allure of Purani Dilli celebrate the capital's gastronomic heritage meticulously crafted to perfection with the menu which has flavours and aromas that pay homage to the city from April 10 to April 21.      From the vibrant streets of Chandni Chowk to the majestic kitchens of Mughal emperors, every corner of the city resonates with the essence of its gastronomic legacy. The amalgamation of cultures, traditions and heritage, Delhi inhibits a vast array of cuisines. Coriander Kitchen's new menu invites diners to savour the authentic flavours of old Delhi that have been recreated by a team of expert chefs. Prepare to tantalise your taste buds with an array of delicacies that showcase the diversity and richness of Delhi's culinary landscape. Each dish is a testament to the time-honoured recipes passed down through generations, meticulously prepared to capture the essence of city's culinary heritage. Indulge in the iconic flavours as you sample specialties like nihari, keema kaleji, and butter-laden parathas, reminiscent of the city's bustling streets and vibrant bazaars. Let the aroma of spices like cumin, coriander, and cardamom transport you to a time when every meal was a feast for the senses. The menu of 'Purani Dilli Ek Rivaaz' aims to be more than just a culinary experience; it's a journey through history, culture, and tradition.  Diners can indulge in the experience at the ongoing celebration of food and discover the magic of old Delhi by decoding the timeless culinary treasures.What: Purani Dilli Ek RivaazWhere: Coriander Kitchen, Conrad PuneWhen: 7 pm onwards till April 21For reservations, call: 02067456745 or +91 9168603850

16 April,2024 05:48 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Indian chefs say you can use the cucumber to not only make soups and salads but also kimchi and rolls. Photo Courtesy: Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa

Mid-Day Premium Gazpacho to Smoke Salmon Rolls: Unique cucumber-based recipes to try in summer

Even as cucumbers are being used by us on daily basis in our salads, sandwiches, burgers and other kinds of dishes, the vegetable may be one of the most underrated ingredients in the kitchen. They can not only be enjoyed plain but also add value to a dish with their crunch and refreshing taste that is very much needed during summers. Cucumbers boast of being made up of 96 per cent water, thus making it the food with the highest water content.  With the summer here, it is also the best time to celebrate our summer ingredients through the vegetables and fruits. While most people boast of other favourites like jackfruit and watermelon, the humble cucumber has a lot more to offer than most people know. Available locally in almost every market near us, Indian chefs say people can use them in a variety of dishes.  These have to not only be limited to the salads but also other dishes that elevate the cucumber in a way that will change the way you look at the ingredient. It is important to know it has a shorter shelf life and gets shrivelled and spoiled very fast, giving you all the more reason to enter the kitchen and use the ingredient to innovative with your breakfast, lunch or dinner.  With the summer here, mid-day.com spoke to Indian chefs and told them to share their favourite recipes where they use cucumbers as their star ingredient or in abundance. Think about the heat and how you could beat it with simple dishes that celebrate summer ingredients and dishes in different ways and are not difficult to make. Indian chefs say you can not only add cucumber to a salad with ginger and sesame dressing, but also make it the star of a kimchi along with mango. Move over the winter soups and indulge in a gazpacho made with the help of a vegetable or add it to smoke salmon and make rolls to serve it differently.  Also Read: Mango fever: Make and sip on these unique mango-based cocktails this summer season Cucumber Noodle Salad with Ginger Sesame DressingWhile you include cucumbers in your salad regularly, chef Ruffy Shaikh, who is the senior sous chef at ITC Grand Central wants you to take it a step further and surprise your guests at the next party by making a cucumber noodle salad with ginger sesame dressing, where the refreshing summer ingredient is the star of the dish. He shares, “The cucumber noodles add a crisp bite to the salad and absorb the flavours of the sesame ginger dressing. It is a light and colourful meal ideal for summer, displaying cucumber adaptability in a fun and inventive way.”  IngredientsCucumbers 2 nosCarrot 1 noBell pepper 1 noGreen onions 2 noChopped coriander 1/4th cupChopped peanuts 1/4th cup  For dressingSoy Sauce 3 tbspRice Vinegar 2 tbspSesame Oil 1 tbspMaple syrup 1 tbspGrated ginger 1 tbspGarlic 1 cloveChili Paste 1 tsp  Method1. Prepare cucumbers and carrot by spiralising or julienne-peeling them into noodle-like strips.2. Thinly slice bell pepper and onions.3. Place them in a big basin. Combine the julienned carrot, sliced bell pepper, green onions, and chopped Coriander in the bowl with cucumber noodles.4. Make the dressing. Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, grated ginger, chopped garlic, and chili paste in a small mixing bowl.5. Toss the salad: Pour the dressing over the cucumber-noodle mixture, tossing until fully incorporated and uniformly coated.6. Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes to enable the flavours to combine.7. Top the salad with chopped peanuts. Serve cold and enjoy.  Also Read: Beer bottle chaas to Piyush: Cool off with these 9 refreshing summer drinks in Mumbai Cucumber and Mango KimchiOne of the easiest ways to include cucumber into your food is by making a salad but if you want to go beyond that then chef Rakesh Gaur from Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa in Candolim says you can make a Cucumber and Mango Kimchi. With the growing popularity of kimchi due to the Korean wave in India over the last few years, this will become an instant favourite, especially with the addition of mangoes, which are an eternal favourite in India. Gaur shares, “This kimchi preparation is good for hydration and detoxification. The addition of cucumber helps cult down the sharpness and tanginess of the raw mango. It adds a sweetness to it.” For best results, the Goa-based chef says you can serve it after a day.  IngredientsCucumber 200 gm Green raw mangoes, small 4 nos Red chilli powder 3 tsp Turmeric powder 1 tsp For temperingMustard oil 4 tbsp Mustard seeds 2 tsp Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp Sweet fennel 2 tspWhole red chilli 2-3 nos Chopped corianderLemon juice 2-3 tbsp  Method1. Heat mustard oil in pan and keep heat to a low.2. Add all the seed one by one.3. Once the seeds start crackling, add the curry leaves.4. Add red chilli hot and keep it aside.5. Wash the cucumber and raw mango under running water and slice them thick.6. Pour the tempering over the cut cumber and the mango.7. Mix everything with a spoon, add the lemon juice and check the seasoning.8. Add the fresh chopped coriander into it.9. Allow to cool and store it in the fridge. Cucumber GazpachoSince is the summer season, one can never go wrong with either a soup or salad. While you make take the liberty to add cucumbers to a salad, Suresh Babu, who is the executive chef at Clarks Exotica Convention Resort and Spa in Bengaluru, says you can make a delicious, chilled Cucumber Gazpacho. He explains, “Gazpacho is a classic summer dish, and adding cucumbers gives it an extra layer of freshness and crunch. The combination of creamy avocado, crisp cucumber, and zesty lime creates a harmonious balance of flavours and textures that's perfect for beating the summer heat. It is a simple yet elegant dish that celebrates the bounty of the season in every spoonful."  IngredientsCucumbers, large, peeled and chopped 4 nosAvocados, ripe, peeled and diced 2 nosGreen bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 noRed onion, chopped 1/2 noGarlic, minced 1/2 noFresh cilantro, chopped 1/4 cupLime juice 3 tbspOlive oil 2 tbspGround cumin 1 tspSalt and pepper to tasteOptional toppings: diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, chopped cilantro, avocado slices  Method1. In a blender or food processor, combine the chopped cucumbers, diced avocados, chopped bell pepper, chopped red onion, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin, salt, and pepper.2. Blend until smooth, adding a little water if necessary to reach your desired consistency.3. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.4. Chill the gazpacho in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavours to meld.5. Serve the chilled gazpacho in bowls, garnished with optional toppings if desired.6. Enjoy this refreshing summer soup. Also Read: Aamsul Saar to Kokum Hummus: Try these refreshing Kokum-infused drinks and dishes to beat the Mumbai heat Smoked Salmon and Cucumber RollsIf you are looking to make an elaborate meal, then it is easy to use cucumbers in abundance to make a delicious dish out of it. Chef Tushar Malkani at The Yellow House in Anjuna wants you to elevate the refreshing cucumber this summer by making Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Rolls with just three ingredients – salmon, cream cheese and cucumber. Staying true to the essence of experimenting with the dish, Malkani shares a tip. He shares, “There are unlimited variations that can take place here. You might consider wrapping up some fresh dill, basil or as per your choice and liking. Using cashew-based dips could be a great dairy free alternative.”  IngredientsLong cucumber strips 6 inches Cream cheese – room temperature (plain or with flavour as per your choice)Smoked salmon strips to match the cucumber strips  Method1. Blot the cucumber with paper towel to remove extra moisturiser before spreading to make this process easier. 2. Lay a cucumber strip, apply generous amount of cheese, and lay a strip of salmon.3. Roll it up and secure with a toothpick to prevent them from unrolling. 

