How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation? By Priya Krishna • 15 hours ago Chickpea flour is gaining attention thanks to its gluten-free binding properties. But the ingredient has been a staple of cooking for Indians, Pakistanis and many others for centuries. Pinkybird / Getty Images
There’s a specific section of my family’s fridge that is reserved for the large, seemingly bottomless tub of chickpea flour — or as we and lots of other Indians who also rely on it call it, besan — that my parents keep on hand. We’re not gluten-free, nor do we do a lot of baking. Yet chickpea flour shows up everywhere in our food. It’s the nutty coating for my mom’s green beans spiced with earthy ajwain , the key ingredient in her creamy, tangy, yogurt-based soup, kadhi , and the base for our favorite variety of laddoos , sweet, fudge-like balls flavored with ghee, sugar and nuts.
Across the many regional cuisines in India, chickpea flour is a common denominator: Gujaratis turn it into pudla , thin, savory crepes laced with turmeric and chilies. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, it can be found in jhunka , a spicy porridge. And in Andhra Pradesh, it is the thickener in Senagapindi Kura , an onion-heavy stew. For the country’s large vegetarian population, where eggs are often considered non-vegetarian, chickpea flour mixed with water serves as a convincing omelet replacement.
Indians — along with the Nepalese, Pakistanis, Italians, the French, and many others — have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. Americans, on the other hand, only seem to have woken up to the ingredient in the last decade or so. And they’ve woken up in a big way.
It’s hard to trace the exact origin of chickpea flour’s sudden popularity in the U.S. Anna Stockwell, the senior food editor of the publications Epicurious and Bon Appétit , said she first started seeing chickpea flour around 2009 on gluten-free blogs. Stockwell is gluten-free herself, and was excited to find a recipe for savory chickpea pancakes.
She didn’t know much about chickpea flour’s culinary heritage, but she was immediately excited. “Its binding power was magic,” she recalls. “All you have to do is combine chickpea flour and water, and suddenly you can make flatbread, or fritters or vegetable pancakes.” Still, Stockwell saw it as a niche ingredient — something only gluten-free consumers cared about. She wasn’t even allowed to call for it in Epicurious recipes.
Slowly but surely, that started to change. In 2010, one of the more popular recipes from Plenty , Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling cookbook, was a chickpea flour pancake, or socca , as it’s known in France, layered with tomatoes and onions. In 2015, food and fitness writer Camilla Saulsbury wrote the popular book The Chickpea Flour Cookbook . That was followed a year later by Chickpea Flour Does It All , by blogger Lindsey Love.
Lani Halliday, the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a gluten-free Brooklyn bakery, says she noticed a huge uptick in the number of chickpea flour-based, gluten-free sweets available about a decade ago. For baked goods, chickpea flour worked uniquely well, “as it can hold air bubbles and hold moisture,” she says. Plus, “it was cheap, it was accessible, and it was versatile.”
Halliday launched her bakery in 2015. One of her bestselling items among both gluten-free and non-gluten-free customers was a chocolate cupcake made with chickpea flour.
Stockwell believes the mainstreaming of chickpea flour is directly linked to one company in particular — Banza. The company started producing its chickpea flour-based pasta in 2014, and by 2017, it was in 8,000-plus grocery stores and had raised $8 million in funding. The key to the company’s success? It didn’t exclusively market itself as a gluten-free product. Instead, it was branded as health food. And it was one of the first alternative pastas that had a smooth, al dente texture, just like the real thing.
“I had friends who had never heard of chickpea flour, but now they eat Banza,” Stockwell says. “It’s not because they are trying to eat gluten-free but because it’s a delicious and higher-protein pasta. It’s a substitute for empty carbs.”
This year, Epicurious was finally allowed to publish recipes with chickpea flour. Dennis Vaughn, the CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, says that in the past five years, chickpea flour has become a clear bestseller among the company’s sundry flour options.
“My grocery store doesn’t even carry red meat,” Stockwell says, “but they carry Bob’s Red Mill” chickpea flour.
In many ways, it has been weird to watch this ingredient that has always felt so quotidian to me become so ubiquitous so quickly in the U.S. This is certainly not the first Indian ingredient or dish this has happened to. Consider turmeric, chai, or khichdi , which have all been claimed by the wellness community and food bloggers as their own, often times without giving due credit to Indian cuisine. It baffles me that the vast majority of people I talk to are shocked to hear that chickpea flour has long been a common ingredient in my family’s cooking.
On the other hand, it was important to me when I was writing my new cookbook, Indian-ish , that people could find the ingredients for the dishes in their average grocery store. Because chickpea flour is now so common, I could include recipes like those addictive chickpea flour green beans, and the silky, soupy kadhi .
I’m not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream. But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn’t frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.
No one culture can “own” an ingredient — I’m literally writing this with a box of Banza chickpea pasta in my kitchen cabinet — but let’s not treat food like it exists in a vacuum. There’s context for that chickpea flour flatbread you’re making for dinner. Don’t take it for granted.
Priya Krishna is a food writer who contributes to The New York Times, Bon Appétit , and others. She also serves as one of the hosts of Bon Appétit’s video series, From the Test Kitchen . She is the author of the cookbook Indian-ish: Recipes And Antics From A Modern American Family . Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ PKgourmet Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. © 2019 HPPR

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Celebrity Travel Addicts: Theodora & Graeme of Babe, Where’s My Passport?

May 12, 2019 0
In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts , we chat with Theodora van de Pol and Graeme Robertson of Babe, Where’s My Passport? They are a married couple from Portsmouth, England who gave up their life and successful business in the UK to become full-time travel vloggers. We speak with Babe, Where’s My Passport about what sparked their love of travel, their favorite cuisines, their biggest tip for travelers, and much more. Check out their favorite destinations around the world and find out where Babe, Where’s My Passport are going next! How did your passion for travel get started?
When Graeme left the British Army 2007 we set off to Australia for a working holiday visa and since then our whole lives have been evolved around traveling. In 2018 be dared to ask ourselves “what is our wildest dream?” The answer was unanimous “to make a living traveling the world.” So we decided to YouTube our way around the world. How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
We probably travel 9 months of the year at a minimum and we travel to places that are interesting to create content. Places that are different from what we know in Europe. However, we have decided to explore more of Europe and are travelling to new destinations in Europe this summer. You gave up your business and sold all of your belongings to become full-time travel influencers. Did you have any trepidation before you finally made the leap?
It was a scary thought to give up everything we had worked for up to that point. However, it was a long time coming. We set a date (1 year away) and we literally left on 365 th day of setting that date. “Taking the risk instead of losing the chance” is one the sayings we live by. It was now or never to follow our wildest dream. We are getting a bit older and it was the perfect time to change our career and do something we truly love doing. Had we only started vlogging back in 2007 when we first went travelling together we would have probably been one of the first YouTubers to do so. Before you became travel influencers you lived in the UK. What makes the UK a fun and unique travel destination? Where should travelers go when they visit the UK?
I think when you live in a country from birth you often don’t explore your own country or think there is anything great about it because it’s so familiar to you. However, since travelling and then returning back home to the UK, we have realized that it’s such a unique country with so much history and culture. Obviously, London is a must visit location it’s just an amazing city with so much to see and do. However, for a real English feel, visit places like the Lake District, The Cotswolds, Cornwall and Blackpool. In those places you will get a true feel of the proper English culture. The only down side to the UK is the weather, so preferably visit in the summer. What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
We share our travel experiences to inspire others to create their own travel memories.
We want to inspire everybody to follow your dreams and realize it’s never too late. Make having fun your priority. It doesn’t matter where you are, even if it’s in your own country, go out explore and experience the world. Make memories with all kinds of people from different walks of life. What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
California has been our top destination and a place where we would like to settle down long term. It has great weather all year round, there is a healthy vibe and you can go skiing in Lake Tahoe one day and be surfing in Santa Cruz the next day.
Also, India is one of our top destinations. It was a crazy adventure and we had a so much fun being there. We experienced a huge culture shock which really gives you a different perspective about life.
Getting a campervan and travelling through Australia was our first true travelling experience so has to be in the top three. The freedom of finding your own path, parking up at night to sleep and experiencing that special moment when you wake up in a new location (now seeing it for the first time with daylight) and to enjoy your breakfast right there, nothing better. Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
India: Visit the Pushkar Camel Festival (October) Celebrate Diwali in any city in the North (October/November) Visit Golden Temple Amritsar and eat at the Nagar Langar temple kitchen (open 24 hrs) Go to the Wagah Border Ceremony (every evening) Try lassi in Jaipur How many countries have you visited so far?
We feel like we have been to so many but actually it’s only 35. That being said we have spent a lot of time in most of the countries. We like to get a good feel for each place before moving on again. For example, we spent a total of 2 years in Australia, 5 months in California, 1 month in South Korea, 1 month in Sri Lanka, 2 months in India and so forth. You have done a lot of traveling since you gave up your lives in the UK in June of 2018. What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned about travel since then?
We have learned to be flexibe. Things happen out of your control on the road and you have to be flexible and go with the flow. Flights we be delayed or over booked, the weather won’t always be on your side, you will probably get over charged at least once and get really annoyed about it. However, none of this matter as you’ll make memories and experience things that you can’t anticipate before leaving. What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Japanese
Indian What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
We have a “secret” restaurant in Cyprus, Mousikos in Sotira which is off the beaten track. Only locals go there to eat. The majority of people in the village don’t even speak English. You have to order the Meze. It’s made up of 21 small dishes of all sorts of Mediterranean amazing foods (the homemade halloumi is to die for!). It’s such an authentic experience. You’ll dine outdoors under passionfruit vines and the stars, just amazing. What is your favorite travel movie?
Marigold Hotel has to be one of our favorites. What is your favorite international airport?
Changi Airport in Singapore is pretty insane so much to do there and great for a long layover. We made a video about all the terminals and found all sorts of amazing things to do and see including a butterfly garden and free 24 hours cinema. Which city had the friendliest people?
This is a difficult one as we have met incredibly kind people all over the world. However, Lopburi, Thailand (aka monkey town) stands out the most as we received help from complete strangers who were going about their day and went out of their way to help us (giving us lifts, helping us get to our next destination etc). Who is your favorite travel companion?
Each other ☺ What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
For us it’s editing but we do have the monopoly card game which almost ends up in divorce as we are super competitive with each other. What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
The Gili Island were really nice but we recently travelled to The Philippines and it has so many amazing beaches and islands. The water is blue like Gatorade. What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Budget, budget and budget. It’s easy to want to do every tour, every activity and before you know it the year of travel is now down to 6 months travel. We log, every night before going to bed, every single penny we have spent. This was you keep track of where your budget is going and helps you plan accordingly. What are 4 things you could never travel without?
Passport (lol), camera, frisbee and drone What is your ultimate dream destination?
Bora Bora What is your favorite travel quote?
Babe, where’s my passport? Where are you headed next?
We are headed home to the UK briefly and then we are going away but don’t know the destination until we get to the airport. How cool is that ☺ Bio
We are Graeme and Theodora. One day, while we ran a successful Interior Design and Project Management company in the UK, we dared to ask ourselves “what is our wildest dream?”
The answer was unanimous “to make a living traveling the world.”
In June 2018 we finally made the decision to take the risk instead of losing the chance and embarked on a journey made of dreams. To YouTube our way around the world.
Connect with Theodora and Graeme of Babe, Where’s My Passport on their website , YouTube , and Instagram to learn more about them and their travels! Related

