Five Famous & Mouthwatering Desi Dishes

Five Famous & Mouthwatering Desi Dishes

Five Famous & Mouthwatering Desi Dishes Five Famous & Mouthwatering Desi Dishes 0
Disclaimer: This Blog might make our readers hungry and drool.
India is a land of Spices and rich Ingredients infused with love. Each and every state has its own speciality. You can come across lip-smacking dishes Fromany part of the country be it North, South, East and West.
Indian Cuisine has made a name for itself all over the world, crossing borders and spreading love through its food.
Let’s dig into it and take a look at 5 dishes that have made a place in the stomachs of people all over the globe. .
1. Bhindi Onion Tadka:
The taste of bhindi is always yummy, we all know that. The special part of South Indian bhindi onion fry is that it is made with a special South Indian touch. What all you need to do is simply deep fry bhindi and onion separately. Take oil in the pan, and then add chili and spices along with the fried sabzi. Cook it for two to three minutes. After that add peanut paste in the dish. Your dish is ready. Isn’t it easy?
2. OONDHIYA:
A classic Gujarati recipe, Oondhiya, with its exciting mix of veggies and spices, has withstood the test of time and become a hot favorite with many generations of Indians across the world.
A colorful combination of vegetables and fenugreek-flavored dumplings are cooked with an aromatic masala that features coconut, coriander and assorted spice powders. Enjoy this delicacy hot and fresh, with rotis or rice, to make a hearty meal!
3. Dal Makhni:
Dal Makhni is a Punjabi mixed lentil curry generally made with lots of butter and cream. It is usually paired with Indian bread and chapattis. A popular dish favoured by many foreigners. The creaminess of the Dal which melts in your mouth and gives a heavenly taste with a tinge of spice is sure to add on to your calories, but don’t worry it’s totally worth it.
4. Gulab Jamun:
Be it any occasion Gulab Jamun is our go-to dessert because of its sweetness and softness. This sweet delight has not only touched our hearts but the hearts of various people all around the globe because of its distinct taste and appearance.
5. Paneer Makhni:
Paneer makhani is a slightly sweet creamy dish of paneer, in which the gravy is prepared usually with butter, tomatoes, cashews or cream. The dish is full of flavors which will lure your senses and make itself irresistible.
Can’t stop thinking about these dishes now?
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Curry Up Now Plans 5 Atlanta-Area Locations

Curry Up Now In 2018, Curry Up Now solidified multi-unit franchise deals in nearly every major region in the country, including the West Coast, Northeast, South, and the Mountain States.
Curry Up Now, a California-based concept pioneering innovative Indian fast casual cuisine, has five restaurant locations planned for the greater Atlanta, Georgia area, one of which is slated to open this summer, followed by a second location this fall, and third in 2020. The locations are part of a multi-unit franchise deal inked in 2018 with and experienced local franchise group, who are currently working on securing a fourth location in the area, which is projected to open by summer 2020. Two of the Atlanta locations will also include Mortar & Pestle, a chic and globally-inspired bar concept housed within Curry Up Now. The confirmed addresses are as follows: Decatur (1575 Church Street) — July 2019 Madison Yards (905 Memorial Drive, SE) — Fall 2019 The Interlock (1115 Howell Mill Rd) — Fall 2020
“We couldn’t be more excited to break ground on our Curry Up Now locations. We’re passionate about the concept and how its pioneering innovative Indian eats in the mainstream,” says Atlanta franchisee Hemant Suri. “As lovers of Indian cuisine, we’re proud to bring the traditional Indian flavors and ingredients to ATL in a way that is uniquely Curry Up Now.”
“The Atlanta restaurants will be our first to open on the East Coast, and the idea that the food truck we founded in 2009 is growing into a coast-to-coast brand blows my mind,” adds Akash Kapoor, Founder & CEO of Curry Up Now. “The Atlanta group is as passionate about Curry Up Now as we are, so to know that they are opening these locations with that kind of emotion driving them forward, we can’t help but feel confident about our future in the Atlanta area.”
Curry Up Now began as a food truck, founded in 2009 by husband and wife duo, Akash and Rana Kapoor, and ably supported by co-founder and Senior VP of Operations, Amir Hosseini, which quickly gained steam and became known locally for its innovative and interesting approach to Indian cuisine.
The brand’s popularity resulted in multiple restaurant openings around the San Francisco Bay Area, and today, Curry Up Now operates three food trucks and six corporate brick-and-mortar locations, two of which also house the brand’s craft cocktail bar concept, Mortar & Pestle. From the start, the brand has been known for taking traditional Indian flavors and presenting them in friendly, recognizable formats. Fan-favorite menu items include their iconic tikka masala burritos, quesadillas dubbed ‘Quesadillix,’ Deconstructed Samosa, Sexy Fries, and Naughty Naan, as well as a Street Snacks menu and traditional Indian Street Food menu. Ingredients are clean and sourced from local vendors whenever possible, and the menu is designed to support alternative diets in an effort to accommodate all guests no matter their dietary preferences.
Experts in the hospitality industry project that Indian food will continue to be the fastest growing ethnic food segment in the U.S., making room for Curry Up Now to solidify its position as a front runner in the segment. Within the last year, Curry Up Now has been recognized by the restaurant industry’s top publications for its innovative approach to Indian cuisine and huge potential for growth. The concept was featured in QSR’s 40 Under 40.
In 2018, Curry Up Now solidified multi-unit franchise deals in nearly every major region in the country, including the West Coast, Northeast, South, and the Mountain States. The brand currently has 41 franchised and corporate stores sold and in varying stages of development across the country, including locations in Atlanta, GA; San Ramon, CA; Sacramento, CA; Irvine, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; and New Jersey, which are expected to open throughout 2019. The brand has pending franchise deals in 13 additional states, and aims to have another 100 units sold by year’s end, with an additional 200 units sold in 2020.

