Make your food bloom this season with edible flowers

People love flowers for their fragrance, colour and texture and just the fact that they can ease your nerves by simply looking at them. Now, you have one more reason to stare at those pretty ferns and petals and thats food.

Mrinmoy Acharya, Head Chef, Ciclo Cafe in Gurugram and Pankaj Jha, Senior Executive Sous Chef at The Suryaa in the capital share the various ways of marrying delectable food with gorgeous edible flowers so that you never run out of reasons to woo your loved ones with flowers.

*Pansy: Mild and delicate, this beautiful garden flower with velvety petals comes in purple, yellow, blue and white and is great for garnishing. Tastes like grapes and mint, this helps adding a slight taste to the dish. You can add these pretty flowers to your salad to enhance its flavour or just use it as a garnish on chocolate tortes or add to the plating while serving pastries or puddings.

*Nasturtium: One of the most popular picks in India, with its mild peppery flavour makes for an excellent pickling and culinary component. The bright yellow, orange nasturtium flowers are easy-to-grow and one of the tastiest herbs in the world. As the leaves of this flower are also edible, simply chop them and add to salad along with the flowers. You can also make desserts and appetisers more appetising by adding as a garnish.

*Marigold: Marigold of the sunflower family or calendula adds a lot to the plate because of its bright colour. Add to salad making it a refreshing summer floral dish or include it in custard to give a citrusy touch for a change.

*Crocus flower: These are easy to grow and look extremely attractive when a dish is served. Apart from using them in salads and main course. You can also mix this bud in beverages for flavouring and can also be used in making tea and wine.

*Snap Dragon: This fragrant specimen come in vibrant colours like red, yellow, pink and adds punch to your otherwise boring food. Mix it with liqueur, cranberry and lots of ice to make a delicious drink or add to pizzas and pies to give a fresh twist to the junk food.

Airlift: This Lucknow company is planning to deliver food using drones

drone, food deliver, drone food delivery,  food drone delivery, online kaka, lucknow drone food delivery, food news, lifestyle news, indian express

When hunger beckons, is fast food home delivery your only hope? While you might be waiting impatiently at home for the food to arrive, the ones delivering it, on most occasions are busy dodging traffic snarls. Sometimes, doing it within the prescribed time becomes a major hurdle. Keeping this in mind, one Lucknow-based food delivery website has come up with a solution — drones!

Yes, Online Kaka, “aiming to bring the delicacies of old and modern Lucknow” to its people, “within the comfort” of their homes have come up with this innovative fix. The company understands the high-paced life and value of home delivery and aims to make it as hassle free as possible.

Talking to the, Ahad Arshad, co-founder of the company revealed their plans and ways and how it’s all going to change the delivery experience reducing time by at least one-third. “It was due to the delay in order delivery that we were forced to think of delivering food in other ways. The traffic has gone from bad to worse due to the metro construction, although it will be helpful in future, currently there are a lot of traffic issues,” Arshad said in an email interview.

Arshad along with his co-partner Mohd Bilal, procured two drones from China to start their project. However, they met with a few challenges. “We did a few trial runs on our location but it was not successful in the beginning, so we made a few modifications, like increasing the lifting capacity of the drones and much more,” he revealed. “A few days back we attached a box (with eatables) with the help of a pulley under the drone, as soon as the box will touch the ground, the box will detach from the drone, leaving it for the person ordering the food.”

The ambitious project will be operational only after it receives a nod from the government of India. They had already written a letter to the District Magistrate of Lucknow to allow them to run some trials with the drone. “The Civil Aviation Ministry is also in favour of drone delivery but it is also waiting for a nod from the GOI,” Arshad stated.

If approved, Online Kaka will be the first delivery service in North India using drones. A Mumbai-based company Francesco’s Pizzeria tried doing the same in 2014, but could not go ahead after police intervened. Dominio’s UK also had tried the aerial route way back in 2013.



