Indian Cooking Hacks: How To Give Your Curry A Deeper, Darker Colour

Indian Cooking Hacks: How To Give Your Curry A Deeper, Darker Colour

Curries are cooked on almost a daily basis in Indian homes Indian curries must have a flavourful taste and a luscious colour You can deepen the colour of your Indian gravy with this trick
Curries are to Indian cuisine, what probably pasta is to Italian cuisine and cheese is to American food. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian living on the Indian subcontinent, at least one of more of your meals will probably include a curry of some kind with flat breads like roti /chapati or rice. The world has not learned to love the curry that is basically a flavoured broth containing a handful of essential Indian spices, including cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and that oh-so essential and not so secret ingredient – garam masala . A number of Indian curries now contain pureed tomatoes and are rendered even more delicious and flavourful due to the ginger garlic paste that is prepared in bulk and used in most dishes. Indian Curries
Curries can be light or rich, thick or thin, depending on what a particular dish demands. A number of Indian curries dishes tend to be simmered to the perfect thickness with just the right amount of richness and fat to make them lip-smackingly good. But before you take a taste of the curry recipes, what entices and enraptures you about a curried dish is the look and colour of the gravy. A lot of times a curry doesn’t look appetising enough when it’s too light in colour. Punjabi chhole , for example, is a curried dish that usually has a deep dark brown tinge that is a desirable look for a well-cooked curry. Usually, slow cooking a curry can help you achieve that deeper, more luscious look.
Also Read: 11 Best Indian Chicken Curry Recipes | Chicken Gravy Recipes Cooking Tips: That deep colour in Pindi chhole or Punjabi chhole is achieved with a simple trick
The same goes with a number of chicken and mutton curries, including bhuna masala, rogan josh etc. But sometimes, you may notice that your curry refuses to get that deep hue. Maybe you mixed in a little bit too much cream or milk in it or maybe your onions and tomatoes didn’t caramelise properly enough for them to turn darker. What do you do then? There’s an extremely easy trick to fix the colour of your curry – it’s a very straightforward method and very easy to execute. You can darken the colour of your vegetarian or non-vegetarian curry with the help of some black tea leaves! Here’s how you make your curry deeper and darker:
1. Take some water in a deep-bottomed pan and add some black tea leaves to it.
2. Boil the water till it attains a black colour.
3. Add this water to your curry while cooking to get that perfect deep brown tinge.
4. Alternatively, you can toss some tea bags with their strings cut off to your curry while simmering it, and remove them after some time.
5. Another way of deepening the colour of your curry is to secure some tea leaves inside a tiny, thin muslin cloth and toss this tiny bag of tea leaves in your curry. Fish this tiny bag out, when you have achieved the desired colour.
So, now you know! This trick is generally used to darken the colour of chickpeas, which are prepared in numerous different ways. A couple of tea bags tossed in the water while pressure cooking the chickpeas can help you get darker chhole . Know of any more tricks and tips to darken the colour of curries? Let us know in the comments section below!

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UK restaurant boss asks fellow businessmen to sell Pakistani cuisine with pride

