Wednesday, March 6, 2019 Demographic Segmentation Study of a demographic fragment and its sub segment f exclusivelying in the get along with ag sort out 18 year to 25 years Saneel Gaonkar IBS Gurgaon Study of a demographic segment and its sub segment f exclusivelying in the age collection 18 year to 25 years Introduction Different kinds of mess display divers(prenominal) buying patterns even in a segment of age gathering 18 years to 25 years. This truth is considerably belows similarlyd by those people who be responsible for grocery explore, point of intersection discipline, pricing, sales and strategy.Market part is the identification of portions of commercialise that atomic number 18 una standardized from one anformer(a). Every individual f wholes under one or opposite demographic segment of the society Mr. Philip Kotler has defined a market segment as a group of customers who sh be a interchangeable set of unavoidably and wants (Philip Kotler, 2009). A market segment is a sub-set of a market made up of p eople or organizations with one or more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or operate on tooshied on qualities of those products much(prenominal)(prenominal) as price or function.The criteria that a true market segment should make for argon as follows clear from other segments, homogenous within the segment, it responds similarly to market stimulus and it asshole be reached by means of market intervention. exploreers try to define segments by looking for at descriptive characteristics geographic, demographic and psychographic. Then they examine whether these customer segments express divers(prenominal) need or product responses. Few other questioners stomach tried to define segments looking at behavioural conside dimensionn such as consumer responses to benefits, use make or brands. searchers than picture whether different characteristics argon associated with each consumer response segment. (Philip Kotler, 2009). The key here is to ident ify customer differences. The major(ip) segmentation variables argon Geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation. Living in metropolitan urban center like Mumbai exposes you to a wide competitive market in only sectors. separateing Consumers in Mumbai by use these segmenting techniques gives a thorough idea of the consumers in Mumbai GeographicGeographic segment c every(prenominal)s for division of the market into different geographical units such as nation, states, region, countries, cities or neighborhoods. In India geographic segmentation assumes immensity due to variation in consumer preferences and purchase habits across different regions, and across different states. In India rural and urban markets differ on progeny of different essential parameters like literacy levels, income, spending power. There is a gigantic difference in infrastructure such as electricity, telephone lucre and roads.The need to segment the market geographically becomes cle arr when we look at any(prenominal) of the characteristics of the market. In India at that place are 5000 towns and over 6, 38,000 villages (Pradeep Kashyap, 2003-04) (Philip Kotler, 2009) Region Mumbai falls in Western region of India. There are few signifi batchces of this region that inescapably attention, Maharashtra the state with Mumbai as its capital derives its market-gardening from Indo Aryan Vedic culture influenced by the Maratha Empire and the British Empire. City of MumbaiAccording to 2011 census, the universe of Mumbai was 12,478,447 (The record-keeper General & Census Commissioner, 2011). (censusindia. gov. in) According to extrapolations carried out by the World Gazetteer in 2010, Mumbai has a universe of 13,830,884 and the Mumbai Metropolitan Area has a state of 21,347,412. The population density is estimated to be more or less 20,482 individuals per square kilometer. The sex ratio was 838 (females per 1,000 males) in the island city, 857 in the suburbs, and 848 as a whole in Greater Mumbai, all numbers lower than the national honest of 914 females per 1,000 males. PopulationIndia. com, 2011) The low sex ratio is partly because of the large number of male migrants who come to the city to work (Parsis top literacy, sex-ratio charts in city, 2004) As Per 2011 census, Greater Mumbai, the area under the administration of the BMC, has a literacy rate of 94. 7 %, higher(prenominal) than the national average of 86. 7%. (The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, 2011)Sixteen major languages of India are also spoken in Mumbai, most common being Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and English.The religions followed in Mumbai let in Hindus (67. 39) , Muslims (18. 56%), Buddhists (5. 22%), Jain (3. 99%), Christians (4. 2%), Sikhs (0. 58%), Parsis and Jews making the rest of the population. (Mehta, 2004) Mumbai is also home to the largest population of Parsi Zoroastrians in the world, with about 80,000 Parsis in Mumbai. (The worlds successful diaspo ras) Looking at the selective information it is clear fact that Mumbai is a large market with intelligent customer. Amount of exposure to brands and products a person goes through in Mumbai is vast. CultureThis look into also includes come oning impertinent potential markets in the age group of 18 to 25 years, for this purpose haveing the culture of Mumbai is also essential. The culture of any place is everlastingly determined from its people, cuisine, religion, language and festivals. Mumbai has a mixture of people from various communities and after they follow different religions. The metropolitan observes modern trends here people hold in it away participating in all festivals irrespective of caste, creed and color. Mumbai is the birthplace of Indian cinema. The influence of the Bollywood in the cities culture is observed.The cultural heritage of Mumbai presents a conspiracy of old and fresh. The bindaas or considerfree approach of the Mumbaikars comes alive in their i diomatic expression of Mumbaiya Hindi too. (Principal Cities) Economy Mumbai is the financial and commercial capital of India. It generates 6. 16% of the contribute GDP. It is the economic hub of India, contributing 10% to factory employment 25% of industrial output, 33% of income tax collection, 60% of custom duty collection, 20% interchange excise duty collection ,40% of Indias foreign trade , Rs 4000 crore in corporate taxes. The worlds successful diasporas) In April 2008, Mumbai was ranked seventh in the identify of Top Ten Cities for Billionaires by Forbes magazine, (Forbes Magzine) demographic In demographic segmentation, the market is divided into groups on the basis of variables such as age, family size, family lifecycle, gender, income, occupation, education, religion, race, generation, nationality, and fond class. Demographic variables are very popular among marketers as they are oftentimes associated with consumer postulate and wants another is that they are easy to measure. (Philip Kotler, 2009)Age and Lifecycle Age and Lifecycle are chief(prenominal) variables to define segments as the needs and wants of the consumer change with age. Johnson & Johnsons baby oil which is popular in India is a classic example of product of infants. (Philip Kotler, 2009) This research is cerebrate on the market segment which falls in the age group of 18 years 25 years. Consumers falling into this age group may gain the falling into this group may be college press release educatees, working, pursuing higher education, married and working, having their own business . Their wants and needs differ from each other.College going students will have their own wants and needs, what a college student would need is education, books, c kettle of fishhes, food his wants are a cricket bat, mobile, bike and so forth he may desire to get education in a higher graded college, a car, Touch screen mobile etc. workings consumers have different needs compared to students . Working consumers may need a mobile, laptop, bike, blazers he automatically becomes a future customer to housing development companies, car companies, furniture companies, aviation companies, Food chains, financial service companies, vacation tours and travel package companies etc.Consumer who I married and working may need jewelry for his wife, furniture for his house and other consumer unchangeable and non durable products, prospective customers for car manufacturers, Insurance companies etc. Consumers having their own business may need, a working space, desks, electricity, acs, he may become prospective customer for insurance companies, luxury car companies, High end products etc. So Consumer pursuing higher education falls between these tetrad sub-segments, His needs are all a mixture of all three, he will be getting married so all the needs and wants of a married working is a part of this consumer group.So by this we stick out infer that this wants and needs of this group is a mixture of all the other sub- segments. Slicing this segment further by Gender we influence Men and women are different in their behavior, Research shows that women are promising to pick up the