The delivery chain which has four hubs spread across Lucknow said, “The drone will pick up the food from the restaurant and drop it off at the nearest hub of the customer. From there, our delivery agent will take the order and deliver it to the customer’s doorstep.” Stating that it would be difficult to fly drones above streets where there are plenty of trees, it might be difficult to directly deliver food at customer’s doorstep, rather roof now. But they are still working on it. As of now, it’s going to be a two-step procedure where with the help of Google Maps API, they will deliver food directly.

The Lucknow-based start-up was started by the trio — Ahad Arshad, Mohd Bilal and Mohd Salman in 2016.

When asked if customers need to pay extra for the airborne service, he said, “Yes, the charges for drone delivery will be higher than the normal delivery charge, as the delivery time will be one-third of the average delivery time, which is 45 minutes.”

The company founded by three members Ahad Arshad, Mohd Bilal and Mohd Salman, is currently operating only in Lucknow. But with time, the trio wishes to expand in other parts of Uttar Pradesh.

Mumbai, get fitter: Nutritionists reveal the truth behind diet and food myths

Nutritionists explain why some popular diet myths that are just that: myths.

In the era of Internet and information overload, we can be easily misled and misinformed. We are surrounded by myths about certain foods and more often than not we believe whatever we read without questioning it. For example, “granolas and flavoured yogurt are healthy” or “salt only increases the risk of high blood pressure”. These statements are not necessarily true. To get a clearer picture, we spoke to nutritionists to reveal the facts about certain foods that we assume to be healthy or unhealthy for us.

Unhealthy? So you thought!


Potatoes are actually much healthier than you would think. (HT Photo)

Potatoes have been infamous for being unhealthy for way too long. However, according to dietician Priya Palan, they are a good source of potassium and vitamin C. “Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidants. Potatoes are low-calorie, with a medium-sized baked potato containing only about 110 calories,” says Krishnan.


Margarine is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help control cholesterol levels. (HT Photo)

Manjiri Puranik, weight loss expert says, “Margarine when taken in adequate amounts has health benefits. Margarine has alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to lower total cholesterol levels, triglycerides and reduce inflammation.”


Salt is widely considered to cause high blood pressure, but it’s a vital ingredient to your well-being. (HT Photo)

For ages, doctors have been telling us to cut on salt or risk high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease. However, Dr Nupur Krishnan, nutritionist says, “Salt is essential for sustaining the hydration levels of the body. It is extremely vital to maintain the electrolyte balance for the smooth functioning of the organ systems.”



Eggs are very nutritious and can even help you lose body fat. (Mark Cornelison)

“Eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as ‘nature’s multivitamin.’ They also have unique antioxidants and powerful brain nutrients that many people are deficient in. Eggs for breakfast can also help you lose body fat,” says Manisha Mehta, nutritionist.


Avocados are considered to be too fatty, but are rich in potassium and fibre. (HT Photo)

The fruit has been tarnished because it is considered to be too fatty. But nutritionist Khushboo Sahijwani says, “This is truly a miracle fruit. All other fruits are rich in carbohydrates but this one is exceptionally rich in fats, and most importantly the healthy mono unsaturated fatty acids. Avocados are super rich in potassium which is good for people with high blood pressure. Being rich in fibre, it aids in weight loss and to lower cholesterol.”

What we thought was healthy

Wheat bread

Wheat bread may contain enriched flour, which is high in sugar but doesn’t have much nutrition value. (HT Photo)

Krishnan highlights, “If it isn’t 100% whole wheat, bread can contain enriched flour, which gives you a sugar spike without any nutritional value. Basically, enriched flour means nutrients are stripped from the bread.”

Flavoured soy milk

Soy milk may actually not be as healthy as popular wisdom states it to be. (HT Photo)

Some health-conscious people prefer soy milk because they are considered a heart-healthy low fat option. Mehta counters, “Almost every ingredient in soy milk is a cause for serious concern. It contains cane sugar, carrageenan, calcium carbonate, vitamin A, palmitate, vitamin D2, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B12 and phytic acid. Soy contains high levels of phytic acid, a compound, which reduces your body’s ability to absorb minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.”



