California’s Lost (and Found) Punjabi-Mexican Cuisine

California’s Lost (and Found) Punjabi-Mexican Cuisine

TRY OUR ROTI QUESADILLA , the advertisement beckons. In all caps, it promotes the two cuisines the restaurant serves: MEXICAN FOOD Specializing in EAST INDIAN FOOD As advertised, the roti quesadilla fits right into 2019’s globalized food scene, where chefs of all backgrounds fuse ingredients and culinary techniques, searching for the next great dish. But this quesadilla, created by the Rasul family at their restaurant, El Ranchero, was not designed to go viral, and the ad did not reach audiences via carefully programmed algorithms. Instead, it ran in Yuba City, California’s local paper, the Appeal-Democrat , in 1977 — squarely in the middle of the restaurant’s 40-year run. And the family that created it was not trying to do something different, or strange — it just made something true to their identity. The restaurant’s menu and its roti quesadilla were unique to the Rasuls and El Ranchero, but they represented something much larger: Punjabi Mexicans in California, whose localized community, by the 1970s, had already started to disappear. Between the late 1800s and 1917 , men from Punjab, in northwest India, came to the United States to work. They landed on the West Coast, and most found jobs farming in California or logging in the Pacific Northwest; some sold tamales . In California, they generally settled in the Imperial Valley, east of San Diego, just above the Mexican border; from there, some followed farming routes north and eventually made homes in places like Yuba City and Fresno. These men earned far more money than they had been able to in India, but life in California was not all opportunity: After the Immigration Act of 1917 restricted Indians and other Asians from entering the country, many of the men found themselves stuck; some had wives and children back in India, and they feared that if they left America, they would not be allowed to return. Moreover, California’s Alien Land Law of 1913 prohibited ownership or long-term leases of land to “aliens ineligible for citizenship,” which included Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Indians — effectively preventing them from owning property, because they could not become citizens. According to Karen Leonard, a professor of anthropology at the University of California at Irvine and author of Making Ethnic Choices: California’s Punjabi Mexican Americans , almost 2,000 Punjabi men lived in California in the early 1900s, and approximately one-third of them married (or re-married) after settling in the state. Only a few Indian women reached the United States before the border closed, none of whom settled in the Imperial Valley. Because there were so few Indian women, and because of California’s miscegenation laws, which dictated that people could not marry outside of their race, many Punjabi men married Hispanic women, creating a new, hybrid community. (The miscegenation laws were vague, and some interpretations permitted Punjabi and Hispanic couples — both “brown” — to marry.) The men were often a decade or more older than the women, and in many cases, sets of Mexican sisters, cousins, or good friends married Punjabi men who knew each other, so families within the emerging community were especially close-knit. About 400 marriages took place between Punjabi men and Mexican women between the 1910s and 1940s South Asian American Digital Archive — Amelia Singh Netervala Collection By the 1940s, roughly 400 such marriages existed in California, according to Leonard. The community that formed out of these marriages was often called “Mexican Hindu” or “Punjabi Mexican,” broadstroke terms that weren’t entirely accurate. Some of the women were biracial, and “Hindu” at the time referred to Hindustan, an old name for India, not to the religion — in fact, it’s estimated some 80 percent of the men were Sikh and about 10 percent were Muslim. Within the community and outside of it, the children of these couples were called “half and halves,” half Punjabi, half Mexican. Their fathers labored long hours in the fields, so raising the children was often left to the mothers, and the new generation grew up as predominantly Spanish speakers in the Catholic faith. But when the men returned home, they still expected their families to eat Punjabi food. So the Mexican women learned to cook Punjabi meals for their husbands, but adapted the dishes to use more familiar or local ingredients. The language changed, too: My reporting indicates that Punjabi Mexicans referred to parathas as a type of roti — in India they are usually considered two distinct kinds of flatbreads — and used “curry” as a general, catchall phrase to describe dishes served in sauces or gravies, all which have distinct names and preparations in India. Amelia Singh Netervala was born in 1935 to a Mexican-born mother and a Punjabi Sikh father. She remembers her mother, Rosa Singh, cooking foods from both cultures. “My mother would make dal, and also Mexican beans,” Netervala says. “She would make cheese enchiladas or parathas on special occasions. She learned all [the Indian dishes] from my father.” In the past, articles have referenced Netervala’s family’s chicken curry enchiladas as a symbol of this dual-culture community, but she says this is an error — they never blended culinary traditions in this way. Singh mostly cooked Indian food, as her husband preferred, like aloo gobi and other vegetables with Indian spices; she did sometimes make dishes like rice and pinto beans though, and would prepare menudo at Christmas. Dinner at the Amelia Singh Netervala’s childhood home in Phoenix in 1951 South Asian American Digital Archive — Amelia Singh Netervala Collection “My mother’s food was absolutely delicious. You can’t find what she made anywhere else,” Yuba City resident Kartar Smith remembers. Her mother, Anastasia Dhillon, was of Mexican, Spanish, and French descent, and her father, Kapur Dhillon, was Punjabi. In traditional Punjabi chicken recipes, Smith says, “you make the tadka [tempered spices] and all of that other stuff, but my mom didn’t do that. My mom would use the canned curry spice that she would get at the store — the one spice — and she would add tomato sauce to it, which is Spanish or Mexican.” Smith’s family has been friends with the Rasuls for four generations; her grandfather and Gulam Rasul came from the same part of India, and their families knew each other in the Imperial Valley. The Dhillons also owned a restaurant in Imperial Valley’s El Centro, where Smith was born. After her family moved to Yuba City, they reconnected with the Rasuls, and she remembers eating at their restaurant El Ranchero often. “My uncles and my father, they were born at the early part of the 20th century, and they would go there for dinner whenever they could,” she said. El Ranchero, she thinks, was perhaps the last restaurant of its kind. El Ranchero, later renamed Rasul’s El Ranchero , opened in Yuba City in 1954 and operated for four decades. Gulam Rasul, a migrant farmer, left agricultural work behind to start the restaurant after he and his wife, Inez Aguirre Rasul, realized that people loved their food —relatives remember now that they were never not feeding family and friends. Gulam and Inez Aguirre had 13 children, many of whom worked in the restaurant from time to time, and when Gulam died in 1967, his son Ali took over and ran the restaurant until it closed. Ad for El Ranchero in the September 12, 1969 issue of the Appeal-Democrat newspaper Tamara L. Rasul English, Ali’s daughter, wanted to follow in her father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and run El Ranchero after her father decided to retire. But she says her dad believed he would never truly stop working if it stayed open. He was too enmeshed with the restaurant, referred to simply as “Ali’s” (sometimes pronounced “Ollie’s”) by regulars, who would often bring their own pots to fill up with his chicken curry — or just drop in to buy him a beer. While most of El Ranchero’s menu was Mexican, the Rasuls served a few Indian dishes, like chicken and lamb curries, seasonal curried vegetables, and rotis. English notes that the restaurant was the first in the Yuba City area to serve any “East Indian,” or what today we would call “South Asian,” food. A few of the Mexican plates were influenced by the Rasul family’s traditions, like the restaurant’s take on chile verde — “We would make ours out of beef, because our grandfather, being Muslim, wouldn’t allow pork,” says English — and curry dishes were served with Spanish rice instead of Indian-style rice, but the restaurant generally didn’t attempt to fuse Indian and Mexican together. Customers sometimes took things into their own hands, though, ordering Mexican dishes like chili and beans to eat with parathas, combining the two cuisines themselves. Ad for El Ranchero — printed as “El Rancho” in error here — in the July 1, 1977 issue of the Appeal-Democrat newspaper The exception, and the restaurant’s sole crossover dish, was the roti quesadilla, which was on the menu from the beginning. It had melted cheese, onions, and shredded beef sandwiched inside a paratha, and it came served with a curry chicken dipping sauce, as well as salad or rice and beans. “Some would use the salsa that came with dinner as a dipping sauce for the quesadilla as well,” English remembers, “so there was customization for specific customers’ tastes.” The roti quesadilla was nicknamed the Hindu pizza, and later, as people started to consider “Hindu” an outdated phrase, the Indian pizza. “This was something specific,” English says. When she worked at El Ranchero, people would tell her they went to other restaurants and ordered quesadillas, and that they were “nothing like [Rasul’s].” She’d reply, “‘Of course not, that’s a Mexican restaurant — you’re not going to get this there.’” At El Ranchero, the Rasuls served the kinds of food that they made for themselves. English says that the family worked at the restaurant six days a week, so dinner was always eaten there. “We would eat items that were on the menu as well as our own ideas, such as a chile verde, bean, and cheese burrito made with a roti instead of a flour tortilla — so good, I can almost taste it!” English remembers leaving the restaurant with her father early one night to go see the Yuba City High School homecoming football game. “We ate those warm burritos in the cold air with everyone around us telling us how good they looked and smelled and [that they] wished they had one. It was something only my dad and I could have that night.” Punjabi Mexicans ran at least a couple of other restaurants in California around that time, including one in El Centro and one near Fresno in Selma. But none had the staying power of El Ranchero, and no records that I could find show those restaurants serving both Mexican and Indian dishes — much less anything that combined food traditions from both cultures on a single plate. El Ranchero became a staple in the community, as demonstrated in this ad for El Ranchero in the local Yuba High School 1966 yearbook During its 40-year run, Rasul’s became a space where the whole community gathered. Locals who moved out frequently came back to visit and eat at the