cuisine: Culinary unity: Ideas and recipes behind many Indian dishes, are in essence the same, Retail News, ET Retail

cuisine: Culinary unity: Ideas and recipes behind many Indian dishes, are in essence the same, Retail News, ET Retail

We have a range of such dishes that unite India means our cuisine is instantly recognisable as Indian and distinct from other cuisines of the world, even while comprising of a wide culinary diversity. Anoothi Vishal | ET CONTRIBUTORS | August 11, 2019, 09:35 IST Newsletter A A Unlike French food with its mother sauces and codified recipes, Indian cuisines are not a product of a set of recipes. We all know how different communities and micro regions and even homes follow their own recipes, each vying with the other for a stamp of superiority.What knits this kind of culinary diversity, however, is the idea of certain dishes that exist throughout the country with minor variations but essentially the same concept. So while Indian cuisine is a melange of many different cuisines, it is also true that within this diversity exists a sort of unity; ideas of dishes whose recipes may vary from region to region and home to home, but which are, really, the same.That we have a range of such dishes that unite India means our cuisine is instantly recognisable as Indian and distinct from other cuisines of the world, even while comprising of a wide culinary diversity. Pakoris of Old Delhi This unity in diversity can be all too apparent even within the same micro region. A summer side dish of the Kayastha community of old Delhi is moong dal pakori served in mango panna. This is still eaten in some traditional families as part of lunch, with rice, to cool off on hot summer afternoons and is a variant of a more popular dish where moong dal pakori is simmered in a thin onion gravy mildly soured with amchoor (dried mango) powder.A similar heritage dish in traditional Baniya community homes of old Delhi is mangochi — moong dal pakoris dipped in a thin yoghurt-based kadhi.A third dish of the same genre that used to be cooked in the homes of Khatri community lenders and trading community of old Delhi is moong dal pakori in a thin watery gravy soured by tamarind.This is an example of three distinct heritage dishes of three different communities within the same geographical area — except that the dish is really the same, made distinct by changes in the souring agents used. Vada Across Centuries The dal pakori is a cousin of the vada, one of the ancient Indian dishes that exists in different parts of the country as vada, bada, bora and more even today. According to food historian KT Achaya, the vada (termed “vataka”) is fully described as a dish as far back as 500 BC when it finds mention in the Dharmasutras as a dish of soaked, slightly fermented and coarsely ground pulses, deep fried in ghee.By the time of the Manasollasa treatise was composed in the 12th century, the vada/vataka had found multiple uses in dishes where it was soaked in milk or in sour rice water (kanjika; kanji-vade exists as a dish in northern and western India till today).The vada today is all pervasive from the Assamese boras to dahi bada to medu vada and more. While historically the vada seemed to have been made with urad/ masha dal, ingredients changed; pulses like moong or chana came into use, as also others as Achaya mentions.We can see these now in as varied a diversity as horsegram, rice-banana, potato, or even chilli-peppers. Dal Diversity One of the most obvious categories of dishes that bind us despite our culinary diversity is dal. The way dal is cooked in water (with turmeric and sometimes other ingredients) and tempered (baghar or chownk) with ghee and spices to impart flavour is quite unique to the subcontinent.Similar dishes exist in other parts of the world — like spelt or masoor dal equivalent cooked with sausage in parts of northern Italy, but not many cultures have this as a mainstay of most meals.The technique of tempering seems unique to Indian subcultures too and while the spices may differ, the idea of ghee being used to impart flavour is unique and binds disparate dishes together. Sweet Something The Indian mithai is diverse too — but recognisable as a unique and single category.Of these, the ladoo is one of the most ancient mithais that continues to exist in many different forms throughout the country. The beauty of Indian cuisine is the constant inventiveness that we see through history and geography, leading to many different expressions of the same idea. Thus you have not just besan laddoos but sesame and jaggery ones (in colder seasons), those made with coconut (in areas where that is an abundant local ingredient) and even those dubbed “nuqti ke laddoo” in Lucknow, made with fried besan boondi (soaked in saffron), so fine that it resembles the dot of the urdu alphabet (nuqta/nuqti), a refinement brought about by the courtly culture of Avadh.From how meats are marinated (according to Achaya, there are references to curd being used as a marinade as far back as the later epic age) to how vegetables are braised and cooked in spices are all common threads in Indian cooking, quite distinct from how the rest of the world treats ingredients. However, even when we go to much finer details, there are startling similarities between subcultures.Chitua, made from govindbhog rice, in the food of Murshidabad in Bengal is a dying delicacy. The batter is fermented overnight sans yeast and the dish topped with fresh, molten jaggery.It reminds you of an unlikely cousin— the appam! The more you delve into the history of Indian cuisines the more you begin to see how our culinary cultures are all inter-linked, sometimes surprisingly. (The writer looks at restaurants, food trends and culinary concepts) RELATED

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Where To Eat in Singapore: 8 Best Restaurants in Singapore