Listen UK restaurant boss asks fellow businessmen to sell Pakistani cuisine with pride
LONDON: A leading Pakistani restaurant boss has called on Pakistani restaurant owners to proudly own Pakistani cuisine and stop marketing their business places as Indian.
Raja Suleman Raza, who made his name after setting up a successful chain of Spice Village restaurants across Britain, said that Pakistani cuisine has a distinct taste and flavour when compared with Indian cuisine but it was surprising that several Pakistanis market their restaurants and eateries as “Indian” while actually serving Pakistani cuisine and being of Pakistani origin.
“I proudly go around and tell the world that I am a Pakistani, my restaurants serve Pakistani cuisine and I am proud of it. I have been doing a great business by marketing my business associated with Pakistani name and Pakistani food. It’s unfortunate that hundreds of Pakistani restaurant and takeaway owners in Britain don’t want to be associated with the Pakistani name and instead use ‘Indian’ name to do business,” said Suleman Raza, who has won several food industry awards. “I call on all such restaurant owners to reconsider their approach, be true to yourself, your origin and be proud of Pakistan. This will give you more respect and credibility than anything else,” he stressed in an interview with The News and Geo.
Suleman Raza came to Britain from Pakistan several years ago and started working as a chef in a Brixton restaurant with an aspiration to start his own restaurant. He always felt things could be done differently for more delectable outcomes. The young Suleman found himself captivated with London’s eclectic restaurant scene and longed to bring some of that foodie culture back to South of London.
“I was even more sure of my success as I thought I had found the magic potion to hit it off — the spices,” he said. Suleman decided to set up his restaurant business in Tooting for “people who might drive long distances to find an authentic restaurant with great food, where they could take their time with friends and families without feeling rushed. Slow, enjoyable food. Nothing to be rushed”.
While sweating himself in kitchen, Suleman immersed himself in almost daily restaurant planning. He began collecting travel-magazine photos of restaurants, along with reviews and other articles about their food presentations. “I started spending most of my time away from cooking thinking about the components of food, blends of spices, service and ambiance,” he recollected.
He opened Spice Village restaurant in 2004. His workdays usually started at 9 am, going over the itinerary of the day with dozens of items to source, and ended at 3 am after clean-up. Suleman regularly mopped and swept the restaurant, hauled delivery boxes to the recycling centre, did the restaurant’s laundry and served as general handyman.
Suleman’s hard work has been rewarded. Customers have poured in, some of them from 30-40 miles away. Spice Village spread to the East of London and West of London too and its clients include mainly Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and many others. From Tooting it reached Ilford and then Southall.
“I always thought it would be more challenging to bring people in without alcohol. However, I believed if we would be good enough, we could do that. I don’t believe in alcohol and do believe in getting customers intoxicated with the power of spices — a much healthier option.” Spice village customers range from the British House of Commons and House of Lords to Lambeth Palace, the Riyal Military Academy at Sandhurst, several embassies and London’s best starred hotels and iconic venues. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan ranks Spice Village among his favourites.
“I have made sure that I promote Pakistan every day through my business and that’s my responsibility and my commitment to the country of my origin. We are all set to go global in second half of 2019 with branches in South Asia and Middle East,” said Suleman.
LONDON: A leading Pakistani restaurant boss has called on Pakistani restaurant owners to proudly own Pakistani cuisine and stop marketing their business places as Indian.
Raja Suleman Raza, who made his name after setting up a successful chain of Spice Village restaurants across Britain, said that Pakistani cuisine has a distinct taste and flavour when compared with Indian cuisine but it was surprising that several Pakistanis market their restaurants and eateries as “Indian” while actually serving Pakistani cuisine and being of Pakistani origin.
“I proudly go around and tell the world that I am a Pakistani, my restaurants serve Pakistani cuisine and I am proud of it. I have been doing a great business by marketing my business associated with Pakistani name and Pakistani food. It’s unfortunate that hundreds of Pakistani restaurant and takeaway owners in Britain don’t want to be associated with the Pakistani name and instead use ‘Indian’ name to do business,” said Suleman Raza, who has won several food industry awards. “I call on all such restaurant owners to reconsider their approach, be true to yourself, your origin and be proud of Pakistan. This will give you more respect and credibility than anything else,” he stressed in an interview with The News and Geo.
Suleman Raza came to Britain from Pakistan several years ago and started working as a chef in a Brixton restaurant with an aspiration to start his own restaurant. He always felt things could be done differently for more delectable outcomes. The young Suleman found himself captivated with London’s eclectic restaurant scene and longed to bring some of that foodie culture back to South of London.
“I was even more sure of my success as I thought I had found the magic potion to hit it off — the spices,” he said. Suleman decided to set up his restaurant business in Tooting for “people who might drive long distances to find an authentic restaurant with great food, where they could take their time with friends and families without feeling rushed. Slow, enjoyable food. Nothing to be rushed”.
While sweating himself in kitchen, Suleman immersed himself in almost daily restaurant planning. He began collecting travel-magazine photos of restaurants, along with reviews and other articles about their food presentations. “I started spending most of my time away from cooking thinking about the components of food, blends of spices, service and ambiance,” he recollected.
He opened Spice Village restaurant in 2004. His workdays usually started at 9 am, going over the itinerary of the day with dozens of items to source, and ended at 3 am after clean-up. Suleman regularly mopped and swept the restaurant, hauled delivery boxes to the recycling centre, did the restaurant’s laundry and served as general handyman.
Suleman’s hard work has been rewarded. Customers have poured in, some of them from 30-40 miles away. Spice Village spread to the East of London and West of London too and its clients include mainly Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and many others. From Tooting it reached Ilford and then Southall.
“I always thought it would be more challenging to bring people in without alcohol. However, I believed if we would be good enough, we could do that. I don’t believe in alcohol and do believe in getting customers intoxicated with the power of spices — a much healthier option.” Spice village customers range from the British House of Commons and House of Lords to Lambeth Palace, the Riyal Military Academy at Sandhurst, several embassies and London’s best starred hotels and iconic venues. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan ranks Spice Village among his favourites.
“I have made sure that I promote Pakistan every day through my business and that’s my responsibility and my commitment to the country of my origin. We are all set to go global in second half of 2019 with branches in South Asia and Middle East,” said Suleman. Latest News

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10 IDEAL FOODIE DESTINATIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