restaurant with their parents and children in tow. And Punjabi-Mexican families from all over made a point to stop at the restaurant whenever they found themselves in Yuba City. “[When] people were in town, they had to make sure they stopped in,” says English. “It was kind of like home base.” Today, a quarter-century after the restaurant’s closing, people still ask English if she’d ever open it again; she says she might consider doing a pop-up dinner here or there. Online, in articles and Yuba City Facebook groups , people remember Rasul’s El Ranchero and what it brought to the area, filling a need for the Punjabi-Mexican community while introducing others to Indian food. “A lot of people would say, ‘why do you have both of those foods, it sounds kind of like an odd thing,’” English tells me. “But it’s not as odd as you think. It was good for the community, as far as flavors introduced.” By the time the first Punjabi-Mexican children reached their 30s , in the mid-1940s, laws were changing. California repealed its miscegenation policies, lifting racial restrictions on who could marry. In 1946, President Truman signed the Luce-Celler Act, which allowed Indians to become naturalized citizens, meaning they could own land in their own names instead of relying on their children, who were citizens by birth; their wives, who had technically lost their rights to citizenship by marrying men who couldn’t obtain their own; or white or Mexican landowners to hold property for them. On the other side of the world, India gained independence from the British in 1947 and split into two countries, India and Pakistan. Called Partition, this created some deep mistrust between predominantly Hindu Indians and predominantly Muslim Pakistanis in South Asia as well as parts of the diaspora. It also led to a reframing of some Muslim parts of the Punjabi-Mexican community, who subsequently became known as Spanish Pakistanis, and to strengthening patriotic ties to different countries in South Asia. Netervala, who grew up in El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix, says that she cannot recall her Sikh father’s Muslim friends ever coming inside her house. She realized later that this was in part because the Muslim men kept halal, and the chicken her mother cooked with wasn’t. “Their wives, who were Mexican, they could come to the house and eat. But the men never ate — they stayed outside, talking to my father.” But by and large, internal bonds within the Punjabi-Mexican community stayed strong even after Partition. Netervala does remember discrimination by Mexican women outside the Punjabi-Mexican community, however. “I think some of the Mexican women resented those women that were married to Indians that were doing well,” she says. “We always had a car, as I recall, and my mother dressed well. In school, because of my last name being Singh, they used to make fun of me.” Dancers from Ensambles Ballet Folklórico and Duniya Dance in traditional Mexican and Punjabi dress on stage together in a 2015 performance of Half and Halves , a dance celebrating the Punjabi-Mexican community and its history Paul Benjamin Luce-Celler opened up the border, permitting 100 Indians (and 100 Filipinos) to immigrate each year. It was followed in 1965 by the less restrictive Immigration and Nationality Act, which abolished the discriminatory quota system and encouraged more Indians to come to the United States. With more Punjabi women emigrating from India and marrying Punjabi men — by the 1970s, Leonard reports, Yuba City High School had more Punjabi students enrolled than Punjabi-Mexican — the dynamics for the Mexican women who helped build this small community began to change. From the community’s earliest days, Mexican women had cooked in the gurdwaras that their husbands helped found, which became important community hubs for all Punjabi Mexicans in addition to being Sikh places of worship. Though many of the Sikh men who came to California in the early 1900s cut their hair and stopped wearing turbans daily, thus abandoning one of the five outward expressions of the Sikh faith, they still brought their families to gurdwaras, especially on special occasions. The first opened in 1912 in Stockton, California (one, in El Centro, was purchased from the Japanese in 1948 — before internment, it had been a Buddhist temple), and Punjabis of all faiths, not just Sikhs, frequented these locations, which also proved to be useful places for organizing meetings , such as for the revolutionary anti-colonialist Ghadar Party . Netervala remembers traveling from Phoenix to the gurdwara in El Centro every fall. For years, her mother helped local wives make chapatis and cook for langar , the community meal served in all gurdwaras. Then the Punjabi women arrived. “When some of the women from India started coming, they didn’t want the Mexican women who used to cook there — they sort of put them to the side, kicked them out,” Netervala says. “They didn’t particularly want them in their kitchen. They wanted to cook their way, [even though] the Mexican women had learned from their husbands how to cook Indian food!” Outside the gurdwara in Stockton, CA South Asian American Digital Archive — Amelia Singh Netervala Collection The South Asians who came to the United States after 1965 distanced themselves from the earlier, less-educated immigrants, who mostly worked as farmers. The new-to-America South Asians wanted to retain strong cultural boundaries; in Making Ethnic Choices , Leonard writes that they “feel threatened by the Punjabi-Mexican descendants and are anxious that their own children ‘remain true to the culture.’” They did things like reinstate the policy of sitting on the floor at the gurdwara, not in chairs, as had become common practice for Punjabi Mexicans. And in some instances, Mexican women were accused of poisoning the new Punjabi women . The Punjabi-Mexican “old-timers” thought of themselves as more modern — more American — than the provincial new immigrants, who in turn did not approve of the established community. As a result, the Punjabi Mexicans kept separate from the newcomers, strengthening their identity and holding their own cultural events, such as the annual Mexican-Hindu Christmas dance — also called the Old-Timers Reunion Christmas Dance — which started in 1974. But the dance, first created to celebrate the Punjabi-Mexican families and their descendants, evolved, and the invite list expanded to include a wider community of Yuba City residents. By 1988, only one-tenth of the attendees were from Punjabi-Mexican families. In 2008, it was reported that the dance “barely draws a handful of people anymore.” The hybrid community that had formed when there were no other alternatives for Punjabi men was no longer as necessary, and it began to change with the times. (Yuba City is now home to one of the largest Sikh populations outside of India; each year, over 100,000 people — almost double the population of the city — attend the annual Sikh festival and parade .) The second generation, the children of the first Punjabi-Mexican marriages, did not face pressure to marry within their small community; Leonard writes that marriages between Punjabi-Mexican brides and grooms were the “least preferred” and “outnumbered by marriages with Anglos and Hispanics” — her records show that, between 1930 and 1969, only 11 marriages were made between Punjabi-Mexican brides and grooms. The total number of Indians in California had remained below 2,000 through 1970; by 1980, the Indian population in California had jumped to more than 57,000. “When Indian women started coming to the States, Indian men preferred marrying Indian women as opposed to Mexican,” Netervala remembers. “Once in a while, I see in the India Abroad paper that there’s a couple — Mexican girl married to an Indian man — but that’s quite rare nowadays.” “It was just a point of history,” Smith says. “Because of the laws, it brought people together, that’s what it is.” Today, Indian restaurants across the country have Mexican-influenced dishes on their menu, ranging from guacamole at New York City’s GupShup to lamb tikka tacos in Los Angeles or street paneer ones in Houston. Yet even in California, where the Punjabi-Mexican community was strongest, today’s Indian-Mexican restaurants don’t look to that history. Ashok Saini, familiar with Yuba City’s Punjabi-Mexican community of the 1940s thanks to friends who had settled in that area, says he was not influenced by this part of California’s past to open a restaurant that sells “Punjabi burritos” — basmati rice, spiced chickpeas, and ingredients like jerk chicken or curried pumpkin all rolled together in a whole wheat tortilla. At Avatar’s Punjabi Burrito, with locations across the Bay Area, Saini serves what he calls a fusion of Mexican and Indian cuisine — the staff mixes their own flours for tortillas at the restaurants, drawing inspiration from traditional Indian and Mexican flatbreads — but on Saini’s no gluten, no cream, no sugar menu, there’s a clear emphasis on health food. There’s certainly nothing like Rasul’s roti quesadilla, which existed for and because of a very specific community, at a very specific time in history. Curry Up Now’s Quesadillix, made with paneer and mozarella inside an aloo paratha Curry Up Now Akash Kapoor, who started the fast-casual Indian concept Curry Up Now in the Bay Area in 2009, says he was driven by the success of the Kogi Korean BBQ taco trucks. Roy Choi “was doing it with Korean food — burritos, tacos, and other stuff,” Kapoor said, and it made him think about what he could do. “We were going for high volume. How does someone walk away from the truck and [the] food stays hot, and you can eat it while you’re walking around? The burrito is an automatic.” His restaurants serve burritos with fillings like Kashmiri lamb stew, saag paneer, and samosas, as well as a quesadilla that sandwiches mozzarella cheese and Indian-style meat or paneer inside a potato-stuffed paratha. It invites comparison to the Rasuls’ signature dish, but evolved from a completely different cultural moment. Today, chefs are thinking about marketing; they’re trying to get customers in the door, and they’re being deliberate about the flavors and culinary traditions they’re combining. But for Rasul’s El Ranchero, catering to Punjabi Mexicans born in the first half of the century, the roti quesadilla was more than just something new and different — it represented the organic community of Punjabis and Mexicans brought together by a confluence of immigration policies, labor laws, and cultural similarities. “We love food. So whatever the inspiration, it’s all good,” English says, when asked about restaurants selling the food she ate at home without acknowledging the history. “But there is something to be said for family comfort food recipes.” Netervala isn’t quite sure what she thinks about today’s food trends. “This is just something made up,” she says. “Chefs are always trying different things, so they’re just doing things on their own. That’s not how we had Indian food — maybe I’ve been missing something!” is Eater’s director of editorial strategy. Eater.com The freshest news from the food world every day Enter your email address Subscribe By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.