16 April,2024 05:30 PM IST | Mumbai | Nascimento Pinto
‘I don’t have a problem with packaged foods. I have a problem with companies marketing these foods as healthy and misleading customers.’ Photo Courtesy: Revant Himatsingka aka Food Pharmer

Mid-Day Premium 'Packaged food brands have been blatantly lying to us'

While you and I continue to indulge in unhealthy treats, a 31-year-old Indian is on an unwavering journey to raise awareness about the havoc packaged foods and beverages are wrecking on public health.    Very recently, Revant Himatsingka aka Food Pharmer chalked out a sugar board that brings to one’s notice the amount of sugar some of the most prominent beverage brands have. On his Instagram handle, which has a following of over one million, he is seen urging people to create a similar sugar board and paste it in either their office spaces or home. This is to ensure each of us is mindful while gulping down the sugary drinks and understand their health hazards.    To dig deep into his efforts, Mid-day Online conversed with this ‘social’ content creator who shared why he is on this journey.  Breaking the conventional pattern, Himatsingka opens with a rhetorical question to the writer — “What is the most important thing in our life? Health. What is health largely shaped by? Food choices. What are we majorly eating today? Packaged food, which is blatantly lying to us about being healthy.  While there are multiple reasons behind creating content around packaged foods, this Kolkata-based young Indian who has studied nutrition at New York University shares the germ behind it all: “I have always had an interest in nutrition. Growing up, I often used to see health-conscious people sipping on energy drinks marketed as healthy. I could sense it was wrong. I felt bad that these people were willing to make healthy choices but were picking up the wrong products.”  ‘I was asked to take down the first video I posted’Himatsingka, who is also the author of a book titled ‘Selfienomics: A Seriously Funny Guide to Living the Good Life’, now runs an Instagram handle under the name ‘Food Pharmer’. The name has a fun pun on the word ‘Pharmer’ which is a combination of the words ‘farmer’ and ‘pharmacy’ (relating to medicines.) “The idea behind the name is that if we eat food produced by farmers we can reduce our dependency on pharma and that food is medicine,” says Himatsingka.     This Food Pharmer put out his first video on April 1, 2023, highlighting the excessive amount of sugar Bournvita has. After the video went viral attracting 12 million views, Himatsingka was told to take it down following a legal lawsuit from the company.     Himatsingka who is also an MBA graduate from the Wharton School of Business, having three years of working experience as a consultant with McKinsey, USA, was in Bhutan when he first received a lawsuit.    “I had less time to take down the video and decide my plan of action. I had never witnessed anything on such a large scale. The document I received was lengthy and had a lot of legal jargon which was beyond my comprehension. So, yes that was a stressful time, I did fear legal action but not so much. Himatsingka titters, “My parents definitely did worry since I had left my job in the US, returned to India to create videos and had already got myself into a legal battle in just two weeks.”     He mentions that although he decided to take down the video, doctors came out in support and signed a document stating that all that was said in the video by him was indeed true.   He also faced four more lawsuits following his first one, however, that has not deterred this 31-year-old. On being asked what keeps him going, he says, “I have understood that this is a part of the process. What I am doing is not easy. It is not easy to bring about a change, especially when giant companies are involved. There are chances this might go on even though I hope it doesn’t because this is for a larger good.”    He adds, “Unlike earlier, now I make a careful choice of words. From the past lawsuits, I have realised that the words I use can be twisted in any way to build a strong case against me. I understand the risk my videos have so I now work strategically. Although it might look easy on the screen, I put a lot of effort into getting the script right to convey the right facts to my audience without fearing legal actions.”    This said the content creator points out that there have been significant changes. “Whether it is the impact of my videos or not, we don’t know. Bournvita recently reduced its sugar content and states it has 14 per cent less sugar than the time when I made the video. Maggi ketchup also reduced their sugar content by 22 per cent. This too was after I made a video sometime around April, or May this year. So there has been a reaction and a positive impact.”             View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Revant Himatsingka (@foodpharmer) ‘Misinformation in the market made my videos go viral’It is only natural for consumers like you and me to pick a product by looking at the front side of the packaging. For example, most products like bread or biscuits, as mentioned in this content creator’s video might claim to be wheat-based or multi-grained but have more amount of white flour or maida in it. Similarly, ketchup brands claiming to be made from farm-fresh tomatoes might not even have tomatoes. The same is true with fresh juices that might just have fruit flavour instead of actual fruit juice.    “It is important to educate consumers about the food they are consuming as healthy. Since there was a lot of misinformation and marketing tactics at play, it was easy for consumers to fall prey to it,” says Himatsingka.   This 31-year-old makes videos engaging for the audience by keeping them short, using simple terminologies and adding humour. His short informative videos have brought to the limelight false information and helped many Indians switch to healthier choices.    