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How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation? By Priya Krishna • 7 hours ago Chickpea flour is gaining attention thanks to its gluten-free binding properties. But the ingredient has been a staple of cooking for Indians, Pakistanis and many others for centuries. Pinkybird / Getty Images
There’s a specific section of my family’s fridge that is reserved for the large, seemingly bottomless tub of chickpea flour — or as we and lots of other Indians who also rely on it call it, besan — that my parents keep on hand. We’re not gluten-free, nor do we do a lot of baking. Yet chickpea flour shows up everywhere in our food. It’s the nutty coating for my mom’s green beans spiced with earthy ajwain , the key ingredient in her creamy, tangy, yogurt-based soup, kadhi , and the base for our favorite variety of laddoos , sweet, fudge-like balls flavored with ghee, sugar and nuts.
Across the many regional cuisines in India, chickpea flour is a common denominator: Gujaratis turn it into pudla , thin, savory crepes laced with turmeric and chilies. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, it can be found in jhunka , a spicy porridge. And in Andhra Pradesh, it is the thickener in Senagapindi Kura , an onion-heavy stew. For the country’s large vegetarian population, where eggs are often considered non-vegetarian, chickpea flour mixed with water serves as a convincing omelet replacement.
Indians — along with the Nepalese, Pakistanis, Italians, the French, and many others — have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. Americans, on the other hand, only seem to have woken up to the ingredient in the last decade or so. And they’ve woken up in a big way.
It’s hard to trace the exact origin of chickpea flour’s sudden popularity in the U.S. Anna Stockwell, the senior food editor of the publications Epicurious and Bon Appétit , said she first started seeing chickpea flour around 2009 on gluten-free blogs. Stockwell is gluten-free herself, and was excited to find a recipe for savory chickpea pancakes.
She didn’t know much about chickpea flour’s culinary heritage, but she was immediately excited. “Its binding power was magic,” she recalls. “All you have to do is combine chickpea flour and water, and suddenly you can make flatbread, or fritters or vegetable pancakes.” Still, Stockwell saw it as a niche ingredient — something only gluten-free consumers cared about. She wasn’t even allowed to call for it in Epicurious recipes.
Slowly but surely, that started to change. In 2010, one of the more popular recipes from Plenty , Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling cookbook, was a chickpea flour pancake, or socca , as it’s known in France, layered with tomatoes and onions. In 2015, food and fitness writer Camilla Saulsbury wrote the popular book The Chickpea Flour Cookbook . That was followed a year later by Chickpea Flour Does It All , by blogger Lindsey Love.
Lani Halliday, the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a gluten-free Brooklyn bakery, says she noticed a huge uptick in the number of chickpea flour-based, gluten-free sweets available about a decade ago. For baked goods, chickpea flour worked uniquely well, “as it can hold air bubbles and hold moisture,” she says. Plus, “it was cheap, it was accessible, and it was versatile.”
Halliday launched her bakery in 2015. One of her bestselling items among both gluten-free and non-gluten-free customers was a chocolate cupcake made with chickpea flour.
Stockwell believes the mainstreaming of chickpea flour is directly linked to one company in particular — Banza. The company started producing its chickpea flour-based pasta in 2014, and by 2017, it was in 8,000-plus grocery stores and had raised $8 million in funding. The key to the company’s success? It didn’t exclusively market itself as a gluten-free product. Instead, it was branded as health food. And it was one of the first alternative pastas that had a smooth, al dente texture, just like the real thing.
“I had friends who had never heard of chickpea flour, but now they eat Banza,” Stockwell says. “It’s not because they are trying to eat gluten-free but because it’s a delicious and higher-protein pasta. It’s a substitute for empty carbs.”
This year, Epicurious was finally allowed to publish recipes with chickpea flour. Dennis Vaughn, the CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, says that in the past five years, chickpea flour has become a clear bestseller among the company’s sundry flour options.
“My grocery store doesn’t even carry red meat,” Stockwell says, “but they carry Bob’s Red Mill” chickpea flour.
In many ways, it has been weird to watch this ingredient that has always felt so quotidian to me become so ubiquitous so quickly in the U.S. This is certainly not the first Indian ingredient or dish this has happened to. Consider turmeric, chai, or khichdi , which have all been claimed by the wellness community and food bloggers as their own, often times without giving due credit to Indian cuisine. It baffles me that the vast majority of people I talk to are shocked to hear that chickpea flour has long been a common ingredient in my family’s cooking.
On the other hand, it was important to me when I was writing my new cookbook, Indian-ish , that people could find the ingredients for the dishes in their average grocery store. Because chickpea flour is now so common, I could include recipes like those addictive chickpea flour green beans, and the silky, soupy kadhi .
I’m not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream. But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn’t frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.
No one culture can “own” an ingredient — I’m literally writing this with a box of Banza chickpea pasta in my kitchen cabinet — but let’s not treat food like it exists in a vacuum. There’s context for that chickpea flour flatbread you’re making for dinner. Don’t take it for granted.
Priya Krishna is a food writer who contributes to The New York Times, Bon Appétit , and others. She also serves as one of the hosts of Bon Appétit’s video series, From the Test Kitchen . She is the author of the cookbook Indian-ish: Recipes And Antics From A Modern American Family . Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ PKgourmet Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. © 2019 WKNO FM

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How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation? By Priya Krishna • 9 hours ago Chickpea flour is gaining attention thanks to its gluten-free binding properties. But the ingredient has been a staple of cooking for Indians, Pakistanis and many others for centuries. Pinkybird / Getty Images
There’s a specific section of my family’s fridge that is reserved for the large, seemingly bottomless tub of chickpea flour — or as we and lots of other Indians who also rely on it call it, besan — that my parents keep on hand. We’re not gluten-free, nor do we do a lot of baking. Yet chickpea flour shows up everywhere in our food. It’s the nutty coating for my mom’s green beans spiced with earthy ajwain , the key ingredient in her creamy, tangy, yogurt-based soup, kadhi , and the base for our favorite variety of laddoos , sweet, fudge-like balls flavored with ghee, sugar and nuts.
Across the many regional cuisines in India, chickpea flour is a common denominator: Gujaratis turn it into pudla , thin, savory crepes laced with turmeric and chilies. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, it can be found in jhunka , a spicy porridge. And in Andhra Pradesh, it is the thickener in Senagapindi Kura , an onion-heavy stew. For the country’s large vegetarian population, where eggs are often considered non-vegetarian, chickpea flour mixed with water serves as a convincing omelet replacement.
Indians — along with the Nepalese, Pakistanis, Italians, the French, and many others — have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. Americans, on the other hand, only seem to have woken up to the ingredient in the last decade or so. And they’ve woken up in a big way.
It’s hard to trace the exact origin of chickpea flour’s sudden popularity in the U.S. Anna Stockwell, the senior food editor of the publications Epicurious and Bon Appétit , said she first started seeing chickpea flour around 2009 on gluten-free blogs. Stockwell is gluten-free herself, and was excited to find a recipe for savory chickpea pancakes.
She didn’t know much about chickpea flour’s culinary heritage, but she was immediately excited. “Its binding power was magic,” she recalls. “All you have to do is combine chickpea flour and water, and suddenly you can make flatbread, or fritters or vegetable pancakes.” Still, Stockwell saw it as a niche ingredient — something only gluten-free consumers cared about. She wasn’t even allowed to call for it in Epicurious recipes.
Slowly but surely, that started to change. In 2010, one of the more popular recipes from Plenty , Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling cookbook, was a chickpea flour pancake, or socca , as it’s known in France, layered with tomatoes and onions. In 2015, food and fitness writer Camilla Saulsbury wrote the popular book The Chickpea Flour Cookbook . That was followed a year later by Chickpea Flour Does It All , by blogger Lindsey Love.
Lani Halliday, the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a gluten-free Brooklyn bakery, says she noticed a huge uptick in the number of chickpea flour-based, gluten-free sweets available about a decade ago. For baked goods, chickpea flour worked uniquely well, “as it can hold air bubbles and hold moisture,” she says. Plus, “it was cheap, it was accessible, and it was versatile.”
Halliday launched her bakery in 2015. One of her bestselling items among both gluten-free and non-gluten-free customers was a chocolate cupcake made with chickpea flour.
Stockwell believes the mainstreaming of chickpea flour is directly linked to one company in particular — Banza. The company started producing its chickpea flour-based pasta in 2014, and by 2017, it was in 8,000-plus grocery stores and had raised $8 million in funding. The key to the company’s success? It didn’t exclusively market itself as a gluten-free product. Instead, it was branded as health food. And it was one of the first alternative pastas that had a smooth, al dente texture, just like the real thing.
“I had friends who had never heard of chickpea flour, but now they eat Banza,” Stockwell says. “It’s not because they are trying to eat gluten-free but because it’s a delicious and higher-protein pasta. It’s a substitute for empty carbs.”
This year, Epicurious was finally allowed to publish recipes with chickpea flour. Dennis Vaughn, the CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, says that in the past five years, chickpea flour has become a clear bestseller among the company’s sundry flour options.
“My grocery store doesn’t even carry red meat,” Stockwell says, “but they carry Bob’s Red Mill” chickpea flour.
In many ways, it has been weird to watch this ingredient that has always felt so quotidian to me become so ubiquitous so quickly in the U.S. This is certainly not the first Indian ingredient or dish this has happened to. Consider turmeric, chai, or khichdi , which have all been claimed by the wellness community and food bloggers as their own, often times without giving due credit to Indian cuisine. It baffles me that the vast majority of people I talk to are shocked to hear that chickpea flour has long been a common ingredient in my family’s cooking.
On the other hand, it was important to me when I was writing my new cookbook, Indian-ish , that people could find the ingredients for the dishes in their average grocery store. Because chickpea flour is now so common, I could include recipes like those addictive chickpea flour green beans, and the silky, soupy kadhi .
I’m not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream. But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn’t frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.
No one culture can “own” an ingredient — I’m literally writing this with a box of Banza chickpea pasta in my kitchen cabinet — but let’s not treat food like it exists in a vacuum. There’s context for that chickpea flour flatbread you’re making for dinner. Don’t take it for granted.
Priya Krishna is a food writer who contributes to The New York Times, Bon Appétit , and others. She also serves as one of the hosts of Bon Appétit’s video series, From the Test Kitchen . She is the author of the cookbook Indian-ish: Recipes And Antics From A Modern American Family . Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ PKgourmet Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. © 2019 Jefferson Public Radio