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Potato Fingers

Steffi’s Recipes Easy Cooking Recipes for healthy and Tasty Food This recipe blog is a collection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes, featuring recipes from the Indian Cuisine, Chicken Recipes, Mutton Recipes, Chettinad Recipes, Kerala Style Recipes, Biryani Recipes, Authentic Indian Recipes, Traditional recipes, North Indian and South Indian Recipes, Indian Sweets and Desserts. These simple recipes are quite easy and can easily be made at home by beginners and amateur cooks. Steffi’s Recipes Spread the Joy of Cooking !!! ≡ Navigation Written By Angela Steffi on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | 9:58:00 PM Posted by Angela Steffi on 9:58:00 PM Potato Fingers is an all time favorite recipe enjoyed by all ages of people, especially very famous among kids. This recipe is quite simple and very easy to make , all we need is boiled potatoes and some seasoning. Please click here to watch Potato Fingers in Tamil – Madras Samayal Serving Size : 4 Ingredients for Potato Fingers Recipe 3 large Cooking Method Step 1) Boil and mash 3 potatoes with fingers, we can also grate the potatoes. Step 2) Season potatoes with rava, corn flour, rice flour, chili powder, pepper powder, curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt and mix well.Without adding water knead it into a dough, If you feel the dough is watery or sticky then add little more bread crumbs or corn flour to make it thick. Step 3) Grease the hand with oil and roll the dough thin fingers. Step 4) Once the oil is nice and hot add the potato fingers one by one and fry until crispy and golden. Enjoy this crispy delicious potato fingers with a smile on your face. Spread the JOY OF COOKING !!! SHARE SHARE About Angela Steffi I am an avid food blogger with a great passion for food. I am always eager to try new recipes and modify recipes and experiment with them. I have two cooking channels on Youtube CLASSIC MASALA HUT (for english recipes) and MADRAS SAMAYAL (for Tamil recipes). RELATED POSTS

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From Cheesemonger to Java: All the New Food Words Merriam-Webster Added to the Dictionary