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Namaste Nepali and Indian Cuisine is as welcoming as its name

Photos by Naomi Kooker for The Boston Globe The dining room at Namaste Nepali and Indian Cuisine in Stoneham. By Naomi Kooker Globe Correspondent April 05, 2019
WHO’S IN CHARGE Never mind the strip mall and forgive the hot-pot burners in the tables at the booths; they are a vestige of a past restaurant in the space taken over by Namaste Nepali and Indian Cuisine in Stoneham.
Namaste, which opened in December, is a diamond in the rough. You’ll marvel at its existence and secretly not want others to find it, but then it’s so good you’ll want everyone to know — the food is that delicious and the service that welcoming.
“Namaste means warmly greeted by heart to the guests,” said Hari Kafle, the manager. Kafle spent 10 years managing Rang Indian Bistro in Stoneham and three years at Monsoon Indian Bistro in Acton before Namaste. Seven partners share ownership in the restaurant, including Kafle’s wife, Tha Kumari Kafle.
Advertisement Narendar Singh, a native of Punjab in northern India, is the head chef and also an owner. The other partners are from Nepal.
THE LOCALE A dry cleaner and laundromat flank Namaste in Montvale Place, a small strip mall a stone’s throw from Interstate 93. There is plenty of parking. Inside, booths and tables occupy a quaint space with hardwood floors and white walls decorated with Indian artwork.
The night we dine, no music plays, but laughter emanates from a nearby table of women. We sip Malbec wine ($6.50 by the glass) and our server brings us a treat: complementary pakoras — bites of fresh vegetables deep fried in chickpea batter. It’s a hospitable gesture we adore; plus they are delicious. The person who waits on us is attentive, kind, friendly, and helps us navigate the vast menu of Nepalese and Indian dishes.
Telltale signs of past restaurants are seen on the cocktail list (Taj) and on the foyer glass (Kyotoya), but that’s also the charm of Namaste. While branding may not be top of mind, yet, the food speaks for itself.
Namaste also has a full liquor license.
Advertisement ON THE MENU Nepali chef Bhim Lal Shrestha works alongside Singh. Shrestha’s nickname is “Momo King.” We can see why. Our handmade veggie momos ($5) were silky smooth wrappers stuffed with minced vegetables. A soybean-tomato-ginger-tamarind mixture made an unusual yet delightful dipping sauce.
The chicken Kashmiri ($14) held the wonders of a sauce made with shredded coconut, ground sesame and fennel seeds, star anise, and javitri or mace. The Khasi Ko Masu (goat curry, $16) — a Nepali dish — delivered a classic curry of ginger and garlic, onion, cardamom, and other spices. The meat was flavorful and bone-in, so diners beware.
The Aloo Gobhi ($13) was a wonderful blend of spices with potato and cauliflower. The basmati rice was fragrant with whole cloves and the plain naan ($3) soft and chewy.
How lovely to end with Kheer ($3) — a cool, creamy rice pudding with cinnamon and pistachios.
Namaste Nepali and Indian Cuisine is open Tuesday through Sunday. A buffet lunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($12 weekdays, $14 Saturday and Sunday). Dinner is 5 to 9:30 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Namaste Nepali and Indian Cuisine, 58 Montvale Ave., Stoneham, 781-438-9688; namasterestaurantstoneham.com .
Naomi Kooker can be reached at naomikooker@gmail.com

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Putting A New Spin On Indian Cuisine At Kokum