product without prompting while men often like to read product information before buying. (Philip Kotler, 2009) Income Income segmentation is a long standing practice in variety of products and services.Income determines the ability of consumers to put down in the market exchange and hence this is a basic segmentation variable (Philip Kotler, 2009) Slicing the segment on the base of income we may see college going student, Students pursuing higher education are dependent on their familys income , while other sub- segment are earning consumers who control their use of goods and services pattern through their own pocket. Psychographic Segmentation Psychographic Segmentation is the process of using psychology and demographics to better understand consumers.In psychographic segmentation , buyers are divided into different group based on psychological / personality traits, lifestyle or value. People within the same demographic group batch depict very different psychographic profile. (Philip Kotler, 2009) VALS (Values, Attitudes and Lifestyles) (Philip Kotler, 2009)is a research methodology utilize for psychographic market segmentation. VALS was developed in 1978 by Arnold Mitchell and his subordinated at SRI International VALS Framework and Segment Innovator These Consumers have the highest incomes, and such high self-esteem and abundant resources that they spate indulge in any or all self-orientations and are on the leading edge of change, Image is important to them as an expression of taste, independence, and character. Their consumer choices are directed toward the finer things in life. ? Thinkers These consumers are the high-resource group of those who are make by ideals. Their characteristics are mature, responsible, well-educated professionals. They hav e high incomes but are practical consumers and rational decision makers. Believers These consumers are the low-resource group of those who are make by ideals. They are predictable and conservative consumers who favor established brands. They have modest incomes. ?Achievers. These consumers are the high-resource group, prompt by achievement. Work-oriented people who get their bliss from their jobs and families fall under this category. They are politically conservative and respect office staff and the status quo. They favor established products and services that show off their success to their peers. ?Strivers. These consumers are the low-resource group who are motivated by achievements.They have values very similar to achievers but have fewer economic, social, and psychological resources. bearing is extremely important to them as they strive to emulate people they admire. ?Experiencers These consumers are the high-resource group of those who are motivated by self-expression. Th ey are the childlikeest and energetic of all the segments, . They have a lot of energy, which they pour into physical exercise and social activities. They are avid consumers, spending heavily on clothing, fast-foods, music, and other upstart favorites, with position emphasis on new products and services. Makers These consumers with low-resource group of those who are motivated by self-expression. They are practical people with value self-sufficiency. They are focused on the familiar-family, work, and physical recreation-and have little interest in the broader world. As consumers, they appreciate practical and functional products. ?Survivors. These consumers are with lowest incomes. They have too few resources to be included in any consumer self-orientation and are and then located below the rectangle. Oldest of all the segments, with a median age of 61. They hightail it to be brand-loyal consumers.The age group taken into consideration here is 18 to 25 year. Some of them may fa ll into Experiencers segment who are young and energetic and who are motivated by self expression. Some of them are thinkers, i. e. Smart buyers. Behavioral Segmentation Behavioral segmentation divides a population based on their behavior, the way the population respond to, use or know of a product. Consumer behavior is a subject studied in depth over time in marketing management. This is mainly because there are several factors which a consumer takes into consideration before taking a decision.Thus consumer decision making is affected by his behavior and that is salutary how the behavioral segments are targeted. (Philip Kotler, 2009) Forms of Behavioral segmentation Buying on occasions Buying on occasions is the first form of behavioral segmentation. Products such as chocolates and premium foods will sell on festivals. Similarly, confectioneries will sell when there is a party. Thus these products are full generally targeted by behavioral segmentation. Benefits sought Several p roducts are targeted towards the benefits sought by the customer.Recently, there has been a war between Colgate and sensodyne to target the people who have sensitive teeth. Similarly, there are other toothpastes which are targeted towards whitening of teeth. Hair shampoos are targeted towards pull ends, anti dandruff or others. Loyalty There are two slipway to grow a business. First is to acquire new customers and second is to throw your existing customers. The more loyal your customer is to you, the more your customer base will increase. Thats one more kind of behavior which marketers target.The strategy for brand loyal customers is very different from that used for acquiring new customers. Usage rate In residential or commercial segment, the work can be demonstrated in the form of heavy usage, reclaim usage or lesser usage. Taking the example of beauty parlors or personal care. There are some customers who use a lot of personal care products whereas others do not use person al care products much. Thus depending on their usage the customers can be targeted. Among the age group that we are focused on one may find all such behavioral buying patterns.A person can be loyal to one brand for one product , but for other product he may switch brand as he is getting discounts. Research Methodology info Gathering and Analysis To have a clear perception of the term research one should know the meaning of scientific methods. The two main terms, research and scientific method, are closely related. Research as we have already stated can be termed as an inquiry into the nature of, reason for and the consequences of any particular set of the cir semenstances, whether these circumstances are experimentally controlled or recorded just as they occur.Here the researcher is interested more than particular results he is interested in the repeatability of the results and in their extension to more complicated and general situation. Research in common refers to a search for knowledge. Research can also be defined as a scientific and opinionated search for pertinent information on a specific topic. It is normally an art of scientific investigation. The purpose of research is to discover answer to forefront through the application of scientific procedures. The main aim of research is find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet.Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problem. It may be understood as science of studying how research is through with(p) systematically. It has many dimensions and research methods do constitute a part of Research Methodology. The scope of Research methodology is wider than that of research method. 1. Why a research study has been undertaken? 2. How the research problem has been defined? 3. In what way and wherefore the hypothesis has been formed? Are usually answered when we talk of research methodology concerning a research problem or study.Whatever may be the typ es of research works and studies, one thing i. e. important is that they all meet on the common ground of scientific method employed by them. The research methodology can be defined as a way systematically solves the research problem along with the logic croup them. Researchers not only need to how to develop certain indices, how to calculate mean, mode, median and how to apply particular research technique and what would they mean and indicate and why? All this means that it is necessary for the researchers to picture his methodology for his problem.The scope of Research methodology is wider than that of research methods. Thus research methodology deals itself not only with research method but also in considering the logic bottomland the methods used in the research study. Research Design The research design is the conceptual structure within which research is conducted. It is a plan of action, a plan of collecting and analyzing information in economic, efficient and relevant b e manner. It contains the blue print for the collection, measurement & analysis of data. The proposed study is an exploratory cum descriptive.The purpose of preparing research design could be either to test a hypothesis or to give a cause effect affinity to the given situation. The design provides answers for questions such as What techniques will be used to gather data? What kind of sampling will use? As in this case research is to be a