Decide The Excellent Indian Cafe Inside Melbourne

Decide The Excellent Indian Cafe Inside Melbourne

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Savoring the Royal Cuisine of Rajasthan | DestinAsian

By Daven Wu – March 25, 2019
The principalities of India’s largest state may be a thing of the past, but their once-royal cuisine lives on in the kitchens of aristocrats turned hoteliers. A lunch spread at Shahpura Bagh includes gobi tamatar (cauliflower with tomatoes), minced lamb kebabs, raita with chickpea crisps, and baingan bharta, a mash of roasted eggplant.
Despite all my reading up on the place, I simply wasn’t prepared for Rajasthan. How could I have been? That unending horizon of burnt orange; the sudden flash of saffron and deep blue saris on the edge of dun-hued roads; camels accessorized with henna tattoos and beaded bridles; crimson- robed sadhus (holy men) who lingered outside temples and stared up at the sun. I’d never seen, let alone imagined, a land so enigmatic and exotic.
And then there’s the food: the soft creamy hues of dhal, the charred perfume of deep purple eggplants crackling on an open flame, the dark wheat breads still warm and smoked from the tandoor. As I would learn during my stay at a clutch of royal residences turned bijou hotels, Rajasthan’s cuisine is not only incredibly spiced, but it also carries the deep imprint of geography and history. The bar at Ramathra Fort.
A vast swath of rocky desert and dry scrub-cloaked hills in northwest India, Rajasthan is truly ancient. Though the border lies just a few hours’ drive from New Delhi, it might as well be another world altogether. Here, 6,000 years ago, the Indus Valley civilization took root, incubating and nurturing some of the finest elements of Indian religion, literature, arts, and music.
At least 21 kingdoms—some dating back two millennia—claimed Rajasthan as their ancestral home. Which explains why the state is so crowded with old forts and palaces. That so many have survived remarkably intact or well maintained is due to the kind of hardy resourcefulness that still permeates their kitchens. Rajasthan’s flat plains are cut through by the Aravalli Hills and scored by the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. There is no moisture in the air and the land seems to be in a perpetual state of arid dryness. This, along with the scarcity of fresh vegetation, especially during the extreme heat of summer, led intrepid chefs to create a cuisine based on dishes that could be stored for days and served without reheating. The scarcity of water also meant that dairy products such as ghee, milk, and paneer were used in its place, while dried beans and legumes like lentils and chickpeas formed an unusually delicious foundation that has lasted to this day. A bird’s-eye view of Chhatra Sagar, a tented camp that sits atop an 1890-built stone dam.
One late-summer morning in a grassy clearing where royal elephants were once stabled, I watched as Gitanjali Raj Pal, the doyenne of Ramathra Fort, supervised the preparation of lunch. After being blistered on an open flame, large eggplants embedded with garlic cloves were mashed and then fried with turmeric, red chilies, and fresh coriander. On another flame, minced mutton was sautéed with bay leaves, cardamom, peppercorns, fresh peas, and yogurt.
“None of these recipes is documented,” Gitanjali told me. “You could have eight to ten versions of the same keema matar we’re cooking. If you like the dish to be whiter, you add more yogurt. Redder, add more chilies.”
Her cook, she noted, is of the second generation to serve her family. “You will find it’s mostly men who do the cooking here. The women have no time—they’re too busy with the animals, tending the fields, raising the children, and all the other housework!” A meal in the making at Shahpura Bagh.
We ate well during our stay at Ramathra Fort, a 17th-century citadel that sits on a hilltop overlooking eastern Rajasthan’s Kalisil Lake and a vista of scrubby flatlands straight out of a Paul Scott novel. Every meal was a feast of flavors—thinly cut emerald green baby okra spiced with dried red chilies, fried yam chips, paneer stewed with peas—all souped up with mango and lemon chutneys.
Gitanjali’s husband, Ravi Raj Pal, a charming man with a majestic mustache, comes from a long line of thakurs (feudal lords) who claim descent from Lord Krishna. The renovation of the fort, he told me, took 17 years, and today, it’s supplemented by an organic farm at the foot of the hill where his father lives in a low-slung mansion and oversees 1,500 fruit trees and fields of cabbages and radishes.
With Ramathra Fort as the template, the rest of our trip unfolded in a procession of passing landscapes that led, always, to a jeweled residence and another spread of home-cooked meals made from recipes that have been passed down through uncounted royal generations. Accommodations at Ramathra Fort include six Rajput-style tents set up in the 17th-century citadel’s inner courtyard.
Some 250 kilometers to the southwest at Shah-pura Bagh, we were welcomed by Mandvi Singh Rathore, the bubbling mistress of the house and niece-in-law of Rajadhiraj Indrajit Deo, the 16th raja of Shahpura. “I hope you like to eat,” she said as she showed us around the family’s 150-year-old estate, which opened its doors to paying guests in 2005. “Our previous cook came here as a boy and worked for four generations of our family. He died last year. But he trained our current cook.” With a cheerful tilt of her head, she added, “He’s very good.”
And so he was. In a garden courtyard shaded by mango trees, we ate like pretenders to the throne as barefoot retainers and an elderly majordomo nattily done up in a Nehru jacket presented us with a succession of dishes. Each was extraordinary, whether the minced lamb kebabs, curries of spinach and yellow split peas, baingan bharta (a mash of roasted eggplant), unleavened chickpea pancakes topped with turmeric and coriander, or boondi dumplings.
When we left the next day for the three-hour drive to Chhatra Sagar, Mandvi reminded us to say hello to her cousin, who was married to one of the tented camp’s owners. “We’re all related!” she smiled, referencing the dynastic web that still binds Rajasthan’s extant nobility, many of whom are now hoteliers. A cooking demo at dev Shree with owner Shatrunjai Singh, his wife Bhavna kumari, and his mother.
The road to Chhatra Sagar cuts through rocky granite ranges and towns thick with red dust, angular one-humped cows, and black-haired pigs. It’s a landscape that probably hasn’t changed that much since at least 1890, when, at a cost of 100,000 rupees, the then Thakur of Nimaj dammed a stream flowing through his estate to collect the monsoon rains.
The resulting lake is, today, the spectacular setting for 11 perfectly conceived white canvas tents that stretch along the length of the stone barrage. Here, the thakur’s descendants—brothers Nandi and Harsh Rathore and their cousin Raj Rathore—preside over a wildly beautiful aquatic landscape fringed with marshlands roamed by antelopes, leopards, and hares. “We stopped farming the land 15 years ago to attract wildlife. The boars have returned,” Nandi said with satisfaction.
In the evenings, after preprandial drinks by a blazing campfire, we dined by candlelight on rice studded with capsicums and carrots, lentil nuggets cooked with spinach and cumin, vegetable stews of small white onions, tomatoes, melons, and green beans, raita spiked with pomegranate and sprouted lentils, triangles of millet and maize breads, and lotus-seed pudding sweetened with rose water and milk. Every bite, every meal was a revelation. “These are all family recipes,” said Raj, who also leads afternoon bird-watching tours through the 400-hectare estate. “The vegetables come from the local farms.”
As memorable as the meals had been to this point, we were floored by the quality of the kitchen at our last stop, Dev Shree. Situated three hours north of Udaipur on the outskirts of Deogarh, this seven-room Relais & Chateaux property feels completely out of time, a sepia-tinted relic of a bygone era when sari-clad maharanis trailed through marbled corridors out onto lawns where guests played croquet and the family dog chased peacocks and waterbirds into the mirror-flat Ragho Sagar lake. Utensils and spices used during the same cooking session.
A surprise, then, to learn that Shatrunjai Singh only built this handsome yellow mansion in 2010, albeit on land that, along with 210 neighboring villages, had either been owned by, or connected to, his royal family since 1670. “Actually, we trace our family tree all the way back to the fifth and sixth centuries,” Shatrunjai said with all the nonchalance of a titled scion. As it turns out, his family and the Rathores at Chhatra Sagar all went to the same boarding schools in Ajmer, India’s equivalent of Eton. “Yes, we all know each other. Or we’re related.”
His wife Bhavna, meanwhile, mines old family recipes and ancient cookbooks to set on the table a cornucopia of Rajasthani delicacies. One after another, the dishes emerged from the kitchen—an avalanche of pappadams folded into curries to thicken the gravy, a vegetable pulao of peas and carrots, clouds of fried poori paired with gourd and potato curries, and bright-red sweet tomato chutney. Tomorrow, I swore to myself, even as I helped myself to a second serving of spinach halva—thick, green, sweet, and utterly addictive—tomorrow, I start the diet.
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Kenya Travel Guide