From Cheesemonger to Java: All the New Food Words Merriam-Webster Added to the Dictionary by Elisabeth Sherman (Image Credit: PHENPHAYOM/Shutterstock)
Yesterday Merriam-Webster announced it would be adding 640 new words to the dictionary. Some of the new additions are peak mid-aughts slang, but almost all of them are finally mainstream enough to be granted approval from the ultimate gatekeepers of the English language. This year swole, stan, and snowflake (the derogatory term for a person who demands special treatment, that is) all made the cut, as did a few food-related terms that we’ve recently seen grow in popularity.
Many of the new words revolve around global cuisine: The Indian pepper (one of the hottest in the world) Bhut Jolokia is among the new words, as is dulce de leche and mofongo (a Puerto Rican dish made from fried plantains mixed with salt, garlic, and olive oil and served alongside a meat-based broth). Chai latte is another newcomer (just don’t call it a chai tea !): This caffeinated beverage is made with spiced black tea and steamed milk. Of course, none of these words are new to the people who grew up eating plantains, drinking chai, or topping all their meals with peppers, but for uninitiated Americans, this is basically a buffet of new language.
There’s some slang here, too, like go-cup (that convenient plastic or styrofoam cup that lets you take your beverage on the road) and double-dip (the snacking method that would get you totally banned from my aunt’s kitchen on Thanksgiving). And there’s one more that actually seems old-fashioned: java, a slang term for coffee I heard my parents use when I was a kid.
And then there are a couple of words that even the most informed foodies might not be familiar with: For instance, the cow parsnip. It’s a root vegetable related to a carrot, and if it’s being added to the dictionary, maybe that means it’s about to start popping up all over restaurant menus, too. Or what about the bay-rum tree? This West Indian plant is related to the allspice tree, and it’s the source of an oil used to flavor rum.
Personally, my favorite new addition to Merriam-Webster is cheesemonger, simply because we really should spend more time celebrating the fine folks who bring delicious cheese into our lives. Want to find your own new favorite word? You can read the (nearly) complete list here . Published: 9 hours ago

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All About Adaptogens: Definition, Functions, Sources, Risks, More | Everyday Health

Sign Up for Our Diet and Nutrition Newsletter Thanks for signing up! You might also like these other newsletters:
Sign up for more FREE Everyday Health newsletters . Oops! Please enter a valid email address Sign up Oops! Please enter a valid email address Oops! Please select a newsletter Reishi mushrooms and holy basil are two adaptogens. Shutterstock (2)
Maybe you’ve heard a celebrity talk about adaptogens, or perhaps you’ve noticed supplements at your local health food store touting the adaptogens inside.
Like many people, you may be left wondering, What exactly are adaptogens, and can they really help me?
The scoop: “Adaptogens are herbs and mushrooms known for their ability to help your body better handle physical and emotional stress ,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN , a Chicago-based dietitian in private practice.
“When you’re not stressed, you have a better memory, less fatigue, more endurance, can stick with tasks longer, and have sharper focus and attention,” says Blatner. “On the other hand, stress can have the opposite effect on all of these functions,” she adds. And that’s where adaptogens come in.
Because we’re living in such anxious times — burned out by demanding jobs and worried about what’s in the news — the herbs’ promise to protect against stress may explain their surge in popularity, says Blatner. And as the stress forecast for the upcoming years looks similar to years past, their buzz will likely only continue to grow.
Here, find out how adaptogens work, plus ways you can start incorporating more of these ancient nontoxic herbs and mushrooms into your diet this year. What Exactly Are Adaptogens, and What Is Their History?
The term “adaptogen” is fairly new to the health and wellness scene here in the United States, which is one reason why it may not be on your radar. That doesn’t mean, though, that adaptogens are only now being put to use.
“These herbs have been around for hundreds of years in Eastern medicine,” says Alix Turoff, RDN , a New York City–based dietitian in private practice. They were used in World War II to treat fatigue experienced by pilots, Turoff adds. Research suggests that submarine crews also used adaptogen pills.
The concept may sound almost like magic: Take these herbs and see big stress-reducing benefits. But adaptogens aren’t a quick fix for stress, says Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN , a Chicago-based dietitian in private practice. “If you use these adaptogens over the long term, you can likely see some of the stress-protective benefits — but it takes time and consistency,” Retelny says.
It’s worth thinking of these adaptogenic herbs as another tool in your stress-reduction kit, says Blatner, along with regular exercise , adequate sleep , and a mindfulness or meditation practice.
RELATED: A Guide to 7 Different Types of Meditation How the Herbs and Mushrooms Work to Relieve Stress
While there’s still a lot of research to be done, Blatner says what we do know is this: “Adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), which is our body’s stress response system.”
In short, she says, adaptogens can help calm the following areas: the hypothalamus (a small region in your brain), your pituitary gland (found at the base of your brain), and your adrenal glands (which are located at the top of your kidneys and produce the hormone cortisol ).
Cortisol is often a buzzword when it comes to stress — it’s the hormone that’s released by your adrenal glands during tense times, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. While the hormone is important for those “fight or flight moments,” too-high levels of cortisol over time can lead to health issues like type 2 diabetes and Cushing’s syndrome, according to the Endocrine Society’s Hormone Health Network .
Meanwhile, “Adaptogens have shown promise in normalizing stress hormones, such as cortisol,” says Retelny. The big caveat is that researchers are still looking into understanding how exactly these herbs and mushrooms do this. The good news? “There’s likely much more research to come in this area because stress is more common in our society and people are looking for alternatives other than prescription medicine to help cope — there’s more of an interest now than ever,” says Retelny.
RELATED: 14 Instant Ways to Calm Yourself Down 5 Herb Sources of Adaptogens That Should Be on Your Radar
You can find dozens of adaptogenic herbs that have been studied, according to Retelny, but if you look on Instagram (and follow any dietitians), you’ll notice that some are much more popular than others. These include: 1. Holy Basil
“Many people use holy basil , also known as tulsi, in stir-frys and soups because it adds a spicy, peppery taste,” says Retelny. Eastern medicine followers even call the herb the “elixir of life” because it is so highly regarded for its health benefits, according to a May 2015 article in BMC Genomics . Retelny says people use the herb for everything from reducing stress to combating indigestion. Children and pregnant women, however, should use caution with basil . 2. Ashwagandha
Sometimes called Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is likely one of the most talked about — and most commonly used — adaptogens, says Retelny. “The name ashwagandha in Sanskrit means ‘smell of a horse,’” says Retelny; it has a strong odor and a reputation for giving people vitality similar to that of the big, hoofed animal. In Indian cuisine it’s blended into a seasoning called churna , notes the Monterey Bay Spice Company , but you can also take it in supplement form. Note that pregnant women should not use ashwagandha, and it may interfere with thyroid tests . 3. Maca
This root is originally from the Andes mountains, according to an article published in Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , and it’s known for its nutty, sweet flavor. Because of its malty taste, the powder form works well sprinkled in yogurt, oatmeal , or smoothies. “I’ve seen manufacturers start adding it to food products, too,” says Retelny. As for its perks, like the others, it’s been tied to protecting your body from stress, says Blatner.
RELATED: The Ultimate Diet Plan for a Happier, Less-Stressed You 4. Reishi
“The reishi mushroom has been used for centuries in Eastern Asia as an adaptogen and as a medicine as well,” says Retelny. Unlike button or shiitake, you likely won’t be cooking with whole reishi mushrooms. “It’s more common to find them in a dried, powder form,” says Retelny. You can add the powder to savory recipes like soup, or, if you’re daring, steep the whole mushroom in hot water to make a bitter tea. 5. Siberian Ginseng
“ This adaptogen is likely one of the most researched ,” Blatner says of Siberian ginseng, which grows in China and Russia, and is a popular remedy for people who feel run-down and tired from stress. The herb, also referred to as eleutherococcus, is not technically in the ginseng family, and is easiest to find in supplement form.
One thing to remember: While these herbs can be helpful, some people experience negative side effects, which is why you’ll want to discuss them with your doctor before going on any regimen.
RELATED: Here’s How Stress and Inflammation Are Linked How to Start Taking Advantage of the Benefits of Adaptogens
The easiest way to begin taking adaptogens is through supplements, which many health food stores sell. But this comes with a catch. “As with other supplements, you’ll want to practice caution and choose reputable brands, because supplements aren’t regulated by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]” the same way that conventional drugs are, says Retelny.
Another issue: dosage. Because research is ongoing, how much to take is still unclear.
“It’s important, if you do use these supplements, to use them in moderate levels,” says Retelny. Check the recommended dosage on the packaging. “And if you have any confusion about how much to take, have health concerns, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider before you start,” Retelny says. If you’re on any medication whatsoever, your best bet is to talk to your doctor before adding an adaptogen supplement (or any supplement, for that matter) to your diet .
In addition to capsules, you’ll also find powdered forms of popular adaptogens ( Navitas Organics , for example, sells maca powder, and Nuts.com sells an organic reishi powder) or powdered blends (like Moon Juice , Wunder Workshop , and Sun Potion ) lining health food stores or online. Depending on the flavor, certain adaptogens can be added to, say, your morning coffee , or sprinkled on your morning toast, says Blatner. “Most of the time, people who are using adaptogens are looking for simple swaps, such as ways to give their smoothies a boost,” Blatner adds.
Manufacturers have started to take notice of the buzz, and are adding adaptogens to their foods and drinks. For example, Purely Elizabeth’s Grain Free Superfood bars feature reishi; Califia Farms makes Choc-a-Maca, a chocolate and maca almond milk, and Rebbl has an Ashwagandha Chai drink in their line. And judging by the growing trend, you’ll likely spot more adaptogen-infused foods and drinks in the coming years.
Before you start stocking up, know this: “When you see an adaptogen in a product, a light bulb should go off that it may help you, but look at the other ingredients to double-check that the food you’re eating is nutritious,” says Blatner. Adaptogen-infused products may have a health halo — or seem better for you because they include one buzzy ingredient. “Just because it has an adaptogen in it doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy, so do some sleuthing and see what’s around the adaptogen on the ingredient list,” advises Blatner.
RELATED: 7 Supplement Risks Every Woman Should Know One Last Word: Should You Try Adaptogens for Stress Relief?
If you don’t have any other health concerns, adding adaptogens to your diet may be worth a shot, says Blatner. “We do know stress is an epidemic, and if adaptogens are a potential stress protector, and they’re not going to hurt you, then why not try them?” Blatner adds that’s especially true “because some people are almost immobilized by stress, and not working at their best.”
Still, Retelny says that because research is ongoing, be sure to use caution. “It’s always best to consult with your registered dietitian or doctor before you start taking any supplements,” she says.
Remember that while adaptogens may be beneficial in the long run, they probably won’t solve all your stress-related woes. “I don’t think anything is really a miracle cure,” says Turoff.