This said the videos created by Himatsingka have brought on a wave of positive reactions from netizens. While some say he should be awarded a ‘Bharat Ratna’ some compare him to a new-age freedom fighter fighting against the evil of packaged food.    “It is mind-boggling reading so many emails and messages from people saying that they have reduced consuming packaged food which has improved their overall health,” says Himatsingka.    Parents especially have become more aware of what they are feeding their children as healthy unlike earlier when they believed the product to be healthy simply because the advertisement claimed it to be healthy without really questioning if it was indeed true (this is especially true with milk drinks and baby foods).             View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Revant Himatsingka (@foodpharmer) ‘Reading food labels is an even more important skill than coding in the 21st century’A lot of our incorrect food choices are made due to a lack of understanding, knowledge and awareness. It is essential to know the nutritional value of every food to be able to make mindful food choices.    Himatsingka shares a relevant observation: “Many of us believe that chocolates are bad for health and avoid eating them because of their sugar content. However, we also eat biscuits each day which is even worse.”    To be able to counter the evil of packaged foods, it’s essential to read food labels. “Today, being able to read food labels is an even more important skill than coding.” Besides speaking about brands selling unhealthy packaged food, Food Pharmer also educates his audience on how to read food labels and pick better alternatives.     He shares a few tips:    1. Always turn around the packet. Brands can make any claims on the front packaging to entice buyers.  2. Check for the expiry date of the product. Most people opt for a product whose expiry date is longer. That is the wrong practice. The longer the expiry date, the more preservatives it will (usually) have. Avoid such products. 3. Check the ingredient list. The ingredients are mentioned in order of weight. The one mentioned at the top will be present in the product in the highest quantity. The ingredients will be mentioned in the order of their quantity.  4. Make sure that sugar, white flour or maida and palm oil are not on the first four places on the list. If they are placed first, it means the product is unhealthy and should be avoided.  5. Avoid products in which the names of the ingredients are unheard of or complicated to understand and pronounce. These are usually the harmful ingredients although this always might not be the case.   6. Also check the nutrition label of products. For example, if you are buying a protein bar that claims to be high in proteins, check how much protein quantity it holds. Some mention having just four grams of protein while a human body requires more protein.    ‘I don’t have a problem with packaged food, I have an issue with it being marketed as healthy’  This Food Pharmer always strives to make videos on the most relevant topics. He plans to focus on foods people consume the most and daily. This involves breads, health drinks, masalas, instant noodles, beverages, and snacks. He also picks out subjects where he believes there is more misinformation and a severe lack of awareness.  Currently, Himatsingka is busy raising awareness about the sugar content present in beverages like soft drinks and packed fruit juices. Many netizens are seen installing sugar boards in their offices and homes to resist indulging in drinks that can have a hazardous impact on their health.           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Revant Himatsingka (@foodpharmer)     He says, “By adopting such practices we remind ourselves to make mindful and healthy food choices.” He urges everyone to make healthy choices whenever and wherever possible. “Instead of binge-eating chips, eat murmura or makhana. Instead of having sugary drinks, have coconut water, lime water or just plain water.”     Adding to this he says, “Create a list of the foods that you like to eat which are also healthy and try to carry them with you to the office or college. Prepare food charts of unhealthy foods and remind yourself of how they negatively affect your health. By adopting such practices, you will be able to reduce the intake of unhealthy packaged foods.”    Himatsingka himself loves eating makhana, chana and peanuts (in moderation) mixed with chopped onions, tomatoes and squeezed lemon juice.    On being asked if he practices what he preaches, the Food Pharmer says, “Yes, I do try to implement the same in my own life. I too get food cravings. I too enjoy a cup of ice cream, instant noodles or even chips from time to time, but I also resist it as much as I can. There is nothing wrong with relishing a packet of Maggi once a month or enjoying an ice cream once in a while on special occasions. However, indulging in them regularly is problematic.”    He adds, “I don’t have a problem with packaged foods. I am not telling people to discontinue eating packaged food completely. I am asking people to consume these foods in moderation. I have a problem with companies marketing these foods as healthy and misleading customers. The only way to fight this is to read food labels and make healthy choices.”    This social content creator has been closely working with nutrition and other health experts, carrying out his research to be able to provide factual information to his audience. In this process, he says he has not earned a penny for himself. When asked what are his future plans, he says while there is nothing concrete in place as of now, he has a few ideas to raise more awareness about the importance of nutrition, food and reading food labels by developing a food curriculum, especially at the school level. 