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How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation? By Priya Krishna • 13 hours ago Chickpea flour is gaining attention thanks to its gluten-free binding properties. But the ingredient has been a staple of cooking for Indians, Pakistanis and many others for centuries. Pinkybird / Getty Images
There’s a specific section of my family’s fridge that is reserved for the large, seemingly bottomless tub of chickpea flour — or as we and lots of other Indians who also rely on it call it, besan — that my parents keep on hand. We’re not gluten-free, nor do we do a lot of baking. Yet chickpea flour shows up everywhere in our food. It’s the nutty coating for my mom’s green beans spiced with earthy ajwain , the key ingredient in her creamy, tangy, yogurt-based soup, kadhi , and the base for our favorite variety of laddoos , sweet, fudge-like balls flavored with ghee, sugar and nuts.
Across the many regional cuisines in India, chickpea flour is a common denominator: Gujaratis turn it into pudla , thin, savory crepes laced with turmeric and chilies. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, it can be found in jhunka , a spicy porridge. And in Andhra Pradesh, it is the thickener in Senagapindi Kura , an onion-heavy stew. For the country’s large vegetarian population, where eggs are often considered non-vegetarian, chickpea flour mixed with water serves as a convincing omelet replacement.
Indians — along with the Nepalese, Pakistanis, Italians, the French, and many others — have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. Americans, on the other hand, only seem to have woken up to the ingredient in the last decade or so. And they’ve woken up in a big way.
It’s hard to trace the exact origin of chickpea flour’s sudden popularity in the U.S. Anna Stockwell, the senior food editor of the publications Epicurious and Bon Appétit , said she first started seeing chickpea flour around 2009 on gluten-free blogs. Stockwell is gluten-free herself, and was excited to find a recipe for savory chickpea pancakes.
She didn’t know much about chickpea flour’s culinary heritage, but she was immediately excited. “Its binding power was magic,” she recalls. “All you have to do is combine chickpea flour and water, and suddenly you can make flatbread, or fritters or vegetable pancakes.” Still, Stockwell saw it as a niche ingredient — something only gluten-free consumers cared about. She wasn’t even allowed to call for it in Epicurious recipes.
Slowly but surely, that started to change. In 2010, one of the more popular recipes from Plenty , Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling cookbook, was a chickpea flour pancake, or socca , as it’s known in France, layered with tomatoes and onions. In 2015, food and fitness writer Camilla Saulsbury wrote the popular book The Chickpea Flour Cookbook . That was followed a year later by Chickpea Flour Does It All , by blogger Lindsey Love.
Lani Halliday, the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a gluten-free Brooklyn bakery, says she noticed a huge uptick in the number of chickpea flour-based, gluten-free sweets available about a decade ago. For baked goods, chickpea flour worked uniquely well, “as it can hold air bubbles and hold moisture,” she says. Plus, “it was cheap, it was accessible, and it was versatile.”
Halliday launched her bakery in 2015. One of her bestselling items among both gluten-free and non-gluten-free customers was a chocolate cupcake made with chickpea flour.
Stockwell believes the mainstreaming of chickpea flour is directly linked to one company in particular — Banza. The company started producing its chickpea flour-based pasta in 2014, and by 2017, it was in 8,000-plus grocery stores and had raised $8 million in funding. The key to the company’s success? It didn’t exclusively market itself as a gluten-free product. Instead, it was branded as health food. And it was one of the first alternative pastas that had a smooth, al dente texture, just like the real thing.
“I had friends who had never heard of chickpea flour, but now they eat Banza,” Stockwell says. “It’s not because they are trying to eat gluten-free but because it’s a delicious and higher-protein pasta. It’s a substitute for empty carbs.”
This year, Epicurious was finally allowed to publish recipes with chickpea flour. Dennis Vaughn, the CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, says that in the past five years, chickpea flour has become a clear bestseller among the company’s sundry flour options.
“My grocery store doesn’t even carry red meat,” Stockwell says, “but they carry Bob’s Red Mill” chickpea flour.
In many ways, it has been weird to watch this ingredient that has always felt so quotidian to me become so ubiquitous so quickly in the U.S. This is certainly not the first Indian ingredient or dish this has happened to. Consider turmeric, chai, or khichdi , which have all been claimed by the wellness community and food bloggers as their own, often times without giving due credit to Indian cuisine. It baffles me that the vast majority of people I talk to are shocked to hear that chickpea flour has long been a common ingredient in my family’s cooking.
On the other hand, it was important to me when I was writing my new cookbook, Indian-ish , that people could find the ingredients for the dishes in their average grocery store. Because chickpea flour is now so common, I could include recipes like those addictive chickpea flour green beans, and the silky, soupy kadhi .
I’m not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream. But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn’t frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.
No one culture can “own” an ingredient — I’m literally writing this with a box of Banza chickpea pasta in my kitchen cabinet — but let’s not treat food like it exists in a vacuum. There’s context for that chickpea flour flatbread you’re making for dinner. Don’t take it for granted.
Priya Krishna is a food writer who contributes to The New York Times, Bon Appétit , and others. She also serves as one of the hosts of Bon Appétit’s video series, From the Test Kitchen . She is the author of the cookbook Indian-ish: Recipes And Antics From A Modern American Family . Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ PKgourmet Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. © 2019 WAER

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Top 10 Vegan Restaurants: Sydney