10 IDEAL FOODIE DESTINATIONS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA By – May 8, 2019
New bucket list entry anyone? For many, last year’s announcement by Trip Advisor of its Top Ten Foodie Cities was a direct challenge to the intrepid and inquisitive amongst us. Could a foodie world tour be logically arranged to take in the ten cities from the list? In short, only if you’re easy about the cash and fuel you’d burn along the way; a round the world flight ticket, taking in the U.K, Europe, the States and Asia, with sufficient stops permitted, would cost upwards of £10’000 and 30’000 miles. In shorter, just no.
Something more manageable and no less delicious, then. Something less costly, and less damaging to the environment, too. Something focused on taking in the cornucopia of culinary delights of one particular region. And what part of the world has the finest, best value food around? Why, Southeast Asia, of course. What this in mind, here are 10 IDEAL foodie destinations in Southeast Asia. BANGKOK, THAILAND
You won’t go hungry in the most visited city in the world. Oh no. There is food everywhere and it’s almost exclusively delicious. The wonderful thing about eating in Bangkok is the amazing range of Thai (and international) cuisine on offer. In Bangkok can dine at street level for pennies, or sky high for prices which match.
A ccording to research and this striking visual from Amica International, one of the defining aspects of any ‘foodie’ city is the diversity of the cuisine on offer – and there’s no lack of that in Bangkok. Here you can sample the delights of an Indian curry in Pahurat (Little India), chow down on some Peking duck in China town or delight in French fine dining at a Michelin starred restaurant. You can even get a real taste of Italy at some of the best Italian restaurants the world has to offer, and having a good offering of Italian food (according to Amica) is another element that makes a great foodie city. Whatever you’re in the mood for the city will provide.
But you’d be crazy to come here and go all international on us. P articularly exciting in the Thai capital right now is the new wave of Thai chefs intent on modernising the country’s cuisine while staying true to its roots and history, and supporting the finest local producers along the way. If you can snag a table, 100 Mahaseth and 80/20 are perhaps the finest realisations of this ethos and the hottest tickets in town right now. We’ve written more about our top tips for eating out in Bangkok here; check it out. SINGAPORE
For the box tickers; the news has just dropped that Asia has a new Number One Restaurant, and it’s in Singapore. This comes as no surprise; the city is awash with fine dining of a Francophile bent and as such commands the attention of international foodie awards. Indeed, the city boasts 39 Michelin stars and plenty more courting that kind of recognition. But we promised something a little less damaging to the purse.
Fortunately, and somewhat surprisingly in a city of affluence and aspiration, cheap eats can be found everywhere. The food is a glorious amalgamation of the many historic, ethnic and cultural influences of the place; Malaysian, Chinese, Portuguese…they all play a part. When dining out, locals often eat at the ubiquitous Hawker Centres which are found all over town. Perhaps the best is Lau Pa Sat (also known as Telok Ayer Market) where you’ll find a huge diversity of dishes and styles.
Singapore also lays claim to the world’s cheapest Michelin star meal at Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. It’s a simple, street food stall serving the national dish expertly and at just over a £1. And yep, you guessed it, you’ll have to queue. There is now a second branch, Hawker Chan, which seats nearly 100. Daniel Zemands flickr PHUKET, THAILAND
The island of Phuket is a place of clashing contradiction, with the brash and bawdy Patong Beach in direct, jarring conflict with the striking natural beauty of the island and the serene, multicultural Old Town, with its colourful Sino Portuguese architecture, Chinese temples and shrines, and unique cuisine representative of this rich diversity.
Dive into a world of culinary curiosity to enjoy the best of Phuket; a truly glorious amalgamation of the island’s heritage and celebratory of its inherent contrasts, with Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Muslim influences abound.
The local breakfast, in particular, is a thing of wonder; freshly slapped and charcoal grilled roti bread served alongside a deep, heady curry sauce and sweet, milky coffee. If that doesn’t get you going in the morning, then only a defibrillator might. And of course, owing to its proximity to the sea’s bounty, fish is done superbly here, with the fine balancing act between high spice and soothing coconut or crunchy vegetables that Southern Thai food does so well. Don’t leave without trying the crab curry at Raya Restaurant , a place so popular it’s spawned sister restaurants One Chun and Chomchan in the city (both equally brilliant) as well as a second Raya in Bangkok. Heaven. CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
Eating is the national pastime in Thailand; for pleasure, as a merit-maker, a show of gratitude, a welcome, everything. Our ‘how are you?’ is their ‘have you eaten rice yet?’. In Chiang Mai , Northern Thailand’s main tourist hub, the unique cuisine of the area (known as Lanna food) is at its best.
Everyone’s first foodie stop is to eat the delicious noodle and curry broth Khao Soi and Chiang Mai boasts many, many purveyors of the good stuff. Also superb in the city are the endless array of grilled meats. S&P Chicken is perennially popular with both tourists and locals for their brined, marinated, slow grilled poussin served with tangy homemade dipping sauces. And you won’t miss (or want to miss) the North’s famous sausage, sai ua, which is full of herbs, spice and flavour. Just amazing. HANOI, VIETNAM
Hanoi; at once relentless, maddening, baffling and beautiful, has some of the best street food the world has to offer, let alone Southeast Asia.
Where do we start? Well, it’s got to be pho, the iconic noodle soup which is doing its best to take over the world. There just aren’t enough superlatives. It is wise, though, to seek out the best version you can, as the difference between a good and great bowl is huge. For beef, we’d point you in the direction of 49 Bat Dan street or 10 Ly Quoc Su; the finest in their field, in the city and therefore, by rights, the world. If it’s chicken you’re after, Pho Ga Mai Anh on Le Van Huu street is ace. Right next door to that family run shop is the famous Obama Bun Cha, where the then president (oh, how we miss him) famously enjoyed a bowl of delicious chargrilled pork over rice noodles with Anthony Bourdain (oh, how we miss him , too).
Perhaps the greatest dish in the whole city though is cha ca; catfish marinated in turmeric and shrimp paste, fried in an aromatic oil. Add loads of spring onion and serve with herbs and fermented rice noodles, and be careful not to let your eyes roll back in your head. The best version (and the inventors of the dish) is found at Cha Ca La Vong, on Cha Ca street. HUE, VIETNAM
Sure, Hanoi’s food is amazing. And sure, Vietnam’s south could also stake a fair claim of having the best regional food in the country. But those who ‘know’ go to Hue, the former royal capital, to eat. Here you’ll find a cuisine all of its own, led by the headlining act bun bo hue. That’s a deep, savoury and spicy broth which all the best cuts of pork, blood and beef have made their home; the food stalls of the city’s Dong Ba market sling an excellent version. Also superb and native to the city is banh xeo, a type of crispy pancake filled with minced pork and prawns, which you eat wrapped in lettuce and enjoy with the ever present bowl of fresh herbs. Take us back. LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
Laotian food isn’t perhaps as internationally recognised as it should be, but that’s surely soon set to change. In fact, much of the Thai food we enjoy with abandon has its roots in the country; the papaya salads, grilled chickens, laaps and more originated in Laos.
Luang Prabang is a great place to start discovering this country’s diverse and delicious cuisine as it has a great mix of street food, markets and the emergence of a few fine dining places owing to its recent surge in tourism. Particularly splendid is newly opened Paste (a sister restaurant to the much lauded Bangkok restaurant of the same name). But if it’s cheap eats you’re after, head to the string of great little eateries on the south bank of Mekong river which runs right through the town. Be sure to order the salt grilled fish which you wrap in lettuce leaves and dip in a variety of fiery dipping sauces; that’s ‘miang pla pao’ to the locals. SIEM RIEP, CAMBODIA
Cambodia’s Siem Riep may be compact in size, but culturally and culinarily it packs one hell of a punch. It’s most famous as the gateway town serving the world famous religious site Angkor Wat, but the town itself is brimming with brilliant food. Our pick of the bunch is Spoons, a celebration of the country’s much underrated cuisine and a philanthropic operation to boot. Cuisine Wat Damark is another superb Siem Riep restaurant, doing Khmer fine dining with respect for its heritage at the very highest level. GEORGETOWN, MALAYSIA
Malaysian, Thai, Indian and Chinese influences meet here to provide a foodie mecca pretty much unrivalled anywhere else on the planet. It’s probably the cheapest place to eat well on our list, with Hawker Centres slinging bowl upon bowl of fragrant soups and rich, deep curries for the price of pennies.
The national dish of char koay teow (a smoking hot wok stir fry of seafood and noodles) is a must try here, and the Penang version of laksa known as assam also shouldn’t be missed. It’s quite different from the laksa most of us are familiar with, shipping out the coconut milk and instead given richness and depth through tamarind water and dried fish flakes. Go get it. JAKARTA, INDONESIA
We couldn’t leave Southeast Asia without dropping by the biggest, most mega metropolis in the region. And where there are this many people and this richer history, there is always food cooked with pride. Look beyond the nasi goreng and rendang (admittedly superb) and seek out the lesser known but no less delicious dishes of soto betawi (a creamy beef soup native to Jakarta and served with pickles) and ikan bakar, a splendid way of grilling fish which is popular in the city. SHARE THE IDEAL FOOD TEAM Whether you’re looking for the ideal restaurant to curb your kimchi cravings, need inspiration for tonight’s dinner or are after advice on how to make the creamiest risotto ever, we’ve got you covered. Our talented team of food obsessed writers and chefs are here satisfy your foodie cravings one article at a time.