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Israel’s Tourism Triumph—Part I of IV: The Air Bridge

Israel’s Tourism Triumph—Part I of IV: The Air Bridge
By EDWIN BLACK The virulently anti-Israel movement known as Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—BDS—is roiling through campuses, overflowing into city councils, encroaching into corporate boardrooms, and now chomping at the essence of Israel’s special niche in the world: its travel and tourism industry. Everywhere, the boycotters have been asking to isolate Israel. BDS even convinced Airbnb to stop listing Jewish locations in Judea and Samaria—also known as the West Bank (a term invented after Jordan invaded in 1948, when the UN’s partition suggestion failed to create two states). In Ireland, a bill advancing through Parliament may criminalize visiting the old city and even purchasing lunch or a keepsake.
Israel—The Destination Whereas similar boycotts against other countries have inflicted withering effects on national economies, in Israel—it simply hasn’t worked. The opposite is true. Yes, boycotters are busy demonizing Israel. Yet despite this, Israel’s tourism industry has rocketed to a singular triumph and now employs tens of thousands. Flights are packed and new non-stops are being added across the globe. Even though new luxury hotels are going up as fast as the Mideast sun will dry concrete, rooms remain in high demand and, thus, are scarce and expensive. Israel has become world famous for creative cuisine and trendy eateries; so if you want to get a table at the most popular restaurants, you’ll need to book weeks in advance.
Travel and tourism to Israel has dramatically changed. It’s not just synagogue sisterhoods and Jewish organizations. Swelling up from Israel’s “Start-up Nation,” world famous top chef culture, and hard-won penetration of markets beyond America and West Europe, as well as its sophisticated travel industry burnishing, Israel is now a destination for the entire world. Traditional Jewish-American travelers from Miami to Seattle must now compete with Silicon Valley techies, Chinese students, Indian tourists, East European Christian pilgrims, and diverse businessmen from across the planet. The numbers are multiplying.
Tourism Prospers The Economy In 2016, 2.9 million total worldwide visitors visited Israel. By the close of 2018, that number had boomed to 4.1 million —and the totals keep climbing. Within the coming decade, Israel expects to employ 98,000 people in its tourism sector.
When Israeli tourism prospers, so does the Palestinian community. Christian pilgrims make a beeline for Bethlehem. Thus, tourism breeds economic interdependence and strengthens co-existence.
Arrivals stream in from everywhere.
Today, most North American travelers to Israel are not Jewish; they are Christian, often seeking biblical discovery. From North America, Jews comprise about 40 to 45 percent of the travelers, while Christians generally hover at about 60 percent year to year, according to official estimates. While the Jewish-Christian percentages remain the same, the growth spurt for North America has seen the overall numbers increase by 42 percent since 2016.
A Bollywood Connection? In 2009, only 20,000 Indians visited Israel, reports Israel’s tourism office in New Delhi. Some years ago, Israel hosted Indian travel agents knowing that in India, such agents book most of the travel. Reciprocal travel programs tapped such markets as India’s Kerala Christians . Dramatically improved diplomatic relations between New Delhi and Jerusalem combined with thrice-weekly direct Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner service—which was granted special Saudi flyover permission, saving more than two hours—has created a steady flow of Indian visitors. This year, Israel expects more than 80,000 Indian arrivals, with travel officials working to achieve a further 65 percent increase . That may happen if, as planned, the Israeli film industry entices Bollywood producers to use Israeli locations.
In 2015, only 30,000 tourists visited Israel from China. But when direct flights between Ben Gurion airport and numerous Chinese cities were added, the number more than trebled to 100,000-plus annually. Today, China is Israel’s greatest growth market. Celebrity Chinese chefs are now flown in, and Chinese-speaking guides are easily found.
Air connections are the lifeblood of Israel’s tourism as well as its international viability. Nowadays you can fly nonstop to Israel from numerous North American cities. From New York’s JFK, Delta is launching a twice daily nonstop. From Newark’s Liberty, United also flies nonstop twice daily. From Washington, D.C.’s Dulles, United will soon inaugurate thrice weekly non-stop service. From Toronto, Air Canada offers daily non-stops. From Montreal, Air Canada will fly twice weekly during the summer. From San Francisco, United flies daily, primarily for the surging nexus to Silicon Valley.
North American carriers all compete with El Al , which is by far the dominant carrier linking our continent with Israel—boasting 45 nonstop flights weekly that carry more than 50,000 passengers per month. For many Israel-bound travelers, El Al is the one and only carrier. And it has vastly improved. With the exception of the Jewish sabbath and holidays, Israel’s star-emblazoned national carrier flies day or night, rain or shine, good news or bad news, rockets or not. Its unique extra security, where young security staffers at the airport ask invasive personal questions to evaluate risk, are sometimes viewed as a mix between reassurance, ritual, and a Jewish guilt trip. “ You’re coming to Israel? Why now ?” Or the classic: “ Who do you know in Israel ?” Answer: “ Everyone .”
El Al has conquered labor problems, on-board religious tiffs, and more to expand and enhance its daily service to and from multiple U.S. cities. Not only can you fly El Al nonstop direct from New York, Newark, and Miami, but now also from Boston, Los Angeles, Toronto, and this summer, from Las Vegas and San Francisco. In spring 2020, Chicago service starts. Most of all, El Al predominantly offers Dreamliner service. On its 747 and 777 fleet, El Al still offers Economy Seat PLUS , relatively affordable, spacious, and comfortable—especially in the bulkhead row . For many traveling to Israel, El Al’s Economy Seat PLUS is now the go-to booking. What’s more, you can purchase business class check-in at either JFK or Newark for $35–$45, and your travel experience will be delightful. The lounge is restful and stocked with good food and beverages, allowing you to await departure in luxury.
Israel’s tourism triumph would not have been possible without an airline triumph as well. That triumph in the skies has finally happened.
Next issue =will feature Part II: Luxury Hotels Beckon
Edwin Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust and a syndicated columnist, who travels extensively, frequently reviewing the hotels he stays in. He personally and independently paid for all aspects of travel mentioned in this series. The author can be found at www.edwinblack.com . ©Copyright 2016 Edwin Black. All Rights Reserved.