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Kenya has a reputation for being a remarkable breeding ground. Anthropologists recognize it as one of the birthplaces of humankind; in the West, it’s also known as the country where Barack Obama’s father and numerous marathon winners were born. But Kenya is also growing as a center of commerce in East Africa. For both business trips and leisure travel, Kenya has much to offer its visitors.
In addition to the famed Masai Mara Game Reserve, in southwestern Kenya, where safari aficionados can view lions, giraffes, and zebras from the comfort of a jeep, the country allows its guests the chance to explore amazing beaches and city life. We recommend taking a few weeks to explore Kenya: from the bustling streets of Nairobi to the coastal peacefulness of Mombasa and the intriguing and eye-opening landscapes of safari reserves, Kenya is one of Africa’s jewels
1. Masai Mara Game Reserve : Photographs and film cannot begin to be equivalent to seeing the amazing Big Five game—lions, African elephants, Cape buffalo, leopards, and black rhinoceros—right in front of you during a safari. “Big Five” is a traditional hunting term that refers to the five animals most difficult to hunt, given their aggressive nature (game hunting is largely illegal in Kenya). Check with your hotel about booking a multiday safari. Take it from us: it is worth the time and the money to invest in an experience that will supply you with memories (and pictures!) for a lifetime.
2. Wildebeest Migration at Masai Mara : From July to September, one of the most magnificent of events takes place throughout the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The wildebeest migration comprises hundreds of thousands of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and other animals in a stampede for grazing land. While one can observe the move from a safari vehicle, we highly recommend the renting of a hot air balloon for viewing the wildebeest migration or even just to see the beauty of the Mara.
3. Nairobi : As Kenya’s capital and its most populated city, Nairobi is teeming with activities, foods, and naturally beautiful phenomena. Whether you are looking to go shopping in a mall or an outdoor market, eat traditional Kenyan cuisine or game meat, hike in a game reserve, or roam the busy streets of East Africa’s largest city, Nairobi is worth a few days of your time. For more information, check out our dedicated page on Nairobi.
4. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Giraffe Center : These two animal centers stand out as offering some of the best daytime activities in Nairobi. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust specializes in raising orphaned elephants and black rhinos and reintroducing them to the wild. Every morning, visitors can watch the elephants be fed and bathed. Few sights are more charming than that of these young creatures interacting with the center’s staff, and the daily program provides you with insight into the techniques and rationale for the center’s goals. ( +254 (0) 202 301 396 ; rc-h@africaonline.co.ke)
Ever kissed a giraffe? It might serve you well. Giraffes have foot-long tongues that get plenty of sunlight during feeding times, and the animals have eaten acacia tree thorns for generations. Thus, giraffe saliva has antiseptic, sunproofing properties, so don’t be afraid of a smooch here or there! The center is home to the endangered Rothschild giraffe, and in addition to getting close to the animals, visitors can spend some time learning about the center’s history and mission. We guarantee that the Giraffe Center will provide you with one of the best photo opportunities of your trip.
5. Nairobi National Park : With giraffes in one direction and skyscrapers in the other, this park is the only protected area in the world in close proximity to a capital city (it’s seven kilometers from Nairobi). More than 400 species of birds having been observed—as well as leopards, lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, black rhinos, and more—the Nairobi National Park is worth a day’s visit. We recommend that you ask your hotel for the names of reputable touring companies that can take you through the park. You will need to take a valid passport to the park’s entrance in order to be granted entry. ( +254-20-600800 ; reservations@kws.go.ke)
6. Fort Jesus and Old Town in Mombasa : Mombasa’s (LINK TK) Fort Jesus stands at the crossroads of the city’s tangled history with Europe and the Middle East. The Portuguese built this stronghold in 1593 and spent the next hundred years fighting with the Arabs to maintain control. When the British ruled Mombasa, the fort was turned into a prison, and in 1958 the area was made a national park. The architecture is worth gazing at, the museum has centuries-old artifacts, and the fort is a great jumping-off point for a trip into Old Town.
The beauty of the ancient buildings of Old Town makes this neighborhood a must-see during your visit to Mombasa. Ornate carved doors and balconies, built in the 1600s, reflect a Portuguese influence, while the street design and architecture display touches of the Middle East.
7. Lamu : This one-vehicle island is a world away from mainland Kenya, with its 1700s-era architecture and predominantly Muslim population. If you’re on the water, take a ride in a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing vessel; if you’re on land, walking is the best method to explore places like Lamu Town, where you can eat fresh seafood and explore winding streets and colorful markets. The best way to get to the island is by plane, a short trip from Nairobi; check with your hotel or a local travel agent about your trip to Lamu.
8. Amboseli National Park : For a safari that’s off the beaten path, we recommend Amboseli National Park, with its view of Mount Kilimanjaro as a gorgeous backdrop. Because it is one of the smaller parks in Kenya, visitors are more likely to spot the endangered black rhinoceros, as well as the other four members of the Big Five.
9. Mount Kenya : The second-highest mountain on the entire continent of Africa, Mount Kenya is located in the central region of the country. While reaching its summit requires some prior mountaineering experience, many lesser peaks and beautiful glaciers are accessible by hiking paths. We recommend that you plan your visit to Mount Kenya during peak weather periods (January and February, and late August until September). The mountain trails are perfect for viewing wildlife and flora. Any trip into Mount Kenya National Park should be organized with a registered guide; that is the only way to ensure your safety, for the paths throughout the park can be confusing.