Chefs Where To Eat in Singapore: 8 Best Restaurants in Singapore
It’s amazing how a 277.6-square-mile island city-state that is Singapore can be so food-obsessed! I was only there for 2.5 days, and, with so many places to eat, how does one decide where to eat in Singapore?
From hawker centres and casual eateries to Michelin Restaurants and World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the food scene in Singapore is just flourishing. There is no shortage of great restaurants wherever you go.
In speaking with locals, one important thing I learned about Singapore and food is that they tend to stick with classic dishes and are less adventurous in trying new things. Supertree Grove Skyway at Gardens By The Bay
Since it was my first time exploring the food scene, I tried to cast a wide net on the places to eat in Singapore based on different criteria. Best Restaurants, Michelin-starred Restaurants or World’s 50 Best Restaurants in Singapore Different cuisines Different neighbourhoods Unique themes/concepts
I obviously barely scratched the surface in discovering where to eat in Singapore, but I did cover quite a bite for the amount of time I had.
In this food guide, you’ll learn about 8 of the best restaurants in Singapore including Hainanese Chicken Rice, Michelin Restaurants, Tasting Menu, Buffet. 10 The Song of India How to get around Singapore?
If you’re coming from Changi Aiport or want to get around the city, here are the different ways to visit the best restaurants in Singapore.
Travelling Foodie Tip: Here’s what I typically do when planning my route. Once you decide where to eat in Singapore, create a Google Map (similar to what I include at the end of this article) and add all the restaurants.
This map gives a bird’s eye view to better visualize the nearby subways stops, the best paths to food crawl, and how to plan your daily schedule. Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Pretty much all the main spots in Singapore is covered by the MRT. Pricing is based on the distance between stops. The MRT ticket is reusable up to a certain number of trips, and you get discounted fares when you use the ticket multiple times.
I only took the MRT during my trip so all the restaurants listed are definitely accessible by MRT. I was honestly surprised how efficient and technologically advanced their subways are.
There is an MRT station for Changi Airport too. This is what I took to get from the airport to my hotel. The Singapore Tourist Pass
If you know you’ll be commuting a lot of times during your trip, you can consider the Singapore Tourist Pass , which allows unlimited rides on public transit (MRT, LRT and buses) for one, two or three days. Taxi
Taxis in Singapore are quite a reasonable way of travelling. Unlike other countries where rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft end up being the cheaper choice, taxis tend to be cheaper in Singapore. Hotel Shuttle
Depending on where you’re staying, your hotel might have free shuttle already so be sure to inquire. Some hotels provide free shuttle to/from the airport.
Similarly, when I stayed at Park Hotel Alexandra , they provided a complimentary shuttle that stops in major landmarks and stations. 8 Best Restaurants in Singapore (VIDEO) Hainanese Delicacy
Address : #05-116 Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228213 Accolades : The Strait Times’ 12 best places for chicken rice, picked by ST food writers; The Finder’s 12 Best Places For Chicken Rice In Singapore, According To Local Food Writers; Malay Mail’s Where is the best chicken rice in Singapore?; Foursquare’s 15 Best Places for Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore
One of the must-try local dishes in Singapore is Hainanese Chicken Rice as it is the national dish. Though chicken is my least favorite of meats, I definitely wanted to try Hainanese Chicken Rice to know why it’s so popular.
I loved the one at 海南美味佳肴 Hainanese Delicacy, located on the 5th floor of the Far East Plaza in Orchard Road district.
Considered one of the best Hainanese Chicken in Singapore, this hole-in-the-wall joint is popular among locals (though not as much for tourists) and a line-up is typically expected.
I’ve had Hainanese Chicken before but never really understood what’s so good about it until I had the one here. It’s definitely the best one I’ve had so far. And it’s so cheap at SGD4.80!
The rice is what made it a winner! Chicken broth and some herbs are used to make the rice, and it’s so fragrant and flavourful you don’t even need any meat to enjoy it.
The chicken here was very tender and juicy. It tastes deliciously simple but enhanced when you add the garlic and chili. I was savouring each bite.
Now you know where to eat in Singapore for some delicious Hainanese Chicken Rice! Boneless Chicken Rice (SGD4.80) Liao Fan Hawker Chan
Website / Address : 78 Smith St, Singapore 058972 Accolades : One Michelin Star, Michelin Bib Gourmand; Bloomberg’s Where Top Chefs Go Out to Eat in Singapore; The Telegraph’s best cheap places to eat in Singapore
Google “Where To Eat in Singapore” and you’ll most likely find Hawker Chan in the list. It’s definitely one of the popular places to eat in Singapore.
Why? This hawker stall became popular worldwide for being the world’s first hawker stall to be awarded one Michelin star and the world’s cheapest Michelin-star meal!
With its claim to fame, Liao Fan Hawker Chan has been on travelling foodie’s check-list when visiting Singapore. This unassuming hawker stall was opened by Chef Chan Hon Meng in 2009 at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (SGD5)
Since being awarded one Michelin Star in July 2016, Hawker Chan has opened multiple quick-service restaurants and franchises worldwide. The original hawker stall is the one awarded with Michelin star, and the quick-service restaurant also in Chinatown is awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand.
Despite the Michelin recognition, Hawker Chan still maintained its low price point at SGD5 for a Soya Sauce Chicken Rice.
An important thing to note is they serve Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice, not Hainanese Chicken Rice! Unlike Hainanese Chicken where the oily rice is a main selling point of the dish, the Soya Sauce Chicken Rice focuses on the chicken marinated in soya sauce as the rice is just plain rice. NOX – Dine in the Dark
Website / Address : 269 Beach Rd, Singapore 199546 Accolades : The Asia Collective’s Best Restaurants in Downtown Singapore; The Culture Trip’s 10 Best Restaurants in Bugis, Singapore; Channel News Asia’s 10 best date night restaurants in Singapore; Visit Singapore’s 6 unique dining experiences; Wine & Dine’s Top Restaurants in Singapore – Best New Concept 2014
Where to eat in Singapore that’s unique? Located in Bugis area, NOX – Dine in the Dark is one of the best restaurants in Singapore with a very unique concept.
Have you ever tried eating without lights? At NOX, you dine in complete darkness and it is a great experience. Having no visibility on the food makes you really think about what you’re eating.
All the staff in the dining room are visually impaired so this puts you in their shoes of what dining is like. You’ll even learn how to pour water in the dark. Fifty Shades Darker Signature Cocktail (SGD20) – earl grey infused vodka, charcoal powder, lemon, simple syrup, egg white
Dinner at NOX is a 3-course meal for SGD88. In actuality, it’s like a 12-course tasting menu since each course has 4 items for you to try. Overall, the food and drinks (I did cocktail pairing) were really good, and I was surprised the dishes were fine dining level.
The menu changes every 2 months. At the end of the dinner, they have a questionnaire for you to list your guesses on what the dishes were, and then they’ll show you what they served. It’s very interesting to see if you got them right.
You leave all your belongings in the locker, including phones and camera, so it was refreshing to really just focus on the dining experience. You can only take photos at the bar area where you can order cocktails before your dinner and where the amuse-bouche is served. Sawadee Thai Cuisine Restaurant
Website / Address : 9 Tan Quee Lan St, Singapore 188098 Accolades : Time Out’s 50 Best Restaurants in Singapore You Must Try; Aspirant SG’s Top Thai Restaurants For Best Siam Cuisine In Singapore
With the strong diversity in Singapore’s food scene, you don’t need to travel to other countries to try delicious authentic food. Tom Yum Soup (SGD15) – small size. Spicy and sour clear seafood soup
Located in Bugis, Sawadee Thai Cuisine is one of the best restaurants in Singapore for Thai food, bringing Thailand to you from the interior decorations, clay plates and pots to ingredients all coming from Thailand.
Did you know? The restaurant’s interior designers are architect graduates from the famed Chulalongkorn University of Thailand.
To beat the heat in Singapore, you can’t go wrong with either the Thai Milk Tea or Lemongrass Iced Drinks to cool off! Crab Spring Rolls or Por Pea Poo (SGD10) – 3pcs, crab meat wrapped in rice paper roll accompanied with homemade sweet chilli sauce. Thai Milk Tea (SGD5.5)
What I love about this 18-year-old Thai restaurant is it offers so much more than the usual pad thai and curry found in typical Thai restaurant. They serve dishes from different regions in Thailand.