vicenary research. We are dealing with 12,478,447 population of Mumbai and slicing it to different segments. The data that has to be undisturbed should be from an authentic source as the research is based on authentic facts of the region. Quantitative researchSystematic empirical investigation of vicenary properties and phenomena and their relationships. Asking a narrow question and collecting numerical data to analyze utilizing statistical methods. The quantitative research designs are experimental, correlation, and survey (or descriptive). Statistics derived from quantitative research can be used to establish the existence of associable or causal relationships between variables. SOURCES OF DATA The data that has to be unruffled has to be authentic, so it should be collected from authentic source like government websites, this type of research require authentic quantitative data.Data collection from primary sources is not a option here. So data has to be collected from tributary sources. subaltern Data Information regarding the project, secondary data was also required. These data were collected from various past studies and other sources like magazines, newspapers, and websites which qualified as reliable. Limitations of the study Limited Access to Secondary data Lack of time Conclusion Mumbai is a large consumer base, the spring chicken population following in the age group of 18 to 25 years itself is diverse in their own ways, each of them have different wants , needs and desires.All of their wants and needs ar e not always satisfied. Markets are oversaturated with products at claim to effectuate their needs some fulfill the needs some partly. Buying decision of the consumer in this age depends upon what he thinks about the product and the brand and the amount of exposure he has gone through for that brand. As we are saying the needs of the consumers may be partially filled, so automatically there is a consumer base who wants something that will fulfill their needs in totality, this brings about a market opportunity for the companies which can be targeted by them, i. . slicing into that segment of Mumbai consumers. Many of the consumers are unconscious of their needs as well, Example, Including the use of day today applied science in household activities etc, there are many untapped markets in Mumbai that has to be exploited by the companies, Consumers of this age group are attracted to new technology and feature, they want to stay ahead of their generation, these wants and desires sho uld be tapped upon by the companies. Bibliography Parsis top literacy, sex-ratio charts in city. (2004, september 8). Times OF India . The worlds successful diasporas. (n. d. ). Retrieved from Managementtoday. co. uk. censusindia. gov. in. (n. d. ). Ranking of districts of Maharashtra by population size 2011. Retrieved from censusindia. gov. in. Forbes Magzine. (n. d. ). Mehta, S. (2004). Maximum City Bombay Lost and found. Philip Kotler. (2009). Marketing Manager- A southeastern Asian Perspective. Dorling Kindersley. PopulationIndia. com, . . (2011, June 1). Populationindia. wordpress. com. Pradeep Kashyap. (2003-04). Selling to the Hinterland. Business World , 88-91. Principal Cities. politics of Maharashtra. Posted by
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Chennai’s Sante Spa Cuisine shines the limelight on clean eating
March 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm
March 05, 2019 17:14 IST
March 05, 2019 17:14 IST Updated: March 06, 2019 14:03 IST
more-in A vegetarian’s delight, Sante Spa Cuisine comes to Chennai with its trademark focus on clean eating
It’s all about the vibe, at the newly opened Sante Spa Cuisine in Nungambakkam. The franchise, started in Pune in 2015 by Sonal Barmecha, has finally come to Chennai, its sixth city. With an increased awareness about healthy eating, and being environment-friendly, owners of Sante Chennai — Ambika Chowgule and her husband, Trivesh Marlecha — figured this would be the right time to bring the franchise to the city.
Gentle notes of a piano float around the patio furniture. On one side of the property are two vertical gardens, a statue of Buddha nestled between them. You can choose to sit here, amidst the greenery, or you can head inside.
Right outside the entrance is a roofed nook, with a library: that is the coffee corner. A facade with halves of tables jutting out of the wall, stacked one on top of the other, functions as the bookshelf. Even the books: Soul Food , Doctor’s Kitchen , Glow , All the Light We Cannot See … seem to gently nudge the customer towards a healthy and soulful lifestyle.
“We wanted this place to serve as a spot for relaxation and de-stressing. That’s why everything you see here is white and green,” Trivesh gestures towards the picket fences and hanging planters.
Sante strives to be as green as possible: the furniture is made of cane, and the crockery, — thick round discs that serve as plates, and bowls for dips — are neem wood. The straws are rolled up banana leaves, and the glasses, copper.
It was in September last year that Ambika and Trivesh bought the old two-storied bungalow. The rooms were removed to provide an open minimal space for indoor seating, next to a live kitchen and smoothie counter.
The space inside seats 45 people, as does the outdoor seating. Outside, the greenery makes up for the balmy weather. However, in the evenings, best head indoors to avoid the summer mosquitoes. There is also a private dining room on the first floor, next to Masami Jewels store, also owned by Trivesh. Dig in
Pune-based celebrity chef Shailendra Kekade, who designs the menu for all Santes, says, that in the past couple of decades, “There has been a trend of just copying what Europeans eat, without looking at what suits our geographical and climatic conditions. Just because a risotto might sound cooler than a khichdi. So here we bring back our traditional nutrition, using Indian ingredients to give them a global customer look.” Which explains the multigrain khakhra with beetroot and spinach hummus, and the whole-wheat spaghetti.
The menu is extensive — with vegan and gluten-free options. They make their own bread: oat rolls, multigrain ciabatta, and grissini. Butter, too, is not store bought, and comes in flavours such as garlic foam, tomato and chilly foam, and chia white.
Activated charcoal resurfaces every now and then in the menu: in the form of bread, hummus or ice creams. As do flax seeds, chia seeds, and moringa . Entire sections are dedicated to smoothie bowls, salads and ‘guilt free’ desserts.
The menu is Continental and Mediterranean, and includes a wide variety of pizzas as well. As is usual in spa cuisines, nothing refined or processed has been used. Which means ragi pizzas and khandasari sugar in desserts.
As Kekade says, “Given that nowadays people are eating out three times a day, it falls on people like us, in the industry, to give them healthier options.”
Sante Spa Cuisine is on Rutland Gate, 2nd Street, Nungambakkam. A meal for two costs approximately ₹1,300. For details, call 9940470000.
London Food Map: where to eat in the capital
Alice Hancock The North
London’s leafy and well-heeled quarter is replete with great pubs, from Hampstead’s plethora of cosy boozers – think the stellar gastronomical fare at The Holly Bush , The Flask and The Spaniards Inn – to the bustling foodie scenes of Islington and Marylebone. The former boasts some of the best steaks in town at Smokehouse , a butcher-on-site establishment that will have vegans running down the road to Wild Food Café – a hero of the vegetarian and raw food scene.
Ever since the arrival of Chiltern Firehouse in 2014 (the exclusive hotel, restaurant and celebrity magnet, orchestrated by Chateau Marmont maestro André Balazs) with its sumptuous menu by Michelin-starred Nuno Mendes (try the cornbread), Marylebone has emerged as one of the shining lights of North London’s food scene. Marylebone high street is tripping over itself to tempt your taste buds, with Corbin & King’s Vienna-inspired Fischer’s , the Spanish flavours of The Providores and shiny new opening Xier , a Mediterranean feast cooked up by ex-Babbo head chef Carlo Scotto.
Les 110 de Taillevent ,on Cavendish Square, which has been serving up its titular 110 bottles of wine since 2015 and has just announced its new head chef, Ross Bryans formerly of Pollen Street Social.The menu takes its inspiration from classic French dishes, which it seamlessly (via its ingeniously-designed menu) pairs with a different wine. The food is delicate yet filling, with highlights including the butternut-squash agnolotti, the highland venison and, carved at the table with admirable flourish- their scene-stealing tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream.
Closer to central London, you’ll find the endless delights of Soho; from the faultless sushi at Chotto Matte (the sake dragon rolls are other-wordly) to the relaxed, classic dishes of Ivy Soho Brasserie , which just celebrated its second birthday with a brilliant new cocktail menu (try the Rolling Stones-inspired ‘Satisfaction’).