15 April,2024 09:16 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
Photo Courtesy: Taki Taki, Lower Parel

Taki Taki launches a Kozara and Kanpai pairing menu for the sakura festival

Get ready to embark on a delightful culinary adventure as Taki Taki, Lower Parel, unveils a special pairing menu to celebrate the Sakura Festival. This exquisite collaboration between Chef Bobby Recto and Head Mixologist Bensan Varghese promises a rich symphony of flavours, where meticulously crafted cocktails perfectly complement Chef Bobby's exquisite Japanese creations. Each dish in this limited edition menu is expertly paired with a bespoke cocktail. The "Kozara and Kanpai" experience offers a fusion of Japanese small plates (Kozara) and celebratory toasts (Kanpai).  Also Read: Aamsul Saar to Kokum Hummus: Try these refreshing Kokum-infused drinks and dishes to beat the Mumbai heat Start with Kimchi Fritters Bruschetta, a delightful combination of Napa cabbage, gochujang, and ricotta cheese, paired with the refreshing Blossom of Sakura cocktail – a mix of Haku Vodka, Ponzu, orange blossom, fresh lime, and simple syrup, adorned with edible flowers. Next, savour the Salmon Tartare, featuring Yuki, scallion, spring onion, and tempura bits, perfectly complemented by the Remongurasu, a vibrant concoction of Haku Vodka, lime, lemongrass rosemary syrup, and jalapeno. As you progress through the menu, indulge in the Blossom Mushroom Tempura, a delightful combination of zucchini blossom and mixed wild mushrooms, paired with the Matcha Hai – a unique blend of Suntory Toki Whisky, Matcha syrup, lemon, and vegan foam. Following this, the Sudachi Yakitori, featuring Sudachi yoghurt, grilled chicken, lime, and orange, is perfectly complemented by the Tai No Shoga, a distinctive beverage made with Vodka infused with Thai ginger, kaffir leaf, lemon, honey, and ginger ale. Also Read: Can’t resist a sinful grilled cheese sandwich? Try these innovative recipes to elevate your taste buds The culinary journey continues with the Tangy Lamb Coin Bao, a flavorful combination of lime coriander, turmeric, and oyster sauce nestled in a bao cup, paired with the Savour de Sakura – a delightful concoction of Haku Vodka, black plum shrub, coconut cream, and sweet basil. For the main course, experience the 48hrs Dry Age Duck, featuring a succulent duck breast with smoked oyster chilli, perfectly complemented by the Umetini, a refreshing mix of Gin, Umeshu, and homemade bitters. Finally, end your journey on a sweet note with the Charred Compressed Watermelon, featuring glazed watermelon, balsamic caviar, and ponzu watermelon pearl, paired with the Sakura Highball – a blend of Suntory Toki Whisky, Umeshu, sparkling watermelon juice, and melon balls. In addition to the paired menu, Taki Taki also offers a selection of delectable "Kozara Bites" and refreshing "Kanpai Sips" a la carte. Whether you choose the full pairing experience or prefer to create your culinary adventure, Taki Taki promises an unforgettable celebration of the Sakura Festival.  Also Read: Prakash cha sabudana vada to Gomantak chi fish thali: Iconic eateries in Dadar serving authentic Maharashtrian cuisine

14 April,2024 11:34 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Kokum, also known as Garcinia Indica is cultivated in the western ghats of India. Photo Courtesy: one8Commune/Badmaash/The Leela