Putting A New Spin On Indian Cuisine At Kokum Pani Puri: a re-interpretation of one of India’s most famous street foods.
There aren’t many restaurants in Australia doing fine Indian food or taking this ages-old cuisine and giving it a modern spin, so it’s great to see a few that are turning traditional Indian cooking on its head.
Kokum is a relatively new restaurant in the Palazzo Versace Hotel on the Gold Coast, and from the minute you step in the door, it’s apparent that this is something special. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the marina, it is decked out beautifully with lovely floral arrangements, fine glassware and a glamorous bar for pre- and post-dinner drinks. The entrance to Kokum, in the Palazzo Versace Hotel.
If you look closely, you’ll see that the sign reads “Kokum by Chef Mural” which means that it is in the same stable as Heritij in Brisbane, which also carries Mural’s name. Manjunath Mural is the highly regarded executive chef of Song of India, a Singapore restaurant with a modern take on Indian cooking. Chef Mural is the first Indian executive chef to score a Michelin star for an Indian restaurant in Southeast Asia. The 150-seat Kokum has indoor and outdoor dining, overlooking the marina.
The executive chef of Kokum, Sabir Merchant, has known Mural for a decade or more. At one stage they studied together; now they bounce ideas off each other and try to come up with creations that take Indian cuisine to another level. Merchant, who started his career in the Taj hotel chain in Mumbai, came to Australia in 2005. He is passionate about cooking and spends seven days a week at the stove.
“I’ve worked in a quite a lot of different places; I always had 2 or 3 jobs. I wanted to learn so much. Over here (in Australia), the people are so amazing, they want to teach you. I just want to absorb everything. I love it.” Executive Chef Sabir Merchant is passionate about the hospitality industry.
Merchant grew up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and it was the street food from here that inspired the first dish we tasted at Kokum. His Pani Puri is a magical re-interpretation of one of India’s most famous street foods. In India, the round, hollow puri (puff-pastry balls) would be fried and filled with spiced mashed potato, spiced water, and tamarind chutney.
Merchant’s version separates the liquid from the Pani Puri, which is filled with potatoes, sprouts, pineapple, and Kakadu plum mixed with tamarind chutney. The semolina shells sit on top of little glasses of Sol Kadhi, a liquid with colour and sourness from the kokum berry that has given the restaurant its name. The berry is imported from India, where it grows in mountains in the north. The classy fit-out is on a par with Kokum’s beautiful food.
“The only way of getting the right flavour is by curing (the berries) in salt, then I paste it and use the paste in the water which is mixed with coconut and a couple of spices,” he said. “The (kokum) is a tart red berry so that’s where the sourness and the colour comes from. The sweetness comes from the coconut and mostly the liquid. You take that, pour the liquid, and put the whole thing in your mouth straight away. It’s very light.”
Merchant sources the Kakadu plums from the same south-east Queensland farm he buys his baby vegetables from. He prefers to deal directly with suppliers like this. “I don’t have big suppliers; I go to the market and buy (ingredients) myself, or I buy it from the farmers (direct). Same with the meat and the seafood … I go to the trawlers or local suppliers.” Barramundi topped with “caviar” made with sambal and Marsala wine.
The Sambal Barramundi he serves us next is gorgeously presented on a glass box containing dried nuts and spices for visual effect. The barramundi comes with little dollops of turmeric yoghurt, charred silverbeet and ingenious “caviar” made with sambal and Marsala wine. Like the Pomegranate Prawns that come next, it’s an explosion of flavour with judicious use of spice – not overpowering, just enough to give it a kick. “If I don’t put the spice in, the culture is not there, the authenticity is not there. The spice makes the whole dish.” Pomegranate prawns: an explosion of flavour.
The prawns are marinated in yoghurt and pomegranate, the latter dehydrated and turned into powder along with a few other spices. The grilled prawns are served on a squid ink and roast garlic emulsion. “Because of the sweetness and acidity of the emulsion, I’m trying to add a little bit more acidity by adding grapefruit pearls,” he said. The “pearls”, which he makes himself, are complemented by locally grown Apache baby shallots, baby radish and cumin foam.
Merchant’s re-invention of street food is evident in his Pippali Chicken, spiced with paprika, lemon myrtle, mountain pepper and Cheddar cheese. He remembers this dish from the streets of Ahmedabad, where it was always really tender. “This is my comfort food. It’s my go-to dish. When I’m hungry, this is what I eat,” he said. “When I grew up, all the streets had straw and a little barbecue with coals and they’d be cooking the chicken in front of us. It’s very simple but it’s very juicy and tender.” Pippali chicken marinated in lemon myrtle and cheese.
We could barely discern the taste of lemon myrtle and cheddar, and when I mention that to the chef, he tells me he is still playing around with the dish. He originally put the lemon myrtle and cheese on top of the chicken but the cheese burnt too easily in the very hot tandoor oven. Now he blends the lemon myrtle and cheese, then marinates the chicken in the mix. But he may switch to a different technique yet – making a pocket in the chicken to fill with the lemon myrtle and cheese.
What a triumph the next dish is. Biryani Masahari (goat biryani) cooked long and slow in the traditional dum style, with layers of meat, rice and fried onions in a clay pot covered with a lid of dough. “Traditionally, hundreds of years ago in India, they’d have the whole goat in a huge pot with the dough on top of it. The recipe gets passed on from generation to generation. Still today they do it in some parts of India, but it’s a dying thing.” Biryani Masahari (goat biryani): aromatic and colourful.
Merchant has tweaked this dish with some interesting and colourful touches. He sources tiny pink roses from a local grower – “the roses are beautiful, they’ve got so much flavour” – and he boils them in water, using the stock from this to cook the goat and the rice in. The result is incredibly aromatic. “It’s a very old technique, not a lot of people know the technique of using the rose stock.”
He dries beetroot and makes a powder from it, which is then added to the dish. “It gives colour to the dish and a bit of flavour as well, and it goes really well with the goat.” Kokum serves three delicious types of naan: sesame, garlic, and spinach and cheese, perfect for scooping up the rice and meat. Chargrilled bugs on a bed of lemon coconut quinoa.
Next is the dish I’m most looking forward to: Mangalorean Bugs, using fresh local bugs that are one of my favourite foods of all. Merchant marinates them in Champagne vinegar with coconut oil, paprika and a garam masala spice mix that he makes himself. The bugs are chargrilled and served on a bed of lemon coconut quinoa, a lovely simple accompaniment.
The final dish we sample is Flambé Lamb, a cast iron pot containing rack of lamb with a pistachio dressing, an outstanding potato and turmeric mash, heirloom tomatoes, edamame beans, and vegetables sautéed in mustard. Flambé Lamb, coming to the table.
Kokum’s shared dessert plate takes the most popular Indian dessert, Gulab Jamun, and completely re-works it into a Gulab Jamun cheesecake log with crushed pistachio & rosewater praline. Locally grown butterfly pea flowers sit alongside. On the other side of the plate, there’s a square of beetroot cake topped with vanilla panna cotta, sitting on crushed almond and rose, with a couple of pretty little roses and some wedges of dried fig alongside. And then on another section of the plate, there is a dainty mound of chocolate mousse on plum sugar, with fresh berries and the tiniest of tiny cardamom meringues. So many goodies on the shared dessert plate.
Merchant is bubbling over with ideas for Kokum. He wants to introduce slow-cooked meats like brisket, beef cheeks and pork belly. He is also keen to introduce fruits like dragonfruit and guava … “all these things that have never been used in Indian cuisine”.
Towards the end of our meal, we got talking to the chef about the origin of his name.
“My name (Sabir Merchant) literally translates as patient businessman. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? I belong to a business family. We always had businesses. I’m the first in my family to work for someone else.” That may be so, but he’s certainly putting his stamp on this business. Kokum’s private dining room. If you go:

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Jamaican Jerk Marinade

59 shares Jerk Marinade is a fabulous classic Jamaican marinade which is loaded with spicy, tangy flavours. This recipe makes the best homemade authentic marinade which can be used to marinate chicken, pork, beef, fish, shrimp etc. Here is how to make Jerk marinade Recipe at home. I love tropical sides, drinks and meals like Strawberry Salsa , Mango Smoothie Bowl , Frozen Strawberry Margarita , Sesame Pineapple Pepper Fry . However, there is more to tropical cuisine than fruits. Take Jerk Marinade for instance which is used as a hot spice mixture to marinate meat. Jamaican Jerk marinade is also popular in the United States, Canada, Europe and Caribbean communities. And after tasting it on a trip, yours truly has become its die-hard fan as well. A spoonful of this pungent marinade can instantly add tons of flavours to chicken or pork. You can go ahead and buy it readymade but the best one is out and out made at home. Most importantly, this jerk sauce can be made under 5 minutes in a food processor. Mix up brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic ginger, thyme, fresh greens and everything else and this tasty jerk sauce is ready to make jerk chicken! What is Jerk Marinade? Jerk Marinade is a classic Jamaican Marinade which is spicy from the use of Scotch Bonnet peppers, very flavourful with complex flavours from the use of various spices and aromatics and has a tinge of sweetness. It has a perfect balance of spice, sweet and heat and is a very versatile marinade sauce. Made using basic pantry staples, this homemade recipe is highly customisable and you can control the heat level according to your taste preference. What does Jerk Marinade taste like? It has a tinge of sweetness along with spiciness and tanginess. The flavours are bold and very complex but they come together perfectly as one once the meat is grilled. What is Scotch Bonnet Peppers? “The scotch bonnet is the pepper of choice in the Caribbean—it’s the most widely used hot pepper in the region’s cuisine. Other hot peppers, such as cherry peppers ( wiri wiri ), bird peppers, habanero , and pimento peppers are also readily available and used in various recipes, and Indian chili peppers can also be found in markets and supermarkets. But when someone talks about hot peppers in the Caribbean, particularly in the English-speaking Caribbean, they’re almost certainly referring to the scotch bonnet pepper. You might see them labeled in stores and markets as “hot peppers” or “big peppers.” Read more about them here. Can I use any other pepper instead of Scotch Bonnet Pepper? If you cannot find scotch bonnet peppers then you may also use habanero peppers or any other spicy chilli to make this marinade. Thai Bird’s eye chillies works well too. How long can we store Jerk Marinade? A mason jar of jerk marinade stays fine in a refrigerator for quite a few days. You can refrigerate it for up to a week and freeze for upto 6 months. So, keep it ready if you are planning a sizzling meal or a party and use it to make waves on the table in minutes. Here’s my recipe to make this one of its kind marinade.
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Here Are 5 Of The Best Wellness Retreats In Sri Lanka