10. Great Rift Valley : Commonly referred to as “the cradle of humanity,” the Great Rift Valley has been a central location for excavations of early human skeletons and artifacts. Worth checking out is Lake Nakuru, which attracts thousands of vibrant pink flamingos. We also recommend seeing Lake Naivasha, a freshwater body that is frequented by groups of hippos, water buffalo, and an amazing variety of birds. You can take a single-day or a multiday safari through the Great Rift Valley; just check with your hotel staff for their recommendations for trustworthy touring companies.
11. The Karen Blixen Museum :
Karen Blixen Museum was once the centre piece of a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills owned by Danish Author Karen and her Swedish Husband, Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke. Located 10km from the city centre, the Museum belongs to a different time period in the history of Kenya. The farm house gained international fame with the release of the movie ‘Out of Africa’ an Oscar winning film based on Karen’s an autobiography by the same title.
Set in expansive gardens, the museum is an interesting place to wander around. The Museum is open to the Public every day (9.30 am to 6pm) including weekends and public holidays. Visitors are encouraged to be at the Museum by 5.30. Guided tours are offered continuously.
12. Wasini Island :Wasini Island is a very sparsely populated area and it’s only 10 kilometers from Kisite Mpunguti Marine national Park. Wasini is a coral island that is traditionally inhabited by the Vumba people, an indigenous group of coastal bantu speaking community with a very rich culture and history. Known by many people as “paradise on earth”. At first, this might sound like another inane slogan but Lamu’s little sister truly is a unique haven of peace and tranquility.
13. The Ruins of Gedi :
The ruins of Gedi are a historical and archaeological site near the Indian Ocean coast of eastern Kenya. The site is adjacent to the town of Gedi (also known as Gede) in the Kilifi District and within the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.
Set in an idyllic location on the Indian Ocean, and buried deep in a lush forest, the town was thought to have been founded in the early 13th-century. It is one of many medieval Swahili-Arab coastal settlements that stretch from Mogadishu, Somalia to the Zambezi River in Mozambique.
14. Thomson Falls : Thomson’s Falls is a 74 metres scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Ng’iro river, a few Kilometres from Lake Ol Bolossat, which drains from the Aberdare Mountain Range. It was discovered in 1883 by Joseph Thomson, a Scottish geologist and naturalist. Located in Nyahururu, it is a relatively easy stop on an itinerary dominated by wildlife viewing.
15. Diani Beach : Diani Beach is a resort area on the Indian Ocean, 30 km south of Mombasa. It’s the most tourist-oriented beach of South Coast. It is separated from the Tiwi Beach to the north by the Kongo River. Diani beach has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for the third time running since 2015.
Geography plays a large part in helping tourists choose the best times for visiting Kenya. Most of the country has two wet and two dry seasons. April is the wettest month, and August is the driest; on average, February is the hottest month, and July is the coolest. Because of Nairobi’s elevation, the city typically has low temperatures year-round, making it a popular destination regardless of the time of year. As for the rest of the country, the climate varies significantly from the tropical coast to the arid interior, where drought is common. The hottest and driest weather generally occurs from January through March—ideal for bird-watching and safaris. Because of the agreeable weather, that is prime tourist season, so plan accordingly.
The annual (and astonishing) wildebeest migration takes place from July until September, when thousands of wildebeest and zebras travel across the Masai Mara National Reserve. The sight of the migration is one you will never forget, and we highly recommend that you plan your trip around this outstanding event.
Visas: Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end of your visit to Kenya. You should have available at least two blank pages in your passport for your visa and entry/exit stamps. Visas can be obtained in advance from a Kenyan embassy or consulate and can also be purchased at the airport in Kenya. As of May 2009, a single-entry visa costs $25, and a multiple-entry visa costs $50.
A yellow fever immunization card may be requested when you enter Kenya, so visit your local physician or health clinic before your departure and be sure that you have the required vaccinations.
Transportation: Most international flights will arrive in and depart from Nairobi. The city has two main airports, Jomo Kenyatta International and Wilson Airport. If you are flying in or out of Kenya, you will most likely use Jomo Kenyatta. Wilson Airport is primarily for domestic travel; a limited numbe
r of flights around the African continent fly from Wilson, though.
Public transportation is available in larger cities. The government-owned Kenya Bus Service manages many bus routes, but the most popular public transportation method is privately owned minibuses called matatus. While matatus definitely offer the cheapest way to get around, they are also the most congested, as drivers will squeeze in as many passengers as they can. Be prepared for a squished ride.
In most of the cities, especially in areas that are popular with tourists, taxis are available for hire. They can provide a more convenient and safer alternative to public transportation, but taxis are also going to be more expensive. Be sure to negotiate a price before you get into the car, to prevent being overcharged. If you are looking to take a private vehicle service between cities, you’d do well to confer with your hotel staff for advice on reputable companies
Kenya Railways and the Kenya Bus Service, as well as numerous privately owned bus lines, all operate out of Nairobi and travel throughout the country.
Mobile Phones: If your mobile phone uses the GSM 900 system (standard with European mobiles, but most American and Canadian phones run on the 850/1900 system), you will be able to use it in Kenya. Be prepared to spend large amounts of money on phone calls, however. Your best and cheapest alternative is to buy a SIM card from one of the two main companies that sell them in Kenya, Safaricom and Zain. SIM cards and reload credits are sold all over the country. A word to the wise: text messages are significantly cheaper than phone calls, and the reception of text messages is free.
Concerned about your safety as you plan travel to Kenya? We at Africa.com, together with our friends, family and colleagues, travel extensively throughout the continent. Here are the resources we consult when thinking of our safety in Kenya:

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“Jack of All Trades”

On arrival into a packed reception area you give your name and to be honest it seemed that regardless of whether or not you had a reservation there was a wait, in our case 40 minutes. Once in you either order drinks or get the bottomless glass and fill up yourself. Then grab a plate and off you go. There is a huge array of cuisines on offer and we tried a little of most of them, mainly bland and ok but no, there was not a really good curry, a really good pasta or chinese food in fact the only thing which looked good was the roast beef on the carvery section. As the title suggests Jack of All Trades and Master of None. An ok meal, not great, the saving grace was that the children loved it! I think for similar money you would be better off going to say an Indian restaurant of course the main selling points are the diversity of cuisines and the one price for all you can eat but honestly, not great

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Kavita Kaushik’s husband gives befitting reply to a stranger for calling him shorter than his wife

F.I.R fame Kavita Kaushik and her husband, Ronnit Biswas , certainly know how to give it back to haters, who talk ill about their relationship. The actress shared one such incident at the airport lift recently, where a stranger commented on how her husband was shorter than her.
The gentleman suggested Ronnit to wear heeled boots to look taller than his wife. Before Kavita could reply, her husband picked her up and told the man how he doesn’t mind her being taller than him.
The caption of Kavita’s post read, “So, a gentleman at the airport lift tried to be funny while me n Ron were standing besides each other matching shoulders and said “you should wear heeled boots so you look taller than your wife “ now before I could come up with a witty sarcy one liner my elated hubby picking up his wife after a long shoot schedule replied, “She will always be “higher” n I love it.”
View this post on Instagram So , a gentleman at the airport lift tried to be funny while me n Ron were standing besides each other matching shoulders and said “you should wear heeled boots so you look taller than your wife “ now before I could come up with a witty sarcy one liner my elated hubby picking up his wife after a long shoot schedule replied ,.. “She will always be “higher” n I love it” ❤️ Thank you @drinkauric for keeping our energy level high too after his gym and my yoga with these awesome n natural drinks ! We are addicted to them 🥰 @justronnit has picked me up and just left the building 😂 P.s- not a paid partnership but we genuinely love these drinks 🤗
A post shared by Kavita (@ikavitakaushik) on Mar 24, 2019 at 3:19am PDT
It’s been over two years that Kavita and Ronnit have been married. On the occasion of their wedding anniversary in January, Kavita had even posted a special video and penned down her thoughts about her unique ceremonies.
View this post on Instagram All weddings are special, all dreams are important and all journeys unique , however the most proud moment for me was when I got married .. following the right rituals and breaking all man made norms ,taking pheras around the akhand jyot (the fire burning from the havan of shiv Parvati’s wedding which has never been extinguished since satyug) {whoa!!i still get goose bumps thinking of it} ,amidst the snowfall which felt like my father was decorating the mountains with white flowers smiling from heaven wiping those tears, wearing no big designer but the saaree my father bought for my mother decades back, no celeb guest list but a bunch of loving friends n family who adamantly came despite me warning them about the weather in the Himalayas and land slides, with no world cuisine served but Indian food made by the few of us which served 100 or more villagers and children (truly the most delicious food I’ve ever had), this by far will be the happiest day of my life when I took charge of my life in the true sense, a close relative said a day prior to the wedding that since my groom is not a super rich/famous guy and is a simple man with a simple job he will leave me in less than 2 years time.. Hope shez reading this ..I wish her peace and love which I have today like never before🙏🏼 Happy 2nd anniversary my king @justronnit as you turned a wild cat into a graceful Queen ,it’s not mine but your quality and your love ❤️🙏🏼 I love you and so proud of you, now pls let’s go back to the Himalayas ❤️ #trijuginarayanwedding #trijuginarayan Fun Highlights: Groom in jacket, thermals inside😛 me in a backless blouse 🤘🏽😎 My head dupatta is a simple fulkaari from Punjab when he came to see me at my first film shoot ,the first thing he ever bought for me ! I jumped into the freezing waters of river kali on our way back from the wedding ! 👌best thing eva!! Groom was feeling so cold that he refused to disrobe at suhaagraat n slept instead 😂
A post shared by Kavita (@ikavitakaushik) on Jan 26, 2019 at 7:16pm PST
Kavita might have not been seen on the small screen of late due to her Punjabi films, but the actress is still remembered by fans for her role as constable Chandramukhi Chautala in FIR, which also made her a household name.
She has also been part of reality shows including Nach Baliye and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa .

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Wake Up to the World

Select Page Wake Up to the World Exploration of global flavors sparks breakfast creativity The Masala Omelette at Saffron Indian Bistro in San Carlos, Calif., takes a breakfast staple and adds Indian touches, from heavy spice to a crispier structure. PHOTO CREDIT: Saffron Indian Bistro by Flavor & The Menu | March 24, 2019
Breakfast is still booming, and, as the category sees continued interest, innovation keeps things dynamic. When looking for assertive, on-trend, exciting flavors, more chefs are turning their attention toward global hotspots like Japan, Korea, India and Mexico, to name a few. And although there are examples of authentic replication of dishes like Mexican chilaquiles or Japanese congee, what’s really setting things off is the global mash-up.
At Saffron Indian Bistro in San Carlos, Calif., the brunch menu melds American with Indian seamlessly. Its Indian-style grits are served with steamed vegetables and raita. And its Masala Omelet demonstrates how a familiar format can serve as a perfect platform for flavor adventure.
“The Masala Omelette, with onion, ginger, jalapeño, turmeric and chile, is simple yet bursting with the flavors and spices of India,” says Ajay Walia, owner. “Unlike a traditional American omelette that is soft and stuffed with favorites, this one is heavily spiced and crisped on both sides for extra oomph.”
Thanks to a fortified anchor of familiarity provided by a number of different comfort foods, there is no limit to globally inspired breakfast items. Emily Dorio At The Mockingbird in Nashville, Tenn., Mexican-influenced Kiss My Grits includes roasted mushrooms, huitlacoche, epazote and spinach. Mexican Mash-ups
Mexican fare is a familiar fixture in this daypart, thanks to beloved items like breakfast burritos and tacos, and, more recently, chilaquiles and huevos rancheros. But chefs are also leveraging the familiarity and love of Mexican cuisine, tethering ingredients and flavors to traditionally American fare.
At The Mockingbird in Nashville, Tenn., Brian Riggenbach, executive chef, offers Kiss My Grits, which gives a Mexican spin to a Southern staple through the addition of roasted mushrooms, huitlacoche, epazote and spinach.
Also in Nashville, the Mexican chilaquiles get an Indian profile at Chauhan Ale & Masala House , a modern Southern restaurant owned by chef Maneet Chauhan. Chauhan’s Vindaloo Chilaquiles star kachumber (Indian salad), poached eggs, tortillas, Provel cheese and housemade cilantro lime crema.
“Chilaquiles are an essential Mexican breakfast that have now found their way to mainstream American cuisine,” says Chauhan. “We gave them an Indian twist with vindaloo, which is a spicy sauce that’s actually great for Bloody Marys, too.”
In Houston, Common Bond Cafe & Bakery’s Tamale Benedict shows how at-home Mexican flavors are in familiar American formats, featuring ancho pork tamales, fresh avocado, ranchero sauce, two 63-degree eggs and chipotle hollandaise.
Mexican mashing with French fare can be found at Trois Familia in Los Angeles, with brunch items like the Beet Tartare Tostada with cornichon, lime and avocado crema. Chauhan Ale & Masala House Truly a global mash-up, the Vindaloo Chilaquiles at Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville, Tenn., effortlessly blends Indian and Mexican flavors. Japanese Horizon
Chefs have delved into the craveable flavors of Japan over the last few years, translating dishes from okonomiyaki (savory pancake) and ramen to katsu sando (fried pork sandwiches) and karaage (fried chicken). A number of dishes are making their way onto breakfast and brunch menus, including congee (rice porridge) and ramen.
Another Japanese star is emerging. The tamagoyaki is a Japanese omelette with layers of cooked egg rolled together, often flavored with soy and/or sugar. Its appearance on menus reflects both an embrace of Japanese mash-ups and a steadfast love affair with all things egg.
O’Boy in Providence, R.I., serves its version with house miso sauce, mayonnaise, cabbage, scallion and bonito flakes.
And at Pokirrito in San Diego, the Tamagosando is a sandwich that stars the traditional Japanese omelette, along with a choice of teriyaki-marinated, flame-blistered Spam; tempura shrimp with spicy tartar sauce; pounded cutlets of Angus beef; chicken slathered in tonkatsu sauce; and a selection of organic tempura vegetables. Each is wrapped in a freshly toasted sheet of sushi-grade nori. A natural for breakfast or brunch adoptions, tamagoyaki is an on-trend platform for global comfort dishes. Menu Sightings
In the breakfast space, we’re seeing chefs reach for Japanese flavors and ingredients, then meld them into American breakfast fare. Nori Tama Toast : Egg and Japanese mayo spread, green onion, sesame seeds, mozzarella, dried seaweed —Sa-Tén Coffee & Eats, Austin, Texas Breakfast Bento with a shiitake scramble, teriyaki salmon, rice, pea greens and miso soup —The Lobster Club, New York Salmon Ochazuke : Pan-fried rice, green-tea broth, poached egg, pickled mustard green, lotus, hijiki, green onion, pickled plum —B Star, San Francisco Doriyaki + Affogato : Japanese pancake sandwich, adzuki bean, vanilla ice cream, Gracenote espresso —Pagu, Cambridge, Mass.
From the Mar/Apr 2019 issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription .

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Hotels, Apartments, airbnb and London Neighborhoods

Living the sweet retirement lifestyle Hotels, Apartments, airbnb and London Neighborhoods Posted on March 24, 2019
We are just about ready to board our British Air flight to the Holy Land and the United Kingdom for our Spring Fling! But before we do, let me update the readers of this blog on the latest steps of our travel planning. First, we continue to watch the BBC for news about Brexit. It is amazing to watch the nation of the United Kingdom go through so many gyrations as they wrestle with their divorce from the European Union! We originally had the impression that Brexit would be a done deal by the time we arrived but that is apparently no longer the case. We may very well arrive when the country will be in more turmoil than it currently is with Brexit! This could be a big deal or just an adjustment to the exchange rates for US Dollars to British Pound Sterling. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Back to the things we can control. Our tour package in Israel includes the hotels, so there is no planning necessary on our part. Now the UK portion of the trip is all we had to worry about. Our first steps were to decide where to stay on arrival in London. We will be arriving in the evening and the next morning we need to be in London for our train ride to Edinburgh. We decided that our best bet was to stay at an airport hotel since it would be quite late to travel into London after waiting to pass through customs. Why do I think that will be the case? The reason is that our last trip to London was also an evening arrival and there was almost no one working in Customs/Immigration at that time. We saw plenty of Customs staff, they just weren’t in the booths checking arriving passengers. They all seemed to be on some type of extended coffee break! It took a couple of hours to pass through Customs, so playing it safe seems like a good idea. Getting to bed early after a long flight is always welcome!
Our next need for a room would be in Edinburgh. We started looking through travel guides and saw that the Royal Mile was the place to be. Next, we looked for hotels near there but because our granddaughter would be travelling with us; we would need two rooms and the prices were getting a bit steep! My wife decided that we had good luck with an apartment we had rented on a trip to Rome, so she started looking for one in Edinburgh. As luck would have, she found one at a good rate. A bonus is that it is located on the Royal Mile!
The last leg of our trip would be several days in London, so we needed another room. I managed to find a good deal near the Russell Square Underground Station, so I booked a hotel room. My granddaughter asked if we wanted her to look for something closer to King’s College where she was taking classes. A day later she sent me a text with an airbnb near there. Now just a little background. A few years ago, my wife and I stayed at a Bread & Breakfast Inn in France. The accommodations were great, the hosts were great, but I did not like being in a stranger’s home! I told my wife no more B&Bs for me! Now an airbnb looks like the same thing without the breakfast. I was willing to try it until I learned that we would share the living room with our host. I told my granddaughter to keep looking.
As it happened, her Dad was traveling internationally on business and he went to visit her in London and stayed at a different airbnb. This was a self-contained apartment with no sharing of facilities with the host! It has a kitchen and there is a small grocery store on the street level. This will help us save a few dollars or pounds on food expenses! My wife and I decided to rent that one for our visit. I still have some reservations, but we will give it a try!
Now a few words about our London itinerary. We have visited London in the past and had the opportunity to see most of the popular sights. Our challenge for this trip was to develop a plan to see some other aspects of London. We decided to visit some of the distinct neighborhoods and communities that are populated by people from other parts of the world. This meant we had to research these neighborhoods and here is the list we decided would make an interesting visit.
Brixton
The Brixton neighborhood in London is considered by some to be the center of the British African-Caribbean community in the UK. Approximately 24% of the population is of Caribbean or African ancestry. Many different languages and dialects can be found here and one of the most common is Patois which is a Jamaican dialect. My wife and I have visited some islands of the Caribbean in the past and we do enjoy Jamaican cuisine. There will be many opportunities to dine and taste different cuisine when we visit Brixton!
Camden
Latin food and culture are alive and well in the Camden neighborhood! There are restaurants featuring food from many representatives of the Latin culture such as Cuban, Argentinian, Brazilian and others. The salsa music is hot and can be heard blaring from speakers throughout the area. This will be an exciting part of our visit and I expect we will be “caliente y saltando”! Don’t bother to look up the translation it is “Hot and Jumping”!
Chinatown
It seems that every major city in America has a Chinatown. Turns out that London is also home to a Chinatown neighborhood! London’s Chinatown is in the Westminister area and is packed with supermarkets, bakeries and many, many Chinese restaurants along with restaurants from other Asian countries.
Eastern Europe
The neighborhood of Waltham Forest contains shops, markets and restaurants that give the area a taste of being in Eastern Europe. As you might imagine this area of London is the home to a high concentration of people of Eastern European descent.
Golders Green
This community is a very diverse one with a mix of cultures such as Japanese, Turkish, Korean and Italian but it is also the home of a large and dynamic Jewish diaspora. This area started receiving Jewish immigrants in the 1930s as Hitler and Nazism rose to power in pre-World War II Germany. Today, you can find numerous Kosher cafes, shops and books stores that feature Judaica items.
Tooting
With a name like Tooting you would expect to find a very eclectic mix of cultures. That is just the case in the Tooting neighborhood. It is known as the “Little India” and “Curry Corridor”. You will find shops that feature all things Indian and Asian from spice markets to clothing along with numerous restaurants.
Ealing
This neighborhood is also diverse but in recent years it has become largely a community of people of Polish descent. As you would expect there are many restaurants, delis and shops. There is also the Katyn Monument to the 14,500 Polish Prisoners of War who vanished from concentration camps in Kozielsk, Starobielsk and Ostaszkow in 1940, https://www.katyn.org.au/akuras.html .
As you can see there is a great deal to see and experience in some of London’s neighborhoods. We will do our best to visit all these areas during our sojourn. Fortunately, the London Underground will provide convenient access to these locations. We could purchase an Oyster Card for use on the underground via the internet, but we decided to purchase it upon arrival at Heathrow and save a few dollars in service charges.
It is just about time to pack our bags. On that topic, we travel light. We each have one 20-inch suitcase. My wife also carries an under-seat travel bag and I have a backpack with my camera and a few other necessities. We have found that to be more than enough luggage for a trip of this length. As a matter of fact, we travelled for 3 months in Europe in 2013 with this same configuration of luggage. We found that if we needed something that we didn’t bring, it was usually no problem to purchase it while abroad. Turns out with careful planning for the contents of our luggage we did not need to purchase much at all!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Please come back to www.dansepourdeux.wordpress.com to read about our adventures in Israel and the United Kingdom. I may try to post some articles from the road, so please check-in. Advertisements