Mid-Day Premium Aamsul Saar to Kokum Hummus: Refreshing Kokum delights to try

Tingle your taste buds because it’s the official season to relish kokum's tangy and sour goodness. Although summer for many is synonymous with mangoes, for this writer, summer screams kokum. Known for its refreshing properties, kokum is a popular summer fruit that is a favourite of most Mumbaikars.   The mere thought of sipping on iced Kokum Aagal, Sol Kadhi or even Kokum Sherbet is enough to salivate the mouth. Kokum, also known as Garcinia Indica is cultivated in the western ghats of India. It’s a fruit-bearing plant. Kokum is mainly used in Indian cuisines as a souring agent. Kokum is also used to make refreshing beverages.  If you are someone who loves to indulge in the tangy flavour of this fruit, we bring you chef-special recipes that go beyond the usual kokum sherbet.  Beverages:  Bambai Meri Jaan (cocktail) by Bensan Varghese, head mixologist at V& RO Hospitality, BadmaashVarghese tells us that 'Bambai Meri Jaan' cocktail is a heartfelt homage to the ever-evolving spirit of the city. This blend pays tribute to Mumbai's diverse energy by marrying Tanqueray London Dry Gin with the richness of Cabernet Sauvignon wine, the lusciousness of kokum, and a splash of zesty lime juice, creating a symphony of flavours that dance gracefully on the palate. The cocktail is shaken with four drops of Stillabunt vegan foamer to elevate the taste, imparting a velvety texture and delightful frothiness. Ingredients:Tanqueray London Dry Gin - 45 ml Cabernet Sauvignon wine - 45 ml Kokum syrup - 15 ml Fresh lime juice - 15 mlVegan foam/egg white - 4 drops  Method:1. Add all the ingredients and shake using a shaker 2. Garnish the cocktail with any edible flower of your choice bitter  Ko-Plum by Anurag Godbole, wine sommelier and bar manager, Nksha, ChurchgateThis cocktail brings back memories of Jaljeera with a twist of kokum and plum. This Cumin-infused gin is paired beautifully with kokum made in a reduction and the brine made of fresh seasonal plum.  Ingredients: Cumin-infused gin - 50 mlMalic acid - 10 ml (optional) Plum brine - 30 mlKokum reduction - 25 mlPlum foam as a top-upGinger soda - as required  For making kokum reduction Ingredients: Fresh seasonal kokum fruit pulp - 175  ml Sugar syrup - 120 ml  Method: 1. Add kokum pulp into the pan and let it get warm.  2. Then add sugar and reduce it. For making plum brine  Ingredients:Plum - 250 gmWater 150 mlApple cider vinegar - 150 mlSugar - 300 mlSalt - a pinch Method: 1. Add all the ingredients in a pan and simmer till all the sugar is melted.  For making the cocktail: 1. Add 50 ml cumin gin, 25 ml kokum reduction, and 15 ml plum brine and pour it into the icing jar, stir well. 2. Strain the mixture in high ball glass with a couple of ice cubes, top up with ginger soda and garnish with plum foam and edible flowers. Also Read: Prawns Khichdi to Vada Pav Millet Khichdi: End your day with comforting, delicious and easy-to-make Bambaiyya khichdi recipes Summer Breeze by Manoj Alphonse, head mixologist, Bellona Hospitality, IshaaraThis drink is a kokum-infused whiskey yoghurt-clarified pre-batch cocktail. Alphonse says, “With a rich flavour profile that perfectly complements the silky smoothness of yoghurt clarity, our whisky is infused with the intriguing essence of kokum. Take a sip and enjoy this wonderful blend – a real celebration of summer's bright spirit and decadent delights”  Ingredients: Kokum - 1 BspoonWhiskey - 55 mlYogurt - 90 mlSalted jaggery syrup -10 mlOrange zest for garnishing Method: 1. Add all the ingredients together in a blender jar  2. Blend well and pour it carefully into the coffee filter to clarify 3. Once the clear batch of cocktails is ready serve in the lowball glass with a clear ice sphere. 4. Garnish with orange zest. Dishes:  Aamsul Saar by Chef Sandesh Karalkar, sous chef, Fifty-Five East, Grand Hyatt MumbaiAamsul saar is a traditional Maharashtrian dish. It features mainly Aamsul (Kokum) combined with freshly pressed coconut milk. It has a tangy and spicy taste from the Aamsul (kokum), chilli and other ingredients balanced with creamy coconut milk. Overall, it offers a refreshing and comforting flavour in summer. Ingredients:Aamsul (Kokum) - 7-8 Grated fresh coconut - 400 gm Green chillies - 2Turmeric powder - 5 gm Cumin powder - 10 mg Garlic - 6-7 cloves  Ginger - 1 piece Coriander leaves - 30 gm Mustard seed - 5 gmAsafoetida powder - 1.5 gm Curry leaves - 10 -12 Oil - 30 mlSalt to taste Method:1. Boil 50 ml water in a pan. Add Aamsul (kokum) into boiling water. Cook for five minutes. 2. Remove from heat and cool it down. In a grinder, add grated coconut, chilies, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, cumin powder and turmeric powder.  3. Add 100 ml of water and grind into a paste. Strain this paste from a double strainer or muslin cloth and extract coconut milk.  4. Now strain cooked Aamsul (kokum) through a strain and collect Aamsul (kokum) extract in another bowl.  5. Mix Aamsul (kokum) extract with coconut milk. Add salt to taste and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot. For the tadka: |If you wish to give the saar a tadka, in a large pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida powder, curry leaves and a mixture of coconut milk. Add some salt to taste. Cook on low heat for two minutes. Pour this tadka on the saar and relish.  Kokum Cashew Nut Pudding by Anagha Ramakant Desai, homechef and author of cookbook ‘From Aajis Kitchen’Desai loves to relish a good Sol Kadhi during the blazing summer season. She says “Kokum is an essential ingredient in coastal cuisine. Besides Sol Kadhi and Sherbet, kokum is used in many other dishes. Cashew nuts are abundant in the Konkan region. We use cashew nuts in many dishes. This cashew nut pudding is a traditional recipe. When coated with kokum extract the flavours and richness of the pudding gets elevated. You must try this out.”   For making the pudding Ingredients: Cashew nuts (soaked in hot water for two hours) - 1 cup Coconut milk (preferably freshly squeezed) - 1 1/2 cups Corn flour - 1 tbspSugar - 5 tspKokum agal (extract or concentrate) - 2-3 tbspCardamom powder - 1/4 tsp A pinch of saltOil for greasing  Method:1. Grind the soaked cashew nuts in the mixer.  Add salt, sugar, corn flour, kokum aagal and coconut milk to it and make a smooth paste.  2. Take the mixture in a pan and heat to boiling with continuous stirring.  3. Then pour the mixture into greased moulds and steam till set. Once set, cool in the refrigerator for two hours. Demould and serve with kokum sauce.  For making kokum sauce:  Ingredients:Sugar - 4 tbsp Water - 2 tbspKokum aagal - 2 tbsp Method:1. Heat sugar and water together. After sugar dissolves and sticky syrup is formed, add kokum aagal and boil for a few more minutes. 2. Add this sauce to the pudding and enjoy.   Also Read: Under the weather? Try these recipes of comfort foods with unique twists Kokum Rasam by Manish Sharma, executive chef, Radisson Blu Palace Resort and Spa, UdaipurKokum Rasam is a tangy and flavourful soup majorly prepared in South India. It features kokum as a key ingredient. This dish is especially popular during the summer season due to its refreshing and cooling properties.  