For example, the Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar is a Northern Thai dish, and the Otah On Claypot are a Central Thai specialty.
At Sawadee, the food is prepared daily from scratch and cooked ala-minute, with the Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar and Thai Style Otah on Clayplate were unique standouts. Thai Style Otah on Clay Plate, or Hor Mok Talay Khanom Krok (SGD10) – 4pcs, mackerel fish mousse with thai herbs served in traditional clayplate
Seriously, if you haven’t had Berkshire Pork, you must try the Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar. It tastes like wagyu but pork version!
This take on modern Thai food uses premium Kurobuta Pork, which is Berkshire Pork coming from Japan. It’s very well-marbled, tender and juicy. The grill taste with the jaew sauce (dried chili dipping sauce) just enhances the dish even further! Grilled Kurobuta Pork Collar, ($24) – grilled kurobuta pork collar accompanied with homemade jaew sauce Spring Court Restaurant
Website / Address : 52-56 Upper Cross St, Singapore 058348 Accolades : CN Traveler’s 28 Best Restaurants in Singapore
Spring Court is the oldest Chinese and oldest family-run restaurant in Singapore, opened in 1929. This Chinatown institution specializes in Singaporean Chinese cuisine served family-style.
Being of Fujian decent, I loved the fact that they serve a variety of Hokkien dishes like the Popiah and Misua, which I fondly remember a lot as birthday noodles. Stir Fried Mee Sua with Seafood (SGD19) – small size
Spring Court is known for their traditional Popiah, a Hokkien fresh spring roll that I remember having when growing up in the Philippines. The Popiah here is prepared meticulously with a whopping 15 ingredients.
It starts with boiling soup stock of pork, pork bone and whole chicken, then simmer on low heat for 2 hours along with these items: Turnips (沙葛), Leek (生蒜), Chinese Cabbage (包菜), Carrot (干笋), Fried Tofu (豆干), Snow Peas (荷兰豆)
It is then made along with these condiments: Xiamen Dried Seaweed, Sliced Prawn, Fried Fish Meat, Shredded Omelet, Minced Garlic, Chinese Parsley, Bean Sprouts, Fried Minced Sole Fish (大地鱼), Popiah Skin, Sweet Sauce, and Chilli Sauce. Traditional Popiah (SGD7.80) – Fujianese/Teochew-style fresh spring roll
A unique dish you’ll want to try at Spring Court is their Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Minced Prawns. Because of how hard it is to make, the dish is limited to 5 orders for weekday lunch and dinner and 10 orders for weekend lunch and dinner.
The entire dish takes a total of 3 hours to make from start to end. They pound the shrimp by hand to tenderize it and take out the protein so it becomes sticky to chicken. Timing is crucial when cooking because shrimp and chicken cook differently.
The result is a tender juicy chicken with crispy skin and a nice moist shrimp paste layer. One thing to note is I would call this “Layered” than “Stuffed” (as per the menu) because the shrimp is not really inside the chicken, but rather in a separate layer stuck to the chicken. Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Minced Prawns (SGD24) – half
You cannot go wrong with the classic Roasted Pork Belly with a crispy layer of skin and mouthwateringly tender meat. Roasted Crispy Pork Belly (SGD13)
For seafood, one of Spring Court’s signature dishes is the Deep Fried Live “Soon Hock” (Marble Goby) Fish. Emphasis should be put on Live as you can see from the dish: the fish is still in flapping form, unlike a typical flatly laid fish when it’s dead before being cooked. Deep Fried Live “Soon Hock” Fish – market price
Did you really go to Singapore if you didn’t have Singapore Chilli Crab? Aside from Hainanese Chicken Rice, the other most popular dish in Singapore is the Chilli Crab.
At Spring Court, their Singapore Chilli Crab is also quite unique compared to the usual Singapore Chilli Crab restaurants. For one thing, it’s served in a claypot. But, more importantly, they do not use fermented shrimp paste (belacan) in their recipe unlike most restaurants. Singapore Chilli Crab in Claypot – market price (Sri Lankan Mud Crab usually ranging from SGD70-100/kg)
Get your bib ready and get messy with the deliciousness. You’ll also get Chinese buns (mantou) to mop the sauce after. Fresh Ground Almond Paste in Whole Coconut (SGD8.80) The Carvery at Park Hotel Alexandra
Website / Address : Level 7 Park Hotel Alexandra 323, Alexandra Rd, Singapore 159972 Accolades : AsiaOne’s Best hotel buffets in Singapore: 10 restaurants with quality spreads to get stuffed Price : Dinner Buffet (SGD62 Weekend, SGD58 Weekdays)
In Asia, buffets are a big deal, unlike in North America. A lot of hotels do buffets, which actually get very competitive with their offerings including lobster, wagyu, foie gras, crabs, and other high-end meats and seafood.
The buffet here is perfect for premium meat and seafood lovers, set in an urban oasis outside of downtown with beautiful views. Read the rest of the review of The Carvery at Park Hotel Alexandra . The Knolls at Capella Hotel
Website / Address : 1 The Knolls, Capella, Singapore 098297 Accolades : The Culture Trip’s Top 8 Restaurants in Sentosa Island; Sentosa’s Best Restaurants to Dine with Family in Tow; The Epoch Times’ 20 Best Hotel Buffets in Singapore
Located in the 5-star luxury hotel & resort, Capella Singapore Hotel, The Knolls offers a taste of the Mediterranean! Here you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the city, as you enjoy your meal overlooking cascading pools and the South China Sea in the popular Sentosa Island. Hazelnut And Apricot Gâteau (SGD16) – greek yogurt sorbet, mint
Though they offer Regional Favourites menu like Hainanese Chicken Rice and Singapore Laksa, they specialize in Mediterranean cuisine with a mix of classic and modern dishes. Expect prices to be higher since this is in a luxury hotel in a tourist spot.
A refreshing dish to start your meal at The Knolls is the Rock Melon With Wagyu Bresaola which is a twist on the Spanish tapas, Melon con Jamon Serrano, replacing the serrano ham with Australian wagyu bresaola. You’ll love the mix of sweet and salty, and dry and wet combination. Rock Melon With Wagyu Bresaola (SGD24) – orange olive oil, black pepper
You can’t go wrong with the classic Chargrilled Atlantic Octopus with sauce romesco, a roasted red pepper and almond spread originating in the Catalonia area of Spain. Chargrilled Atlantic Octopus (SGD30) – sauce romesco, crispy potato, roasted almond, saffron garlic aioli
An uncommon dish is the Slow Cooked Iberico Pork as Iberico Pork is more widely known for the cured version, Jamon Iberico. This is the second time I’ve had Iberico Pork in “steak” form – the first time was in a Spanish restaurant in Seattle .
Here, they provide pork soup with ratatouille. I recommend trying the pork before and after you pour the sauce so you can compare and contrast. Slow Cooked Iberico Pork (SGD38) – romesco, confit leeks, ratatouille The Song of India
Website / Address : 33 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228226 Accolades : Time Out’s 50 best restaurants in Singapore you must try; One Michelin Star; Wine & Dine Magazine SG’s Singapore’s Top Restaurants 2018/2019
If you’re looking where to eat in Singapore that’s Michelin-starred, you’ll want to try The Song of India because it is Southeast Asia and Singapore’s only Michelin Star Indian Restaurant. Did you know? This fine dining Indian restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star for the third consecutive time (to date) since 2016. Led by Chef Manjunath Mural, Director of Cuisine, The Song of India has been widely acknowledged for being one of the pioneers for Indian cuisine in Singapore
Like most Indian restaurants, they do offer a gourmet weekday buffet lunch. But unlike most Indian restaurants, they offer a Sunday brunch with signature items and live stations. Travelling Foodie Tip: Children under 12 dine for free. Dahi Puri Chaat
The Song of India is the most fine dining Indian restaurant I’ve been to so far, and definitely serves the most beautifully presented Indian dishes I’ve had.
Be sure to check their drinks menu which has unique Indian inspired mocktails and cocktails. The Song Of India’s Spice Route Cocktail (SGD16) – A frozen drink of Vodka, Apple & Pineapple Juice with Indian spices
A must try in The Song of India is their Journey Through India tasting menu (SGD112), which is a 5-course meal incorporating authentic recipes from varying regions in India. Note: There are more dishes from Northern India than Southern. Tempered Chicken & Almond Soup with Herbed Crouton Stick Mustard Enhanced Smoked Salmon & Tandoori Chicken with Mint Chutney Lime Sorbet laced with Truffle Oil
Classic Indian dishes made perfectly well is what you can expect at The Song of India. The Art Platter– Coastal Prawn Curry From The Malabar Coast– Bhuna Lamb Ghosht From Hyderabad– Dumpukht Chicken In Potli Masala From Lucknow– Garlic Enhanced Spinach & Cottage Cheese From Punjab– Black Lentil Delicacy From Uttar PradeshAccompanied With Saffron Basmati Rice, Hot Tandoori Naan Bread Basket, Yoghurt Relish Fresh Garlic Naan Alphonso Mango Kulfi & Gulab Jamun with Fresh Fruits
Hope this food guide gives you an idea on where to eat in Singapore and the must-try dishes! I’m always open to restaurant recommendations so please tell me what you find are the best restaurants in Singapore so I can check them out on my next visit. Updated:

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More resorts in the Maldives commit to Seagrass Protection

More resorts in the Maldives commit to Seagrass Protection More resorts in the Maldives commit to Seagrass Protection More resorts in the Maldives commit to Seagrass Protection More resorts in the Maldives commit to Seagrass Protection
The #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass campaign, headed by the Blue Marine Foundation and the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) at Six Senses Laamu, has so far convinced more than 25 percent of resorts in the Maldives to protect their seagrass meadows. Charles Clover, executive director of the Blue Marine Foundation, said, “Many resorts have joined the campaign and are now protecting this critical habitat; however, some resorts are still continuing to remove their seagrass. Support from the government, resorts, organizations and tourists is evidence that the practice of seagrass removal is finally ready to be put to an end.”
The country’s Ministry of Tourism has also officially endorsed the campaign to stop the removal of seagrass beds. Seagrass is commonly removed in the Maldives when it is found near resort islands because operators believe it spoils the clear, picturesque lagoons that tourists expect on holiday.
More than 30 resorts joined the campaign and collectively pledged to protect more than 8.9 million square feet (830,000 square meters) of seagrass around resort islands across the country.
The website www.protectmaldivesseagrass.com received more than 22,000 visits in a four-month period, with the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass hashtag mentioned over 300 times each day at the height of the campaign. Over 1,600 people from both the local and international community have registered their support to protect seagrass in the Maldives.
Seagrass is vital to the low-lying island nation of the Maldives; it prevents beach erosion, fights climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide, provides food for sea turtles, supports fisheries and houses juvenile coral reef fish.
Charles Clover continued, “Seagrass needs to be protected if the Maldives’ marine environment is to have the best chance of withstanding the environmental challenges expected over the next century.”
Six Senses Laamu, the resort that inspired the campaign, has been protecting its seagrass since 2017 and has successfully shown that seagrass and tourism can coexist. The resort was used as a case study and was featured in a guide that demonstrated to resort general managers how seagrass can be an asset for positive guest experiences, encouraging them to protect at least 80 percent of their resort’s seagrass meadows.
Marteyne van Well, general manager of Six Senses Laamu, said, “It’s inspiring to see so many resorts come together and advocate for seagrass. With the number of new resorts on the rise, it’s vital that this expansion is done sustainably to protect our unique marine environment, which people all over the world come to visit.”
Find out which resorts support at www.protectmaldivesseagrass.com .
538,000 square feet (50,000 square meters) of seagrass meadows surround Six Senses Laamu, giving guests an excellent chance to see grazing green sea turtles or cruising stingrays, just a few fin kicks from their villa.
Seagrass meadows in the Maldives support more than 10 species of rays, sharks and turtles.
About Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a beautiful coral house reef. Most of the villas and facilities are built overwater, however beach villas and on-land dining is an option. All villas offer a sense of privacy and seclusion, with an amazing view to the Ocean and Maldivian nature.
Six Senses Laamu offers a wide range of dining options, with cuisines from around the world, an ice cream parlor, an overwater wine cellar and a signature Chill bar. Many activities, excursions and options are available for everyone to enjoy, both over water and underwater, in addition to the Six Senses Spa.
About Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is one of the world’s leading operators of luxury hotels, resorts and spas, managing 18 hotels and resorts across 14 countries, plus 37 spas under the brand names Six Senses, Evason, Six Senses Spas and Raison d’Etre. There are a further 17 hotels and resorts signed into its development pipeline. In February 2019, Six Senses became part of the IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) family of hotel brands.
Six Senses properties share a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design, infused with a touch of quirkiness. Whether an exquisite island resort, mountain retreat or urban hotel, the enduring purpose is to help people reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them.
Six Senses Spas offers a wide range of holistic wellness, rejuvenation and beauty treatments administered under the guidance of expert therapists in all resorts as well as at 16 additional standalone spas. The high-tech and high-touch approach guides guests on their personal path to well-being, taking them as deep as they want to go.
Six Senses Residences provides the best life has to offer. From beautifully-appointed villas on the beach, rustic chalets in the mountains and spacious urban hideaways, Six Senses features a variety of residential choices in stand-alone buildings or attached to a resort or hotel. No matter the location, the promise remains the same and the commitment to create a community where every day revolves around learning and growing, great food and drink, innovative wellness programming, sustainable living – all mixed in with a lot fun.
Evason follows the Six Senses philosophy of uncompromised responsibility to sustainability and the community. Its two unique resorts provide a strong value focus, while offering a vast array of personal guest experiences that the whole family will love.
Source = Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

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Kosmic Sea Lounge, Borivali West, Mumbai.

Kosmic Sea Lounge is situated at a prime location in Borivali West’s IC colony which is just parallel to Link Road, making the commute pretty convenient. It is one of the most happening places in its vicinity, thereby attracting a lot of footfalls even of weekdays. It is a multi-cuisine place serving North Indian, Chinese, Mughlai, and Continental cuisines. The lounge is currently running various offers like buy 3 get 1 on selected Pint, buy 1 get 1 on selected Pitcher, etc. and it’s valid till 1 Nov 2019 so surely check it out if you visit with a group of friends.
Ambience:-
The lounge is extremely spacious with both indoor and outdoor seating available. There’s a projector screen outside where one can enjoy the live stream of various matches and also there is a LED screen for the same on the inside as well. We visited during the evening where the place was lit up with dim bottled and victorian styled lights; it made for a cozy setting. There is a live DJ on the inside with a separate dance section where there is an inverted boat like installation towards the ceiling which was something unique. Also, the dance section is well lit with various colorful/disco lights, giving it a retro touch. Overall, the seating is quite comfortable and with the DJ playing some latest tracks, is sure to make your dining experience worthwhile.
Rating: 4/5
Service:-
The staff members were courteous and friendly. Mr. Dhananjay Singh, Raju Prasad and Maqbool took great care of the table and also recommended us various dishes. The service was prompt even though there were quite a number of people coming in. Overall, the service here is impressive.
Rating: 5/5
Beverages:-
1) Berry Blast: The base is of vodka and the blend of strawberry syrup and lime gives it a sweet, fruity and citric flavor. As it arrived, the taste was a little too strong but upon stirring it retained a mild sweet tasting cocktail taste, just the way I like it. Definitely recommended if you like a fruity after taste.
Rating:4/5
2) Nutella Shake: The shake was thick, full-bodied, and the quantity was also adequate. The sweetness was well maintained and it’s sure to please your taste buds. Chocolate lovers, just go for it!
Rating: 5/5
Food:-
1) Mushroom stuff tikka: Props to the chef for this delectable starter dish which was extremely well presented. It includes eight pieces of marinated mushroom well cooked in tandoor, served along with slices of onions covered in mayo and mint chatni. The mushrooms were toothsome and tasted even more delicious with the chatni. Highly recommended!
Rating: 5/5
2) Veg Crispy: It consisted of mixed vegetable batter fried and then tossed in a sweet-spicy sauce. It sure was crispy giving a flavourful after taste of ginger and garlic but it was quite salty to my liking.
Rating: 3.5/5
3) Paneer Shashlik Sizzler: The scrumptious platter was wholesome and filling and the quantity is adequate for two people. A mix of sauteed veggies, potato wedges, rice, and paneer was flavourous and scrummy! The Indo – Chinese dish is definitely a go-to main course option.
Rating: 5/5
Dessert:-
Sizzling Brownie: This a classic dessert option having a chocolate brownie laden in chocolate sauce and topped with vanilla ice-cream. The serving was luscious and rich in taste. It’s a perfect way to end the dining experience.
In conclusion, the flavoursome dishes, impressive ambience and splendid service make it a great place to hang out with friends and family.
Overall rating: 5/5