0 And here we were thinking vegans in Sydney had it hard. It seems there’s no better place!
Australia is going bonkers for plant-based diets, and Sydney is leading the charge with many new restaurants going vegan entirely, while mixed restaurants conjure up sizeable side menus for our Earth-friendly fiends. The list of vegan restaurants is huge; so huge in fact that we’ve added a bonus 11th restaurant at the end. You’ll never guess who has embraced veganism lately… Lentil As Anything
Lentil As Anything opened their doors to Sydney in 2014, sharing a seasonal menu that changes daily. Check their Instagram out for the daily menu changes. Located in the bohemian world of Newtown, this place dishes up more than vegan dishes; they also play a stake in the local arts and crafts scene. Drop by and surprise yourself! 391 King St, Newtown Govindas Cinema and Restaurant
You read that right: a vegan/vegetarian buffet restaurant with a cinema on the side. And no, it’s not a recent creation. Welcome to Govindas, a plant-based Indian restaurant that has been operating in Sydney for over 40 years. It’s more like an institution, really. Earth-friendly dinner and a show? Yes, please! 112 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst Paperbark
Fine dining meets plant-based food – and this isn’t the only fine dining vegan restaurant on our list. Welcome to Paperbark, featuring a weekly-changing menu served as part of a three-course meal. Located in the vibrant inner suburb of Waterloo, their seasonal menu consists of fancy creations. Imagine a pumpkin tostada with carrot, wattleseed Paperbark mushrooms, macadamia and finger lime. 8/18 Danks St, Waterloo Bodhi Restaurant & Bar
Bodhi is a full-vegan restaurant, which also follows the Buddhist cooking philosophy of no onion, garlic, chives, leeks and spring onions. Head in for a Yum Cha lunch or tickle yourself fancy with a tapas-style dinner. How about some “chicken” sliders, with spicy Malay peanut sauce, cucumber & Asian herbs in a gua bao bun. Oh, they also have a beautiful bar serving some wild concoctions. 2-4 College St, Sydney The Golden Lotus
Saigon never tasted so good! Allow me to introduce The Golden Lotus, a 100% vegan restaurant that serves up classic Vietnamese cuisine with a healthy twist. Among the plant-based dishes are some imitation meat and poultry, using soybean protein to play a nice culinary trick. Pretend to be guilty, if you wish. How about a vegan vermicelli noodle with char-grilled “pork” skewer? 341-343 King St, Newtown Yulli’s
It sounds a bit like a gangsta name, but don’t expect any beef at this place. Yulli’s is both a dining establishment and a brewery, where both sides of the business are 100% vegan. Drink and eat without the exorbitant calories! We recommend keeping room for dessert too. Especially for the sweet potato doughnuts with coconut sabayon. The healthiness depends on how much sugar you add. 417 Crown St, Surry Hills Alibi Bar
It’s a watering hole, a high-end cafe and an a la carte kitchen all rolled into one! The kitchen is run by Matthew Kenney, a world-renowned plant-based chef. As the website states, Alibi is your hideout away from home. It’s your partner in crime. It’s the perfect excuse to live an Earthly lifestyle. And that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice on taste. Don’t fret, Matthew will see to that! 6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomoolloo Ruby Lonesome
Escape the hustle and bustle of the raving city and find yourself planted firmly in Petersham. More exactly in Ruby Lonesome, an eclectic corner cafe serving The Little Marionette coffee and a meat-free menu. Order yourself something simple like avo on toast or go crazy on their cakes and treats, or even a brekky roll with kale and cauliflower vegan sausage, crispy baked kale, house-made tomato and whisky relish and a side of hash brown. Now that’s a great way to wake up! 253 Addison Rd, Marrickville Yellow
Fine dining is fine by us! Welcome to Yellow, a vegetarian/vegan establishment in Barangaroo. Their dining lists consist of a la carte dinners, weekend brunches, tapas-style share plates, and specialty tasting menus. They also host special event dinners and lunches. They even have a wine list to match with their vegetarian and vegan dishes. How fancy! 23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo Shift Eatery
Welcome to Sydney’s first vegan deli cafe, dishing out a devilishly delicious menu that plays the devil’s advocate for veganism. If you don’t watch yourself, they might just convert you. Don’t expect healthy salads laced with kale and lettuce, they’ve got more cunning things to share. How about a No Whey José, featuring house-made Cuban “ham”, bbq pulled jackfruit, pickled gherkins, dijon mustard, house-made mojo sauce and cheddar “cheese” on toasted sourdough. Or even vegan waffles topped with sweet gelato… 4/241 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills Bonus: Maybe Frank Pizzeria
Perhaps your tastebuds are yearning for a guiltier plant-based pleasure. Maybe you need pizza? To be frank, we highly recommend Maybe Frank! While most Sydney vegans know that Gigi’s is the best plant-based pizza establishment, sometimes you need to give your meat-loving friends some options too. As well as vegan options, Maybe Frank also caters to coeliacs or those who have an aversion to gluten. Mind you, the Maybe Frank vegan options are only available at the Surry Hills establishment.

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Ramadan 101: Dubai’s Best Iftars and Suhours for 2019