Ingredients:Dried kokum -  4 - 5 Jaggery - 1 small pieceGreen chilli - 1Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp Red chilli - 1 - 2 Asafoetida - a pinchCurry leaves - 5-6Cooking oil - 4 tbspSalt to taste  Method: 1. Rinse well and soak the dried kokum in water for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also use fresh kokum or kokum juice.  2. After soaking, transfer it into a container along with the soaked water. Add in some more water as per your requirement.  3. Also add in jaggery, salt and one slit green chilli. 4. Bring this mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes under low flame. If you wish you can adjust the taste as per your requirement.  5. In the meantime gather all the ingredients required for tempering. In a pan, heat oil, add mustards, cumin, fenugreek seeds, red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the boiling rasam. Serve it with hot steaming rice or enjoy it as hot spicy soup. Kokum Kingfish Curry by Chef Agnibh Mudi, one8 CommuneThis dish mainly uses kokum as a souring agent. As mentioned earlier, kokum adds that extra flavour to most coastal dishes like the kingfish curry and tastes best when eaten with steamed rice.   Ingredients:Fish fillets (like kingfish or mackerel/fresh fish) - 500 gmDried kokum (soaked in water before use) - 5-6 pieces Finely chopped onion - 1 Chopped tomatoes - 2 Slit green chilies - 2-3 Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspRed chilli powder - 1 tsp Coriander powder - 1 tsp Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp Salt to tasteWaterFresh coriander leaves for garnishOil for cooking Method1. Soak the kokum in warm water for about 15-20 minutes until they soften. 2. In a pan, heat oil and saute the chopped onions until they turn golden brown. 3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute until the raw smell disappears. 4. Add the chopped tomatoes and green chillies. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil starts separating from the masala. 5. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. Mix well. 6. Add the soaked kokum along with the water it was soaked in. 7. Let the curry simmer for a few minutes until the flavours meld together. 8. Gently place the fish fillets into the curry, making sure not to break them. 9. Cook the fish for about five to seven minutes. 10. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice or crusty bread. Also Read: Turkish to Pistachio Dried Figs Cream Cheese Kunafa: Bring an innovative twist to this Ramadan special dessert Kokum hummus by Chef Arun Jadhav, head chef, Cafe IsvaraWhile we have tasted all kinds of hummus, this one is unusual and equally tantalising. Besides, the goodness of kokum and chickpeas together makes this dish healthy and perfect to elevate your snacking experience in summer.  Ingredients: Boiled chickpeas  - 190 gmGarlic - 15 gmTahini - 25 gmSalt - 5 gmBlack pepper - 3 gmIce water - as required to make a thick pasteOlive oil - 50 gmCumin powder - 30 mlLemon juice - 7 mlKokum paste - 15 gm Method: 1. Grind all the ingredients into a fine paste  2. You can drizzle some olive oil over the hummus and enjoy it with either pita bread or tortilla chips Kokum and mixed vegetable curry by Chef Arun Ramanunni Nair, executive chef, The Leela Ashtamudi – A Raviz hotelKokum and mixed vegetable curry is a delicious and tangy dish that combines the sourness of kokum with the freshness of mixed vegetables. This dish makes for a perfect meal during summer breaking the monotony of your boring sabjis and curries.  Ingredients:Mixed vegetables (carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, green peas) - 1 cup Dried kokum petals - 6-8 Coconut oil - 2 tbsp Finely chopped onion - 1Finely chopped tomatoes - 2Slit green chillies - 2 Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbspMustard seeds -1 tspCumin seeds - 1 tspTurmeric powder- 1 tspRed chilli powder (adjust to taste) -1 tspCoriander powder - 1 tspGaram masala -1/2 tspSalt to tasteFresh cilantro leaves for garnishing  Method: 1. Wash and chop the mixed vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. 2. Place the dried kokum petals in a small bowl and cover them with warm water. Let them soak for about 15-20 minutes to soften. 3. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them splutter. 4. Add chopped onions and green chillies. Saute until the onions turn translucent. 5. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute until fragrant. 6. Add chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they become soft and mushy. 7. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for another couple of minutes. 8. Add the mixed vegetables to the pan and mix until they are coated with the spices. 9. Pour in the soaked kokum along with the water. Stir to combine. 10. Cover the pan and let the curry simmer on low heat until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. If the curry becomes too dry, you can add a little water to adjust the consistency. 11. Once the vegetables are cooked, add garam masala and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  12. Garnish the kokum and mixed vegetable curry with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice or Indian bread like roti or naan. Also Read: Breakfast to meal accompaniment: Here’s why Mumbai’s farsan tradition has stood the test of the time Kokum-infused Summer Gazpacho by Chef Ruffy Shaikh, senior sous chef, ITC Grand CentralThis Kokum-infused Summer Gazpacho is a delicious and vivid cold soup that helps combat the heat. Traditional gazpacho is given a tropical touch with the inclusion of kokum. This Kokum-infused Summer Gazpacho combines refreshing and zesty flavours. The kokum infusion brings a delicate sourness and depth of flavour to the soup, bringing out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and bell pepper. Overall, the flavour is citrusy, and refreshing, making it an ideal dish for hot summer days. Garnishing with fresh basil leaves gives a floral scent. Ingredients: Medium-sized tomatoes - 4 Cucumber - 1Red bell pepper - 1Red onion - 1Garlic - 2 clovesOlive oil - 2 tbspRed wine vinegar - 2 tbspKokum (dried or fresh) - 3 Salt and pepper to tasteBasil leaves for garnishing Method: To prepare the kokum infusion1. Soak kokum in warm water for 15-20 minutes to soften if using dried kokum. 2. Once softened, crush the kokum fruits with a fork to release the juices. Strain the kokum water into a small dish, discarding the sediments. Set the kokum-infused water aside. To prepare the gazpacho base:1. Cut the tomatoes, peel and dice the cucumber, dice the bell pepper and the onion, and mince the garlic cloves. 2. Add chopped tomatoes, diced cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, minced garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in a blender or food processor. 3. Blend until smooth and then add the kokum infusion. To prepare the final soup 1. Pour the kokum-infused water into the blender with the gazpacho base. 2. Blend briefly to incorporate the kokum flavour into the soup. 3. Season and chill the gazpacho with salt and pepper, to taste. 4. Place the gazpacho in a large bowl or pitcher and chill for at least an hour to enable the flavours to combine. 5. Ladle the cooled Kokum-infused Summer Gazpacho into bowls. 6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and any desired toppings, like croutons, cubed avocado, or chopped fresh herbs. Also Read: Prakash cha sabudana vada to Gomantak chi fish thali: Iconic eateries in Dadar serving authentic Maharashtrian cuisine