No discussion of North London could, of course, be complete, without the myriad restaurants at Kings Cross’s brand-new development Coal Drops Yard . Stand-out stars include the stirring middle-eastern cusinee at Asaaf Granit’s Coal Office and a mecca for sweet-teeth: Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse. Star attraction: Neptune Neptune, Bloomsbury
Opened in 2018, in the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in the emerging food scene of Bloomsbury, this lux seafood restaurant has as many shucked oysters as it does buckets of old-school charm. The central pewter-top bar serves classic cocktails and an eco-conscious wine list, curated by Isabelle Legaron MW and served by an array of sommeliers, perhaps none more curious or excellent than Ramiro Fernandez. The food is lip-smackingly good. Do not miss the seafood platter – not for nothing does this place specialise in sea fare- nor the burrata, which is indecently tasty. Yet it gets a gold star for the dessert menu, featuring a refreshingly original Yorkshire rhubarb and custard tart, which is possibly the best pudding in London right now. The East
You’ll find arguably some of the best pasta in London, just off the Old Street roundabout, at Passo ; where there’s equal-parts a sleek, cool elegance and a homespun cosiness, as well as ravioli you’d kill your grandmother for. Stroll down to Shoreditch and you’ll find endless gastronomical charms, from The Clove Club’s Michelin-starred finery to expertly smoked meats housed in an old furniture factory at Blacklock , Thai-inspired hits at Smoking Goat (the coconut and pumpkin curry is a dead-cert for veggies) to the elegant dining room HoiPolloi at Ace Hotel, where their cheeseburger is a must-order. Down Hoxton Street, you’ll find possibly London’s best pastrami and salf-beef- at least that’s the aim of Monty’s Deli , which started out life as a market stand and is now one of the premier ‘Jewish Soul Food’ establishments in the capital. They’ve even started serving Shabbat Dinners on site.
When was the last time you had Filipino food? If the answer was never, then what are you waiting for- Kinilaw & Buko is your immediate next stop, where they serve the eponymous kinilaw (a Filipino ceviche) seasoned with vinegars.
Branch out to Hackney and you’ll find a heady mix of North-African and Spanish cuisine at Morito , an exemplary Sunday roast at Marksman and humble-but-tasty Japanese food at Uchi.
Over in the city, the new Bloomberg Arcade plays host to a smorgasbord of restaurants, including the latest creation of the team behind Gymkhana: Brigadiers , a vast Indian dining hall inspired by military bases in Colonial India, Kym’s the latest stunning Chinese from award winning chef Andrew Wong, and moments away from Liverpool Street, you’ll find sublime brunch spot Crispins , which makes an exemplary smashed avocado on toast. Yes, really.
Oh, and is Brick Lane still the best place in London for a curry? Yes, head to Sheba or Brick Lane Brasserie.
Star attraction: Gloria Gloria Italian restaurant, Shoreditch
This is what happens when Italy explodes into a small enclave in Shoreditch. The menu is bursting with Italian classics just like mamma used to make, with their signature dish; La Vera Pasta al Tartufo, served in a vintage copper pan, family style. The dining room is decorated with marble from Carrera and the basement is a late night dining haven (open till 2am from Thursday-Saturday) all mirrored ceilings and velour banquettes. It’s eminently instagramable; with its painted crockery and artfully cluttered interior, but the food is simple, tasty and unpretentious. Try the tiramisu or the delectable pistachio ice cream- both of which come in bountiful portions. The South
Clustered around Sloane Square and snaking up the Kings Road you’ll find some of South London’s premier eateries. There’s the cosy, faux-French bistro Colbert, which makes a mean croque monsieur that is not playing around, neighbouring old favourite The Botanist , which can be relied upon for classic, well-orchestrated fare and, a smattering of fine pubs, from The Cross Keys to The Phene ; which offer reasonable and delicious menus.
Make your way towards Knightsbridge and you’ll hit Restaurant Ours , perhaps unfairly more famous for its social-media-friendly décor than its menu, it should not be so readily discounted. The cocktails are fantastic and the food is brilliant, especially its inventive vegetarian menu, which features such gems as golden beetroot carpaccio.
Then there’s the nearby The Alfred Tennyson , a fine purveyor of stylish, paired-back European cuisine made with British produce and its equally delicious sister venue, The Orange , hidden in Pimlico.
Head down to Lambeth and, nestled within the unimposing Crown Plaza Hotel, by the river, is a little hidden gem: POTUS . No, not Trump, but a humorously-titled, elegant restaurant that serves up some all-American classics with a twist. The New England Clam Chowder is almost offensively tasty, as is the fried soft-shell crab with buttermilk blue-cheese dressing and the San Francisco Cioppino: a spiced lobster broth.
Within the breath-taking architectural feat that is the Serpentine gallery in Hyde Park is CHUCS Serpentine , which, beyond its own delightful menu is currently playing host to a revolving door of stellar guest chefs as part of their supper series, from Ruth Rogers back in winter 2018 to their upcoming Phil Howard (of Elystan Street fame) takeover on the 7th March.
Head further south, and there’s freshly-refurbished Bingham Riverhouse (previously The Bingham) in Richmond right, as you would expect, on the river. It’s a beautiful renovation, enlivening an already splendid establishment. The menu has renewed its commitment to seasonal produce under chef Andrew Cole and is a sizzling treat; particularly the Jerusalem Artichoke tartlet and the fondant potato.
Meanwhile, Battersea Power Station- in the midst of becoming yet another premier London living destination, has an emergent new gastro hub encircling it. Circus West Village has some stellar restaurant choices, from Italian Fiume and paired-back pizza joint Mother to the Japanese eatery Tonkotsu . Star attraction: Dinings SW3 Dinings SW3, Knightsbridge
Blink and you’ll miss Dinings SW3 , tucked off a residential street in Knightsbridge. But that would be a mistake, because this place is phenomenal. Opened in May 2018, this intimate restaurant serves up some of the most intricate and imaginative Japanese food in London, headed up by chef Masaki Sugisaki. The concept is ‘Japanese Izakaya’- combining traditional Japanese techniques with European cuisine. The soba noodle salad looks like worms and tastes like heaven, the tuna tartare is criminally good, the miso soup will end up all over you- but it’s worth it- and the sushi is punchy but brilliant. Then there’s a little gem lettuce salad: essentially a giant chunk of lettuce that, inexplicably you are meant to eat with chopsticks and, equally inexplicably, is absolutely delicious. West
The attention-seeker of West London has long been Notting Hill, with its amazing blend of Caribbean cuisine (can you really say you’ve been to Notting Hill if you haven’t been to The Globe ?) and exemplary gastro pubs from The Cow with its surprisingly good oysters to The Prince Bonaparte on Chepstow Road, with its Asian-fusion menu taking pub-grub to another level. The Ledbury , (2 Michelin stars) remains the grand dame of the area, where something as seemingly-innocuous at white beetroot is taken to new heights. Bella Freud-designed member’s club Laylow, on Golborne Road, does a great truffle risotto and you can’t beat the area’s Venetian juggernaut Polpo which can change your world one bruschetta board at a time.