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Great hotel near to airport

we found it very good hotel near to airport and adjacent to one of the famous mall of kolkata. Everything is in door step. nHotel is very quite and clean, rooms are found spacious and clean. Bathroom is also clean, hygiene and spacious. Food is good and tasty. There are 2 restaurants we tried, Durbar, the Indian restaurant is little expansive. Breakfast is really good with lots of varieties including Indian cuisine. nThe best part we found is that hotel is next to a mall where there is enough shops and eateries to hang out, mall has got direct entry from the hotel as well. nWe found staffs are also good, polite and helping. We appreciate for allowing late check out also on request. nThe bathroom does not have any locking system from inside sometimes it annoying while traveling with kids 😁.nOverall a high rated 5 star property in kolkata, surely recommend.

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For UNESCO and with the Zanzibar mission (155Cong.Rec.E2761)

Follow me as I take my third shot at international living — but for the first time under the auspices of the U.S. government — in Tijuana, Mexico; Islamabad, Pakistan; London, England; and Kyiv, Ukraine. Sunday, March 24, 2019 For UNESCO and with the Zanzibar mission (155Cong.Rec.E2761) Zanzibar is definitely raking in the tourists with its all-inclusive beach resorts , but it’s worth a visit for history as well. On the night before my flight home, I spent one night in a piece of its past: the Tembo House Hotel (top left). The building once housed the American consulate, which made me wonder what was located in my extravagant bathroom; it was a little too generous to be a visa window (top right). On the balcony, I imagined a friendly nod to Gandhi, who stayed there after it became a large Indian trading house (bottom left). The restoration to re-enact colonial times left me feeling a bit conflicted, but it sure was beautiful (bottom right). The hotel also includes a bit of modern history. It has turned an adjacent building, the Freddy Mercury House , into an exclusive apartment accommodation (top). The family of Mercury, who was born in Stone Town, would return to this house for vacation after they fled to England during the Zanzibar Revolution. The building has an imposing entrance, but it’s tame compared to the other famous doors of Stone Town (bottom left). During a tour, our guide showed how to recognize whether they were of Indian or Arabic origin; hint: it’s all in the script (bottom right). Stone Town’s architecture , in general, has earned it designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (top left). With that as a tourist draw, lots of investment is being put into renovations of buildings, such as the icicle facade of the Old Dispensary (top right). The city almost lost its designation when the Mambo Msiige became part of the Park Hyatt (bottom). UNESCO doesn’t look kindly on historical places being co-opted as commercial properties, but it relented in the face of a multitude of significant sites. Mambo Msiige means “do not copy do not imitate,” the Omani builder’s message to other palace owners. Later, it was converted to a hospital, where David Livingstone’s body was brought on its way back to England. In Christ Church hangs a cross made from the wood of the tree under which Livingstone’s heart is said to be buried (top left). The church was deliberately built on the former Slave Market Site in Stone Town, not long after slavery was outlawed (top right). Just a few steps and stairs from the chapel is an underground holding cell (bottom left). The church complex also includes a museum and memorial about slavery, which sadly continued for many years even after it became illegal (bottom right). Nowadays, there is no institutionalized servitude, but vendors slave away at Darajani Market , home to covered stone stalls for meat (top left) and makeshift seafood corners (top right). The area is a bit rank, especially considering the limited refrigeration and hot weather, but smells from spices and other products, such as drying flowers (bottom left), counteract some of the odor. And fresh sugar-cane juice, mixed with ginger and lime, is a good antidote to the heat (bottom right). Juice vendors feature prominently at the nightly Forodhani Food Market (top left). Hawkers have on offer many culinary delights, like shwarma and bhajis, but most stands display a variety of raw items available to be cooked to order (top right). I skipped the BBQ and selected a Zanzibar pizza , which was grilled before my eyes (bottom left). Then all eyes were on me — by the local litter of cats, at least — as I sat on a nearby bench to eat it (bottom right). Food is just one indication of the cultures that have melded in Zanzibar over the years, including, for starters, traders from across the Indian Ocean. I was super happy that my hotel’s breakfast buffet included a variety of Indian dishes like samosas and aloo matar (top left). It had been so long since I had proper-spicy Indian cuisine that I double-downed with some curry for lunch at Lazuli Cafe (top right). The menu at Swahili House wasn’t Indian-oriented, but Bollywood music played in the elevator to the rooftop bar, where I enjoyed a perfect panorama of the city (bottom left) and a colorful cocktail (bottom right). The archipelago, but not mainland Tanzania, was once a sultanate of Oman, whose influence can be seen in their extravagant constructions. The Palace Museum offers amazing views of the ocean (top left), but it’s not too shabby inside, considering it used to be a palace (top right). As a museum it contains various artifacts, including a cannon gift from the United States, but I liked the portable washroom, which the ruling class would use during safaris (bottom left). Right next door sits another Omani palace, called the House of Wonders because it was the first building on the island to have electricity (bottom right). The first occupier of Zanzibar, however, was Portugal, after Vasco de Gama visited at the end of the 15th century. During the two centuries the island remained in Portuguese possession, they built structures like the Old Fort to protect their other interests on the east coast of Africa (top left). Other remaining ruins include an amphitheater, which had recently been used for an open-air break-dancing competition (top right), and an arch still standing down the road from the High Court , another architectural delight (bottom). But the most ancient and perhaps most enduring contributions to Zanzibar culture are from the Arabian Peninsula and Persia. Although a sultan contracted Iranians to build the Hamamni Persian Baths in the 19th century, their ancestors likely once visited similar community pools in Stone Town (left). They and their Yemeni compatriots left a lasting religious legacy. Multiple mosque towers rise above the compact downtown, rivaled only by the sole spire of St. Joseph’s Cathedral (right). Right before independence, Zanzibar was a British protectorate. But despite that, tea never took over as the preferred tipple. Coffee became even more popular when farmers from mainland Africa brought their arabica beans to town, opening outlets like Zanzibar Coffee House (top left). Coffee is grown on the island, but plantations near Arusha provide most of the product for Stone Town cafes (top right). After a sweaty walk around town, an espresso didn’t sound enticing, but an iced latte accompanied by the breeze of a rooftop cafe sure did (bottom). But let’s be honest, most of the time, when I stopped to hydrate, a lager was at the top of my list. At Travellers Cafe , I took a load off with a Serengeti Lager (top left) while I watched locals play pickup soccer on the sand below (top right). Another night, I put down a Kilimanjaro Lager at Tatu Pub (bottom left) before I headed to the nearby beach to take in a hazy sunset (bottom right).