14 April,2024 08:22 AM IST | Mumbai | Aakanksha Ahire
Image for representational purposes only. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Chill out with these refreshing whiskey cocktails for summer

Amidst the sweltering heat of Mumbai, whiskey cocktails are emerging as an unexpected delight. Beyond their reputation as warming libations for colder months, whiskey-based concoctions offer a cooling respite during the hottest days. Mixologists at Black Dog are blending complex flavours with an array of seasonal ingredients, crafting cocktails that invigorate the senses. From the zesty notes of Kiwi to the subtle sweetness of passionfruit syrups, each sip of these cocktails is refreshing and great to be enjoyed in the company of friends.  "Pairing whisky with culinary creations is an art form, elevating the experience to new heights. Just as every note in a melody contributes to its brilliance, every ingredient complements the nuanced profile of Black Dog Keira Knightley Liquid. Each sip is a journey through the senses, an exploration of flavour that deserves to be accompanied by the finest cuisine. When enjoyed together, whisky and food create a delightful harmony, celebrating the art of fine craftsmanship and indulgence," remarks Vikram KU, Brand Ambassador Diageo India.  Here are three cocktail recipes to try this summer: Walter Loves Caffeine Ingredients: Espresso coffee (chilled), 1 ozBlack Dog Keira Knightley Edition Blended Scotch whisky, 1.5 ozCinnamon syrup, 0.5 ozIce cubesCinnamon stick (for garnish, optional) Method: 1. In a cocktail shaker, add whisky, chilled espresso coffee, and cinnamon syrup.2. Fill the shaker with ice cubes.3. Shake the mixture well for about 10-15 seconds to chill and combine the ingredients.4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass or over fresh ice in a rocks glass.5. Optionally, garnish with a cinnamon stick for added aroma and presentation. Your cocktail is ready. The Orchard Highball Ingredients: Whisky, 60 mlLime Juice, 15 mlKiwi Crush, 1 bar spoonPeach or passionfruit syrup, 1 bar spoonApple Juice, 30 mlSoda Water (to top up)Ice cubesKiwi slice or lime wedge  Method: 1. In a cocktail shaker, combine whisky, lime juice, kiwi crush, peach or passionfruit syrup, and apple juice.2. Top the mixture with ice cubes.3. Shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds to chill and blend the ingredients.4. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.5. Top up with soda water to your liking. 6. Optionally, garnish with a slice of kiwi or a wedge of lime for an extra touch of freshness.7. Stir gently before sipping to combine all the flavors. Enjoy your fizzy cocktail! The Sweet Sparkle Ingredients: Whisky, 60 mlAngostura bitters, 2 dashesLime cordial, 1 bar spoonGinger Ale Ice cubesOrange wedge  Method: 1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.2. Pour in 60 ml of whisky.3. Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters to the glass.4. Add 1 barspoon of Lime Cordial and top up with Ginger Ale.6. Stir gently to mix the ingredients.7. Garnish with an orange wedge. Also Read: Beer bottle chaas to Piyush: Try these 9 refreshing summer drinks in Mumbai

13 April,2024 08:24 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Representational Image. Pic Courtesy/iStock

Mid-Day Premium Beer bottle chaas to Piyush: Try these 9 refreshing summer drinks in Mumbai