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Food

Japanese treats
If you love authentic Japanese dishes, this is your chance to savour the best of Japanese iwashi and mentaiko dishes, which will be available at all Sushi King restaurants in Malaysia until Sept 30. Japanese iwashi is from the hikarimono or blue-backed fish category. The fish is rich in fatty acids like omega-3 and high fat content gives it a full flavour. Mentaiko is marinated fish roe renowned for its robust flavour. Famous in Fukuoka’s food culture, mentaiko is one of the unqiue must-try dishes in Japan. During the promotion period, diners at Sushi King can look forward to numerous dishes such as Premium Iwashi Nigiri, Japanese Iwashi Kabayaki Don, Mentaiko Karaage Gunkan and Mentaiko Tartar Chicken. For details, visit www.sushi-king.com
Exclusive winemaker dinner
Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa will be presenting a Winemaker’s Six-Course Dinner on Aug 2 at Arena 4, Level 15. This one-day event will be enhanced with premium wines from Katnook Estate, from South Australia’s Coonawarra region. The menu includes Thai Infused Chicken Ballotine and Young Papaya Salad, Unagi-Sushi Coquette with Cod Roe Dip, Riso Pasta, King Prawn and Parsnip, Beef Wellington and Truffle Mustard as well as Fig Tart, Lemon Curd and Pistachio Tuile. The dinner is priced at RM298 nett per adult. It includes a welcome reception, a six-course meal paired with four different wine labels from Katnook Estate, followed by coffee and chocolate desserts at The Lobby Lounge. For reservations, call 03-7495 2009 or 7492 8000.
BIJAN BAR & RESTAURANT FINE MALAY CUISINE, 3, Jalan Ceylon, KL. (Tel: 03-2031 3575). Business hours: 4.30pm-11pm, daily. The restaurant features a mix of recipes handed down over the generations and innovations of the real thing to excite taste buds. Here, traditional recipes with modern-day ingredients help create a total dining experience.
HAN WOO RI, 1D & 2D, Jalan USJ 10/1J, Subang Jaya. (Tel: 03-8023 3357). Business hours: 11.30am- 2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm, daily. Non-halal. The Korean BBQ restaurant offers both set meals and a la carte menus. Its new bossam dish has thinly sliced boiled pork with rice and soup.
DANCING FISH MALAY-INDO CUISINE, 3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, KL. (Tel: 03-2095 6663). Business hours: 11.30am-10pm, daily. The restaurant prides itself in serving up gastronomic delights that leave customers wanting more. It serves Indonesian favourites such as Bebek Goreng Bali, emping melinjo, Gulai Pucuk Paku, terong sambal and its star dish, the Dancing Fish.
MICHELANGELO’S RESTAURANT & BAR M, Lot J-OG-03 & J-OG-04, No 2, Jalan Solaris, Solaris Mont Kiara, KL (Tel: 03-6203 7734 – Solaris, 03-2141 1123 – Pavilion KL). Business hours: Noon-midnight (Sun-Thurs); noon-1am (Fri & Sat). Pork-free. An upscale casual restaurant with classy interior design with its signature Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam on its wall. Serves lavish Italian fare from appetisers, main courses and desserts.
XENRI JAPANESE CUISINE, 9, Wisma Elken, Lorong 4/137C, Batu 5, Jalan Kelang Lama, KL. (Tel: 03-7783 8118). Business hours: Noon-10.30pm (Mon-Sat), noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm (Sun). Serves Japanese cuisine using premium ingredients and raw products from Japan. Diners can look out for its kaiseki specials, described as the art of fine food harmonising between flavours, textures, colours and presentation.
PASTA ZANMAI, G210B, Ground Floor Promenade, 1 Utama shopping centre, No 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, PJ. (Tel: 03-7728 1210 – 1 Utama, 03-7492 0710 – Sunway Pyramid, 03-2856 9860 – Nu Sentral/ www.superpasta.com.my). Business hours: 10am-10pm (Sun-Thurs), 10am-10.30pm (Fri-Sat). Serves up an interesting array of more than 50 pasta dishes using Japanese spaghetti. Rice and pizza cooked up with Japanese ingredients like seaweed, miso and sesame are rather interesting.SVAGO, Lot G4-5B-136, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, KL. (Tel: 03-2163 3188). Business hours: 10am-midnight (Mon-Thurs); 10am-1am (Fri-Sun). Pork-free. Guests are taken into a completely different world of retro chic combination that elegantly melds together a modern aesthetic deco with a fashionably comfortable loft. Specialities include Capricciosa wood-fired pizza with artichoke, mushrooms, olives, chicken ham and egg, Extra Spicy al’ Amatriciana pasta with bacon and roasted vegetables, and Mushroom Barley Risotto.
RESTORAN BIBICHIK, 17, Jalan SS2/30, PJ. (Tel: 03-7873 6769 / 010-281 3606). Business hours: Noon-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm, daily. Pork-free. This restaurant has been serving authentic and delicious Nyonya cuisine for over 20 years. Specialities include honey sotong, asam fish, crispy brinjal, Bibisauce Chicken, mango fish, paku-pakis belacan, perut ikan, otak-otak and petai sambal prawns. It also hosts a musician playing oldies from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s on weekend nights.
SRI NYONYA RESTAURANT, 14, Jalan 22/49, PJ. (Tel: 03-7875 1031). Business hours: Noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm (Tues-Sun). Closed on Monday. Pork-free. Serving dishes based on family recipes such as the Sri Nyonya Fried Chicken and perut ikan spanning four generations.
LOI FATT RESTAURANT, 168, Jalan 8, 9th Mile, Cheras New Village, Kajang. (Tel: 03-9075 8035). Business hours: 11.30am-3pm; 5.30pm-10pm, daily. (Closed for dinner every Tuesday). Non-halal. The family-run business insists on keeping to traditional recipes that are becoming a rarity these days, as well as using only premium quality seafood. Recommendations include jumbo river prawns cooked in two styles, wild snakehead fish soup, sweet and sour crab, signature beancurd and Hakka deep-fried pork.
KHUNTHAI RESTAURANT, 6, Jalan 5/44, Petaling Garden, off Jalan Gasing, PJ. (Tel: 03-7781 7523 – Petaling Jaya, 03-3081 3308 – Klang, 03-6277 3523 – Kepong/ www.khunthai.com). Business hours: 10am-3pm, 5pm-midnight, daily. Pork-free. A surprise find among a cluster of Indian restaurants and unassuming in appearance. Start your meal with Mieng Kam, move on to White Tom Yam, Steamed Fish Lemon Style, deep-fried kangkung and Green Curry Chicken. The thirst quencher, a blend of freshly squeezed ambarella fruit and sour plum is the ideal drink on a blistering day.
KAFE SAKURA KRISTAL, 301 Jalan Bandar 11, Taman Melawati, KL. (Tel: 03-4108 5897). Business hours: Noon-midnight (Mon-Sat), 4pm-midnight (Sun & public holiday). Halal. The restaurant has Asian, Thai, Western and Malaysian cuisine with enough options for vegetarians too.
DECANTER 3, No 5, Jalan 17/56, PJ. (Tel: 03-7968 1300). Business hours: Noon-midnight, daily. DECANTER 1, No 7, Jalan Setiakasih 5, Bukit Damansara, KL (Tel: 03-2095 2507). Business hours: Noon-11.30pm. Closed on Sunday. DECANTER 4, No 67, Jalan Setiabakti, Bukit Damansara. (Tel: 03-2095 3919). Business hours: 7.30am-10.30pm (Mon-Fri), 9am-10.30pm (Sat & Sun). Pork-free. Choose from over 80 Western and local favourites. Popular for its Oxtail Stew and Penang assam laksa.
GARAM MASALA RESTAURANT, 28-00-1, Lorong Batu Nilam 4A, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang. (Tel: 03-3318 2265). Business hours: 10.30am-10.30pm, daily. (Closed on third Tuesday of the month). This family-run restaurant specialises in North Indian food. Recommendations include Crispy Fish Pakora, Chicken Manchow Soup, Vej Jalfrezi, Mutton Roganjosh and Chicken Tikka Butter Masala. Its pani puri appetiser made of sugee flour is also an interesting find.
BOMBAY PALACE, Life Centre, 20 Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. (Tel: 03-2171 7220/ 7221) Business hours: Noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm, daily. Closed on public holiday. The signature dishes offered by Bombay Palace are Palace Sizzling Grill, Zinga Masala, Palak Paneer, Chicken Makhni, Kulfi and Family Naan. The renowned award-winning restaurant has proven to be the undisputed heavyweight in the Indian fine dining scene.
To submit food listings and food-related queries, please email metrocfood@gmail.com or call 03-7967 1388 ext 1322.