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Mama’s Bhindi Okra :: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

Print FTC Disclosure : Delicious Obsessions may receive comissions from purchases made through links in this article. Read our full terms and conditions here . Okra lovers, unite! My Mama’s Bhindi Okra will soon become a new favorite in your weekly menu rotation. Even if you’re a non-okra lover, give this easy recipe a try. The rich Indian spices and coconut oil create a flavorful dish that even the pickiest of eaters might enjoy.
I have a confession. I pretty much HATE okra. I think it’s gross. Slimy. Icky. I’ve always hated it, even since I was a little kid. I remember my mom occasionally cooking okra when I was a child and it was SO GROSS!
Except when it comes to my Mama’s Bhindi Okra recipe. Something about this recipe has turned me into an occasional okra lover (I’m not full time in the okra love department yet). And I have my mom to thank for that. 🙂 Hence the reason this recipe is named Mama’s Bhindi Okra.
A year or so ago, I went to my folk’s house for weekend lunch and my mom (who is a fantastic cook) had made a pan of this Bhindi Okra. I initially planned on skipping this dish, but as she made it and the fragrant spices filled the house, I thought I might be brave and give it a try.
I was fully prepared not to like it.
But you know what? It wasn’t bad. So I ate a little more. And then I realized it was actually pretty good!
I am a huge fan of curries and Indian flavors in general so it really isn’t surprising that I liked this Bhindi Okra dish too. It just took me getting past my childhood memories of “ick!” to give it another go as an adult. A Little Okra History
Y’all know how I enjoy me some food history. Well, I actually learned some really interesting things when I was researching the origins of this weird plant. Okra is big in the South and my family is all Southern. But, it’s also used regularly in cuisines around the world.
First of all, I had no idea that okra is a member of the mallow family. Which totally make sense now seeing that okra is known for its mucilaginous juice that makes it a bit sticky and “boogery”, especially when it’s boiled or steamed. ( source )
The mallow family includes other plants like hollyhock, hibiscus, cotton. Okra is actually the edible fruit of a specific variety of hibiscus. I am a HUGE hibiscus fan. How did I not know this?! ( source )
Interestingly enough, the true origin of okra is a bit contested. Some folks say it originated in West Africa, while others say it hails from South Asia. As close as scientists can tell, it likely originated in Ethiopia and then made its way into the rest of the world from there. ( source )
The ancient Egyptians cultivated it and even used its seeds as a coffee substitute (I guess it still is used like this in some parts). Today you will find okra as part of the cuisine in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India, Greece, the Caribbean, the Southern U.S., and South America (and our little houses here in Colorado!). ( source ) Mama’s Bhindi Okra Notes
For this Bhindi Okra recipe, you can use fresh or frozen okra. Either one will work. I always use frozen since it’s rare that I see fresh okra around here. And it’s easy to keep a couple of bags of frozen okra in the freezer for those nights when I need a super fast side dish.
If you use frozen okra, make sure you saute the okra first and get it browned before adding the onion and spices. Cooking the frozen okra first helps it not turn as slimy because you cook off a lot of the water that has built up in the freezer.
Speaking of sauteing, make sure you use plenty of coconut oil (or oil of your choice) in this Bhindi Okra recipe. Don’t be afraid to use LOTS of oil. You’ll be surprised how quickly the oil gets soaked into this recipe. I always use more than I think I’ll need, only to need to add a bit more to the pan later on. The oil also helps the okra get a little crispy instead of mushy. My recommendation is to use coconut oil. The flavor pairs perfectly with the spices in this dish.
When it comes to the spices, feel free to experiment with what suits your own taste buds. My mom developed this Bhindi Okra recipe over time by adjusting a little here and a little there. She finally got the proportions just the way she wanted and now this is our classic go-to recipe for okra. But if you like more of one spice, feel free to adjust. Remember what I’ve said in the past about recipes being more like guidelines? Nothing here is set in stone. 🙂 Mama’s Bhindi Okra :: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

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