Nearby Maida Vale doesn’t pull its punches, with The Elgin still dominating the scene as one of the finest gastro pubs in town and Chiswick continues to produce great eateries- notably the Italian haven that is Villa di Geggiano.
West London is also seeing some serious contenders from emerging areas, like Kensal Green, with its gorgeous new William IV , Ladbroke Grove’s blindingly good (and stunningly stylish) Turkish BBQ joint Fez Mangal , sleepy Willesden Green’s star player, the cosy and delicious Italian bistro Sanzio and Ealing’s new sleek Soane’s Kitchen outpost, Walpole Park. Set within Pitzhanger Manor’s original walled garden- it’s a tranquil idyll that feels miles away from the city, serving lunch and (bottomless) brunch and the wild mushroom mac and cheese with truffle and sourdough crumb is as mind-blowing as it sounds.
The new kid on the block is White City’s Television Centre, the BBC’s old home, which now plays host to a selection of restaurants, from Bluebird to Kricket as well as White City House ; Soho House’s latest West London outpost.
Star Attraction: Southam Street Southam Street, Notting Hill
On the corner of Golbone Road, Southam Street pops out of its relatively suburban enclave with serious firepower. The ground floor restaurant of this townhouse is buzzy -packed with locals as well as those drawn to its unique charms from further afield, meaning it is seldom quiet. The menu is a panoply of Asian influences that blend marvellously, with some notable highlights; including the tuna tataki and steamed bao buns. You can add everything to the aptly-titled “dirty” fries made with melted cheese and curry sauce before heading upstairs to the intimate labyrinthine bars spread over the upper floors, where you can wash dinner down with whiskey cocktails whilst reclining on velvet armchairs. See also
Feminist charity cafes and restaurants in the UK
Whether we’re out on a date or having brunch with our gang , most of us enjoy finding a new hangout spot with a magical mix of good food and great atmosphere. But what if that choice became a little more considered, and the place where you picked up a coffee was also working to empower disadvantaged women in your area? Welcome to the idea of a feminist café: a social impact eatery that uses its profits or services to benefit the lives of women who really need it. Some donate a portion of their takings to women’s charities, while others offer training or employment to disadvantaged women. Either way, female empowerment is just as integral to their mission as delicious food.
Depending on where you are in the country, these gems can be few and far between, but we’ve found eight brilliant examples that definitely deserve your attention. From the inimitable Soul Food Sisters co-op in Glasgow, which supports migrant women experiencing social isolation, to London’s scrumptious and stylish Luminary Bakery (which helps struggling women build a future), the women behind these organisations are very special indeed.
So go forth, scoff cake, sip tea, and give your pounds to a café with a cause.
Scotland Soul Food Sisters Café, Glasgow
If we had to pick a head girl of the feminist café world, Soul Food Sisters would be awarded that enamel pin in a heartbeat.
Based in Gallowgate, Glasgow, the café is run by eight women from five different continents with a focus on developing skills to encourage women to start their own businesses, increase their confidence and build their skill set. Its ethos is also rooted in reducing the feelings of isolation that come with starting again in a new place, especially as a migrant.
The start-up functions as a co-operative, and those who work there long enough can be invited to become members and get involved with all aspects of running the business. From peeling potatoes to representing themselves at business meetings, everyone is paid a flat rate and works, learns and progresses together.
You can hire the Soul Food Sisters to cater an event for you or take part in one of their bi-annual workshops, which help women come together and learn cooking skills from a range of different cuisines.
As many of the workers are volunteers, the café’s hours are limited to Wednesday to Saturday, but the team is always looking for new helpers to make staying open over the weekend possible.
Check it out
MILK café, Glasgow
MILK is a social enterprise that supports refugee and migrant women living in Glasgow who are struggling to establish financial independence and helps them create a supportive social network.
Not only does the café offer a chance of employment, but MILK is big on helping the women it works with prepare for the future. Employees are encouraged to attend masterclasses to develop essential life skills such as form filling, job interview techniques and proficiency in English.
Refusing to stop there, the café reaches beyond its immediate patrons and also puts on a series of workshops open to all women in the community, which are designed to connect, support and build relationships and confidence.
From a weekly women’s art group to drop-in sessions in which women discuss the objects that are meaningful to them, MILK is dedicated to developing a sense of community.
Check it out
Glendale Women’s Café, Glasgow
This little café in Glasgow’s Pollokshields has one mission: to create a caring, warm and friendly environment for every woman who needs it.
Part café, part community centre, Glendale Women’s Café is open every Tuesday from 9am until 3pm as a place for women in the area to get together and make new connections.
To help facilitate this, and better equip the women taking part, the café puts on events like English speaking classes to ensure that those who come along really get something out of their time.
As well as more practical events, the café also runs poetry evenings, craft workshops and music events to bring women together and – most importantly – have some fun.
The café isn’t known specifically for its food, but everyone who visits will be welcomed with a hot cup of tea.
Check it out
South of England The Feminist Bookshop, Brighton
Brighton’s Feminist Bookshop café hasn’t actually opened yet, so make sure to pop it on your must-visit list and be one of the first to discover it.
The independent venue will tie together two of our great loves – delicious vegan food and books – to create a café-cum-bookshop with an emphasis on promoting female writers.
Unlike some of the other venues on this list, The Feminist Bookshop will be open to all, but at its crux, it endeavours to champion women, by supporting and promoting feminist writers, creatives and entrepreneurs.
The founders hope the bookshop will increase awareness of alternative narratives and experiences and will provide a safe, fun, open space for dialogue, discussion and debate.
The bookshop has said it hopes to open at the start of this year, but to keep up to date check out the Facebook page.
Check it out
Bramber Bakehouse, various locations
Bramber Bakehouse has a unique plan when it comes to helping women, particularly those who have been exploited.
Through eight-month courses, the team behind this artisan bakery teach vulnerable women valuable skills in baking and employability, which in turn help them find full-time work elsewhere.
This business is at an especially exciting point in its growth, having just finished its third round of workshops. In the future, the team hope to set up a permanent bakery (currently it has no full-time residence) that will work alongside local businesses, generating more work for those who have taken part in the courses. Eventually, Bramber Bakehouse would also like to create a full residential internship programme that would provide women with qualifications.
Keep an eye on Bramber Bakehouse and see how it progresses.
Check it out
London The Luminary Bakery, Stoke Newington
With its striking monochrome checked floor, duck-egg blue walls and Pinterest-worthy food styling, The Luminary Bakery is the kind of café you could waltz into on a Saturday morning without even registering its feminist credentials. And when you learn about all of the wonderful ways it helps women, you’ll want to become a regular even more.
At its heart, the bakery is a social enterprise that creates opportunities for women who have experienced social and economic disadvantage, by offering a safe and professional environment where they can learn transferable skills. This includes courses, work experience and paid employment in the bakery to break generational cycles of abuse, prostitution, criminal activity and poverty.
The bakery invites you to become part of the Luminary family by visiting the Stoke Newington-based café, ordering from the cake shop, volunteering or donating.