Share Ramadan 101: Dubai’s Best Iftars and Suhours for 2019 THE HOLY MONTH IS UPON US AND DUBAI’S DINING SCENE IS GOING ALL OUT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE THE BEST OF HOSPITALITY AND FOOD TO ENJOY THE TRADITIONAL SPIRIT OF THIS SPECIAL TIME. FACT HIGHLIGHTS SOME OF THE CITY’S TOP IFTAR AND SUHOUR OFFERINGS TO VISIT WITH YOUR NEAREST AND DEAREST… ADDRESS BOULEVARD
ELEGANT IFTAR AT THE RESTAURANT AT ADDRESS BOULEVARD Immerse in the traditions of Ramadan with a delectable Iftar buffet featuring live cooking stations that serve a myriad of local and global favourites, all complemented by flavoursome hubbly bubbly on the terrace. Daily, from sunset to 9pm. AED220 per person; complimentary for children aged five and under; 50% off for children aged between six and 11-years-old. For larger gatherings, the spirit of togetherness takes centre stage around a vast communal table in the Boulevard Ballroom for both Iftar and Suhour.
SUHOUR UNDER THE STARS AT THE RESTAURANT AT ADDRESS BOULEVARD Bask in the spirit of the Holy Month with a sumptuous al fresco Suhour. From the chef’s selection of appetisers to thelive cooking stations and mouth-watering side dishes, The Restaurant is the perfect venue to enjoy Suhour with friends, family and all those who are close to you. Enjoy hubbly bubbly on the terrace with glittering views of Burj Khalifa. Daily from 9pm onwards. AED220 per person; complimentary for children aged five and under; 50% off for children aged between six and11-years-old.
GO: CALL (0)4 888 3444 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. LA VILLE HOTEL & SUITES CITY WALK IFTAR AT CHIVAL
La Ville Hotel & Suites’ homegrown social eatery Chival introduces a quintessentially Arabic menu with a focus on family-style sharing. In the true spirit of Ramadan, the menu concept is a great opportunity for families and friends to come together and create memorable moments while the food is brought to the table. Arabic Chef Kinan Ibrahim found inspiration in traditional homemade dishes from his childhood in Syria and has curated a sumptuous culinary journey of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Chival offers guests an alternative Iftar menu served directlyto the table for family-style sharing experience. Starting with a selection of traditional cold mezzeh, a variety of soups andhot mezzeh, including sumptuous Spinach Fatayer and wood- fired Manakish. Main dishes include a flavourful Chicken Biryani, Lamb Shish Barak and Iranian Mixed Grill. Ending off the experience with flavoursome Arabic sweets and a deliciouschocolate fountain pouring unique ruby and milk chocolate.AED239 per person including a selection of juices; children aged between six an 12 dine at 50% off. Extend the eveningfor Suhoor in the courtyard; with the option of hubbly-bubbly priced at AED60.
GO: CALL (0)4 403 3111 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS DUBAI AL FANOUS LOUNGE AT DUBAI BALLROOM
Indulge in a memorable Iftar experience with family and friends in Al Fanous, the opulent Ramadan lounge at the iconic Dubai Ballroom. From sunset to 8.30pm for AED199 per person.
INTERNATIONAL CUISINE AT KITCHEN6 For an international Iftar, step into the award-winning Kitchen6 restaurant, where six interactive cooking stations come to life creating an extraordinary selection of world cuisines.From sunset to 8.30pm for AED215 per person.
INDIAN IFTAR AT MASALA LIBRARY BY JIGGS KALRA For Iftar with a difference, join in at the newly-opened Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra which will host a unique Indian set-menu. From sunset to 8.30pm. Non-vegetarian menu: AED230 per person, including Ramadan juices. Vegetarian menu: AED 195 per person, including Ramadan juices.
GO: CALL (0)4 414 2000 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. SOFITEL THE PALM DUBAI IFTAR AT MANAVA
During the Holy Month of Ramadan, revel in the spirit of compassion and generosity, and gather with your family and friends around an exceptional Iftar table at Manava restaurant.Break your fast with an array of authentic local and regional Arabic specialties, a wide selection of international savoury dishes, and scrumptious desserts featured on live stations and prepared exclusively throughout the month of Ramadan. Daily from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, priced at AED195 per person. Sofitel The Palm also has the following Iftar packages on offer: book an exclusive Iftar experience for a minimum of 80 guests starting from AED160 per person; book a minimum of 80 guests and win a complimentary dinner for two at Manava Restaurant; and book a minimum of 200 guests and win a complimentary one-night stay for two, inclusive of breakfast.
GO: CALL (0)4 455 5656 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. THE RITZ-CARLTON DUBAI IFTAR AND SUHOUR AT AMASEENA MAJLIS
The 17-year legacy of the authentic Arabic restaurant, Amaseena, is expressed beautifully at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai with the enchanting Amaseena Majlis. Experience sumptuous flavours while Arabesque aesthetics set the mood for generosity and sharing, all through the Holy Month of Ramadan.Blending traditional Arabic essences with contemporary refinement, Amaseena Majlis transforms the elegant Lou Lou’A Ballroom into an exquisite setting that will be serving both Iftar and Suhour during this special time of year. The meticulously designed interior takes inspiration from the seafaring heritage of the region, along with the resort’s location on the Arabian Gulf.
An intimate ambience with beautifully hung lanterns and luxury seating sets the stage for Chef Rami’s culinary art. From mandi-cooked lamb, traditional favourites and delicacies flavoured with hand-roasted spices, to tagine cooked in authentic clay cookware, guests will be spoilt for choice with a lavish spread across nine food stations highlighting the best of Middle Eastern cuisine with dishes from Morocco, Lebanon and Persia as well as international delicacies including Peruvian and Italian. Garnished with a medley of live music during Suhour, soothing mood-lighting and memories only familiar flavors can revive, it’s an experience guests will want to return to.
Guests can also choose to dine in one of the five bespokeprivate Majlis. This majestic private dining area can seat groups of six to 10 and is perfect for families, friends and intimate corporate gatherings. Celebrate the timeless allure of Arabian heritage and createmoments that matter through the special month. Iftar is fromsunset to 8.30pm; Suhour is 10pm to 2am for adults only. Iftar – AED205 per person inclusive of Ramadan juices andwater. Groups of 10 or more can avail an exclusive rate startingfrom AED195 per person. Children aged five and below dine complimentary, while children aged six to 12 dine at 50%. Suhour – a la carte menu with Arabic duo performing during every night.
GO: CALL (0)4 318 6150 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. FAIRMONT THE PALM DUBAI FAIRUZ RAMADAN AND SUHOUR TENT
Whether you are looking for an intimate space or something of a grander affair to celebrate this blessed time of the year, the Fairuz Ramadan Tent at Fairmont The Palm is perfect to experience the true style of Middle Eastern food, entertainment and hospitality. Back for its third year running, Fairuz (meaning precious stone) is designed to surround you in the true spirit of Ramadan and will come alive during Iftar with a delectable buffet and traditional entertainment. Set within the extravagant Ballroom and seating over 350 guests, expect an insta-worthy experience with beautiful contemporary Arabian style, showcasing hues of white, blue, and purple with hints of turquoise.
A new addition this year is a fully air conditioned cosy Suhour Tent, offering shisha’s and Middle Eastern mezze delights until the early hours. Originally designed as an Arabian courtyard, the space will be transformed into a cosy and chic evening or early morning space to enjoy tea and delicious dishes with groups of friends and family.
Fairuz Ramadan Tent is open for Iftar from sunset to 9pm for AED215 per person inclusive of Ramadan juices. Children aged five and under dine complimentary and children aged six to 12 dine at a 50% discount. Suhour Tent will offer A la Carte Mezze Menu from 9pm to 2am. A choice of Shisha flavours is also available from AED90.
GO: CALL (0)4 457 3457 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. RENAISSANCE DOWNTOWN HOTEL
IFTAR AT BHAR BHAR, the contemporary Middle Eastern style brasserie will be hosting a buffet style Iftar daily, from sunset to 9pm, to allow families and friends to come together to celebrate the meaningful traditions of the Holy Month. This daily Iftar, starting from AED195 per person, will offer traditional Middle Eastern cuisine all interpreted with Chef Mohanad’s modern twist.Guests are invited to break their fast with traditional Iftar dishes such as Dates, Fatoush, Tabouleh, Hummus and Lentil Soup, before indulging in the main course inclusive of Chargrilled Tiger Prawns, Grilled Marinated Poussin, Seven Spices Crispy Salmon and Wild Mushroom and Frekkah Risotto to name a few stand-out items from the menu.
For those craving something sweet, BHAR’s Iftar menu offers temping treats such as Om Ali, French Pastries, Kanafeh and a Selection of Fresh Fruits, completing this perfectly delicious Iftar spread at BHAR this Ramadan.
SUHOUR AT BHAR Continue the celebration of the Holy Month with loved ones at BHAR from 9pm to 1am by savouring Suhour alongside picturesque views of the Dubai Water Canal. BHAR’s A La Carte Suhoor menu features a variety of Middle Eastern favourites starting with Hot and Cold Mezze such as Saffron Chicken and Fried Calamari to Fattoush Salad and Baba Ganoush.
Indulge in BHAR’s Suhour favourites such as Vegetable Biryani, Mixed Grill, Chicken Moghrabieh and Vegetable Salona that are bound to satisfy all guests to this impressive Suhour spread. Round off the enjoyable evening with a variety of sweet delicacies from Lokma with Apricot and Chocolate Fudge Cake to Labneh Cheesecake and Chocolate Baklava Smash to ensure all sweet cravings are satisfied at Suhour.
GO: CALL (0)4 512 5511 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. ANANTARA THE PALM DUBAI RESORT
IFTAR AT CRESCENDO This Ramadan, Crescendo at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort invites you to celebrate in style! Discover a host of delicious feasting options to satisfy your every craving in a vibrant setting as you enjoy the live Kanoun entertainment. Take your pick from an array of options including classic Arabic dishes, traditional oriental mixed grill, a dim sum station, Beijing duck and noodles as well as Kunafa cheese and Umm Ali. Iftar is priced at AED199 per adult inclusive of water, Ramadan juices and Arabic coffee and AED100 for kids aged six to 11.
GO: CALL (0)4 567 8304 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. RAFFLES DUBAI
IFTAR AT AZUR Make it a Ramadan to remember with a traditional Arabic feastat Azur. Indulge in a sumptuous array of Iftar favourites including hot and cold mezze, fresh salads, lamb ouzi and Arabic mixed grills. For dessert, sample an array of oriental sweet delicacies including Umm Ali, Kunafa and sticky date pudding. Iftar is served daily from sunset to 10.30pm at AED205 per person inclusive of Ramadan juices, soft drinks, coffee and tea. Children under the age of six dine for free (one per two paying adults)and AED95 for kids aged six to 12.
SUHOUR AT RAFFLES SALON During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Raffles Salon offers Arabian Sweet Temptations during Suhour hours. Indulge in an unlimited selection of fresh Arabic sweets such as Kunafa with cheese, Kellaj, Katayef with nuts, Sahlab including a choice of coffee or tea for just AED95 per person. The Arabian Sweet Temptations are available daily throughout the month of Ramadan at Raffles Salon from 8pm to midnight.
GO: CALL (0)4 324 8888 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. THE H DUBAI
EAT AND MEAT Celebrate this time of reflection and giving with Eat and Meat at The H Dubai! This Holy Month of Ramadan, guests are invited to create memorable experiences as they indulge in an Unlimited Iftar offer. For the entire month of Ramadan, guests can avail the one-of-a-kind offer at the price of AED1999 inclusive of Ramadan beverages. The incredible offer allows you to savour the Iftar buffet every day for 30 days, while you save AED3500! Guests can also opt for a delicious daily Iftar buffet that includes an assortment of traditional Arabian delicacies for AED185 per person. Iftar will be served every day from sunset to 9pm.
GO: CALL (0)56 656 7311 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. PALACE DOWNTOWN
EWAAN RAMADAN TENT Gather your friends and family and celebrate the true spirit of Ramadan at Ewaan Ramadan Tent in Palace Downtown. Revel in the stunning interiors of the much-anticipated Ewaan Ramadan Tent as you generous Middle Eastern and internationalbuffet while harmonious Oud music fill the air with a sense of enchantment. Iftar will be served for AED255 per person inclusive of buffet, Ramadan juices and water from sunset to 9pm. 25% off when dining/booking during the first week of Ramadan.
SUHOUR AT FAI Make your Suhour a whole lot tastier with Fai! Herald a newday with an Asian-inspired Suhour as you enjoy the glitteringviews of the water and the Burj Khalifa and tuck into some mouthwatering delicacies. Allow the ambience of Fai totransport you to a realm of sophistication and serenity. Suhourwill be served from 10pm to 2am (weekdays) and 10pm to 3am(weekends) a la carte including special Ramadan menu withhubbly bubbly and beverages. 25% off when dining/booking during the first week of Ramadan.
IFTAR AT ASADO Celebrate Iftar like never before with decadent South American flavours and generous hospitality at Asado. Envisioned as anhomage to Argentina, Asado is set to delight guests with a curated and unlimited menu of truly delicious dishes featuringwholesome ingredients prepared expertly. Iftar will be served from sunset to 9pm for AED225 per person including unlimited food and soft drinks. 25% off when dining/booking during the first week of Ramadan.
GO: CALL (0)4 888 3444 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. MOVENPICK HOTEL JUMEIRAH LAKE TOWERS
IFTAR AT NOSH RESTAURANT Embrace the true spirit of Ramadan and treat yourself to an indulgent buffet at Nosh Restaurant. Blending style and tradition, the restaurant offers its diners a relaxed and warm setting as they feast on a delightful fare of Arabic and international delicacies. Take your pick from live cooking stations, Arabic mixed grills and shawarma, Kunafa, Umm Ali, Baklava, refreshing Ramadan juices and so much more! Iftar is served daily from sunset until 10.30pm at AED135 per person. 50% off for kids aged six to 12, while kids aged six and under dine for free.