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12 New Afternoon Teas To Book This Month

12 New Afternoon Teas To Book This Month Just in time to celebrate national Afternoon Tea Week, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best new teas to try in London – from a themed tea where you can also treat your dog to the Insta-worthy creation based on a piece of Damien Hirst artwork… 12th August 2019 6 Berners Tavern Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton is the man behind Berners Tavern, one of London’s most sought-after restaurant reservations. Located in Fitzrovia’s London EDITION hotel, the restaurant blends a romantic, historical look with an all-day dining menu of seasonal, contemporary British cuisine. This month, the hotel is offering 25% off its afternoon tea. You’ll find no boring finger sandwiches here, rather decadent chicken and truffle baguettes, salmon tartare, a delicious selection of sweets, including a chocolate tart with yuzu, and unlimited scones with jam and cream. To redeem this offer, guests should quote ‘TEA TIME’ when booking. Afternoon tea is served Saturday and Sunday, between 12-4pm.
10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3NP
Visit BernersTavern.com Brasserie of Light Located in Selfridges, Brasserie of Light features the capital’s largest-scale artwork by Damien Hirst – a 24ft crystal-encrusted statue of Pegasus with a 30ft wingspan – alongside all-day dining in a chic, art-deco setting. This month, the restaurant has unveiled its decadent limited-edition ‘Pink Pegasus’ afternoon tea. The tea includes a selection of sweet and savoury treats, including fresh smoked salmon on rye bread; shredded Asian vegetable rice paper rolls; feta, fennel and red pepper puffs; and a lobster, mango and avocado cocktail. Those with a sweet tooth will be able to enjoy pink meringues, a mini ‘Pegasus Pie’, passion fruit and butterfly meringue, and a chocolate bubble dessert. Each ‘Pink Pegasus’ tea for two includes a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé.
400 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1A 1AB
Visit Brasserie-Of-Light.co.uk Cadogan’s By Adam Handling To celebrate the launch of the new Matthew Williamson range from Newby Teas, Cadogan’s by Adam Handling at the Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea will be serving a selection of these exceptional teas throughout Afternoon Tea Week. The pâtissiers at Cadogan’s have created a special selection of dainty pastries as part of its offering, complementing the flavours of the collection of high-quality loose-leaf tea blends. The pastry selection includes orange and lemongrass cremeux; passion fruit curd tart with coconut mousse and salted caramel sacher with milk chocolate chantilly.
75 Sloane Street, Chelsea, SW1X 9SG
Visit Belmond.com Cahoots This Afternoon Tea Week, Cahoots’ ‘Captain’ has married up two quintessentially British staples – afternoon tea and the humble British picnic – to create his original ‘Squiffy Picnic’, combining a serving of 1940s-inspired fodder with cocktails and live entertainment. Each party will receive a vintage hamper full of sandwiches and picnic treats as well as a flask filled with a cocktail of their choice. The cocktail selection includes ‘Mornin’ Mr Milkman’ (Russian Standard Original vodka, Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, Lucano Anniversario amaro, pineapple syrup and almond milk) as well as ‘Down the Apples and Pears’ (Hendrick’s gin, peach liqueur, apple, mulled wine syrup and Fentimans Rose Lemonade).
13 Kingly Court, Soho, W1B 5PW
Visit Cahoots-London.com Cinnamon Bazaar Inspired by the hustle and bustle of ancient and modern day markets around the world, Cinnamon Bazaar has begun serving its ‘Traders High Tea’, which is packed with punchy flavours. Served alongside a ‘Bazaar Bellini’ and traditional Indian masala chai, guests will be able to tuck into tandoori chicken and chutney sandwiches and bhangra lamb sliders followed by samosa chaat, watermelon chaat and aloo tikka chaat, Cinnamon’s take on the classic Indian street food. An afternoon tea with a difference. 28 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7JS
Visit Cinnamon-Bazaar.com COMO The Halkin Created by the team at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, the afternoon tea menu at COMO The Halkin draws on the principles of Basque cuisine. COMO The Halkin’s recently launched afternoon tea package features bespoke tea pairings by TeaLeaves, connoisseurs in hand-crafted artisanal teas and wellness botanicals. Each tea will be paired with a Basque dish from the Ametsa with Arzak kitchen, creating a sensory afternoon tea experience: pairings include Iberico ham croquettes with Lapsang souchong and chocolate with churros and Mountain Berry tea. Just for Afternoon Tea Week, the hotel is offering 25% off all tea packages.
5-6 Halkin Street, Belgravia, SW1X 7DJ
Visit ComoHotels.com Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in Fitzrovia offers guests the chance to dine and drink in an oasis of rare botanicals and vegetation collected from around the world. For afternoon tea, guests will ascend a spiral staircase to enter the venue’s stately drawing room, before hunkering down in vintage chairs for an afternoon of Victorian-inspired treats and tipples. The ‘Blooming Tipsy Tea’ experience allows guests to choose from a selection of botanical-inspired cocktails, including ‘Just Like Nanna Used to Make’, a potted potation mixing Woodford Reserve Bourbon whiskey with butter-washed kumquat, amontillado sherry, crème de pêche, lemon juice, sugar syrup and orange marmalade.
48 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1QQ
Visit Mr-Foggs.com Kimpton Fitzroy London Kimpton Fitzroy London has unveiled a limited edition ‘Summer Rose Garden’ afternoon tea in partnership with Laurent-Perrier. Transforming the hotel’s Palm Court into a garden, head pastry chef Thibault Marchand has been inspired by rose gardens in the UK, as well as those of his native France, to create the afternoon tea. The treats begin with sandwiches including roast chicken, grain mustard, rocket salad and smoked salmon with fennel, apple and trout roe, followed by a selection of plain, raspberry and rose-flavoured scones served with cream, lemon curd and Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé jam. The tea also features a twist on the classic French choux, shaped into a flower and served with white chocolate petals and a sugar-paste butterfly.
1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BE
Visit KimptonHotels.com Mariage Freres Mariage Frères’ luxury tea emporium specialises in ‘Cuisine au Thé’. Its ‘King Street Afternoon Tea’ features an assortment of tea-infused savoury delights, such as avocado with Japanese matcha green tea; turmeric-seasoned shrimps with Hallelujah tea-infused coulis; or roasted cauliflower with Feu De Thé smoky black tea. Sweet treats include warm baked Parisian fruit scones with ‘Gelées extra de Thé’ jelly and tea-infused desserts such as ‘Rouge in Love’ – a red-tea candied strawberry with citrus whipped cream, vanilla shortbread and french meringue. Guests can choose from over 1,000 different varieties of tea, from the famous Marco Polo blend with fruity notes to the Covent Garden Morning tea with aromatic notes of hazelnut.
38 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JS
Visit MariageFreres.com Mr Fogg’s House of Exploration Mr Fogg’s new afternoon tea will lead guests on a sensory journey of global exploration, sampling flavours inspired by five of the seven continents. Guests will begin by trying a selection of miniature libations corresponding to the continents: ‘Asia’ includes Bombay Sapphire gin, Yellow Chartreuse herbal liqueur, chai tea, sake, vanilla and fresh grapefruit, while ‘Africa’ comprises Grey Goose L’Original vodka, Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter aperitif, Rooibos tea, amaro and soda water. Guests will be served paired sweet or savoury bites to complement each drink, then they’ll be able to enjoy a teapot filled with their preferred cocktail.
1a Bedford Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9HH
Visit Mr-Foggs.com The Soho Hotel The Soho Hotel’s latest ‘G & Tea’ has been created in collaboration with Ableforth’s award-winning Bathtub Gin. Echoing the spices of cardamom and orange peel in the gin, pastries on offer include pear bourdaloue tart with cardamom; an orange custard and fig pot; and blackberry and lavender macarons, alongside savouries such as wild mushroom and herb arancini; roast beef with horseradish on beetroot bread; and a selection of traditional finger sandwiches. The afternoon tea is accompanied by a special Bathtub Gin cocktail made with cinnamon and topped with cardamom, mandarin and fresh pear, which The Soho Hotel bartenders will whisk up from The Soho Gin Trolley.
4 Richmond Mews, Soho, W1D 3DH
Visit FirmdaleHotels.com South Place Hotel This summer, South Place Hotel is inviting dog owners to experience a stylish British afternoon tea designed for both pets and owners to enjoy. Joining forces with British accessories brand Radley, the hotel is putting on a series of afternoon teas paired with a menu just for dogs, created by artisanal dog food brand The Barking Bakery. Situated in the hotel’s Secret Garden, guests can enjoy a tasty display of classic British sandwiches, British bakewell bones and chocolate and hazelnut Scottie dogs made by Bake Off: The Professionals finalist, Nelson Barros.
3 South Place, Moorgate, EC2M 2AF
Visit SouthPlaceHotel.com
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at . Editor’s Picks