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World’s cheapest (and most expensive) cities to Airbnb

World’s cheapest (and most expensive) cities to Airbnb 1 of 21 Attribution: iStock
Just as some countries are cheaper to live than others, it may be no surprise to learn that Airbnbs in certain countries are cheaper, too. Globehunters have collated global Airbnb data to determine the most affordable cities to bag an Airbnb, and you’ll be pleased to know some are major holiday spots. Click through for the full list. 2 of 21 Attribution: iStock 1. Lviv, Ukraine ($42)
This Unesco-listed city oozes the same folksy European charm and beauty as tourist hotspots like Prague, packed with stunning cathedrals, quaint Viennese-style coffee houses, quirky themed restaurants and mouth-watering Eastern European cuisine. And Lviv hosts a staggering 50 festivals throughout the year, from all things delicious (chocolate, beer, coffee) to jazz and classical music, so there’s always something to celebrate. 3 of 21 Attribution: iStock 2. Saint Petersburg, Russia ($47)
Russia’s imperial capital is something of a show-off, and well worth adding to the bucket-list. Nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North’, this fascinating region is an art and architecture goldmine, dotted with ornate baroque palaces, some of the country’s best art collections and, of course, the famous Russian ballet. 4 of 21 Attribution: iStock 3. Jakarta, Indonesia ($50)
Jakarta might not be high on your travel hit-list — yet. But the rapidly developing city has a burgeoning food and coffee scene, a wild nightlife, and fascinating Dutch colonial roots. 5 of 21 Attribution: iStock 4. Hanoi, Vietnam ($51)
Vietnam’s bustling northern capital is surely one of the nation’s prettiest cities, owing to its French and Chinese colonial past. As well as being a foodie hotspot and obscenely cheap to live and get around, it’s also the gateway to beautiful Halong Bay. 6 of 21 Attribution: iStock 5. Kolkata, India ($52)
India’s bustling city Kolkata is a hypnotic blend of old and new, from its crumbling colonial palaces and temples, to its Bengali cuisine, roadside stalls, live music venues and slick shopping malls. 7 of 21 Attribution: iStock 6. Chennai, India ($54)
A string of sparkly new hotels, shops and cafes have popped up in Chennai in recent times, adding an alluring new layer to a city immersed in history in tradition. Marvel at the multi-coloured Kapaleeshwarar temple, indulge in wonderful coastal-leaning South Indian cuisine, and pay a visit to the world’s second-longest urban beach, Marina Beach. 8 of 21 Attribution: iStock 7. Phnom Penh, Cambodia ($54)
Cambodia’s gritty capital will overload your senses, from its buzzing hawker markets and manic traffic to its vibrant nightlife and incredible culinary scene. There’s no denying it’s dark history, and a visit to the Killing Fields is a must, the haunting site where thousands were executed by the Khmer Rouge regime. 9 of 21 Attribution: iStock 8. Japiur, India ($60)
This major tourist hub is spoiled for pretty palaces, from the Jal Mahal (water palace) to its lavish star attraction, the Amber Fort. But no need to splash on princely lodgings when you can Airbnb for cheap, and still feel like a king/queen while shimmying around its regal attractions. 10 of 21 Attribution: iStock 9. Agra, India ($61)
Most famous for the Taj Mahal, this tourist hub is an intoxicating blend of marketplaces, stunning historic tombs and bazaars, and exotic street food. 11 of 21 Attribution: iStock 10. Buenos Aires, Argentina ($63)
Scraping onto the cheap list is Argentina’s tango capital, Buenos Aires. Let its mural-lined streets and electric nightlife seduce you — and good luck not being sucked in by its carnivorous side, with the city famous for its steakhouses and Argentinian wines. 12 of 21 Attribution: iStock 1. San Francisco, USA ($319)
Kicking off their most-expensive cities list is the home of the world’s foremost tech billionaires, San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, real estate ain’t cheap in this tourist town, and the prices reflect. 13 of 21 Attribution: iStock 2. Miami, USA ($276)
Second on the list, is the USA’s balmy beach city, Miami, with Airbnb rates averaging around $276 a night. 14 of 21 Attribution: iStock 3. Orlando, USA ($273)
The home of Disney World and a slew of other top-tier theme parks, this tourist Mecca is in-demand, and we all know that means a price hike for lodgings. 15 of 21 Attribution: iStock 4. Las Vegas, USA ($268)
Sin City’s slot machines aren’t the only thing you’ll lose money on while holidaying here — apparently the average Airbnb will set you back $268 a night, as much as a hotel room in most major cities. 16 of 21 Attribution: iStock 5. Honolulu, USA ($266)
Hawaii’s most popular neighbourhoods’ real estate have skyrocketed in value in recent years, with Airbnbs going for around $266 a night. 17 of 21 Attribution: iStock 6. Barcelona, Spain ($253)
Catalonia’s vibrant capital attracts around 32 million tourists per year, driving real estate and Airbnb prices up. Visitors can expect to pay up to $253 a night. 18 of 21 Attribution: iStock 7. Amsterdam, Netherlands ($252)
Europe’s former party capital has blossomed into an alluring hip little city, packed with emerging neighbourhoods, world-class cuisine, galleries and craft breweries. An Airbnb here will cost around $252 a night. 19 of 21 Attribution: iStock 8. London, UK ($246)
London is already one of the world’s most expensive cities to live, so it’s no surprise it’s also one of the exxiest to bag an Airbnb. 20 of 21 Attribution: iStock 9. Dubai, UAE ($239)
Dubai does everything in excess it seems, even Airbnb’s are expensive — a night here will cost around $239. 21 of 21 Attribution: iStock 10. New York City, USA ($230)
The Big Apple is still a holiday favourite, but unfortunately a vacay here will cost you — Airbnbs average around $230 a night. Topics