GO: CALL (0)4 438 0000 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. SWISSOTEL AL GHURAIR DUBAI
IFTAR AT LIWAN RESTAURANT Indulge in an all-you-can-eat Iftar option at Liwan Restaurant. Featuring a blend of Arabic, Mediterranean, Indian and international buffet selection, patrons feast on a selection of hot and cold mezzes, salads, a wide range of succulent meat cooked to perfection as well as all-time favourites such as Umm Ali and Mohalabia. Iftar will be served daily from sunset to 9pm for AED169 per person including Ramadan juices and water. Kids aged six to 12 dine at half price and kids aged five and below dine for free.
SUHOUR AT LIWAN RESTAURANT In the spirit of togetherness, gather your friends and family and head over to Liwan Restaurant for a fulfilling Suhour experience. Treat your senses to peace and tranquility as you enjoy Suhour inthe heart of Old Dubai and tuck into irresistible oriental cuisine, egg station and freshly prepared breads. Suhour will be served daily from 2am to 4am at AED69 per person. Kids aged six to 12 dine at half price and kids aged five and below dine for free. SHAYAN RESTAURANT Crafted by the resident culinary expert, Chef Sharif, Shayan Restaurant offers guests an authentic Persian Iftar buffet of sumptuous Iranian specialties. Enjoy a gastronomic treat including a selection of appetisers, freshly grilled succulent kebabs, an abundance of beverages and Iftar favourite juices. Iftar will be served daily from sunset to 9pm at AED199 per person including Ramadan juices and water. Kids aged six to 12 dine at half price and kids aged five and below dine for free. Shisha will be served 9pm onwards after Iftar at Liwan Terrace.
GO: CALL (0)4 293 3000 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. HILTON DUBAI JUMEIRAH
IFTAR AT OCEANA RESTAURANT Reconnect this Ramadan and unwind with friends and family at Oceana Restaurant. Enjoy a wide buffet selection including hot and cold Arabic and international dishes, live cooking stations as well as decadent desserts. Iftar is served daily from sunset to 10pm for AED250 per person including soft beverages. 50% off for kids aged six to 12 and children aged five and under dine for free.
IFTAR AT BICE RESTAURANT Invite your loved ones to join for a feast and immerse yourself in the spirit of Ramadan at BiCE Restaurant. Indulge Ramadan with an Italian twist as you relish Italian inspired Iftar buffet featuring mouthwatering delicacies as well as live Arabic entertainment available on weekends. Iftar is served daily from sunset to 11pm at AED250 per person including soft beverages. 50% off for kids aged six to 12 and children aged five and under dine for free.
GO: CALL (0)4 318 2520 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. DUKES THE PALM, A ROYAL HIDEAWAY
IFTAR AT THE GREAT BRITISH RESTAURANT For the entire month of Ramadan, enjoy an Iftar to remember at The Great British Restaurant. Enjoy an abundant selection of delicious traditional Middle Eastern cuisines accompanied by international favourites and live cooking stations prepared specially by the Chefs for the Holy Month. Families can enjoy the smooth sounds of the live Oud musician as they end the evening with aromatic teas and Arabic coffees. Iftar will beserved from sunset to 9pm for AED185 per person and AED95 per child.
IFTAR AT KHYBER Treat your senses to an opulent Iftar feast at Khyber! Where the Mughal era meets modern views, diners will be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience full of mouth-watering Indian delicacies. The talented chefs have prepared a selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes including samosa chaat and juicy keema seekh kababs, hearty mains and luscious desserts. Iftar is served from sunset until 9pm for AED185 perperson and AED95 per child.
GO: CALL (0)4 455 1111 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. GRAND MILLENNIUM DUBAI
THE ATRIUM Enjoy a scrumptious Iftar feast as you give to a good cause with The Atrium at Grand Millennium Dubai. The hotel will be partnering with Al Jalila Foundation to support its “Basma” campaign that aims to provide life-saving treatments and transform the lives of children in the UAE. A portion of the spending of every Iftar guest will be allocated to support this campaign. Take your pick from over 60 mouthwatering options as well as live cooking stations that will be serving a wide variety of freshly prepared flavours. Iftar will be served for AED199 per person and AED89 for kids aged five to 10, while kids aged five and under dine for free.
GO: CALL (0)4 423 4170 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. HYATT REGENCY DUBAI
AL DAWAAR Experience an Iftar experience like no other at Dubai’s only revolving restaurant! Al Dawaar at the Hyatt Regency Dubai will offer a lavish Iftar spread including traditional Ramadan favourites as well as freshly prepared dishes from the live kitchen. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic views of the city skyline as you tuck into delicious salads, hot soups, Arabic mezze, biryani, kebabs, whole baked Hammour, rich desserts and so much more. Iftar is served daily from sunset to 11.30pm at AED190 per person including traditional Ramadan drinks and AED95 for kids aged five to 10.
GO: CALL (0)4 209 6887 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. CAESARS BLUEWATERS DUBAI
HELL’S KITCHEN DUBAI Take a different approach to Ramadan this year with a lavish selection of local flavours at Hell’s Kitchen Dubai. Treat yourself to world-class cooking with an Emirati twist including an eclectic menu of sharing mezzes and a la carte mains featuring signature dishes and Middle Eastern favourites. For dessert, don’t forget to try out Hell’s Kitchen’s decadent peanut butter fudge cheesecake! Iftar will be served every day from sunset to 8.30pm for AED350 per person.
BACCHANAL Delivering a delectable buffet with a dedicated children’s corner, Bacchanal will be serving both Iftar and Suhour throughout the month of Ramadan. Indulge in a wealth of decadent classics such as lamb ouzi and bespoke mezzes including velvety hummus, sambousek, fatayar and tangy tabbouleh with Arabic bread. Round off the perfect evening with an alfresco Suhour along with an extensive shisha menu in the intimate Ramadan conservatory. Iftar will be served every day from sunset to 8.30pm for AED250 per person. Suhour will be served from 9.30pm to 1am for AED200 per person.
GO: CALL (0)4 556 6466 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. PALAZZO VERSACE DUBAI
ENIGMA This Ramadan, head over to Enigma at the Palazzo Versace Dubai for a true Persian feast. Break your fast with the welcome display Sabzi Khordan, which includes a mesmerising variety of fresh herbs with walnuts and dates, delicious homemade Persian cheese, roasted Persian bread and more. Guests will then be able to choose from cold and warm starters followed by a soup, one main course and dessert. Iftar is served for AED230 per person.
GIARDINO Enjoy this auspicious time with an exquisite Iftar experience at Giardino. The jungle-themed international restaurant will offer a buffet with an array of luxurious enhanced Middle Eastern dishes. Families and friends will be able to feast on international cuisines while in a relaxed and comfortable fashion-inspired venue. Iftar is served for AED230 per person.
BANQUET With four different Iftar packages to choose from, Palazzo Versace Dubai offers their Gala Ballroom for the ultimate celebration. The set menus include bakery baskets, a range of Arabic cold and hot mezze, salads, soup as well as exquisite main courses followed by desserts. The lavishly decorated ballroom will be available for 80 or more corporate bookings. Prices range from AED195 to AED250.
GO: CALL (0)4 556 8888 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. BURJ AL ARAB
AL IWAN Break your fast in style at the world’s tallest building as you savour delectable Arabic cuisine at Al Iwan. Enjoy the stunning views as you revel in the vibrant live music and the tastiest traditional fare. A delectable Arabic buffet rich in traditional flavour awaits you at AED350 per person.
SAHN EDDAR The ideal setting for a spectacular Suhour, Sahn Eddar provides gorgeous views and delectable cuisine for the perfect Suhour feast. For the last meal before dawn, indulge in sumptuous Suhour delicacies and a selection of Arabic coffees and Moroccan teas as you enjoy the live Arabic band playing in the background. Suhour is served a la carte at AED190 minimum spend. GO: CALL (0)4 301 7600 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. PARK HYATT DUBAI
CAFE ARABESQUE Throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan, guests are welcome to dine at Café Arabesque and enjoy a special Iftar and Suhour meal with their loved ones. Dig into a piquant Iftar feast including an array of cold and hot mezze, live stations, a dedicated soup area and a luscious selection of desserts. For Suhour, guests can enjoy a variety of sumptuous dishes on display including grilled seafood platter, tiger prawns, lamb and so much more on the a la carte menu. Iftar is served daily from sunset until 9pm at AED220 per person including soft drinks and water. Suhour is served from 10pm to 2am (weekdays) and 10pm to 3am (weekends) starting at AED25 for starters and AED75 for mains. GO: CALL (0)4 602 1234 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. MANZIL DOWNTOWN
IFTAR AT THE COURTYARD AND BOULEVARD KITCHEN SUHOUR AT THE COURTYARD In a history of trade routes that connects the East and West, Manzil Downtown takes you along The Silk route by land through an unforgettable Iftar. The Iftar featuring an inspiring spread of cuisines from across Europe, Asia and Africa will be on offer. Connect with different traditions and witness the influence of the routes on your Iftar table. Set in a contemporaryArabesque lounge and courtyard, enjoy an exquisite menu, parade along with live-cooking stops whilst the strings of the instrument plays to the sounds of your journey. From sunset to10pm. AED195 per adult and AED175 per person for groups of 20 people and more; children (aged six to 11): 50% off dining; children (aged five and below): dine complimentary.
SUHOUR AT THE COURTYARD Enjoy the open sky and a delightful Suhour that will transport you to The Silk Route. During this spiritual gathering withfamily, friends and all who are dear to you, taste the chef’sspecial creations of petit meals inspired by the legendary SilkRoad. From 10.30pm onwards. AED95 per adult; children (aged six to 11): 50% off dining; children (aged five and below): dine complimentary.
GO: CALL (0)4 888 3444 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. COYA DUBAI
Multiple award-winning destinations COYA Dubai, located at Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach, will present an exquisite new menu for the forthcoming Holy Month. Diners visiting for Iftar will be treated to quintessentially Peruvian creations with a twist, including Charentais melon soup garnished with white almonds and olive oil; Peruvian beans with black truffle and a herby tomato and aji rocoto soup.
These can be paired with the wide selection of Latin American and international starters, including seabass croquettes; chicken tacos; beetroot causa – a dish of layered potato – grilled corn salad; and shitake and avocado maki rolls, reflecting Peru’s historic links with Japan. The menu also includes a choice of a main for a nutritious and balanced diet. Patrons can choose from succulent baby chicken; spicy short rib; salmon fillet; Chilean seabass; and dried potatoes with cauliflower with a side of green salad. Winding down from dinner, guests will be in for a treat with a delicious pistachio date cake or banana ice cream with puffed rice as dessert. COYA’s Iftar menu will be priced AED250 per person and will be served from sundown to 8.30pm.
GO: CALL (0)4 316 9600 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. OPA DUBAI
Welcome the spirit of Ramadan with OPA’s Mediterranean flavours and prepare to be serenaded with its special set menu of culinary discoveries inspired from the Greek islands. Perfect for sharing with gatherings of friends and family, OPA offers an impeccable ambiance for those looking for a different take on the usual Iftar buffet feasts. Step inside OPA’s beautiful Greek setting and break your fast with its hearty Ramadan menu that begins with a selection of soups and dates followed by an assortment of breads and dips, cold and hot starters and delectable mains and ends with delicious desserts.Soup lovers can savour a different soup every day alongside a healthy selection of dates to begin their OPA experience. The Ramadan menu includes freshly bread soft breads served with traditional Greek dips of Tzatiki, the signature OPA Hummus, Fava dip and the Spicy Feta Dip. The cold appetisers include the refreshing Greek salad and the all-time favourite Tuna Tartare, while the hot starters include the Grilled Halloumi, Spinach Pie, and Lamb Kebab.Choose from an array of Greek inspired main dishes to choose from including the newly added Lamb Gyros, or the juicyAustralian Waygu Striploin with Oregano Jus served with crispy homemade potato chips. If you’re in the mood for a light and healthy meal, pick the Sea Bass Fillet served with Rice Pilaf or the Imam Bayildi made with aubergine in a rich tomato sauce and yogurt with a spicy twist. End your Iftar on a sweet note with desserts that include the Athenian Pie, Pistachio Cake, or the delectable and traditional Loukoumades. Priced at AED195 (excluding beverages), the Ramadan menu can be experienced from 7pm to 8.30pm at OPA, The Fairmont Dubai.
GO: CALL (0)4 357 0557 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION. LIMA DUBAI
LIMA Dubai, the Peruvian restaurant and bar concept from internationally acclaimed Chef Virgilio Martinez, presents a Peruvian inspired feast, offering an alternative way to break the fast this Ramadan. A carefully curated Iftar menu showcasing a selection of LIMA’s signature dishes will offer hearty, healthy and unique flavours, perfect to be savoured in LIMA’s calm yet livelyambience, the ideal location for family and friends to gather. The three-course feast priced at just AED199 welcomes guests with traditional dates and bread basket, served at the table, after which guest will be treated to seven delicious dishes designed to share. Highlights include Lamb Seco: Slow cooked lamb shoulder served with Peruvian pumpkin puree, and LIMA’s famous dessert Texture of Chocolate: A heady mix of dark chocolate mousse, white chocolate ice cream and crunch chocolate ‘soil’. Join LIMA Dubai to relax and be immersed inrich culture and diversity, while experiencing a true taste of Peruthis Ramadan. From sunset to 8.30pm
GO: CALL (0)56 500 4571 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.
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Pasta Time!