Granola bars may not be the best way to start your day. (HT Photo)

“One might think of granola as one of the healthiest breakfast options to start the day with. But it tends to be low on fibre and protein, and high on fat and sugar, which is the opposite of a healthy breakfast. Stick to granola that has healthy nuts, and a little sugar,” says Puranik.

Light salad dressings

“Low-fat salad dressings prevent the body’s ability to absorb the carotenoid antioxidants in salad greens and tomatoes, thus greatly diminishing a major health benefit of eating salad. ‘Light’ and ‘fat-free’ dressings are often the most common places to find high-fructose corn syrup which is not too good for health,” says Mehta.

Flavoured, fat-free yogurt

Flavoured yogurt is high in sugar, corn syrup and a host of other sweeteners. (Shakti Yadav/HT Photo)

Puranik states, “Yogurt has always been considered as a health food but if you are into fruit flavoured yogurt, it is more likely that you are consuming plenty of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and a host of other sweeteners, and not so much fruit. So when it comes to yogurt, stick to the plain variety.”

From a Street Food to an Exotic Dish: The Interesting Tale of Sushi

A night out at the most exquisite fine dining restaurants in the city, we are always compelled to order a portion of sushi. With a multitude of options available, one or the other kind always manages to occupy a place on the table. These rice rolls are not only healthy; they are scrumptious and addictive too. The popularity stems from the fact that it is a simple dish with raw seafood and rice, yet manages to attract so much attention.

sushi 620x350Photo Credit: The Leela Mumbai

The inception


Did you know that sushi was first created with a purpose to keep meat fresh in the absence of refrigeration? By keeping raw fish folded in rice, its freshness could be preserved for over months. This was the main purpose when sushi was invented in Southeast Asia back in the second century A.D. It is hard to believe that preservation of seafood was the main aim of this rather exotic dish. By allowing the fish to ferment in rice over a period of time, it was made edible. The rice was then thrown away, while the fish was eaten. Just like all things ancient, the origin of sushi is not free of old wives tales and folklore.

How did sushi get its name? Tracing its trajectory is as fascinating as the name sushi itself is. It is believed that the word sushi literally means ‘it is sour’ which is used to describe the ancient process of making sushi,with raw seafood rolled into rice along with salt for facilitating the fermentation process.

Gradually, the preservation method was discovered in China and Japan, where Japan went a step further. Today, Japan has the most exciting night life and back then, there were significant transformations taking place. With Edo as the Capital of Japan, entrepreneurs developed quicker ways to prepare the sushi. Vinegar aided the process. The Japanese began eating the rice along with the fish. It was Matsumoto Yoshiichi of Tokyo who began to add vinegar in his sushi to sell it. This allowed the customers to eat it immediately rather than waiting for the process of fermentation to start. This why the sushi kitchen is called tsuke-ba or “pickling place.” The process of fermenting the rice releases acid that allow the fish to last longer.

The evolution

Hanaya Yohei is known to be responsible for the shift in the way sushi was originally presented and prepared. Before him, in the 1820’s, chefs used raw fish in their sushi, known as ‘Edo-style’ sushi. This is the style you will find in most sushi restaurants. Then, Yohei began a method where by rather than wrapping the fish in rice, he began to place the fish on top of the roll and that is exactly the way we eat Japanese sushi today. It is also commonly referred to as ‘nigiri sushi’. At his time, it was a fast food available on the streets. He set up his stall on the banks of the Sumida river, this meant that sushi could be prepared within minutes rather than hours or days. You could be on the go and fill yourself with a box of freshly prepared sushi. It was slowly being favored and is now one of the most widely ordered dishes.

sushi 620x350

Photo Credit: Istock

How did it make its way into fine dining restaurants?

The aftermath of the World War 2 and a massive earthquake in Tokyo in the 1920s changed the scenario in Japan. Land prices decreased significantly. You would no longer get sushi on your casual stroll across the street. It shifted to fine dining restaurants that desired more formal clothing and few more hours of your time. The earthquake also displaced numerous chefs to set up their bases across the country, increasing the popularity of sushi.