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How I Menu Plan for Everyday Meals

I was thinking about how I menu plan and find inspiration for meals this morning and solidified some of my ideas. We all go through ruts in planning meals, so I thought by breaking my method down into concise steps, it might help someone else.
There seem to be 2 basic approaches to planning regular meals. One approach involves thinking of the meals you’d like to prepare and finding appropriate recipes, then making a shopping list to purchase the foods that required. This sort of menu planning approach is most often done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The other approach flips these processes, so that the individual responsible for planning meals first stocks the food storage, then plans from what is abundant at home. To do this economically, one stocks up on basic ingredients when found on sale, making sure to have an adequate supply of the majority of ingredients that would go into the family’s favorite meals.
Both approaches might use weekly circulars, either for inspiration or making up the shopping list. Both approaches can be money-savers. Both approaches can result in tasty meals that satisfy the family. And both approaches are lightyears better than the haphazard approach of “gee, what would we like to eat this week? I’ll just figure that out when I’m at the store.”
I’m attracted to both approaches for their different merits. Menu planning a week or more in advance satisfies my desire to control future events and feel more organized. Stocking the kitchen before planning appeals to my creative side — the side that loves a challenge, loves taking 5 seemingly unrelated ingredients and making a tasty meal from them.
I tend to favor the second approach — stocking the kitchen the planning meals a day or two in advance.
The second approach has a longer tradition in food preparation. In early human development, there wasn’t the option to plan ahead what you might want to eat and then go out and acquire those foods. Your meals revolved around what you were lucky enough to obtain. In agrarian times, those obtainable foods were seasonal, tied to harvest and animal slaughter and preservation seasons. Whatever kept the longest was what you had to work with in late winter through spring.
1) Surpluses to inspire a meal plan
While I don’t have to rely on ancient food preservation techniques, I do tend to think of what I have in surplus. By surplus, I mean fitting one of two descriptions. Surplus could mean I simply have a lot of the one ingredient, and by a lot I mean more than enough to last several weeks. Surplus can also mean that whatever amount I have currently will not keep very long and so is surplus in the sense that I have so much of the ingredient in a fragile state that it will spoil unless it is used in every or near every meal in the immediate future. It is surplus relative to its lifespan. I may not know what ingredients are surplus more than a few days out at a time. With a garden, a surplus can surprise me overnight. In addition, a great sale on peanut butter can also surprise me without warning. My primary shopping motivation is to buy as much as possible at the lowest possible price. As a result, I typically stock up wildly when I see a stellar deal.
So, step one in my meal planning is to survey my ingredients for surpluses.
2) Thinking of food groups
Step two involves identifying some basic food groups amongst the surpluses. When planning a dinner, I try to incorporate 1 protein source (or a combination of protein sources that will equal a serving of protein), 1 grain or starchy vegetable, and 2 fruit and/or vegetable servings. I don’t adhere to this rigidly. If we have a quiche that has a grain-based crust plus rice, that’s fine. We could also have an entree-sized salad that was heavier on the produce and lighter on grains or starches. And once in a while we have a “fun” meal of hot dogs or burgers and fried potatoes or chips, no fruits or vegetables. In the overall scheme of our diet, these meals are okay, as we generally eat pretty healthy. But anyway, this is the second step, finding the ingredients that will fill the protein, grain/starch, and produce requirements amongst the surpluses in my stock.
3) Using ethnic/period cuisine to help put the ingredients all together
The third step is where some thinking comes in — how to put these assorted ingredients together in a pleasing way. Since our family enjoys foods from a variety of cuisines, I tend to think ethnic when it comes to planning dinner. We enjoy Italian, Mexican, Greek, Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, and perhaps not ethnic but period, early American. In my mind, I’ll run through the different possibilities with my identified surplus ingredients, and think of some of my family’s favorite ways to eat those foods. Sometimes the ingredients lend themselves to particular ethnic cuisines, such as snow peas and Asian dishes or avocado and Tex-Mex meals. Other times, the ingredients are a little more ambiguous. Pureed pumpkin could be made into something period or regional American, like pie or a sweet souffle. Or, pumpkin can be the basis of a Mexican or Latin soup, with the addition of cumin, peppers and corn. I also like pumpkin as the base for an Italian pasta sauce, adding garlic, sage, and Italian sausage. If I was in the mood for an Asian meal, I could also use pumpkin cut into thin slices and added to a stir-fry. Often times, making a particular ingredient work for a specific cuisine is just a matter of using the seasonings that I find in other foods of that cuisine. I know from experience that chili powder and cumin work well in Mexican meals. So, if I take whatever surplus food that I have and treat it with with those seasonings, there’s a good chance I’ll have something that resembles foods from that ethnicity. Same thing with Asian meals. If I add garlic, soy sauce, ginger, and maybe a pinch of sugar, my meal will taste somewhat Asian. These meals won’t be “authentic,” but we’re just talking about family suppers where authenticity doesn’t matter nearly as much as tasty .
Here’s an example from my life: we currently have a surplus of eggs (bought 15 dozen in a case a week ago), rice (bought in a 25-lb bag a couple of months ago), tomato paste (was frozen once already and has been thawed and in the fridge for over a week, so needs using ASAP), kale in the garden, and foraged blackberries. When one item seems unrelated to the others significantly enough than flavors would just no go, I separate out that one item and serve it on its own. In this case, it’s the blackberries. I don’t think the blackberries would go well in a main-dish prepared with the rest of the ingredients. So, I could serve the blackberries as dessert, like topped with honey or sweetened yogurt. That leaves me with eggs, rice, tomato paste, and kale. My family enjoys even-baked frittatas and they are easy for me to make. (I saute whatever veggies I have and put into a buttered pie plate along with beaten, salted eggs and milk, then bake in a low oven for half an hour. Cut in wedges and serve.) So a kale and onion frittata that is seasoned with salt and garlic will fill both a protein and vegetable need. Since I have tomato paste needing to be used, I’ll make a quick tomato sauce with water, garlic, salt, and oregano to spoon over the top of the frittata in the last 10 minutes of baking — bonus on the veggies with this meal. I have lots of rice. I also have 2 new loaves of French bread. I consider the rice more of a surplus ingredient because I have more rice than we can consume in the next several weeks. Whereas with the bread, it would take me additional labor to add to our bread supply when we run out in a few days. Even though we have a lot of the ingredients to make more bread, I factor in the labor that is required. So, although we enjoy bread more than rice, I tend to include a lot of rice in our meals because it is easy on my labor. This is my meal plan for tonight. I really love Italian cuisine, so my inspiration for using my ingredients comes from Italy. I serve something similar to this almost every week. It’s an easy meal for me to think of and takes relatively little hands-on time to prepare.
Here’s another example from my life: we also have a surplus of beans and lentils, barley, carrots, garden kale, blackberries, plus the above-mentioned tomato paste. There was leftover cooked barley and lentils in the fridge from a previous night, both of which needed using soon. It was my husband’s night to cook and his cooking skills and ambition are more limited than mine, so he chose to make a soup as the entree. He combined cooked lentils and barley with tomato paste, water, chopped carrots, onions, garlic, and Italian herbs/spices (oregano, basil, red pepper flakes), and salt and made a very respectable soup. He served this with fresh blackberries sprinkled with sugar and leftover pita bread. I’d say this was a Mediterranean-inspired meal with a PNW dessert.
Here’s one last example from my real life: Asian-style ham and egg fried rice, using surplus cabbage, garden snow peas, garden garlic, leftover brown rice, and ham from Easter, plus blackberry pie. The day that we had this meal, I had a surplus of previously-frozen eggs (now thawed and on their last day or two), leftover brown rice, an aging head of cabbage, and a whole bunch of snow peas in the garden, plus the usual bucket of blackberries. When I have eggs that need using plus leftover rice, I usually think of fried rice. It’s an easy one-dish meal to prepare — throw everything into a skillet and just like that, you have dinner. When I’m experiencing a drought of ideas for dinners, fried rice is one of the first meals I think of. On this day, since I knew that throwing together the main dish would be easy, I was able to focus my kitchen time on baking a pie. I satisfied everyone.
While I’ve identified two different approaches to meal planning, these two don’t need to be exclusive. A lot of people use a hybrid approach. They keep most of the basics in stock at all times, but use flyers and cookbooks to plan a week’s or month’s worth of meals before making a shopping list. They will look at their current stock in addition to what they find on sale or determine what they need for particular dishes. I do this occasionally, too. I may have a particular recipe that I want to make or we may have a celebratory meal in our week, so I’ll think of the foods I want to make, then add the ingredients that I am lacking to my grocery list. The hybrid approach can provide increased variety to the week or specialness to a single meal. We are blessed to live in a time that a hybrid approach is possible. We have salaries that allow for the purchase of ingredients (instead of relying solely on what you can produce for yourself), we have retail outlets that stock a variety of foods year round, and we have a constant flow of information that exposes us to lots of new ideas for meals. When you pair these with the relatively new concept, the warehouse store, large quantities of any ingredient can be had at a discount, leading to many people unintentionally or intentionally stocking up on the basics and giving them some surpluses in their kitchen stock. This is a blessed time and place for meal options.
Anyways, these thoughts were jumbled in my mind and I thought I’d share them, like I said, in case my thoughts can help someone else, or in case my thoughts could spur more discussion on the topic. Speaking of food and meals, I need to eat some lunch! Have a good rest of your day!