Here Are 5 Of The Best Wellness Retreats In Sri Lanka The country is bursting with Ayurvedic and spiritual centres galore. Share it Move over Bali , Sri Lanka is on its way to becoming the hottest travel destination and for good reason. Apart from the breathtaking scenery, stunning sunsets and delicious food, the wellness aspect is one that appeals to solo and group travellers alike. Ayurvedic retreats and spiritual centres make it an ideal place to visit for those that like to combine travel with self-care and self-development, and there’s always beautiful beaches to take some serious time out on. If you’re considering a wellness getaway, Sri Lanka could well be the destination for you. Here are the best wellness retreats you need to know about: 1. Santani Wellness Resort Image: Traveller Made Soothe your soul with this stunning mountainside retreat set amongst rural, untouched wilderness. Santani certainly takes wellness seriously, and aims to show you a way of life that puts your wellbeing at centre stage. Plenty of yoga, spa pampering and traditional Ayurvedic rituals will have you feeling zen in no time, while the education component of the Santani philosophy means you’ll take home plenty of habits and knowledge that will continue to enhance every area of your life. If Ayurveda is something you’re particularly interested in incorporating into your wellness routine, the Personal Dosha Ayurveda Retreat is designed to provide you with everyday tools to assist you in enhancing your wellbeing in a tailor-made way, making it a wellness retreat that will transcend every area of your life. We’re sold! 2. Siddhalepa Ayurvedic Resort Image: Siddhalepa Resort Boasting a family heritage that spans more than 200 years and a stunning location overlooking the Indian Ocean, Siddhalepa provides the beautiful contrast of ancient healing practices in a modern setting. From anti-ageing treatments, Ayurvedic weight loss programmes to blood purification and Panchakarma healing therapies, the resort’s expert Ayurvedic physician will prescribe treatments from yoga exercise schedules and tailor-made dietary plans to herbal treatment packages and traditional stress-reduction techniques. Bliss! 3. Kalenduwa Retreat Image: Kalenduwa Retreat Located around 150km from Colombo and offering an “inimitable perspective on the human-nature bond’, Kalundewa Retreat is easily one of the most unique boutique hotels in Sri Lanka; lying amid 100 acres of pristine land and home to four beautiful lakes plus a rural farming community. If you’re looking to quieten your mind, you’ll find peace in a Meditation Retreat among the mystic mountains of Kalundewa. The retreat will enable you to sit amidst the stillness during a meditation session or opt for a yoga session surrounded by acres of greenery that face the majestic mountain range. You’ll also enjoy authentic and refreshing spa remedies at the mini spa and experience a getaway with a difference that will give you inner peace, vitality and joy. Sign us up! 4. Sen Wellness Sanctuary Image: Sen Wellness Sanctuary Set amongst pristine national park with a protected turtle nesting beach as part of its premises and the Indian Ocean as its backdrop, Sen Wellness Sanctuary is designed with the philosophy that nature is the best healer in mind. The onsite team of world-class osteopaths yoga teachers, therapists, chefs and knowledgeable Ayurvedic doctor’s all aim to uphold the retreat’s wellness philosophy—which is to support the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body to live in harmony as a whole. The Sanctuary programs are an integrative system of healing that blends advanced scientific principles of the west and ancient wisdom of the east. By treating each individual as a whole, lifestyle changes are implemented, and long-lasting results can be created. 5. Tri Image: Trilanka.com Radiating luxury at every turn and known to take every aspect of wellbeing seriously, Tri is situated overlooking the scenic Koggala Lake. The grounds and buildings are a stunning example of sustainability, with solar heated water, living walls and green roofs—providing the perfect backdrop to a wellness escape. The sanctuary is the ideal space to reap the benefits of yoga, nurturing spa treatments and experiencing Sri Lankan culture through local cuisine. A getaway at Tri not only calms the mind and nourishes the body but stimulates the intellect and lifts the spirit. Sounds like our cup of herbal tea! Recents posts

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Saif Ali Khan: “I Think The Food Truck Is A Good Idea For Foodies”

By IANS
Actor Saif Ali Khan who starred in a film called “ Chef ” and is a foodie finds the food truck concept quite exciting.
“I think the food truck is a good idea for foodies,” Saif told the media on Thursday as he launched ‘Marriott On Wheels’ at JW Marriot in Juhu here. Saif Ali Khan: “I Think The Food Truck Is A Good Idea For Foodies”
As per the new initiative by Marriott India, a food truck will be cruising through six cities, including Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh, and will be serving the signature dishes of each city.
“It is going to be interesting because the truck is going to travel six cities and explore local flavours. I am one of those people who love roadside food as well as international cuisines. I love Indian food. I also love Chinese, Japanese and Italian food. Basically, I am a foodie,” Saif told the media on Thursday. Trending Urmila Matondkar & Hardik Patel To Address Mega Youth Meet In Mumbai
The actor who played the character of a chef in “ Chef ” learned some of the cooking hacks from the head chef of the hotel.
Recalling the days, the “ Omkara ” actor said: “We actually learned and shot all the cooking scenes here. It was amazing.”
On the work front, the actor is gearing up for the new season of the Netflix show “ Sacred Games “.
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Summer Holiday Destinations in India