Transcending geographical boundaries for the art that sushi making has become, the west slowly adapted the artistry. The booming post-war economy could support mass refrigerators, better transportation of seafood and fine dining restaurants that allowed the sushi industry to thrive.
Today, Japan’s iconic street food, has become a sophisticated and unique dish globally. Upscale sushi restaurants are creating fusion forms, inventing and innovating at a rapid rate to meet customer needs.


Photo Credit: Istock

Chefs across the world attempted to embrace the sushi culture. With western influence, cut rolls that have been wrapped in seaweed or soy paper have become extremely popular. Vegetarians too have no reason to complain with toppings and fillings like mushrooms, cucumbers, avocado and asparagus.


The Japananse pay a lot of attention to the presentation of food. The presentation is almost as important as the taste itself and that’s what makes sushi an art and an experience. Owing to the mysterious, yet elusive background of sushi,  Yohei’s contribution is credible and unforgettable. In the absence of advancement of technology, his foresightedness is believed to have transformed the world of sushi. We can now state with conviction that sushi is here to stay.

9 Interesting Food Festivals You Can Attend This Monsoon in Delhi-NCR

The best way to enjoy the lovely weather during monsoons is to indulge in some good food. So, here’s a list of some of the upcoming food festivals offering interesting, exciting and unique experience for all the foodies out there. Whether you feel like learning a new skill or trying a new cuisine, there’s a lot on offer.

9 Interesting Food Festivals You Can Attend This Monsoon in Delhi-NCR

1. Paint and Vineyard


Feel artistic? Then, spend your Sunday afternoon recreating some of the masterpieces at Dirty Apron (The Piano Man). Spread over 3 hours, this event can be enjoyed with friends, family or can be a way to meet new people while learning a new skill. Enjoy your afternoon painting along with some great wine, sangria and delicious pizzas.


When: 16th July’17 – Pablo Picasso Collage and Acrylic on Canvas Board, 23rd July’17 – Georgia O’Keeffe with Acrylic on Canvas Board, 30th July’17 – Van Gogh with Acrylic on Canvas Board with Palette Knife Technique


Where: B-6 Commercial Complex, Safdarjung Enclave, Opposite Deer Park, Hauz Khas, Delhi


Time: 3 P.M. to 6 P.M.


Cost: INR 3000 per head: Pizza, Sangria, Beer and all the painting supplies, INR 200 per head: Pizza and all the painting supplies, INR 1800 per head: Painting supplies (All-inclusive of taxes)

food festPhoto Credit: Dirty Apron

2. Great India Beer Festival

What’s better than a beer festival to celebrate the seasonal downpour? Get ready to try beer in all its forms and brews as The Great Indian Beer festival brings hundreds of real ales, craft beers and ciders from renowned microbreweries in Delhi-NCR under one roof. The event will also be some great cafes and street food joints to pair your brews with. While enjoying live music, you can also test your skill on a variety of traditional Beer games.


When: 19-20 August


Where: Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-03


Time: 2pm – 11pm


Cost: 1 Day entry: INR 700, 2 Day entry: INR 1,000. Prices may vary.

beer festivalPhoto Credit: Istock

3. Rajasthani Food Festival

If you craving some spicy food, the New Town Cafe at Park Plaza is where you should head this monsoon. They are all set to take you through a royal culinary journey of Rajasthan. They have an array of quintessential favorites like Gatte ki Subzi, Dal Bati Churma, Ker Sangari, Bajrey ki roti and much more.


When: 13 to 23 july


Where: Hotel Park Plaza, Gurugram


Time: Lunch: 12:30P.M to 3P.M, Dinner: 9 P.M to 10:30P.M


Cost: INR 999 per head (plus all applicable taxes), INR 1099 per head (plus all applicable taxes)

rajasthani food festivalPhoto Credit: Istock

4. Organic Food Festival

This month-long event is to let people explore different cuisines and dishes all made with organic ingredients. The organic menu by Chef Noah is globally inspired including Indian fusion dishes. He will ensure that the food served is 100% chemical-free, preservative-free, and pesticide-free. Dive into a roasted beetroot tartare with mint and a salted jaggery drizzle, followed by chimichurri chicken skewers with roasted red peppers and cumin hummus. For main course, you can choose from infused roasted eggplant with sliced potato stacks or bok choy zucchini and squash with organic soy, peanut, ginger, and sesame.