Check it out
Darjeeling Express, Soho
On the surface, this restaurant is a masterclass in authentic flavours taken from founder Asma Khan’s Calcutta ancestry. Beautifully designed, with an ever-changing menu featuring seasonal vegetables from organic British producers, Darjeeling Express makes for a great eat-out option.
But more than just celebrating the cuisine of India, it celebrates Indian women and seeks to push back against the misogynistic traditions that harm them.
An all-women team of self-proclaimed housewives runs the kitchen at Darjeeling Express, and have done so from day one. Not only do they create home-style food cooked with passion, they use a portion of the profits from this to support Second Daughters Fund, a charity close to Khan’s heart.
In some more traditional parts of India, sons are still preferred over second daughters, and in some cases the birth of a second daughter is actually mourned. These little girls can grow into women who carry this hurt and disadvantage for the rest of their upbringings.
To help ease this, Darjeeling Express sends celebration packages for the birth of second daughters in Kurseong (a small town in the district of Darjeeling), and continues to support these girls through their education.
You can donate directly to the cause through the restaurant’s website, or just go in for a bite to eat.
Check it out
North of England Blackburn House, Liverpool
Blackburne House is an organisation which supports vulnerable women in its local area, by offering them the chance to further their education and in turn, support themselves financially with better employment options.
They offer a range of courses, particularly in areas where women are still under-represented, as well as affordable childcare help and access to a women-only wellbeing centre.
The centre also has its own bistro, located on the basement floor of the grade-II listed building. The restaurant uses as much local and seasonal produce as possible, and acts as a safe space for women to gather, spend time together and connect.
Check it out
Images: Brooke Cagle / Instagram
A slice of Kerala at Rochey
Melbourne A slice of Kerala at Rochey At Rochey, an unpretentious pub in Fitzroy, PREETI JABBAL finds flavours from God’s own country lovingly prepared by chef Mischa Tropp By 0 250
Fitzroy’s street pubs run the gamut from local boozers to whiskey specialists; however, making a unique statement amid the many pubs on Johnston Street is the Rochester Hotel. Specialising in creative fusion of flavours drawn from Kerala in southern India, the menu is a far cry from the chicken tikkas and butter chicken flogged as western-friendly ‘Indian’.
Don’t expect pub staples like the Chicken Parmigiana; instead savour the ghee roast chicken with tamarind and Kashmiri chilli. Better still, if you can withstand the heat, order the traditional Nadan Fish curry and mop it up with the flaky, layered parotta. Warning: you may be tempted to lick the bowl clean.
I managed to overcome the temptation to do that but couldn’t resist the eggplant achar served (pickles) with mint and poppadum . But I am jumping ahead. Let me start from the beginning. Ever since I heard about a Melbourne pub serving Malayali food, I’ve been curious about it. So I cancelled my diet, yet again, and headed out in my search for a delightful culinary experience.
Finding The Rochey and parking nearby was easy on a Wednesday. Exposed brick walls, dimly lit interior, funky posters and a massive bar area met the eye as we walked in. A stage for music, a DJ platform and an outdoor garden completed the contemporary pub look and feel.
We were whisked to our table of simple wood, unadorned except the dishes and cutlery for dining. The menu was interesting and a rather tough pick not because of the number of dishes but the promise of tongue tingling piquancy.
We decided to leave it to the chef who presented us with a meal that miraculously sussed out our spice tolerance quotient. The egg bonda with boiled egg, onion masala and sourdough batter came with no frills and was delicious right from the first bite. I’d go back just for the mussels in curry sauce.
For drinks we chose lager and cider even though we were tempted with the variety of alcohol on offer that go well with the cuisine. It was by no means an exhaustive list but covered enough ground from cocktails to light beverages.
The main course comprised of the aforementioned Fish Nadan, a rewarding experience for any spice lover, accompanied by the vegetarian Girija’s Thoran . The cabbage stir-fry with coconut and curry leaves offered a perfect balance to the spicy fish. For accompaniments there was a fresh salad, brown rice, yoghurt and flaky parotta .
The dishes prepared in coconut and various spices gave a zesty flavour that was further heightened with a hint of tamarind. The cuisine of Kerala is shaped by thousands of years of spice trade, influenced by Nayar Hindus, Syrian Christians, Islamic and other communities.
According to Rochey’s Chef Mischa Tropp, his interest in Kerala’s food started when he visited his mother’s ancestral land. He spent time exploring and learning the techniques, and tried different recipes. His inspiration came from the women of India, the mothers who bring warmth and love to food.
“I try to create food that may look different but is close to the taste and flavours that are authentic to Kerala, but at the same time give me the freedom to experiment,” said Mischa while happily sharing his story with us after the meal.
He was very excited about the upcoming event being held on 24 March at The Rochetser as part of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2019. Mischa will collaborate with Harry Mangat (Biji Dining) the chef from Baba Ji, Horn Please and the team from ISH to celebrate the revolutionising of Indian food and beverage scene in Melbourne. Indian producers Avani, Domaine Simha and Nazaarey Estate Wineries will also join them for the special event. 1 of 4
“We wish to take Indian cuisine to the next level and present the diversity of Indian produce, food and beverage in Melbourne,” said Mischa. “We want to present the quality and variety of the food to mainstream and change perceptions about typical ‘Indian’ food,” he said.
Despite claiming to have no room left after finishing the well-balanced meal we still managed to squeeze in a delicate dessert of pineapple in coconut cream. I must say that during my first visit I struggled to find fault with the pub. The service was friendly, the menu imaginative, the food seductive and the fusion interesting. So if anyone is looking for ‘Indian but different’ do come and toast it here. SHARE
Karma Reef Barefoot luxury on the idyllic island paradise of Gili Meno.
Located on the tiny, traffic-free island paradise of Gili Meno, Karma Reef offers sanctuary – a world away from the noise and demands of everyday life. Guests at the resort enjoy exclusive access to a secret beach, where they indulge in blissful spa treatments, feast on freshly caught seafood, or kick back with a cocktail before strolling barefoot to their beautiful beachfront bungalow or luxurious glamping tent.