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How to Combat the Starch in Potato for a Nutritious and Delicious Potato Gravy?

Potato: approx. ½ kg
Spinach: a generous handful of spinach leaves Melt finely sliced pieces of 2 medium tomatoes in adequate quantity of warm, any mild-flavour vegetable oil; add small cubes of potatoes to the mix, when the potato pieces are warm enough, blend the mix with finely sliced pieces of spinach leaves ; blend the vegetable mix with smidgen of salt – according to preference of flavour, ¼ tsp. of turmeric powder, ¼ tsp. of asafoetida/hing powder, and ½ tsp. of sambhar masala (a flavoursome, non -pungent powdered spice mix) ; cook the potato pieces in the thick liquid consistency of spinach leaves, when the potato pieces turn tender, blend the mixture with a glassful of buttermilk and simmer the combination for approx. 5 minutes. If you prefer the gravy moderate spicy, add the mixture with finely sliced pieces of a green chilli pepper, I had opted to add pieces of a hyderbadi green chilli – these chillies are about palm length, lush and slender, they have mild but distinctive pungent flavour .
The consistency of this potato gravy is creamy, the flavour pleasant-spicy.
The two extremely nutritious food ingredients to combat the content of starch in this delicious potato gravy are spinach and buttermilk.
Serving size: approx. 4-5
Essential Food Facts: Sambhar Masala – This spice powder mix is a blend of these ingredients: coriander, chilli, fenugreek, cumin, curry leaves, edible common salt, Bengal gram, green gram, black gram, black pepper, cassia bark, turmeric, asafoetida and refined cottonseed oil. Spinach has a high nutritional value, especially when fresh, frozen, steamed, or quickly boiled. Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron and folate; and a good source of the B vitamins – riboflavin and vitamin B 6 , vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber. In Ayurveda, buttermilk is considered an extremely beneficial food for human health. Hing/Asafoetida Powder: This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment, and in pickling. It plays a critical flavoring role in North Indian vegetarian cuisine by acting as an umami enhancer. Wishing You A Wonderful Day
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Namaste! Welcome to the forum post!!! 1. we are a group of 8 with 2 infants and two elderlies. what would be the good places to contact for car rentals for whole day? we can do Either 2 cars or 1 tempo. For your family tempo traveler would be a good option. And the prices will be 14000 to 17000/ – 2. how much the car rentals will cost depending on if we take tempo or two separate cars ? we are planning to visit Taj, Fort and Sikri(only 4 of us) Innova crysta car prices will be 10000 – 12000/ – 3. How should we pack as winter clothes go? hoodies and light jackets would suffice or we will need more? Nobody wants to miss the chance of visiting this place whatever the season and weather condition. If you are planning to visit the Agra on your own, you must keep the Agra weather in the December in you mind. In this month the temperature is low, winter is at its peak. So it is wise step to visit Agra in such weather. Minimum temperature of the month of December is 8 degree Celsius and maximum temperature is 23 degree Celsius. During this month there is no possibility rain and has no humidity. You should start your visit little late in the morning because fog of the night disappears till late morning. People have a wrong concept in their mind about the Agra weather in December and they think that it is not good to plan Agra visit just because it is cold. However, it is fun to enjoy your tour in the warmth of the sun and enjoying hot Indian Cuisines with special north Indian tea. 4. what are the good places to eat( no we are not planning to eat at ITC mughal for every meal 😛) we might do one fancy meal but mostly would like to try good local food which will be easier on elders and kids stomach. also moms and dads will probably not be able to walk a lot and need sitting so will the kids. There are many local and good restaurants In Agra Like Pind Balluchi , Pinch of spice and many more. 5. next day we will need tempo to transfer us to Delhi. how much should we expect to pay? For an overnight tour Agra the prices will be 16000 – 18000/- Regards, Shilpi Khanna

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