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Nepali food is not Indian cuisine—and Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen’s new owners are keen to explain why

Nepali food is not Indian cuisine—and Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen’s new owners are keen to explain why by Gail Johnson on May 8th, 2019 at 5:55 PM 1 of 2 2 of 2
Looking back at his childhood in Delhi, Raju Bhattrai recalls how hard his Nepalese parents worked. His mother had a job in an international clothing factory, while his father held various positions, including washing dishes, working for the Indian government’s ministry of welfare, and making prosthetic limbs. By the time he was 11, Bhattrai was buying groceries and making meals for his younger siblings, his mom having taught him how to make the traditional dishes of Nepal.
After a circuitous journey to Canada, he’s now sharing the flavours of the Himalayas with Vancouver as the new co-owner of Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen (1141 Davie Street).
Bhattrai completed a master’s degree in sociology in India, then relocated to Spain, where he planned to continue his work in education policy. However, he soon realized he missed being around food. He worked as a server and went to culinary school in Barcelona. When he and his wife started to have a family, they decided in 2013 to move to the Lower Mainland, a place he felt he and his family would feel safe as immigrants.
Once here, he waited on tables at White Spot, among other places, but when he learned from his former employers turned friends at Gurkha that they were selling the West End restaurant, he knew he wanted to make it his own. Teaming up with Prakash Adhikari, a chef originally from Nepal whom he met in Spain, Bhattrai is carrying on the culinary traditions he grew up with.
Although Gurkha has existed since 2013, it’s in a neighbourhood that could be called Vancouver’s new Little India, at least foodwise, with many recently opened restaurants. Within a few blocks on Davie Street are Mumbai Local, India Bistro, Davie Dosa Company, and Kinara Indian Cuisine. Each specializes in different types of food from that country, a reflection of the growing diversity of the region’s Indian population.
At the same time, many people mistakenly assume that Nepali cuisine is the same as Indian fare, Bhattrai explains during an interview at Gurkha, which is on the second level of a house that’s about 100 years old and has a hidden gem of a back patio decorated with hanging lights and flowering planters. While there are, of course, similarities between the two nations’ cuisines, with the use of ingredients like cumin, coriander, and ginger, the food of Nepal is distinct. Gurkha Himalayan Kitchen’s new owners, Raju Bhattrai and Prakash Adhikari, are keen to emphasize the distinct features of Nepali food. Gail Johnson
“Indian food is very good, but we’re not Indian food,” Bhattrai says. “We use freshly ground herbs and spices, but they’re not heavy spices. There’s also Chinese influence. It’s a tasty food, and you feel good after eating it. Gurkha is the kind of food we used to eat every day at home; this is like Mom’s kitchen.”
Both Bhattrai and Adhikari wear brimless caps, called Dhaka topi , emblazoned with images of two crisscrossed curved knives. Called kukri , these are the traditional weapons of the Nepalese Gurkha soldiers, who form an important part of the British Army. The blades, the national emblem of Nepal, are now mainly used for cooking.
Recipes call for jimbu, a dried Himalayan herb with a subtle garlic flavour, and dalle khursani, a type of red chili. There’s timut pepper, a grapefruitlike spice, and ajwain , or carom seed, which is in the same family as dill and caraway. Dishes also often contain black pepper, fenugreek, saffron, and cloves.
Menu items with an Asian influence include momos . The Tibetan-style steamed chicken dumplings are served with house-made hot sauce, mint sauce, and tomato-garlic sauce. Lhasa chow mein consists of soft noodles that are seasoned with soy sauce and fresh coriander and stir-fried with seasonal vegetables and tofu or chicken.
Served on a copper platter, dal bhat tarkari is a small feast with lentils, sautéed spinach, and lekaali taam , a Himalayan delicacy with bamboo shoots, black-eyed peas, and potatoes. There’s also warm house-made naan, basmati rice, green salad, garlic yogurt and mango sauce, rice pudding, and more.
Gurkha pulau is saffron basmati rice studded with cashews, raisins, green peas, and green onions. Pohkara lamb takes its name from a lakeside city in central Nepal, with the meat marinated for 24 hours in yogurt, ginger, garlic, and spices, then grilled.
Jackfruit and potatoes are cooked in rukh katahar ’s light coriander and cumin sauce, while gorkhali khasi ’s bone-in goat simmers in a curry sauce (and is one of Adhikari’s favourite dishes).
“When I was in high school, I began cooking with my mom,” Adhikari says. “I saw how busy she was; we are five kids. When I started helping her, I loved it. It makes me feel very happy. We are sharing Nepali culture this way.”