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Nostalgic dining experience – Eat & Drink

Khairuzzaman cooking a beef dish at the Ramadan buffet at Element Kuala Lumpur. — Photos: ONG SOON HIN/ The Star
BREAK fast while enjoying a panoramic view at Trace Restaurant and Bar.
The special buka puasa buffet will also bring back nostalgic memories of kampung fare.
Located on the 40th floor of Element Kuala Lumpur, its executive chef Khairuzzaman Ahmad Hadzri and his culinary team have come up with the “Ayahku Tukang Masak” (My Father is a Cook) themed buffet for diners. Grilled lamb served with mint sauce is one of the highlights on the menu.
Khairuzzaman, fondly known as Chef Man, said the concept originated from his memories of family gatherings and barbecues where the men would take part in cooking their speciality dishes.
The “Bapa Ku” BBQ grill station is one of the highlights of the buffet.
Guests can sample a variety of grilled meat and dishes such as premium sirloin steak, chicken escallop, lamb chop, tiger prawns and sausages served with condiments.
The tender barbecued beef brisket with roasted vegetables and grilled pineapples is sure to whet the appetite. Ikan masin (salted fish) is a popular local treat for Ramadan.
Asam Laksa, Ayam Masak Ros, Ikan Masin Masak Lemak Pisang and Rendang Daging Minang are other signature dishes on the main menu.
Apart from these traditional Malay dishes, the buffet also offers Chinese, Indian, Italian and Japanese cuisine. The choices will vary each day throughout Ramadan.
The simple yet refreshing Rose Pandan Matahari is guaranteed to quench one’s thirst. Nasi kunyit is a must-have traditional dish.
Guests will be spoilt for choice with the wide variety of desserts available ranging from classic Malay kuih to Western favourites like creme brulee, strawberry lychee mousse, cheesecake and pandan panna cotta.
If you are a durian fan, make sure to end your night on a high note with Serawa Durian served warm with bread.
Besides the food, the atmosphere of the hotel is one of the main attractions. A stunning light show of Malaysia’s flora and fauna near the entrance of the restaurant will enthral diners. There is a wide selection of local and Western desserts at the buka puasa buffet.
Diners can also bring home a pack of meat spices to replicate Khairuzzaman’s signature dishes in their own kitchen.
The buffet is from May 7 to June 2 and priced at RM148 nett per adult and RM78 nett per child.Early-bird prices of RM98 nett per person are available until May 1.
TRACE Restaurant & Bar, Element Kuala Lumpur, Level 40, Ilham Tower, 8, Jalan Binjai, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2771 3351). Business hours: 6pm to 10.30pm, daily.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro. Tags / Keywords:

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Kutir, Chelsea

Restaurant reviews in London and beyond Wednesday, 24 April 2019 Kutir, Chelsea Like most residents of the UK, I used to have a very fixed idea of what an Indian restaurant was. Our nearest curry house growing up occupied a charming old schoolhouse in Formby Village – it’s called Hilal Balti House now but chances are in the 80s and 90s it was maybe called Indian Spice or the Taj Mahal or something equally generic. The experience of eating there – well, I’m sure I hardly need to tell you. Paper napkins and floral wallpaper; papadums and chutneys; Korma, Rogan Josh, Vindaloo – the staples of any British high street Indian restaurant, reliable, inexpensive, and in its own way quite wonderful. I’m sure even back in those days there were more exciting mixed grills and Punjabi specials being served to the immigrant communities of Bradford and Burley but for the rest of us, this was a curry, and a curry was this. Many years after I moved to London I still thought Brick Lane was about as good as it got. I wouldn’t have known it’s common for many different restaurant fronts to use a shared kitchen at the back, and that some of the Scores on the Doors would be as rare as Michelin stars, but I probably wouldn’t have cared even if I did. The same comfort and familiarity of every single Indian (/Bangladeshi/Pakistani) restaurant in the country found an equally captive audience here, amongst the touts and Cash ‘n’ Carrys of E1. But before long, my narrow world expanded. Not just thanks to Lahore Kebab House and Tayyabs in Whitechapel, fiercely authentic Pakistani grill houses that I’ve already banged on about far too much on this blog, but at the top end too, specifically Trishna in Marylebone which opened my eyes as to what fireworks were possible when top ingredients were treated to fiercely intelligent subcontinental cooking. It was literally life-changing food, the kind of thing I didn’t even know was possible, and I made a special note of head chef Rohit Ghai in case he popped up anywhere else. And pop up he did. Long story short, Ghai’s career since Trishna is basically a list of all my favourite high-end Indian restaurants in London – Gymkhana, Jamavar, Bombay Bustle, and now, Kutir. And there’s an argument – a strong argument – that Kutir is perhaps his greatest achievement to date. At first glance, it’s all very Chelsea. The handsome townhouse, the sparkling service, the plush (and nicely spaced) tables. You expect to open the menu and be confronted with the kind of prices that make your mouth go dry but instead – starters average £10-12, mains £16-18, desserts £5-6. It’s all incredibly reasonable, and as anyone who’s ever eaten there will tell you, Chelsea is not often that. Another thing that’s very un-Chelsea about Kutir is a determination not to reduce the spicing levels. Even a pretty tray of amuses packed a punch – I think a little pastry cylinder of crab and coriander, and neat balls of mushroom croquettes, but don’t quote me as they weren’t on the menu – a fantastic intro to all that Kutir are about. Similarly, “Aloo Tikki – Honey Yoghurt’ was a fiercely chillified arrangement of potato, tamarind and mint chutney which like all the best Indian vegetarian food was such a riot of texture and colour the lack of a central lump of protein was a complete non-issue. Lamb chops, vast, plump things cooked to a perfect soft pink inside, used the tandoor sensitively enough to retain moisture but with enough heat to produce a few delightful crunchy spots. The meat was clearly high quality – not overwhelmingly gamey but with a lovely soft, lamb-y profile – but Ghai’s tikka spicing is next-level, an utter masterclass in balance and power. Right up there with the very best high-end lamb chops you’re ever likely to come across. “Dhokla – Apple” was another bewilderingly complex, and equally rewarding, vegetarian dish. Gram flour cake – sharp and spicy – was surrounded by various early spring vegetables such as radish and beetroot, and sweetened with honey. And this, what is fast becoming a Kutir signature dish – (excellent) naan bread topped with shredded roast quail, scrambled egg and real black truffle, an unusual combination of flavours and textures on paper but which we demolished seconds after the first bite. It’s notable how Kutir plays with the expectations and demands of the Chelsea audience, with its veggie-friendly options and premium ingredients, while at the same time retaining all of the charm and authenticity of Indian cuisine. It’s a tricky balancing act that they’ve got spot-on. Sea bass, a nice neat fillet with a good crisp skin, came resting in a tomato and coconut curry so rich and satisfying even if the dish had consisted of nothing but that, it would have still been worth the £16. Also, one of the best things about any Indian Subcontinent restaurant, at any budget, is that leftovers eaten after the event sometimes even better than they did on the day. Kutir are happy to package up anything you can’t finish, and I thoroughly recommend you do so if you managed to over-order like we did. Duck korma suffered only slightly from a rather unappealing dump of sauce on top – strange where everything else had looked so immaculate. However it’s a pleasure to report the duck itself was incredible – soft, gently spiced and full of flavour, with a side of pickled swede being the accompaniment we didn’t know we wanted but now can hardly imagine duck with anything else. The final savoury course was jackfruit ‘kofta’ – marvellously meaty and greaseless – in another knockout curry sauce studded with spinach. Snazzy presentation too, under a pastry arch. Desserts weren’t quite as innovative or notable as the savouries, but we still polished them off. Mango and passionfruit sorbet were packed with fruity flavours and had a perfect smooth texture… …and yes, chocolate and banana is hardly a staggeringly unique concept but the banana fritters were crunchy and addictive, and the chocolate had a good balance of sugar, cacao and dairy. Which is all you can ask for, really. Our bill was slightly reduced thanks to a spot of the old blogger privilege, but as you can see even at full price this would have been a £50/head meal, including a bottle of nice Chardonnay, incredible value for this level of food, and in this part of town. As much as I ever know how I’m going to react any restaurant on the day, I knew for sure I was going to enjoy Kutir. Rohit Ghai’s restaurants have never been anything less than superb, each with their own distinct style (and all coming highly recommended, even now) but always offering the kind of thoughtful, studied take on Indian food that so many places attempt but so few get right. But perhaps due to a greater level of control of the menu after a string of high-profile collaborations, or just simply because practice makes perfect, this seems to be the restaurant that reflects most accurately – and most brilliantly – the style and attitude of cooking he’s been pointing towards all along. It may come with somewhat less of the practiced elegance of Gymkhana and the like, but what it lacks in polish it makes up in heart, and it’s impossible not to be defeated by its charms. So why resist? Book yourself in – you won’t regret it. 9/10 I was invited to try Kutir, then liked it so much I went back and paid. All the above happened on my 2nd visit. Sorry for the terrible photos, it’s dark in there. 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Enjoy Litti Chokha, Pitha & More- 7 Places in The City to Have Finger Licking Bihari Cuisine

Print When we think of Bihari Cuisine, we think Litti Chokha. But there are so many more delicacies that this eastern state has to offer. Also, there are plenty of restaurants in the city where one can indulge in these mouthwatering Bihari delights! So, here are 7 places in the capital city where you can get a true blue taste of Bihar. 1. Pot Belly Image Source: Instagram/debsterr
With multiple outlets, Pot Belly is one of the best places in town to enjoy a sumptuous Bihari meal. All their food items are plated Thali-style and each dish is paired with breads and accompaniments to create a complete meal for one person. With a peaceful, quiet and cosy ambience and deliciously finger licking food, Pot Belly is a definite must visit! Apart from Litti Chokkha, their Keema Maggi, Baggia Basket i.e., rice flour pockets stuffed with spicy Chana Daal, and Chicken Khada Masala are some of the must-haves!
Where: 116-C, 4th Floor, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi
Plot 15, Bihar Niwas, Behind Yashwant Place, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
32nd Milestone, Sector 15, Gurgaon 2. Bihar ki Rasoi Image Source: Saddidilli
If you’re a Bihari living in Delhi and you haven’t tried Bihar Ki Rasoi then you are definitely missing out on something. This is one place in Delhi that serves authentic Bihari food which will remind you of your Ghar ka khaana . Even for the non-Biharis, this place is a must try for some of the best Bihari dishes. They are best known for their Liti Chokha and their Malpua.
Where: Stall 14, Dilli Haat, Near INA Market, INA, New Delhi 3. Magadh and Awadh Image Source: Instagram/Magadh and Awadh
Magadh and Awadh is a fine dining restaurant that serving regional food of Bihar and Awadh. Apart from the authentic Litti Chokha, they serve some of the finest dishes from Bihar. They have also successfully attempted to revive lost dishes from the country side of Bihar. It boasts of a great ambiance and have tried to create a home away from home vibe. Some of their best dishes are Litti and the Maghadi Thali.
Where: SCO 396, Near IFFCO Chowk Metro Station, Sector 29, Gurgaon 4. The Pot Stove Image Source: Zomato
A complete Bihari meal with a cosy and friendly environment. The food at Pot Stove will get you nostalgic for your home cooked food and if you are not from Bihar, take note because this is what home-cooked Bihari food tastes like. This place is a must visit with both your friends and family. Their Sarso Fish and mutton Khada Masala are the main attractions!
Where: Shop no 21a& 21, Ground floor, the India mall, 1 Community Centre, New Friends Colony 5. Cafe Wanderlust Image Source: indiatvnews.com
Cafe Wanderlust is the first of its kind travel cafe which brings both travel and food together. For those of you who feel the ‘wanderlust’ this place is perfect for you. While it is not entirely Bihari cuisine, but they have a great offering of Bihari street food which is a must try. It goes without saying their Patna’s Litti Chokha Ghughani platter is a must-have!
Where: SF-53-54, 1st Floor, DLF Galleria, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon 6. Gaon Image Source: Zomato
Decorated like a proper Indian village, Gaon serves authentic cuisines of Bihar and Rajasthan. They serve delicious larger than life thalis and their Magadhi thali is perfect to satisfy your craving for Bihari food. This is a perfect spot to visit when you’re nursing a large appetite!
Where: K-4, Ground Floor, Lajpat Nagar 2, New Delhi
489/55/1, Maharishi Dayanand Marg, Block A, Corner Market, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
D-52, Inside OYO Town House, Near Sapna Cinema, East of Kailash, New Delhi 7. Cafe Lota Image Source: Instagram/foodgasssmm
Cafe Lota along with it’s north Indian and south Indian also serves the delicious Bihar Cuisine. What’s most interesting about this place is that it is located inside the National Crafts Museum. This one is a treat for all the foodies who also have an appetite for art and craft. You should visit this place for a lazy Sunday brunch along with your friend or family and try their Sattu Parantha Aur Chokha,
Where: National Crafts Museum, Gate 2, Bhairon Marg, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Featured Image Source: Facebook/Thepotbelly