As much as we love tea and coffee in the mornings, the soaring temperatures make us crave something cooler. Mumbai is lined with cafes and eateries offering fresh juices, sherbets, milkshakes and smoothies that are extremely nourishing and cater to varied taste preferences. Here are a few places where you can sip on some eclectic drinks to make sure you’re hydrated.   Nanari sabza sherbet The nanari root is known to do wonders for digestion and works as a blood purifier too. The root is popularly used to make a sherbet in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Try this refreshing drink which is served with sabza or basil seeds at this restaurant. Time: 8am - 11.30pmAt: Madras Diaries, Muzaffar Manor, 117 Waterfield Road, Bandra WestCall: 022 2640 0967Cost: Rs 125   Piyush Called the drink of life, piyush is a creamy concoction of shrikhand, curd and milk, with a mix of nutmeg and cardamom powder. This Parel landmark serves a refreshing Piyush. It also serves one of the best glasses of buttermilk we have tried in the city. Time: 7:30am - 10pmAt: Mumbai Ladu Samrat, Habib Terrace, Lalbaug, Dr Ambedkar Road, ParelCall: 24710127Cost: Rs 40   Kesar aur chandan ka sherbet Saffron and sandalwood are great natural cooling ingredients. The kesar aur chandan ka sherbet is served as a welcome drink at this thali restaurant to refresh you and get your stomach ready for the heavy thali. The restaurant soaks kesar and chandan in water overnight, and it is served in a brass glass for added benefits. At: Maharaja Bhog outletsCall: 28424001 (Goregaon)Cost: Rs 560 (for the thali) on weekdays and Rs 610 on weekends   Strawberry to chocolate shake Harnessing the taste of strawberries, Bachelorr’s offers a range of delectable strawberry beverages. The Chikoo Shake (INR 150), Strawberry Premium Shake (INR 280)and Orange Blossom (INR 240) are some of the most popular beverages here. For lovers of chocolate, Mocha Shake (INR 250) and Choco Paan Shake (INR 240) are also recommended. Time: 5pm - 5am, Monday to SundayAt: Ground Floor, ONGC Colony, Opposite Lilavati Hospital, Reclamation, Bandra WestCall: 7506820544  Also Read: Mango fever: Make and sip on the unique mango-based cocktails this summer season  Fruity coconut What can be more refreshing than coconut water? Juice’r rus serves hybrid tender juices (INR 140 onwards), a combination of coconut water and fruit, in varied flavours. Ideal for those who wish to dilute the density of the fresh juice or cut down on sugar, these tender juices are loaded with the goodness of chia seeds. You can pick from kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, orange, musk, strawberry and rose flavours. Time: 11am - 11pm, Monday to SundayAt: Shop 1, Chowpatty Terrace, Morvi Gali, ChowpattyCall: 7977885549   Beer bottle chaas Sharing a bottle of beer with your bestie is what good times are made of. Now, how about sharing chaas or buttermilk served in a glass bottle to keep it cool through your meal? One bottle serves three glasses of cold comfort. Time: 10am - 11.45pmAt: K Bhagat Tarachand Hotel, Shaikh Memon Street, Zaveri BazarCall: 22403456Cost: Rs 90   Solkadi Kokum is a widely-used ingredient, particularly along the west coast, whether in the dal from Gujarat, fish curry from Mangalore or various dishes of Konkan. Try the healthy solkadi, made with coconut milk and kokum, with a dash of garlic and green chillies for the perfect spicy-yet-cooling drink for summer. Time: 11.30am - 11.30pmAt: Mi Hi Koli, Teen Petrol Pump Junction, LBS Road, Panch Pakhadi, Thane WestCall: 022 33126769Cost: Rs 50  Also Read: Can’t resist a sinful grilled cheese sandwich? Try these innovative recipes to elevate your taste buds  Smoothies galore If you’re looking for yummy breakfast smoothies, Flax is the real deal. They serve several interesting concoctions catering to the health-conscious alongside cold-pressed juices. Avocado Smoothie (INR 240) with pineapple and coconut milk and Ageless (INR 235) with raspberry and almond milk are ideal for those who seek vegan options. Time: 9am – 11pm, Monday to SundayAt: Lakshmi Industrial Estate, Shankar Rao Naram Path, Lower ParelCall: 7700979000   Nourishing start Bombay salad co. is a quaint cafe with an extensive menu, offering healthy options from salads to smoothie bowls. Their menu includes several delightful fresh fruit juices that cater to different preferences and health goals. The Green (INR 210) with kale, lemongrass, orange and papaya and the Detox with carrot, beetroot, amla, and ginger (INR 220) cannot be missed. If you’re looking to rehydrate, the watermelon, chia and rosemary (INR 200) juice is ideal. At: Shop 1, 16th Road, Linking Road, Bandra WestTime: 12 - 10:30pm, Monday to SundayCall: 7506000273   Beat the heat with these recipes: Aam Panna by Mohit Madan, Manager - Rick's, Taj Mahal, New Delhi Aam Panna is a widely celebrated summer cooler across India. It is made from unripe mangoes and not only is it healthy but also easy to make at home. The taste is palate-friendly (and children should be encouraged to drink this rather than aerated beverages or those with excessive preservatives). This drink is rich in Iron and Vitamin C; hence, builds immunity and works well as a natural iron booster. Additionally, it has plenty of heat-resistant properties and is best consumed during the intense summer months.  Ingredients: 1 unripe mango2 tbsp powdered sugar1/2 tbsp black salt1/2 tbsp black pepper powder5/6 mint leaves crushed1/2 tbsp roasted cumin seed powder1 glass of chilled waterIce cubes  Method: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth consistency. Serve right away sprinkled with a little bit more cumin powder. Serve chilled.  Also Read: Ice that brew: These chilled variations will let you enjoy coffee this summer  The Virgin Sangria Sangria is traditionally made with wine, but, here we have an innovative version that is a combination of juices. It is both refreshing and healthy and should be served as a chilled summer beverage.  Ingredients: 1/2 cup cranberry juice1/2 cup apple juice30 ml honey syrup15 ml lime juice1/2 cup sparkling water1/2 cup Strawberries, Blackberries and RaspberriesLime wedges and Mint sprigs  Method: Combine all ingredients into a small pitcher. Stir to perfection to combine. Pour it into a glass and add fruits. Serve with garnish mint sprigs on top. 

12 April,2024 10:29 AM IST | Mumbai | Ainie Rizvi
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