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[SG News]29-year-old man is angry because McDonald’s hasn’t offered an Indian burger

http://theindependent.sg/singaporean…spired-burger/ A Singaporean has issued an open letter to McDonald’s Singapore, asking why the fast food giant has yet to offer an Indian-inspired burger to local Indians for occasions like Deepavali. McDonald’s Singapore has offered the Chinese-inspired Prosperity Burgers, Samurai Burgers and Ha Ha Cheong Gai Chicken Burgers and the Malay-inspired Rendang Burgers and Nasi Lemak Burgers during festive occasions but has yet to offer an Indian-inspired meal for occasions like Deepavali. Asserting that he is “angry because you brought back the Nasi Lemak Burger in time for Ramadan” and because the fast food conglomerate “brought back a burger that at best has been described as a weak and cheap attempt to caricaturise our local cuisine just so you can earn a couple of extra dollars.” The 29-year-old writer, Aravin Sandran, noted that he “cannot recall a time when you offered any kind of limited-edition burger, fries, pie or drink in favour of Deepavali or any traditional Indian festival for that matter” in his letter. He wrote: “Worse yet, I am angry because you’ve recognised a religious observation by a fellow ethnic minority community but you have yet to do anything for Indians.” Published in the Buro 24/7 online magazine, Aravin’s open letter makes it clear that he is glad that the fast food chain is “thinking of our Muslim brothers and sisters during this fasting month”. Aravin, however, noted that he “cannot recall a time when you offered any kind of limited-edition burger, fries, pie or drink in favour of Deepavali or any traditional Indian festival for that matter.” Cheekily asserting that curry sauce and McSpicy Burgers do not count, Aravin wrote that his family sweep over McDonald’s every Deepavali – opting instead for Pizza Hut – because of McDonald’s “typically Western made-for-Chinese menu.” Noting that the decision to skip over McDonald’s fare wasn’t easy for him since McDonald’s has always been special to him, Aravin wrote: “McDonald’s has always had a special place in my life. It’s where I shared the epic 20-piece chicken nugget set with my two brothers when we were kids; it’s where I pretended to study while secretly making moves on my crush during secondary school; it’s where I binge eat with my best mates after an alcohol-fuelled rave on the weekend as an adult now; and it’s where my girl friends console their broken hearts when their Tinder dates ghosted them like Casper.” Urging McDonald’s to “demonstrate your support for the Indian community” by offering a one-of-a-kind Indian-inspired burger this Deepavali (27 Oct 2019), Aravin asked: “You don’t have to go all fancy like your counterparts in India; no true Singaporean-Indian would find the idea of a McSpicy Paneer or Green Chilli Naan-Aloo appetising. On the other extreme, going all local on us with a Roti Prata wrap would be a bad idea too. Keep it simple with an authentic, juicy Masala Chicken Burger. That’s how low the bar is at this point.”

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You Won’t Believe This 5-Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set Is Under $60!

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A sizzling hot sale on cast iron cookware is happening now! If you don’t have a good set of cast iron cookware, can you really call yourself a cook? Just kidding (but not really). Cast iron skillets, pans, and Dutch ovens are a great investment; durable and long-lasting, delivering consistent results over a myriad of cooking styles, cuisines, and recipes . They only get better over time, too, and as you continue to season your cast iron it pays you back, imparting its base of flavor into whatever you’re cooking. And nothing distributes heat quite as evenly as cast iron can. For those slow Sunday stews , roasts or braises, cast iron is key for evenly cooked, fall-off-the-bone food.
On the downside, cast iron can be expensive, so it’s good to keep your eyes out for a deal…like now! Walmart is offering some seriously deep discounts on cast iron cookware, and if you’re looking to invest in some quality cast iron or upgrade your current kitchen arsenal, we’d seriously suggest jumping at it while supplies last! The below 5-piece set from Lodge is selling for just $59.64, a steal compared to other retailers, like Amazon, which have it priced as much as $100. Lodge 5-Piece Seasoned & Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, $59.64 at Walmart
This 5-piece seasoned and enameled cast iron cookware set from Lodge consists of two pre-seasoned, high-rimmed, enameled cast iron skillets (8 inches and 10.25 inches), perfect for cooking anything from steaks to chicken , Indian vegetables , and fish . The cast iron 5.5-quart Dutch oven is just the thing you’ll need for slow Sunday stews, chilis, roasts, or braised dishes like coq au vin or beef bourguignon. Finally, the 10.5-inch cast iron griddle is ace for pancakes, crepes, fried eggs, and more. Buy Now Related Video: Lodge Logic 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet Review
All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop .

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Taste your way around the world