A special treat: a freebie look at the Roman pasta overview in my app, Eat Everywhere (which guides you, on-the-fly, through meals in any type of restaurant; it’s like having an insider coach you through the cuisine): Roman kitchens remain obsessed with the city’s storied pasta magic tricks. Elsewhere, they might have faded into a tradition that only old folks remember, prepared uncompromisingly only in one certain restaurant. But I’d bet you could find bowling alleys in Rome making hyper-careful carbonara or arrabiata putting NYC’s finest to shame.
To pick the smallest nits, I’ll note that Rome whips up metric tons of every pasta shape and recipe you’ve ever heard of (up to and including beef chow fun), but while local chefs would opt for suppoku rather than produce a flawed version of the Roman classics, the rest is just…pasta. So if you’re craving more than the traditional peasant recipes, you’re on potentially shaky ground. Unless you opt for the small but impressive local magic tricks, magic will not be assured.
I’d already had state-of-the-art spaghetti cacio e pepe in, of all places, Norwalk, Connecticut at Bar Sugo . Roman friends have pronounced these photos fully worthy:
Pepe Verdea
Viale Gorizia 38, 00198 Rome
Rigatoni alla gricia
I also tried a special, “Straccetti di pollo carciofi e testun al barolo”, strips of chicken and artichokes with paper-thin shavings of barolo wine-crusted hard cheese.
This struck me as the quintessential case of a chef coming up with a way to move excess provisions. Dude probably had a poultry backlog, and while the dish was good, it was simple, and without 1200 years of honing to inject magic, tastes like it’s missing something. Pretty, though!
Osteria da Fortunata
Via del Pellegrino 11, 00186 Rome
Strozzapreti carbonara
These guys really put the “carb” in carbonara. Not sure this super thick and clunky pasta works for this purpose. I agree with my Roman friend Paola, who prefers strozzapreti with tomato, oil and basilico.
Also, a nice simple artichoke dish. It was the season.
Hostaria da Settimio
Via di Val Tellina 81, 00151 Rome
Bucatini all’Amatriciana
Sometimes when you try an authentic version of a dish hard to find good where you live, there’s a surreal deja vu. It reminds you of mediocre or even awful things you’ve tried that were influenced, way back, by the wonderful original creation you’re finally getting to try. So I’m going to do name-drop two culinary abominations prodded into my memory – junior high cafeteria spaghetti, and canned “Beefaroni” – but I need you to understand that I am not criticizing this dish .
The first time I tasted Memphis dry rub barbecue, I finally understood what Wise barbecue potato chips were referencing. Which is not to say that Memphis barbecue is as crappy as a mass-market potato chip. It’s just that I tasted it long after I’d ingrained Wise’s dumbed-down version.
Similarly, amatriciana is great and conveys deep sentiments. But, through no fault of its own, it seems to be the spiritual grandfather of some of the worst culinary banes of my youth. None of them are called amatriciana, nor were they prepared with anyone who knew the word. But the connection is obvious. See this closeup for a better look that might jar similar associations: I’m glad I had this. It redeemed years of disgust and disappointment suffered in institutional lunchrooms. Also (further above): trippa ala Romana and the famous Jewish fried artichokes. This restaurant is considered quite a serious find for non-touristy, highly disciplined cooking in an informal setting at a fair price. But I found the food merely proper, and lacking soul.
Then on to Naples’ more free-wheeling pasta scene, unchained from Rome’s preoccupation with local classics.
Tandem Sedile di Porto
Via Sedile di Porto 51, 80134 Naples
Paccheri ragú alla Genovese
Tandem is an unpretentious little place with a short menu. They know what they’re good at, and excel at the house specialty. It’s essentially a two-trick pony, turning out configurations based around two varieties of ragú, Neopolitan and Genovese. A proper ragú is a hell few modern chefs would tackle, involving hours of braising. Tandem makes no shortcuts, and the result is calibration-level ragú. I chose Genovese, and it was properly melt-in-your-mouth and (authentically) almost embarrassingly oniony. Any North Indian customer would be moved to proclaim ” Dopiaza! “)
Also: a sturdy, smartly-prepared cut of maiale nero, the legendary Calabarian black pig (a fine deal at 18 euros).
Mimì alla Ferrovia
Via Alfonso D’Aragona 19, 80139 Naples
Spaghetti frutti di mare
Also: octopus.
This is an old-school, old-guard place, complete with waiters in tuxedos and snooty xenophobia toward sneaker-clad Americans. The cooking showed echoes of past grandeur, but it’s all gone a bit soft (in places still at their prime, waiters have better things to do than study customer footwear). A friend urged me to try the linguine frutti di mare, and while it wasn’t on the menu the day I visited, the chef offered to whip it up if I was okay with spaghetti in place of linguini. It was the latest of many lessons that pasta shape is critical. This really needed linguini.