When: Starts from 15th July


Where: The hungry Monkey. B 6/6 DDA Market, Safdarjung Enclave, Opp. Deer Park New Delhi, India


Time: 12 P.M to 1 A.M.

zucchiniPhoto Credit: Hungry Monkey

5. Feast of the Seven Kingdoms

Many of you have been part of the Game of Thrones family for six seasons, experiencing the stunning visuals and being engulfed in the storm of heartbreak and revenge. To welcome the seventh season, Science and Cooking is organizing a feast that takes you on a culinary journey through the halls of King’s Landing to the warm comfort foods of the north and to the rich sumptuous treats of the east. It’ll be a hands-on cooking workshop where you can learn the secrets of the kitchens of the seven kingdoms, create your own bloody sauces, carve our own meats or prepare our own rustic feast and recreate this magical world for yourselves!


When: 22 Jul 2017 6:00 PM


Where: Science and Cooking, Gurugram


Time: 6 P.M.


Cost: INR 2000 (inclusive of taxes)

got themed festivalPhoto Credit: Facebook/Science and Cooking

6. Street Food Festival


During the monsoon season, it is tough to resist the urge to dig into the tempting street food and you don’t have to! Enjoy some amazing street food delights from around the country under one roof. You will find the glorious Aloo Tikki from Lucknow, Tawa Aloo Chaat from Old Delhi, the tangy and chatpata Moong Dal Pakodi from Uttar Pradesh, along with Akki Roti from Karnataka, the famous Bhel Puri from the by-lanes of Mumbai and the authentic spicy Lakhanpur de Bhalle from Jammu Kashmir.


When: 1st August to 31st August 2017


Where: Plaza Premium Lounge, Domestic Departures, Delhi,


Cost: Lounge access starts at INR 1200 plus taxes

street food festivalPhoto Credit: Plaza Premium Lounge

7. Masaledar Monsoon

To satisfy your monsoon cravings, indulge in masaledaar delicacies and chatpata thirst quencher. Drool over delectable dishes including Biryani Pakodas, Poatleez, Tundla Station Cutlets, Raincoat Chicken, and Barsati Mutton Pepper Fry along with refreshing drinks like Kaala Khatta, Hi with Chai, Setting Chai, Mad Over Mango and many more.


When: Till 30th July 2017


Where: Kopper Kadai, J2/6B, 1st & 2nd Floor, B.K. Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi


Time: 12 noon to 11pm


Cost: INR 1400 (Meal for two)

masaledar monsoonPhoto Credit: Kopper Kadai

8. Thai Street Affair

‘Siam Jan Deaw’ at Thai Pavilion is an interesting Thai street food festival where the menu incorporates an exclusive array of one-bowl delicacies from the vibrant streets of Siam. Here’s a chance to savour popular delicacies from the streets of Thailand from their curated menu and enjoy some authentic Thai flavours this monsoon.


When: 14 to 23 July, 2017


Where: Thai Pavilion at Vivanta by Taj ,Gurugram

thai food festivalPhoto Credit: Thai Pavilion

9. The Burger Fest

It’s time to celebrate the most favorite food of all time. Yes, burgers! Café Yell has organized a burger festival to satisfy all your burger cravings. They’re definitely going to be some of the most exciting burgers around town all under one roof.