The heat is on this summer and being holiday season the summers also signal travel plans. We handpick some Spicejet destinations that are sure to make your summer break memorable.
The summer sun is shining bright and with school holidays on it is the time to plan your next summer break. With a plethora of options in India there is really no dearth of choice but when you are travelling with family, one of the key considerations is accessibility. The diverse landscape of India offers several options where you can explore the many dimensions of the country. So whether it is a culture holiday, mountain adventure or wildlife that you seek, there is all this and much more. After all India has a vibrant culture that varies every 50 odd kilometers which means there is never a moment of boredom. And travel of course is a way to open your mind to an entire new world while broadening your perspectives. Of course it is of prime importance that the destination has something for everyone. Well, this might seem like a tall order but it is not really as difficult when you look at this list of destinations that can be accessed via Spicejet. So, well it is time to get, set packing.
Sikkim
The North eastern state of Sikkim is where the landscape is dramatic courtesy the undulating Himalayan range, beautiful meadows and stunning wildflowers in its natural environs. Start your exploration at the capital city Gangtok’s Rumtek Monastery the center of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that was originally built by Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in 1740 and has been renovated last in 1959. A stop at the Tsongmo Lake 40 km from Gangtok a large lake that is inhabited by Brahminy Ducks as well as a favourite with migratory birds is a must. Tucked amidst a lush forest cover, the lake is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus who believe that the birds do not allow even one leaf to float on the lake’s surface. Being in a restricted area an inner line permit is required by Indians to visit this place. Sikkim is also home to the Nathu La pass that also needs special permission one day in advance before it can be visited. The Harbajan Singh Baba Temple located close to the Nathu La pass is a well-known place as well. The Gurudongmar Lake that stands at an altitude of 5150 meters freezes in winter is sacred as a part of it is considered to be touched by Guru Padmasambhava. Sikkim also offers numerous trekking trails and the Dzongri trek gives you a stunning view of the unique landscape. Also visit the Yumthang Valley home to several exotic, rare and wild flowers and is a riot of colour. Since there is a strong Buddhist influence in the state you will find several monasteries like the Lingdum Monastery and Enchey Monastery here. Nearest airport: Gangtok Best known for: Largest cardamom producing place When established: 17 th century by the Namgyal dynasty What to shop for: Sikkimese cups with colourful art especially dragons printed on them as well as Buddhist Prayer Flags. Must-try food dishes: Apart from momos and Thukpas (noodle soup), try the Phagshapa a strip of pork fat stewed with radishes and dry chilies and wash it down with Chhang / Tongba a locally brewed millet beer.
Mahabaleshwar
Located in the Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats, Mahabaleshwar is a hill station surrounded by evergreen forests that make it a perfect summer getaway. The hill town is home to the famed Pratapgarh Fort that towers 3450 feet above sea level. This fort is the pride of the Marathas and has a lower and upper portion and was used by Shivaji to strategize all his military expeditions. A huge statue of Shivaji that weighs a whopping four tons is seen atop the fort. Once you climb to the top you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the mountain ranges all around. Another must see destination here is the Venna Lake also a popular tourist attraction of Mahabaleshwar. The lake was built by Appasaheb Maharaj in 1842 and is surrounded by greenery. Boat rides are a common way to enjoy the lake and you can also hop on to a horse for a ride around the lake. There are several restaurants that dot the lake which makes it a popular pit stop with both locals and tourists alike. Close by is the famed Mapro Garden that hosts the annual strawberry festival. A food processing company, you can actually visit the factory and see the entire process of making the candies. The older part of Mahabaleshwar has some fantastic view points as well as architecture that is admirable. For a spiritual fix, check out the Krishnabai temple where the Krishna river that is believed to originate here is worshiped. Do stop by at the 3 Monkey Point a natural sculpture of stones that resemble three monkeys and Arthur seat point a vantage view point. Nearest airport: Pune Best known for: Strawberries When established: 1829 What to shop for: Goodies from Mapro, especially the Falero fruit based candies, jams, squashes and preserves and of course fresh strawberries in the season. Must-try food dishes: Strawberry ice cream and Corn Pattice.
Auli
Arguably one of the best skiing destinations of India, Auli in Uttarakand is the perfect summer break. Set amidst the Garhwal Himalayan range, the place is dotted with apple orchards, pine and deodar trees. With stunning natural vistas, the destination is also popular for its treks that get you close to the snowcapped mountains. Standing at an elevation of 2800 meters above sea levels, the mountains of Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, Mana Parvat and Kamet are located in Auli. Auli also has Asia’s longest and one of the highest cable car rides that covers 4 kilometres and is at a height of 3010 meters above the sea level. The locals believe that the revered saint Adi Shankaracharya visited Auli in the 8 th century and there are a number of religious sites here as well. Incidentally Joshimath which is one of the four ‘maths’ created by Adi Shankaracharya can be reached via cable car from Auli. The Kalpavriksha and Narsingh temples are 14 kms from Joshimath. 1 km ahead of Gurso Bugyal is a small yet beautiful lake Chattrakund. Another popular trekking destination 12 kms from Gurso Bugyal, Kwani Bugya is at 3380 meters above sea level. A relatively quiet place that remains largely inaccessible due to lack of motorable roads is the Chenab Lake that is after the last village of Joshimath, Dang Village. The highest manmade lake in the world, the Auli artificial lake is another must see place here. Located close by is the Nanda Devi National Park that has amazing flora and fauna. Nearest airport: Dehradun Best known for: Skiing, this is the best pace to do a quick skiing course. When established: 8 th century AD. What to shop for: Woolen items especially shawls, sweaters and caps. Must-try food dishes: The hillside Maggi noodles are a must try.
Dharamshala
Located 1475 meters above sea level, Dharamshala is located in the beatiful Kangra Valley and is often labeled as the ‘Little Lhasa of India’. Best known for being the holy residence of the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala is nestled amidst the Dhauladhar ranges and is surrounded by deodar cedar trees and snowcapped peaks which frame the landscape beautifully. A popular summer destination, Dharamshala is divided into two parts the lower division is Dharamsala town and the upper division is called Mcleodganj. Naturally there is a strong Buddhist influence which is manifested in the quaint old monasteries here. The most important landmark here is the residence of the Dalai Lama the Namgyal Monastery which is also the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. About 200 Tibetan monks live here and this is a center of learning and the monks work tirelessly to preserve the rituals, skills and traditions. This is a hub for Tibetans and is known for the St. John Church, dedicated to John the Baptist built using neo-Gothic architecture. The Belgian stained-glass windows here are a specialty and interesting the Church has survived the 1905 Kangra earthquake as well. The Tibetan New Year is celebrated through the Losar Festival held annually. To experience the majesty of nature stop at the Bhagsunag Fall that falls from a height of 20 meters and is home to an old temple as well as a fresh water spring. Some of the popular markets that you must visit here include the Kotwali Bazar where you can buy Tibetan trinkets, mandala paintings, thangkas, prayer wheels and other Knick knacks. Also stop at Mcleodganj where you can buy Tibetan handicrafts and carpets. Do check out the Green Shop run by the Tibetan Welfare Office which deals with eco-friendly products. Nearest airport: Dharamshala Best known for: Being the residence of the 14 th Dalai Lama When established: 1849 What to shop for: Tibetan handicrafts Must-try food dishes: Tibetan food and Momos
Munnar
Rising 1700 meters above sea level in the majestic Western Ghats, Munnar is a hill station in Kerala that is a favourite haunt all year round especially for its salubrious climate in the summer. This is where you will be treated to undulating views of tea gardens and the terraced plantations make for a compelling visual here. When you are in Munnar, a visit to the Eravikulam National Park is a must as this where you can spot the endangered Nilgiri Tahr apart from several species of butterflies, animals and birds. The endemic Neelakurinji blooms here once in twelve years. To take in the beauty of nature a trek to the Anamudi Peak located within the Eravikulam National Park which is the highest peak in South India with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam is a good idea. About 13 km from Munnar is Mattupetty known for its storage masonry dam and beautiful lake where boat rides are the best way to enjoy the landscape. Do stop at the first hydro-electric project in Kerala at Pallivasal whose scenic beauty makes it a favourite picnic spot. Another place that must be on your itinerary is Chinnakanal whose Power House Waterfalls make for a beautiful sight in the Western Ghat ranges. From here, seven kilometers away is Anayirangal, which is home to a dam and the place is shrouded in green courtesy the tea plantations and evergreen forests. Since this is tea land, a visit to the Tea Museum located in the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea which is a storehouse of information on the evolution of tea plantations is a must. This is where you can admire artifacts, photographs and machinery used to process tea and also sip a hot cup of tea. Nearest airport: Kochi Best known for: Tea plantations When established: 19 th Century What to shop for: Flavoured teas, local spices, curry powders and cocoa. Must-try food dishes: Appam with stew, Malabar Parotta, Idiyappam with Egg Curry and Kerala Prawn Curry
Masinagudi
Located within the Nilgiri Biosphere, Masinagudi is where you can enjoy nature uninterrupted. Being next to the famed Mudumalai Wildlife sanctuary, Masinagudi with its moist deciduous forests is perfect to walk, trek and indulge in bird watching. Bird lovers can spot several species here including the crested hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, woodpeckers, mynas, owls, barbets and parakeets. This is also home to varied wildlife including elephants, gaurs, deer, langurs and the Malabar giant squirrel. The best way to see this up close is to hop on to a jeep safari that will take you on a two hours wilderness ride. This is ticketed and happens early morning and late evening. Also visit the Maravakandy Dam that was built in 1951 that also has an animal watching tower. Being a place where animals come to quench their thirst, this is where you can spot several wild animals too. Being adjacent to the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary do make time to go on a wildlife safari that is home to Bengal tigers, leopards and several other species. A visit to the beautiful Moyar River that separates the Bandipur the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuaries is a good idea as well. Apart from enjoying fishing and boating activities, this is also a spot for wild animal sightings as it is a water body. Again being very scenic this place also happens to be a photographer’s delight. Camping in Masinagudi is a popular way to explore the natural vistas as well. Do make time to visit the Theppakadu Elephant Camp that is home to a large number of rescued elephants who are trained here. This is where you can also see how the elephants are fed. Just make sure you are here in the morning or evening at the feeding time. Nearest airport: Coimbatore Best known for: Madhumalai wildlife sanctuary and elephant habitat When established: 1940 What to shop for: Spices, Tea dust, Coffee powder, Eucalyptus oil and jackfruit. Must-try food dishes: Try the Badaga cuisine which includes The Badaga Chicken curry or Koi Udaka, masala fried fish fillets and Gaasu Dotti, a local bread.