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Taj Hotel Cape Town: Rooms with the best views facing the Table Mountain

by Thuymi Looking for somewhere to stay in Cape Town? We made sure we were staying at the most centrally located hotel, The Taj Hotel Cape Town with all the historical sights right on our doorstep. The Taj property is originally home to the South African Reserve Bank, Temple Chambers and then the Board of Executors (BoE). It gives it a classical appearance of grandeur and you can even take the stairs down into the haunted cellar. Where is Taj Cape Town Located The Taj Hotel Cape Town is located right in the cultural heart of Cape Town’s city centre, nearby Long Street, the main walking street of the city with bars, restaurants and tons of shops. Not far away by car is the bar street as well. It is quite vibrant at night if you are that way inclined. It is within walking distance of a park (Company’s Garden), Cape Town’s historic landmarks and attractions like museums, the Houses of Parliament, St. Georges Cathedral, St. Georges Mall and the Ou Kerk (Old Church). From our room, we were able to see the gardens and the church. Our favourite part about the location of The Taj Cape Town is the proximity to Bo-Kaap Museum and Bo-Kaap itself being walking distance. It is a neighborhood full of colourful houses. At the museum, you will find everything about the local Islamic culture, heritage, and history. The Bo-Kaap area became home to many Muslims and freed slaves after the abolition of slavery. The walking street behind the hotel is full of snacks, coffees, and souvenirs. How to get around the hotel In Cape Town, Uber is operating very well and actually quite fast compared to Dubai. If you book an Uber, make sure you are ready by the time to book it. Although, when staying at the Taj Cape Town, you get complimentary chauffeur service for a 10km radius from the hotel in a lush Jaguar SUV with still and sparkling water at your disposition. Not to mention the free wi-fi on board! Needless to say, it is a free airport transfer but you simply need to book it in advance so they know when to pick you up or know when is the right time for departure from the hotel for your flight. The system is very organized on the schedule sheet they manage so if you need to use it to go somewhere specific, book your car in advance. Last minute usage is only possible when the car is available and going nowhere, which we were lucky to grab one to get to the Cape Town Waterfront. Don’t miss the complimentary Taj Cape Town guided City walk tour. The card provides you with the number to call and reach the team to book your next lift. Dining at Taj Cape Town The Lobby Lounge The Taj Cape Town is home of many great restaurants and bars in the city. Starting with the impressive Lobby Lounge , right by the check-in area. It is dominated by a barrel-vaulted skylight which is supported by four big marble columns. Their guests enjoy breakfast, extended into Mint, or Afternoon Tea or even the perfect setting for drinks as it turns into a cocktail bar and cigar lounge. Mint, the Local Grill Mint is the casual all-day dining restaurant where you can have breakfast as well. We personally preferred sitting in the beautiful lobby area for breakfast. Mint has an outside terrace and indoor show kitchen. The menu is quite international including some South African local dishes. Mint, all-day dining restaurant at the Taj Cape Town Taj Cape Town popular Afternoon Tea in Cape Town Bombay Brasserie Bombay Brasserie is the signature specialty restaurant which offers fine-dining Indian gourmet cuisine with a menu created by world-renowned Chefs from India. We made sure to have our Indian cuisine fix by trying out the 6-course set menu. The restaurant’s atmosphere is very elegant with a classic feel which was perfect for us to make it a date night! Absolutely love our dinner. It was great to eat delicious Indian food again! Looks small but we were FULL The Twankey Bar Among the top bars in Cape Town, The Twankey Bar is an iconic bar known for its world-class bespoke cocktails. If you like to mingle, you sure have to spend some time here, as a guest or not of the Taj Cape Town! The Cigar Lounge If you are a cigar lover, you must stop by The Taj Cape Town Cigar Lounge for a few cocktails to accompany your cigar. Spa & Wellness at Taj Cape Town The award-winning Jiva Grande Spa at the Taj Cape Town is the premier spa destination for residents and travelers alike. It has 6 Treatment rooms, including a Double Massage Suite for couples which is huge with a beautiful tub! We were booked in for a good pampering session knowing after the stay we would begin our drive from Cape Town to Johannesburg, doing a loop to Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana. Our couples massage started with a leg and feet scrub followed by a dreamy but firm massage of 60-minutes before being redirected to the relaxation area with some tea and fresh fruits served. Gotta say, we really enjoyed the treatment as the therapists are really strong and firm and it feels like you are actually getting a strong massage, something we really value during a session. We always prefer firm and sports massages! The fitness centre is a fully equipped Technogym with everything you need to fit in a good exercise session to be completed with a plunge into the heated indoor pool. It is small but the length is perfect enough to fit in many laps as exercise as well. The Sauna, Steam room and Jacuzzi were not working and with no water in the tub considering the water draught Cape Town has been through. If guests really want them to function, the hotel will make it happen but this is an initiative to encourage guests to be aware of their water use during their journey in Cape Town. The heated pool was a bit chill to what we expected but still did a short swim haha! Rooms at Taj Cape Town Spread across two heritage buildings, The Taj Cape Town has 176 rooms and suites with either a spectacular city view or Table Mountain view. There is also a Presidential Suite and the Taj Club Rooms and lounge, where we were directed to lounge until our room was ready. During our stay, we were situated in the Luxury Heritage Room with a Table Mountain View. From our room, we had our own balcony and was able to see the mighty new 7 Natural Wonder of the World Table Mountain soar over us. It also gave us a unique opportunity to watch the weather roll in over the mountain which is very temperamental. Our room was large and we were able to spread all our bags over the room. View from our room… it’s Table mountain but it has been so foggy! Pretending to be cute, haha Note that guests with kids are well taken of as they are automatically enrolled in the [email protected] programme. To entertain them, there are complimentary gaming consoles and board games available on request if available. Babysitting service is also available but not for free. Sustainability at Taj Cape Town Glass bottles are used to offer guests complimentary water in the room. Water saving via reusing your linen is strongly encouraged as well. No plastic straws are distributed but hard paper starts are used if you need one for your drink. Water saving is quite important and the awareness is strong at the property considering the water drought in Cape Town since the last several years. As we mentioned earlier, they have turned off some of the luxuries to do their bit for their environment. Our experience at Taj Cape Town A stay at the historic building of the Taj Cape Town was extremely special, not to mention the incredible room view over Table Mountain and the St. George’s Cathedral. We were greeted to the room with a glass of delicious red wine and a platter of cheese, nuts and delicious biltong. What a great South African welcome which we made sure to enjoy standing on the balcony. The Taj Cape Town is so well situated we absolutely enjoyed walking around. We particularly really enjoyed the complimentary chauffeur service as it was really convenient for us to catch to get around town, in addition to having the WiFi during the ride. We got a lift to our helicopter experience as well in a Jag! We then made sure to request the Taj team to show us The Reserve, which is a historical building built in 1894, which occupied the old African Banking Corporation Building, to then later became home to the Standard Bank in 1927. There are a few ghost stories about this place so we absolutely had to see it! We forgot something at the hotel and sent an email a few hours after check-out to let them know about it but it took a bit longer to get back to us. It is unfortunate but the e-mail must’ve been lost amongst all the reservations e-mail as we sent it to that generic e-mail. The team was very apologetic and happy to fix the situation to turn it to a positive experience. We were very happy with the professionalism of how it was handled, exactly what would be expected from such quality of a hotel. Work spot of the day! Felt like room dining, it was an amazing dinner! Really was impressed by the menu and the quality for in-room dining. This is box title Have you ever visited Cape Town before? Let us know if you missed anything and d on’t forget to book your travel insurance before traveling. If you don’t have your flights, check out ways to book the cheapest fares here . If you like this article, follow our Adventures on Facebook , YouTube , Twitter , Instagram @adventurefaktory , but most importantly sign up to our E-mail list to keep up with updates and travel trends + deals!

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How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?

How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation? By Priya Krishna • 9 hours ago Chickpea flour is gaining attention thanks to its gluten-free binding properties. But the ingredient has been a staple of cooking for Indians, Pakistanis and many others for centuries. Pinkybird / Getty Images
There’s a specific section of my family’s fridge that is reserved for the large, seemingly bottomless tub of chickpea flour — or as we and lots of other Indians who also rely on it call it, besan — that my parents keep on hand. We’re not gluten-free, nor do we do a lot of baking. Yet chickpea flour shows up everywhere in our food. It’s the nutty coating for my mom’s green beans spiced with earthy ajwain , the key ingredient in her creamy, tangy, yogurt-based soup, kadhi , and the base for our favorite variety of laddoos , sweet, fudge-like balls flavored with ghee, sugar and nuts.
Across the many regional cuisines in India, chickpea flour is a common denominator: Gujaratis turn it into pudla , thin, savory crepes laced with turmeric and chilies. In Karnataka and Maharashtra, it can be found in jhunka , a spicy porridge. And in Andhra Pradesh, it is the thickener in Senagapindi Kura , an onion-heavy stew. For the country’s large vegetarian population, where eggs are often considered non-vegetarian, chickpea flour mixed with water serves as a convincing omelet replacement.
Indians — along with the Nepalese, Pakistanis, Italians, the French, and many others — have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. Americans, on the other hand, only seem to have woken up to the ingredient in the last decade or so. And they’ve woken up in a big way.
It’s hard to trace the exact origin of chickpea flour’s sudden popularity in the U.S. Anna Stockwell, the senior food editor of the publications Epicurious and Bon Appétit , said she first started seeing chickpea flour around 2009 on gluten-free blogs. Stockwell is gluten-free herself, and was excited to find a recipe for savory chickpea pancakes.
She didn’t know much about chickpea flour’s culinary heritage, but she was immediately excited. “Its binding power was magic,” she recalls. “All you have to do is combine chickpea flour and water, and suddenly you can make flatbread, or fritters or vegetable pancakes.” Still, Stockwell saw it as a niche ingredient — something only gluten-free consumers cared about. She wasn’t even allowed to call for it in Epicurious recipes.
Slowly but surely, that started to change. In 2010, one of the more popular recipes from Plenty , Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling cookbook, was a chickpea flour pancake, or socca , as it’s known in France, layered with tomatoes and onions. In 2015, food and fitness writer Camilla Saulsbury wrote the popular book The Chickpea Flour Cookbook . That was followed a year later by Chickpea Flour Does It All , by blogger Lindsey Love.
Lani Halliday, the founder of Brutus Bakeshop, a gluten-free Brooklyn bakery, says she noticed a huge uptick in the number of chickpea flour-based, gluten-free sweets available about a decade ago. For baked goods, chickpea flour worked uniquely well, “as it can hold air bubbles and hold moisture,” she says. Plus, “it was cheap, it was accessible, and it was versatile.”
Halliday launched her bakery in 2015. One of her bestselling items among both gluten-free and non-gluten-free customers was a chocolate cupcake made with chickpea flour.
Stockwell believes the mainstreaming of chickpea flour is directly linked to one company in particular — Banza. The company started producing its chickpea flour-based pasta in 2014, and by 2017, it was in 8,000-plus grocery stores and had raised $8 million in funding. The key to the company’s success? It didn’t exclusively market itself as a gluten-free product. Instead, it was branded as health food. And it was one of the first alternative pastas that had a smooth, al dente texture, just like the real thing.
“I had friends who had never heard of chickpea flour, but now they eat Banza,” Stockwell says. “It’s not because they are trying to eat gluten-free but because it’s a delicious and higher-protein pasta. It’s a substitute for empty carbs.”
This year, Epicurious was finally allowed to publish recipes with chickpea flour. Dennis Vaughn, the CEO of Bob’s Red Mill, says that in the past five years, chickpea flour has become a clear bestseller among the company’s sundry flour options.
“My grocery store doesn’t even carry red meat,” Stockwell says, “but they carry Bob’s Red Mill” chickpea flour.
In many ways, it has been weird to watch this ingredient that has always felt so quotidian to me become so ubiquitous so quickly in the U.S. This is certainly not the first Indian ingredient or dish this has happened to. Consider turmeric, chai, or khichdi , which have all been claimed by the wellness community and food bloggers as their own, often times without giving due credit to Indian cuisine. It baffles me that the vast majority of people I talk to are shocked to hear that chickpea flour has long been a common ingredient in my family’s cooking.
On the other hand, it was important to me when I was writing my new cookbook, Indian-ish , that people could find the ingredients for the dishes in their average grocery store. Because chickpea flour is now so common, I could include recipes like those addictive chickpea flour green beans, and the silky, soupy kadhi .
I’m not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream. But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn’t frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.
No one culture can “own” an ingredient — I’m literally writing this with a box of Banza chickpea pasta in my kitchen cabinet — but let’s not treat food like it exists in a vacuum. There’s context for that chickpea flour flatbread you’re making for dinner. Don’t take it for granted.
Priya Krishna is a food writer who contributes to The New York Times, Bon Appétit , and others. She also serves as one of the hosts of Bon Appétit’s video series, From the Test Kitchen . She is the author of the cookbook Indian-ish: Recipes And Antics From A Modern American Family . Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ PKgourmet Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org. © 2019 WLRN

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