When: 13th to 25th July 2017


Where: CafeYell, 35,Defence colony mkt New Delhi India 110024


Time: 8 am onwards

burger fest



Humayunpur: A Mini North-Eastern Food Hub In Safdarjung

India encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines spread across different states. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate culture and ethnic groups, food cuisines across India vary substantially from each other and are prepared using locally grown spices, herbs, and vegetables.  Northeastern cuisine has a distinct character that sets it apart from the other cuisines of India. Be it Manipur’s fish or Nagaland’s meat, Sikkim’s noodles or Arunachal Pradesh’s momos, masalas from Tripura or spiciness of Assamese food, each of them is unique in their own way. It may not be possible to go all the way to the Northeast to try their aunthetic cuisine but we definitely deserve to taste some. You must visit Humayunpur located in the Safdarjung market of New Delhi to indulge in some rich culinary pleasures from the Northeastern states in India.  Here are seven place to start with.

Humayunpur:  A Mini North-Eastern Food Hub In Safdarjung

1. Mizo Diner

Mizo Diner is snug little eatery in the by-lanes of Humayunpur serving traditional Mizo delicacies.. Be it the starchy fried rice, Sangha Chumm, or the Dawl Rep Bai, everything on the menu is delicious. The calm and serene atmospheric ambiance adds on to the whole eating experience.

Address: 85, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave, Safdarjung, New Delhi
Time: 12 Noon to 11 P.M.
Contact:  91 8447584361
Cost: INR 600 for two people (approx)

2. Hornbill Cafe and Restaurant

This cute, tiny restaurant in Safdarjang specializes in Naga cuisine and leaves you spellbound with their authentic food, taste and ambiance. With minimal seating, low-key interiors and sepia theme inspired wall décor, the simplicity and humbleness of the restaurant speaks for itself.  The restaurant also offers vegetarian options which include roasted potatoes, smoked veggies and much more that are equally scrumptious as the non-vegetarian dishes.

Address: 104/A, Basement Backside NCC Gate, Safdarjung, New Delhi
Operating hours:

1 P.M. to 10:45 P.M.
Contact :  9654781284
Cost: INR  400 for two people (approx)

3. The Categorical Eat-Pham

“Eat-Pham” is a modern term used by Manipur’s youth to indicate an eating place, and hence the name. This restaurant  provides a range home cooked Manipuri delicacies. One can find every well-known Manipuri dish such as Eromba, Manipuri Pakora, Aloo Kanghoo, Manipuri Fish Curry, Tharoi and Pork. Another popular option is to try their “Thali”

Address: 120-A, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave (near NCC gate), New Delhi 110029.
Time:12 Noon to 10 PM
Contact:91 9958125827
Cost: INR 600 for two people (approx)

4. Jingund’te  Restaurant

This place offers both Chinese and Northeastern cuisine and non-vegetarian curries is what they specialize in. This place is more popular for home delivery so that you can enjoy affordable and hygienic food in the comfort of your home.

Address: 66-B, Humayunpur, SafdarjungEnclave, Safdarjung, New Delhi
Time: 11 A.M. to 11:30 P.M.
Contact:  91 9953124821
Cost: INR 500 for two people (approx)

5. Bamboo Hut

Another eatery for authentic and lip-smacking North-Eastern flavours in Safdarjung is Bamboo Hut. It offers well-prepared and mouth-watering Tibetan and Naga dishes. The place has a subtle ambiance.

Address: 298 Humayunpur, B6 DDA Market, Safdarjung, New Delhi
Time: 12 Noon to 10 P.M.
Contact: 91 7042948708
Cost: INR 500 for two people (approx.)

6. KPG Express

KPG Express is a small and cozy restaurant in the midst of the hustle bustle of the market. The interesting décor gives homage to comics and rock bands. Being a bit clustered one might not always get a table here, however, the delicious food compensate for waiting. Pork ribs and local Sikkim pickles are a hit among regulars.

Address: 70, Humayunpur chowk, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi 110029
Time: 11 A.M. to 11 P.M.
Contact: 083758 20641
Cost: INR 500 for two (approx)

These specialty restaurants make sure that diners come back for their quality and taste of the food. It is an ideal destination for people who would like an authentic dining experience with affordable prices.