Iftar at Muchachas, Holiday Inn Express Image Credit: Supplied Muchachas Dubai’s popular Mexican canteen at Holiday Inn Express in Al Safa serves up a four-course iftar menu. End your fast with dates and seasonal fruit, followed by an array of treats including chicken wings, pescado, shrimp sope, quesadillas, nachos, corn on the cob and emparedado. For the mains, choose from a range of options, such as chicken, beef, avocado, crab, shrimp, and piquillo tacos. For the desserts, churros and apple taquitos are perfect for closing a hearty meal.
Details Dh149; Call 04 327 5878 or 056 403 0456
BICE Ristorante, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Iftar at Bice is a grand Italian affair with panzanella, vine leave rolls, roasted smocked eggplant paste and succulent arancini. The restaurant also has a live pasta station serving house favourites like the penne arrabbiata and gnocchi sorrentina. Here you’ll also get a good selection of mains, such as chicken breast, truffle potato mash, combined with live music and friendly service.
Details Dh250 per person, from sunset to 9pm. Call 04 318 2520
Crescendo, Anantara the Palm Dubai Resort With an extensive buffet of Arabic, European and Asian cuisines and stunning views of the pool and the shoreline, this is an iftar the
whole family will surely love. Start with a refreshing drink and dates. Next, tuck into its classic Arabic specialities such as shawarma and kebab. A range of Asian and European dishes such as dim sum, black pepper beef, and Bejing duck will also delight diners along with decadent desserts.
Details Dh199 per person and Dh100 per child between six to 11 years old; Call 04 567 8304
Café Arabesque, Park Hyatt With alfresco seating and panoramic skyline views, this hotel offers a lavish scene for an unforgettable Ramadan night. Go for an iftar at this chic venue to sample sumptuous dishes such as the succulent sambousek, ouzi with oriental rice, oven-roasted hammour with sautéed vegetables, beef kawaj, and Moroccan chicken tagine.
Details Dh220; from sunset to 9pm; Call 04 602 1234
Giardino, Palazzo Versace Dubai Executive Chef Mansour Memarian has curated a gastronomic experience at the plush hotel’s jungle-themed international restaurant, Giardino, offering a selection of contemporary and traditional specialities from the Middle Eastern and international cuisines.
Details Dh230; Call 04 556 88 40
The Great British Restaurant, Dukes The Palm Feast on an abundant selection of traditional Middle Eastern cuisines followed by international dishes at this Palm Jumeirah hotspot. Highlights from the menu include, lamb harris, couscous from Morocco, murgh rezala from India and mixed grills fresh from the cooking station.
Details Dh185 per person and Dh95 per child; sunset until 9pm; Call 04 455 1101
Aquaviva, Address Montgomerie For a poolside alfresco iftar, head to Aquaviva, located in the heart of Emirates Hills. Chef Khaldoun Hodaifah from Syria serves up a delicious buffet spread comprising traditional Arabic favourites. A must try is its divine luqaimat dessert.
Details From Dh185; from sunset to 9pm; Call 04 888 3444
Sim Sim restaurant, Saadiyat Rotana Showcasing over 100 dishes from around the world, Sim Sim’s Arabic market-themed iftar will keep the family happy. As you tuck into delicious Emirati delicacies and European favourites, kids will be busy with arts, crafts and educational activities that celebrate Emirati culture.
Details Dh199, kids between six and 12 years get 50 per cent discount, while kids below six dine for free; Call 02 697 0000
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club Overlooking Dubai creek and the city’s skyline, QD’s Ramadan Tent at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, is the ideal spot to end your fast with family in a laid-back setting. A range of hearty Arabic and international specialities are on offer. Pick from items such as lamb tajin and maklouba roasted chicken, lamb ouzi, Umm Ali, classic muhallabia and more.
Details Dh170 and Dh70 per child between 6 and 12 years; from sunset to 9pm; Call 052 690 1377
Ajman Hotel Ajman Hotel’s popular Ramadan tent is back this year with a brighter, Arabesque-inspired setting. A lavish buffet awaits guests at the tent, showcasing an extensive selection of culinary treats of traditional Iftar dishes and international specialities.
Details Dh145; Call 06 714 5582
Habtoor Grand Garden Tent Dining at Habtoor Grand is an experience you won’t soon forget. Relish in an iftar buffet offering delicious delights accompanied by live oud entertainment.
Details Dh 159 per person, sunset until 8.30pm.
Canvas, Fairmont Fujairah Explore Emirati culture and traditions as you indulge in home-style dishes like ouzi, harees, thereed and more. Follow it up with cardamom-flavoured luqaimat and saffron-rich pudding. A dedicated station will showcase different varieties of dates at Canvas.
Details Dh165 per adult and Dh85 per child, while children under six dine for free; from sunset to 9 pm; Call 09 204 1111
Dusit Thani Dubai You can delight in everything from traditional Arabic dishes and international specialities to Asian treats from China, Korea, Japan, India and Thailand. Iftar is served on the 24th floor of the hotel and the spread is prepared jointly by its two restaurants 24th St. and Benjarong.
Details Dh159; 50 per cent discount for kids between 6 and 12 years; Call 04 317 4515
Bombay Brasserie, Taj Dubai Explore the classic flavours of Indian gastronomy with its specially curated iftar set menu, accompanied by thirst quenchers like the Jelab. Dishes such as Quabargaah, flavour-packed lamb chops, paneer do piyaza, and spicy fried prawns cooked with curry leaves all promise a unique dining experience.
Details Dh195 per person, sunset to 9pm; Call 04 438 3222
Kitchen6 Restaurant, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Six interactive cooking stations at the award winning Kitchen6 whip up an extraordinary selection of dishes from all over the world for its iftar spread.
Details From sunset until 8.30pm; Dh215 per person; Call 04 414 3000
Al Nafoorah, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Head to this enchanting venue, adorned with intricate wooden carvings, for a culinary treat this Ramadan. This restaurant is perfect for a cosy gathering with friends and family with a wide range of hot and cold mezzeh, aromatic mains and a wide selection of traditional desserts.
Details From sunset until 8.30pm; Dh220 per person; children between the age of 4 and 12 years are eligible for a 50 per cent discount and children below four years dine for free; Call 04 453 0444
Dunes Café, Shangri-La Hotel Located in the heart of Dubai, Shangri-La’s special iftar menu features treats from all across the world, with something sure to please every member of the family, including children. The lavish menu includes refreshing Ramadan drinks, salads, lamb ouzi, Indian curries, and Middle Eastern grills. The divine desserts are to die for.
Details : Dh 149 per person, sunset until 10 pm; Call 04 405 2703
Hanaaya, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Enjoy a grand iftar at this sophisticated venue at Madinat Jumeirah with decadent treats prepared by its award winning chefs. Meaning happiness in Arabic, Hanaaya, with its contemporary Arabic design, outdoor dining options and delectable food, is a good spot to spend a memorable evening with family and friends.
Details : Dh210 per adult and Dh105 per child; Call 04 4323232
—The writers are interns at Gulf News Commercial Publishing
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Abu Dhabi, Pattaya and Bangkok- week 2