An ode to authentic, sustainable architecture that is consciously designed to leave the lightest possible footprint on the environment, all of Karma Reef’s beachfront lumbung-style bungalows are stylishly appointed with comfort in mind. Perfect for couples and families, each two-storey bungalow features rustic stone and tropical hardwoods, contemporary furnishings, and an upstairs air-conditioned double bedroom with a private balcony overlooking clear, turquoise waters. Ten meters away, guests have the Indian Ocean at their beck and call, inviting them to explore the island’s world-class coral reef, teeming with colorful tropical fish and curious green sea turtles. Guests can indulge in a leisurely grazing lunch or romantic dinner at Karma Beach Gili Meno’s Restaurant where Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, wood-fired pizzas and succulent tapas-style dishes as well as seductive signature cocktails, custom designed by internationally renowned mixologist Grant Collins, complement captivating ocean views. Bicycles and non-motorized water sports are free for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
Each of Karma Reef’s One Bedroom Sea Front Bungalows offer guests a stunning and unique ambience, perfect for an unforgettable holiday on Gili Meno’s less-travelled, white sandy coastline. Elegant sasak motifs, bamboo accents and alang-alang thatched roofs honor the region’s traditional sense of design in the ample 46m 2 interiors. A soothing, natural sea breeze keeps guests refreshed, whilst lying on a beachfront day bed is an idyllic way to indulge in the tranquil ocean views. On the first level, guests enjoy a cozy and comfortable living room-lounge area, with a well-stocked minibar, unlimited mineral water and tea or coffee. A flat screen television, cable TV and a DVD player are on offer for in-room entertainment. A second level master bedroom features vaulted ceilings, a king size bed, silk mosquito netting and a private balcony with views looking out towards Mount Rinjani on Lombok island. Guests can also enjoy a taste of barefoot luxury on the beach in one of Karma Reef’s One Bedroom Sea View or Sea Front Tents with spacious 37m 2 interiors, enjoying all the benefits of Gili Meno’s stunning natural beauty paired with Karma’s heavenly creature comforts. Guests enjoy beachfront holiday bliss with a plush king-size bed, air conditioning or fan cool, en-suite bathroom with hot water rain shower, wooden floors throughout, private open-air terrace with ocean views, and a unique ambiance that is exclusive to Karma Reef.
Karma Beach Gili Meno presents luxurious beachfront dining with a Mediterranean flavour and an emphasis on abundant locally caught seafood. There is a range of Asian dishes available such as the Indonesian favorites: Tuna Sambal Matah, Bebek Betutu, Ayam Taliwang and Rijstafel food tasting as well as fresh sushi and sashimi sharing plates. Room service breakfast is included in the room rate. Every night, Karma Beach Gili Meno’s beach lounge comes alive, capturing the essence of Karma Beach’s laid-back barefoot elegance. Guests can relax and enjoy theme nights such as live acoustic music, seafood BBQ’s, movie nights under the stars and traditional Indonesian-themed nights. A Tiki Bar on the beach offers a range of cocktails and super healthy juices.
Karma Reef’s breezy Sea Spa offers holistic therapies, massage curatives and personalized experiences to the natural sound of lapping waves. Karma’s spa team of bodyworkers train under the guidance of certified massage experts, health practitioners and healers and deliver deeply therapeutic experiences. Karma’s treatments are curated from ingredients sourced from ethical and sustainable farmers and growers. All treatments are performed slowly to ease guests into a state of deep healing.
For guests that dream about waking up to the most stunning sunrises imaginable and celebrating each day with one of Indonesia’s famous sunsets, Karma Reef will surely fulfil their holiday fantasies.
Marino Mall: A Thrilling Experience
Home » Marino Mall: A Thrilling Experience Marino Mall: A Thrilling Experience March 2019| 14 views Marino Mall has a multitude of shopping, entertainment and dining choices in store With numerous fashion stores, accessories, household appliance shops, and a vast food court with a sea view, Marino Mall is much more than meets the eye. Complete with a gaming and a VR arena and a spa, it is a destination rather than a shopping mall in the city of Colombo. Words Roomini Wijayarathne Photographs Menaka Aravinda The glass façade of Marino Mall glints in the sun and the LED wall displays the multitude of experiences in store, as the visitor approaches the towering structure. Accessible from both the Galle Road and the Marine Drive, it is a place to explore in the heart of Colombo. The vast hallway beyond the entrance to the mall is lined with numerous showrooms and retail stores on its either side. Pleasant music accompanies the visitor as he leisurely strolls along the hallway, admiring the displays of the high-end fashion stores, furniture and electronic showrooms, jewellery and accessory stores, footwear outlets and toy shops. Each distinctively unique. The many clothing stores offer a wide variety of fashion options, with choices to suit everyone’s style. The jewellery and accessory shops are clustered together, offering a range of products from exquisite branded items to everyday wear. The long hallway extends to the seaside entrance at the far back, glinting in the bright sunlight. As inviting as the sight of the splashing sea is, there are novel experiences to be discovered within the mall. The 9D Cinema theatre, is a first of its kind in Sri Lanka. Visitors, and definitely not the faint-hearted, can enjoy a thrilling clip of a rollercoaster ride, the experience enhanced with superior state-of-the-art technology. Accompanying the theatre are two karaoke juke boxes; anyone can step inside and sing to one’s heart’s content. Indulge in thrill and adventure at the VR arena Opposite to the cinema and juke boxes is the biggest VR centre of any mall in the country. With novel experiences in store for everyone of any age, the VR centre is one of the main attractions in Marino Mall. Virtual reality bike races, roller coaster rides, gaming hubs and mini-car rides for small children are readily available: a wonderful experience. Beyond the entertainment zone is the Food Emporium, offering a variety of cuisine. From Western to Far Eastern, a visitor can indulge in a plethora of enticing choices per his wishes. A coffee shop and a tea lounge are available with snack bars and a juice stall. The Food Emporium also offers space to host birthday parties, where guests can select from multitudes of food choices to celebrate the special occasion. The highlight of the Food Emporium is the outer lounge area that opens to the pleasant breeze and enchanting views of the sea beyond. It is delightful to enjoy dinner as the sun sets; the sight is simply magical. The Diliganz Department Store occupies the first floor. From clothing, accessories and cosmetics to gift items, stationery and furniture, Diliganz is a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs. The store is arranged in such a way that it provides ease of access while not missing out on any product that is on display. The outer lounge of the Food Emporium allows visitors to dine and relax amid beautiful views of the seascape On the seventh floor of the Marino Mall tower is the Angsana Spa, where visitors can relax and unwind after exploring the many delights that the Mall offers. The eighth floor holds yet another wonderful experience of dining and relaxing, with the Ocean Bar and Grill and the Shiwu Chinese Restaurant. The Ocean Bar and Grill is a semi open dining space, with a glorious view of the Indian Ocean. On every Friday and Saturday, the ambience of the restaurant is enhanced with live music making it the prime spot to enjoy a wonderful evening. Shiwu Chinese Restaurant offers delicious Chinese cuisine with private dining options available. The view from Shiwu of the Colombo’s dynamic skyline is a sight to behold, specially at night when the buildings glitter with electric lights. With diverse dining choices, multitudes of shopping and entertainment options, and spaces to simply relax, Marino Mall is a lifestyle destination. With a plethora of experiences to indulge in, a day spent at Marino Mall is a mini-vacation well spent. Marino Mall, Galle Road, Colombo 3 (+94 11) 259 5595 Opening Hours: 9.00 am – 10 pm Share this:
Authenticity Over Comfort: Why Indian Tourism Should Avoid Resort Complexes | The Diplomat
They call them the resort complexes, but they make culture simple, not complex. Do you know those sprawling hotel towns that dot the southern coast of Turkey or abound in countries like Egypt? Mammoth hotel buildings built around swimming pools, even when there is a sea just a stone’s throw away? These are the zones of comfort for those that would like to travel, but without leaving their own comfort zone.
They aren’t called “tourist traps” for nothing. It seems you can do everything there: sleep in the hotel room, eat in the hotel restaurant, have a drink at the hotel bar, party, swim, and even shop in the hotel boutique stores. You do not have to leave the boundaries of the resort until you are bound for the airport to go home.