Food Review: Make Some Noise at Cafe Yell

As you amble past Defence Bakery, pondering on the meaning of life or the availability of hot butter croissants and whether the twain shall meet, keep an eye out. That’s how we spotted Cafe Yell, newly situated right above its parent, Yell, which is a long-time tenant and also a popular fashion retail brand.

You get small hints of this as you take a seat in the cafe’s intimate space. Spools and darns, framed tailors’ scissors and measuring scales, giant buttons in pop colours, all recalling bygone times when tailoring was bespoke. Even the lamps are made out of recycled wooden coat hangers. Pleasant, low-volumed music floats in the background as you appreciate the subtlety of the place and its brave eschewing of branding.

Cafe Yell, defence colony market, make noise, food review, delhi cafe, delhi food joint, indian expressInside Cafe Yell

Cafe Yell’s menu includes Yell Insalata, Yell Nachos, Chicken Wings (with Yell sauce, naturally) and Yell Quatro Meat Love pizza. As well as some remarkable Italian food. It also doesn’t stray all over the place, mostly remaining moored to the Continent.

The Italian is a later happy discovery as we first decide to get our hands dirty with the aforementioned wings and its Yell sauce. The sauce is an in-house concoction of chilli and red marinade, smoky and with just a suggestion of sweetness; we just wish it had a little more punch. The wings are dragon red, with plenty of meat on the bone and come six a portion generously coated with sauce.

We next fish for the Garlic Shrimp, which come with a surprise but not unwelcome serving of herb butter rice. Proving that size doesn’t matter, the tiny shrimp is bursting with the flavours of the Mediterranean (and enough garlic to stun a vampire), all tempered by barely cooked baby tomatoes. Belissima.

We delve further in with a Risotto Pollo Lucca, a bubbling muddling of arborio, parmesan and gorgonzola textured with tender chicken and crispy bacon. Gently steaming, each melting mouthful is a swirl of flavours and dreams. More prosaically, the edge of the parmesan blunts the sharpness of the gorgonzola, all the gamey meat rounding off said edges.

We continue to be spoiled with choice of dessert. We settle on the Yell Cookie Blast. A gigantic wedge of the most decadent layering of chocolate, cookies, cream and crust arrives in the form of a cheesecake. The remarkable thing about it is how closely it resembles that confectionary behemoth that was the Defence Bakery Cookie Blast cheesecake, so recently discontinued. Indeed, the only difference between the two is their pricing.

Jaipur food fest to revive Persian delicacies for Nowruz

The “forgotten recipes” of Persia are about to be revived at a 13-day food festival that promises an authentic culinary fare through the subtle flavours that originated in Iran centuries ago. Heralding Nowruz, the dawn of the Persian New Year, Fairmont Jaipur is launching the food fest on March 21 at the hotel’s signature Indo-Persian restaurant “Zarin” — a name inspired by the Persian connotation for gold — that celebrates the fusion of two ancient culinary traditions of Asia.

“Zarin is a unique restaurant that adds drama and flair to our repertoire of dining facilities at Fairmont Jaipur. The restaurant evokes heart-warming nostalgia of grandiose culinary traditions of the warrior kings and emperors across Persia,” Srijan Vadhera, General Manager, Fairmont Jaipur, said while announcing the launch of the festival at an event here over the weekend.

Image result for Jaipur food fest to revive Persian delicacies for Nowruz

The Persian food festival that also marks the launch of a new menu at Zarin will offer guests a wide selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, including Iranian Haleem, Mutton Dhansak, Tabriz Koftey — stuffed chicken dumpling filled with nuts and spices – and Patrani Paneer Kebab — banana leaf wrapped grilled cottage cheese flavoured with garlic and cinnamon.

“The new menu at Zarin will offer diners a delightful insight into a bygone era that has influenced our cuisine in countless ways. The food festival that celebrates Nowruz is a compilation of highlights from the new menu breathing life into the forgotten recipes of Persia,” Manpreet Singh, Executive Chef, Fairmont Jaipur, said.