The steps and fountains at the Emirates Palace W e start this weeks blog with the venue for afternoon tea for Erickson and I on Friday 3rd May, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, the award winning Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. According to its website:
” A lavishly imagined dream, Emirates Palace offers you a magical location to enjoy the quintessence of award-winning 5-star luxury hospitality and authentic local experiences. From 394 luxurious rooms and suites , to our award-winning culinary cuisine , Emirates Palace is the definition of an unrivaled and Arabian fantasy.
Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Capital of the United Arab Emirates , Emirates Palace is grand in both its design and myriad of offerings. From a 1.3 km pristine beach, landscaped pools and a private marina overlooking a natural bay, Emirates Palace is perfect for a once-in-a lifetime holiday . An ethereal experience, Emirates Palace is truly one of the most inspiring hotels in Abu Dhabi ” Source: https://www.kempinski.com/en/abudhabi/emirates-palace/ ( accessed 4.5.19) Erickson poses by the fountains We walked to the hotel from the Radisson Blu and fought our way past the coachloads of camera wielding tourists to take up our reservation for afternoon tea ( you have to book a day in advance to secure a place unless you have Wasta!) . The hotel lived up to the hype, the gold decor was stunning, the service impeccable and the scones tastier than Miss Andrea’s ! Afternoon tea at the Emirates Palace, Tatay’s special treat because Erickson was soooo Mabait After tea we explored the hotel and then walked back via the old and new Adnoc offices and the rig that was used to drill the first oil in Abu Dhabhi. We read how Oil was not commercially viable here until 1960 ( 1935 in Bahrain) making the nations wealth more recent, but much larger. Abu Dhabi, we read, now produces 10% of the worlds oil. The story behind ADNOC ( Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) success In the evening we strolled in the sun and then had an early night as Erickson had to be up at 5 am for work at another of Abu Dhabi’s top hotels , The Edition ( https://www.editionhotels.com/abu-dhabi/ ) . As we missed dinner I was so hungry when he left! However I managed to keep hunger at bay until I had packed , showered and joined him for coffee and toast at 9 am! Breakfast at the Abu Dhabi Edition
Served by my very own Barista, Erickson Tiel. with 40% staff discount!
The Abu Dhabi Edition , operated by Marriott , is well funky! After a nice long breakfast, sorting out some old paperwork, reading the Financial Times and the Khallej Times I got the taxi to Marina Mall to buy a new travel case and then to the Radisson Blu for and Indian style lunch in the sun at my favourite restaurant there, Vasco’s.
My lunch at Vasco’s at Radisson Blu Maybe I should have chosen a seat in the shade, after all it was noon and very hot! Sadly no time for a swim, plane to catch So after a quick relax by the sea back to my room to repack in my new case and get the taxi to the airport at 1.30 pm We took off on time , this time with Emirates, after paying 100 bd excess baggage charge ( grrr) from an empty new Abu Dhabi airport to an even emptier larger newer award winning Muscat airport in Oman for dinner . Finally I took off at 9 pm with Oman Air for Bangkok. The plane was, thankfully, empty, so I had three seats to myself for the fitful sleep until we landed at 5 am . I then had a Thai street food breakfast in Bangkok ( two courses and water for 100 baht or 1 bd/ 2 GBP) ( am I imagining things or am I always eating).
Breakfast and Lunch in Abu Dhabi, Dinner in Muscat and breakfast ( above) in Bangkok I caught my second coach of the vacation for the 90 minute journey to Pattaya for just 1,300 baht ( 1.3 bd or 3 GBP). Special thanks to Mike Roche for showing me those money saving tips on our visit to Thailand last December! Finally at 10 am I arrived, exhausted , in Pattaya at the Sandy Springs hotel . After the usual warm welcome back from the few remaining long serving staff, I went straight to bed!!
If you want to find out more about one of the best hotels in Pattaya where I have stayed for the last 9 years at just 1700 Thai Baht ( 17 bd or 34 GBP) a night for 2 with pool and sea view , check out their website on https://www.sandyspringhotel.com/
After a sleep and a shower it was time for Swensen’s
At Central After I unpacked I gave the hotel 2 bags of washing from Dubai and Abu Dhabi and when I got back from my ice cream it was all washed, ironed and hung up in the wardrobe. Even Kuya Coco cannot do it that fast. After another sleep we headed out to Jomtiem at 9 pm for a fantastic seafood and beef in oyster sauce dinner . I went back to the hotel to show the barmaid how to make orange juice and Lemonade. I sat and watched the world go by and sipped my drink outside as the temperature finally cooled to 31 degrees at 11 pm. Strange how my sleeping problems dissapear when I reach Thailand and I sleep all day .
My evening nightcap The Pattaya night life was just warming up After that the days and nights just merged until someone knocked on the door and said its time for you to check out Karb! I sat in the sun and caught up on the ASEAN news over several cups of coffee and we watched the King’s coronation in Bangkok. We walked around the wonderful Terminal 21- a mall modeled on an airport Oh and we walked miles!!!! So here are some of the pics…
Sunset over Pattaya – view from my room Then on Wednesday we left most of my stuff in my big suitcase and got a taxi to Bangkok ( I slept most of the way)
On the way to Bangkok and checked into the Tai Pan hotel, recommended by Kevin!
Lunch in Terminal 21, Bangkok We had a huge room and after showering and sleeping went to eat at Terminal 21 ( the Bangkok Version) , walked a few kilometers on Sukhumvit road ( its 400 km long) and had ice cream in Benchasiri Park.
In the evening we went for dinner and then the next day were early to rise at 6 am for breakfast and a private tour f the floating market and train market before flying to Chaing Rai
More from there next week. Until then …
but currently exploring Thailand

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‘Foodservices industry to play critical role in India’s growth’

May 10, 2019 SHARE
The foodservices and restaurant industry will play a critical role in pushing India’s economic growth, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said Thursday. Kant also pointed out that the restaurant industry is the third largest after retail and insurance in the services sector.
“If India was to grow from 7.5 percent to 9-10 percent, the restaurant industry will be very critical drivers of growth story…Foodservices industry will be main drivers of India’s growth,” he said at an event organised by the National Restaurant Association of India ( NRAI ).
According to a PTI report: Kant also said there will be a huge food revolution in India and it will be driven by Indian entrepreneurs and chefs.
Noting that restaurants are great wealth and job creators, he said, “Digital technology has played great role in expansion of restaurant industry.”
Indian soft power will be driven by Indian restaurants and chefs, Kant said, adding that Indian regional cuisines will make a major impact on global market in the days to come.
Kant also pointed out that Indian regional cuisines are still waiting to be promoted and marketed, and expressed hope that young entrepreneurs will make a significant impact on the food industry.

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