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News And Updates — Can Eating Berries Help Prevent Wrinkles? Find Out

7 Foods For Aging Gracefully
Aging gracefully should be a healthy goal for everyone: accepting and embracing what time and experience brings us, while actively working to prevent and minimize the health concerns that naturally come with aging. In addition to regular exercise and proper supplementation, your diet is an ideal place to start your graceful aging endeavors. Add these foods to your plate for health – no matter what your age! Vegetables . Antioxidants help counter oxidative stress, a process that can damage cells and may accelerate aging. Vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants – plus most are low in calories, high in nutrients and fiber, versatile and relatively cost-effective… so there’s no reason not to add more vegetables to your diet! Choose an array of vegetables covering all the colors, making sure to include dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, which help promote eye health. Berries . Blueberries in particular are a good choice: The active components in blueberries are the anthocyanin pigments – the protective compounds that make the berries blue and are responsible for their antioxidant potency. Studies have shown that blueberries may improve motor skills and reverse age-related short-term memory loss and may also protect the brain from stroke damage. Opt for organic berries and add them with walnuts to whole fat plain yogurt or salads or just eat them as a refreshing snack. Soy . Studies of the Japanese culture indicate that women who eat soy regularly don’t suffer from hot flashes the way many western women do. While dietary soy may not be entirely responsible (other diet and lifestyle elements may play a role), the isoflavones in soy foods do help balance hormone levels and have some mild estrogenic activity. I recommend two servings of whole organic soy foods daily. Choose from tofu, roasted soy nuts, tempeh, edamame or miso. Salmon . Wild-caught Alaskan salmon and canned sockeye salmon are among my favorite foods. Not only is wild salmon available fresh, frozen and canned, making it a versatile choice, salmon has plenty of health benefits: it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids , the anti-inflammatory, essential fats our bodies need for optimum health (omega-3s from eating salmon and other oily fish offer protection against heart attack, stroke, cancer, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and mental and emotional health concerns), and it is also a high-quality source of protein. Whole Grains . Whole grains are minimally processed grains that are closer to their natural form than processed grains, and therefore have a lower glycemic index (GI), a ranking of carbohydrate foods on the basis of how rapidly they affect blood sugar (glucose). This is important because eating a lot of foods that are high on the GI will produce spikes in blood sugar that can lead, over time, to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood fats, an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Barley, quinoa, millet, wheat berries and kasha are good choices, as they provide important nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and, especially, carbohydrates that are low on the GI. Spices . Turmeric and ginger are two winners for brain health as you age. Research suggests that turmeric, the major ingredient in American mustard and Indian curry, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This may help explain the unusually low incidence of Alzheimer’s in India, where people consume significant amounts of turmeric every day. Use this culinary spice to give a healthy sharp flavor to your favorite eastern cuisine. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that has also been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. You can add ginger to your diet by eating crystallized ginger or the pickled ginger (ideally in the more natural white form, not the artificially enhanced pink) that comes with sushi and use ginger in any form when cooking. Dark Chocolate . Chocolate provides polyphenols with high antioxidant activity, and the fat it contains is mostly stearic acid, which doesn’t raise cholesterol levels. An exciting recent study indicates that compounds called flavonoids in dark chocolate are good for the heart: they reduce the stickiness of platelets, inhibiting blood clotting and reducing the danger of coronary artery blockages. It has also been shown to lower the stress hormone cortisol, a major win for health. When buying, choose products with 70 percent or higher pure cocoa solids.
The post 7 Foods For Aging Gracefully appeared first on DrWeil.com . from News And Updates https://www.drweil.com/blog/health-tips/7-foods-for-aging-gracefully/