The 200-room Farirmont Jaipur Hotel that integrates the Rajputana decor with the majesty of Mughal architecture to offer guests the grandeur of a palace with all modern amenities is located just 10 kms from the famous Amer Fort.

Besides the Indo-Persian restaurant “Zarin”, the hotel also boasts of a multi-cuisine restaurant “Zoya”, and a library-bar where one can sip the selected choice of premium scotch whiskeys or fine wines while reading a book or watching the best of Charlie Chaplin films.

Love fusion food? Try out this Chai Ghevar Tiramisu recipe

There’s chai, there’s ghevar and then there’s the goodness of tiramisu all rolled into one. This king of a fusion dessert is unlike anything you will come across and you don’t even have to step into a five-star restaurant to enjoy it in all its glory. Getting it right might be the tricky part but it’s not impossible. All you need is a little bit of patience.

Chef Ashish Deva, executive chef, Jaisalmer Marriott Resort & Spa shares his special recipe with us. Go on, don’t be scared to experiment in the kitchen. Maybe, this might just turn into a bestseller among your loved ones.

Serves 4

2 pieces – Ghevar (Dry)
100g – Mascarpone cheese
25g – Gulkand
1tsp – Rose water
1tbsp – Tea powder
2tsp – Sugar
10g – Ginger
4 pieces – Cardamom
50g – Red sponge
1 mint sprig

* Make a tea decoction using water, tea powder, sugar, ginger and cardamom.

* Whisk mascarpone cheese till it turns fluffy and add in gulkand and rose water.

* Dry the red sponge at 80 degree celsius in an oven till it becomes hard. Crush to make a crumble.

* Soak the ghevar in tea decoction and place over a platter.

* Make quenelles of gulkand mascarpone mixture and put along the soaked ghevar.

* Garnish with red crumble and mint sprig.

Food for Thought

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modiexpressed concern over “wastage of food” in his radio programme, Mann Ki Baat. Two weeks later, his government has devised a plan to counter it. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public distribution is planning to regulate food portions served at restaurants and is said to be drafting a questionnaire for hotels and restaurants to explain what dish sizes they should serve to a customer. Some say that the mandate for eateries would just be to clearly mention the portion size on the menu so that customers know how much to order. In any case, this has added to the confusion among the restaurant owners, who are already working hard to get around the liquor ban.

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Calling it a cheap publicity tactic, Riyaaz Amlani, President of National Restaurant Association of India told The Indian Express, “Keeping a check on food wastage is a very good idea but maybe they should start with government-run godowns and sabzi mandis where several metric tonnes of food is wasted. As far as the restaurants are concerned, food never goes waste because customers get the food packed if they can’t finish it or it is distributed among the poor.”

Adds Amit Burman, promoter of Lite Bite Foods, who has seven restaurant chains across India including Punjab Grill, Zambar, Asia 7 and the Subway outlets, “I don’t understand who is advising the government to come up with such ideas. They have bigger things to do.” Burman adds that it is absolutely impractical to put such a regulation in place. “The question here is: how are they going to do it? For instance, if we are serving grilled chicken, how can the government decide the size of chicken?” he says. There are many factors, he says, that go into a restaurant arriving at a suitable portion size — such as pricing, raw material and the number of ingredients used in a particular dish.

“We don’t need to be told that food should not be wasted. This is common sense. This is no way to figure out a standard size. Portions are decided on the basis of research and customer feedback. This is a service industry and has to be run by our guests and not the government. Some of our raw materials come pre-portioned while others that have a shelf-life are closely monitored,” says Rahul Singh, Owner, Beer Cafe, which has many outlets across Delhi.

Even the chefs are quite unsure how such a regulation can be implemented. Also, while everyone agrees in principle that food wastage needs to be curbed, people in the industry are of the view that restaurants are the last place where wastage of food actually happens. Chef Ravitej Nath, who has worked with Oberoi group for 18 years, says “Food wastage is a huge problem but restaurants are only a part of the problem. What we need is to create awareness and devise a system where food is collected and redistributed. I don’t think curbing portion sizes will help.”