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Sous Chef Position High Volume Catering Company Perth City Area – Perth | 1216503567

About The Job
You will be in charge of the production of food items for various meal periods: to include possible Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner functions and Special Catered Events.
Must have wise culinary experience in international cuisine such as; Asian, European, Indian and American.
About You
In charge of preparing food for various events. Provides the highest quality of service to customers at all times. Tastes products, reads menus, estimates food requirements, check production, and keep records in order to accurately plan production requirements and requisition supplies and equipment. Complies with all dietary requirements Produces small to large batch goods using advanced cooking, plating and garnishing techniques. Ability to maintain a positive attitude. Ability to communicate with co-workers and other departments with professionalism and respect. Must be able to work independently and take directions reporting directly to the head chef
to apply please send your resume at rec*

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AVANI+ HUA HIN RESORT, Thailand

April 24, 2019 AVANI+ HUA HIN RESORT, Thailand
When Air Asia started direct flights to Hua Hin in mid 2018, I knew I had to make a trip there. I enjoy Thailand and Hua Hin was definitely in my radar. However, my travel schedules were crazy last year and before I knew it, the year was out. Once 2019 dawned, I made my Hua Hin plans and finally got to this stylish coastal town last month. It’s a short flight from KLIA2, just under 2 hours and after a quick shut-eye onboard, it was time to land.
Clearing Immigration at Hua Hin Airport was a breeze and before long, I was whisked away heading to Avani+ Hua Hin Resort . It’s just a short drive – the resort is about 6km from the airport. In a matter of minutes, I arrived at the open lobby/reception of the resort and checking-in was done very quickly.
My stay was in a Lagoon Pool Villa which is located towards the beach end of the property. It’s a sprawling property, mind you but worry not, there are buggies to transport you to anywhere in the resort! Avani+ Hua Hin has 196 rooms, suites and villas.
My Lagoon Pool Villa is gorgeous – king bed overlooking the lagoon pool! A split level from the bed is a lounging space with a long cushioned seat, coffee-maker and dining table. Just open the sliding door, there’s a cool patio for sun-lazing and for a cool dip, just jump straight into the lagoon pool. Ahhh…that’s the life! Perfect for honeymooners or just about anyone who wants a cosy stay in a luxurious villa. I checked out the other rooms and they all have the same contemporary decor of elegant light woods and classy fit-outs (just different sizing of space!)
I wanted to just stay in my Lagoon Pool Villa all day! But then, need to eat, right? Guests at the villas have access to the Avani Club , just a few steps away from my villa. There’s buffet breakfast and sundown cocktails served here. I like the special breakfast dishes for order – their Prawn Omelette was so good that I had that every morning! A whole leg of jamon ham for breakfast! Sunset canapes at Avani Club
Guests can also opt to have breakfast at Staa’s , the resort’s all-day dining restaurant serving Thai and international fares. Personally, I prefer breakfast at the Avani Club as it’s more relaxed, exclusive and service was really attentive. But the breakfast spread at Staa’s was pretty phenomenal – in addition to the usual bacon, sausages, eggs, breads and pastries, there’s also a huge selection of Thai street-food like noodles, pork skewers, fried mini crullers and Thai desserts. Breakfast at Staa’s
I got a taste of diversified dining at Avani+ Hua Hin. On the first night, I tried Indian cuisine at Staa’s. Thali Sets (both vegetarian and meat sets) are hugely popular – biryani rice with a good selection of Indian favourites. I must say the curries were really very appetizing and I ate more biryani rice than I should have. Thali Sets for dinner at Staa’s
On another night, I had barbequed seafood and Thai dishes at Brezza, their beachfront restaurant. I chose to sit outside as the weather was fine – it was al fresco dining at its best with a cool sea breeze blowing in and the soft lull of ocean waves breaking on the shore. BBQ Seafood at Brezza, ocean-front dining is the best!
With 2 swimming pools, a lagoon pool, a well-equipped gym (AvaniFit), kids’ centre (Avani Kids) and yoga classes, there’s no lack of activities at the resort. For me, my favourite is their Avani Spa of course, with its spa therapies and authentic hammam experience. Oh did I mention that there’s a jazz bar in the resort too? Blue Biscuit is the perfect spot to chillout in the evenings as the ocean view from the bar is really something! Avanifit: well-equipped gym AvaniKids – kids will definitely love it here! AvaniSpa: my favourite corner! Blue Biscuit – jazz bar
With its vast grounds and beautifully landscaped rolling gardens facing the ocean, Avani+ Hua Hin is great for hosting events as well. While I was there, the beachfront was beautifully set up for a corporate event – guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves dining under twinkling stars in elegantly laid out tables. Lovely sea-facing grounds set-up for events
Besides the physical activities, guests at the resort can also sign-up for cooking classes to learn to cook some traditional Thai dishes. Results of our cooking class – impressive?
Hua Hin is definitely a destination to head to, now with short direct flights there and Avani+ Hua Hin is suitable for all kinds of getaway – romantic stay for couples, fun vacation for the whole family or group event of any sort. Beach weddings and honeymoons … totally fit the bill here!

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