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EU Parliament Increases Parental Leave Entitlements

19 apr All Day 21 Paaspop/Easter Doll Festival Event Details
Paaspop/Easter Doll, has been going since 1974 and has grown year on year. It went from a friendly regional festival to an internationally recognisable three-day event. Last year 83,000 people more Event Details
Paaspop/Easter Doll, has been going since 1974 and has grown year on year. It went from a friendly regional festival to an internationally recognisable three-day event. Last year 83,000 people attended Passpop to see 230 different acts, on 14 different stages. They also got to try 42 different food trucks, offering a variety of different cuisines from all over the world.
Paaspop has seen acts such as Iggy Pop, Bastille, Nothing But Thieves, The Prodigy, Underworld, Kaiser Chiefs, The Kooks, Fatboy Slim, The Wombats and many more. So, who is going to be there this year?
25 Years Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo • 2manydjs DJ Set • 4shobangers • 80’s Verantwoord • Aap uit de Mouw • Abba Fever • Alex Agnew • The All Star Gary Moore Tribute Band • All Them Witches • Amartey • Amyl And The Sniffers • Arie & Silvester • Atmozfears • Baby Blue • Bizzey • Black Water County • Blood Red Shoes • Brennan Heart • Camo & Krooked • Circus Brothers • Claw Boys Claw • Clean Bandit • Comeback Kid • D-Block & S-te-Fan • D-Sturb • Daddy Long Legs • DAISY • Daniel Caldèras & the Shrunken Big Band ft. Benjamin Herman • Davina Michelle • De Hofnar • De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig • De Lievelings DJ’s van je Zusje • De Staat • The Devil Makes Three • DeWolff • The Dirty Daddies • Donnie & Joost • Dopebwoy • Douwe Bob • Dr Phunk • Dropkick Murphys • Drunken Dolly • EAUXMAR • Ellen Ten Damme • Famke Louise • FATA BOOM • Fiesta Macumba Soundsystem • Flonti Stacks • For I Am King • Freddy Moreira • Frenna • The Gaslamp Killer • GENTA • Handrick • Hannah Williams & The Affirmations • Heavy Hoempa plays Iron Maiden • Hef • Heideroosjes • HENGE • Herrie met Gerrie • Ho99o9 • Idaly • IDLES • Ilse DeLange • Indian Askin • Jailhouse Jimmy • Jameszoo • Jarreau Vandal • Jeangu Macrooy • Jett Rebel • Jiri11 • JoeyAK • Johnny 500 • Jordymone9 • Kovacs • Kraantje Pappie • Kris Kross Amsterdam • La Fuente • LNY TNZ • Louder Than Love • Louder Than Love (Soundgarden tribute) • Lukas Graham • MADUK hosted by Ben Verse • Mash-Up Jack • Mate Power • Merol • Mia More • Michelle David & The Gospel Sessions • Mike Krol • Mike Williams • Mr. Belt & Wezol • Mula B • NAFTHALY RAMONA • Navarone • Nervana • Nicole Atkins • Nielson • Noisia DJ Set • NOMA$ • Nona • Novastar • Ooostblok • Oscar and the Wolf • Passenger • Pendulum DJ Set • Phuture Noize • Ploegendienst • Plunder • Poke • Prime • Puinhoop Kollektiv – The Final Weekend Tour • Puri • Que Pasa! • Ran-D • Rondé • Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience • Rowwen Hèze • Russkaja • S10 • Sam Feldt LIVE • Scooter • Sevn Alias • Singlefeestje • Sir Reg • Sjaak • Sjannies • SMP • Snelle • Son Mieux • Stahlzeit • The Stand-Up Club • The Stand-Up Club • Steel Panther • T & Sugah b2b NCT • Tabanka • TAPE TOY • Ten Times A Million • Terry Alderton • Thijs Boontjes Dans- en Showorkest • Tim Akkerman Sings The Boss • Tim Knol & The Blue Grass Boogiemen • Trobi • Tusky • The Vintage Caravan • Vinylfeestje • Waxfiend • The Wetnecks • White Lies • Winne • Within Temptation • Yonaka • Young Ellens • Yung Felix • Yungblud • Zer00’s Heroes Tickets

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