But can you actually know a country and its culture ensconced in a place like that? Something that pretends to be culture will be presented to you in the musical performance of an “ethnic” band or a dance group that will be brought to the hotel. The boutique shop will offer jewelry in an array of “ethnic” designs. Worse than this, not only will you keep yourself away from the country you came to, but the country will be kept away from you (in countries like Egypt, many local citizens cannot enter the hotel towns in their own state). All you will get is a chopped up, filtered and bland version, just like the food in the hotel restaurant will be a mild version of real local cuisine. It will be served to you the way it is believed you will like it, not the way it really looks or tastes like. Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
As far as I know, India does not really have many large hotel complexes like those described above, certainly not in the number and size of veritable towns that we can find around the Mediterranean. Yes, of course, there are many expensive and luxurious hotels, and there are large hotels with boutique shops and swimming pools, but in most places they are not designed to keep the visitor locked in a zone of comfort throughout his entire stay in the country.
India has huge potential for foreign tourism and, contrary to what many may think, this potential is partially untapped, given the size, the heritage, and the geographical diversity of the country. Ten million foreign tourists came to India in 2017. Does this sound a lot? Paris alone recorded 33 million tourists in 2017. The Polish city of Kraków was visited by 13 million tourists the same year. The question is – and in fact it has been raised for years – which forms of tourism and of tourism reforms and investments should India and Indians focus on to boost their arrival numbers.
One could argue that investing in hotel resorts could have be a way to attract more tourists. Safety and comfort are, admittedly, one of the challenges faced by travelers in India, both domestic and foreign. I am not writing this after a half-hour bout of Internet research. Having worked as a tour leader with Polish groups coming to India and Nepal for nine years, I could give countless instances of why the issues of safety and comfort keep many potential visitors away from India. And yet, I still believe that Indian tourism should chart a different path: one that cannot compromise on safety, obviously, but that can showcase one of the country’s biggest assets – its culture – rather than resort to large resorts.
Most of the stereotypical hotel complexes described above around the globe are located by the sea in countries that enjoy hot or warm weather throughout the year. Such conditions can be offered in countless locations on the long Indian coast (Goa is so far the only place that is going in this direction when it comes to attracting foreign visitors). And if there are people who need just that – warm weather, the sea, a swimming pool and layers of comfort – it is a choice which they are free to make. Private investors are equally free to tap this need. But focusing on this sector – for example through preferential government policies – would make little sense. This would not only create islands of economic benefits that will not spread into the interior, but would fail to advertise the very element where India has an edge: its diversity of people, culture, heritage, and climate.
The tourist trap paradox largely comes from safety issues. Most people would not pick a remote, gated hotel complex when they are going to a place like Paris, New York and London. They rather want to be in a building closer to downtown in order to explore the heart of the city. But what they will find outside is much closer to what they will find inside the hotel – when it comes to the generally understood “culture.” You do not really go to London to take photos of people dressed in “ethnic” dresses, do you? Paradoxically, the countries where you can experience a not-yet-globalized, local culture by walking around cities are often exactly those countries where safety may be an issue, and where many tourists prefer to stay in a hotel town instead.
In India, even if one restricts his journey to visiting Delhi only – a terrible idea, if you ask me – one can still experience a host of aspects of local culture: visit a temple or a mosque, eat snacks from a street vendor and lunch at a restaurant with really good cuisine, witness a ritual or a procession, and so on. There are places that will offer you that filtered “culture” – the middle-class market of Delhi Haat or the large stores with luxurious goods aimed at foreign tourists – but there are many other options you can pick from. And that’s only a tip of the iceberg. Move just a little bit, and you will be sure to experience something you did not plan. Out of countless examples, I witnessed tourists being invited to weddings, taking part in Hindu rituals in a temple, or going around villages in jeeps (because the national park was closed and they were taken around its nearby rural areas instead). And that was still while realizing rather routine, pre-planned itineraries for groups. On the other side of the spectrum from the resort complexes (where the country adapts to the tourist), there are homestay options in the remote region of the Northeast, where you can live with local families provided that you live by their rules (this is when the tourists adapt to the country).
What Indian tourism should focus on is ensuring safety and comfort of those tourists that are keen explorers, and applying new ways that try to balance the urge to attract foreign capital with the need to preserve local culture as much as it is possible. Topics
Creamy Chickpea Portobello Mushroom Curry
Chana masala has always been one of my favorite Indian chickpea dishes. A classic North Indian dish that is popular throughout the world, even the most basic and faithful version is utter perfection and easy to prepare too. The key is to use good quality spices and blends, and as this dish uses garam masala, special attention is needed there — either purchase a pre-prepared one that is notably fresh or, best yet, make your own . I’ve learned from past experience that the quality of the spices used can elevate even the simplest dishes to culinary heights resulting in a dish that goes beyond mere sustenance. Food is essential for survival, but the act of eating should be a pleasurable one too.
Of course, chana masala in its purest form is simply chickpeas cooked in a fragrant, aromatic and spiced tomato gravy with onion, garlic and ginger, so there are countless variations and recipes. I’ve played with the basic components over the years to create new dishes that have become treasured favorites in my kitchen. A bit of heat is essential, as are the aromatic seeds.
This recipe is inspired by the basic elements of chana masala, but with the addition of earthy and meaty portobello mushrooms, along with some peanut butter that is stirred in near the end of the cooking time resulting in a rich and creamy dish. With only a few extra ingredients and steps to attend to, it’s really just as quick and easy to prepare as a classic chana masala. I’ve made it twice already, the second time was to perfect my spicing and technique so as to confidently present this recipe for your consideration. I know this will not be the last time I make it and I’ve no doubt this dish will be on my rotating menu plans fairly often.
Creamy Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom Curry
Cuisine: North Indian
Published on March 5, 2019
Chickpeas simmered in a rich, spicy and fragrant creamy tomato sauce with plump portobello mushrooms
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1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 2 black cardamon pods, crushed 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 or crushed 1-inch fresh ginger, minced or grated 1 to 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 2 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons garam masala , divided 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango) powder (optional) 2 large tomatoes, chopped 3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups), or button mushrooms if preferred 2 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice handful of fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish Instructions:
Rinse the chickpeas and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender — 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid.
Wipe the saucepan dry and return to the stove. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cardamon, and fry until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop, about 1 minute. add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilies, and fry for another minute. Now stir in the bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, adding about 1/4 cup of the reserved chickpea cooking liquid to the pan.
Now add the turmeric, coriander, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, ground cumin, paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne and amchoor powder if using, and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes to thicken, stirring often.
Add another 1/4 cup of the chickpea cooking liquid to the pan and then stir in the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas, peanut butter, and another 1/2 cup of the chickpea cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more liquid to the pan if necessary.
Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining teaspoon of garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley if desired
Indian-inspired chickpea dishes from Lisa’s Kitchen:
Punjabi Chole Masala (Chana Masala)
Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)
Gujarati Black Chickpea Curry
Chickpeas with Mango Powder (Amchoor Chana)
Potato and Chickpea Curry with Tomatoes and Tamarind
Pickle Flavored Chickpeas