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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Launch of Cadbury Dairy Milk Spready


Interesting afternoon at Courtyard by Marriot Mumbai hosted by The FBAI, Mondelez India and Zeba Kohli..


 There was a dramatic launch of Cadbury Cookbook with music, lights and claps. The book promises chocolate to life and it covers everything. Seventy recipes are created and curated  by chocolatier Zeba Kohli for Cadbury’s 70 years of joy in India.



"Chocolate gives a moment of Love" says Zeba Koli, a science student who went on to join the 70years old family business of chocolates.



Pieces of chocolate cake were distributed to few people in the audience and they were asked to identify the product used in the cake.

But wait a minute..Zeba narrated a proper way to eating chocolates...

"You don't just dump the pieces of chocolate in your mouth for a quick bite...it has firstly to be held at arms-length, look at it, bring it closer till you squint and take in its fragrance..inhale..take a small bite- slowly- do not rush chocolates, let it go down the throat, let it roll around your palate, savour its taste, let it hit you and then you exhale with a sound and thats when you taste  the ingredient."...of course the product that was used was chocolate Spready

The event was about  a product launch of chocolate Spready



Spready is one of the fastest growing snacking segment in India. Anil Vishwanathan, marketing director of Mondelez said that he believes that this format enables them to enter consumer’s homes and their kitchens and be part of their in-home consumption experience.  It is a growing trend so naturally there is curiosity of using it innovational to make some interesting snacks. There is opportunity to experiment new recipes with this product.

This was followed by live cook-off  by four participants using Cadbury spready, nuts, ice cream, bread, etc. Participants were quite creative, using the ingredients to make sandwiches, rolls, multi-layered cakes. The winner MsPooja was awarded with Chocolate Cookbook on the cliteria of presentation of the dish, balance of the ingredients used and the taste.



In question-answer session, people wanted to know when they will come out with diabetic-friendly chocolates (very soon they said) and how much chocolate is moderate for children (limited) and whether it is already on market shelves



Yes it is..at Rs200... the Cadbury Spready is there on the food shelf...go grab it and get creative...or..may be.. just dip your thumb into Spready and enjoy the taste..!!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Pani Puri Is The Favourite #StreetFood of India


Pani Puri is the favourite snack of Mumbaites. It is a fried hollow and round puri filled with sweet and spicy water along with tamarind chutney, potato, chickpeas and chaat masala. in Mumbai, you get to see ragda (the mashed white beans) stuffing with sweet tamarind chutney.

Many people will complain of bad stomach but still they cannot resist it. It is actually favoured all over India although it is know by different names in different cities.

In North India it is known as Gol Gappa and is made from a mixture of potato, chickpea, chutney and served with tangy water. The puris have the extra crunch that will leave you wanting for more.

In the Eastern states of India like Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal it is known as Puchka. A Puchka is made with a mixture of boiled gram and mashed potatoes as filling, the chutney is tangy and the water is spicy. It is slightly bigger as compared to our normal puris. It is made of wheat flour.

 In the interior parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh it is known as Pakodi. Green chillies and lot of mint is added to the water and sev is an interesting addition to it in some places.

 In Aligarh, UP it is known as Padaka.

In Odisha, parts of Bihar, Jharkhand Chhattisgarh, Hyderabad, and Telangana they are called GupChup. White peas or chickpea is added as a stuffing along with spicy-tangy water and boiled potatoes.

In Uttar Pradesh it is called Pani key Patashe

 In Central India, including parts of UP and Rajasthan it is called Paani key Batashe or Patashi. It is the regular Golgappa with essential potato filling.

In Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh pani puri is referred to as Tikki though it has no relation with a tikki. The puris of Hoshangabad's tikkis are slightly smaller.

In Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Nepal it refers as 'Phulki'. There's no difference in the preparation and it is only the name that differs.

During the years when I lived in Canary Islands, I would spend hours making small size crispy puris that would take just minutes to finish. I would make at least 100 puris in one sitting, shaping each puri with a small round steel bowl. It was a fun activity although it would take too much time..sometimes all afternoon. Family enjoyed it so it was worth an effort.

In India there is really no need to spend so much time in the kitchen because it is available at every street corner. But my family who live abroad still don’t have this luxury of eating this snack on the roadside, although at many private meetings and family gathering, it is a common snack. So it’s a blessing if you can find somebody to get a packed version

Therefore I was very happy to see this product in the market.



This is very well packed container and it includes puris, fried bhoondi, tamarind chutney and a packet of spices that can mixed in the water to make pani puri water.



I immediately opened the packet. Everybody made their own serving of breaking each hollow puri, stuff the pocket with bhoondi, tamarind chutney and filled it to the rim with pani puri water and immediately pop the whole puri in one go into the mouth.

The puri breaks apart flooding the mouth with spicy, sweet and sour water, for a minute you might  even look like a monkey as you begin to swallow, you might even choke at small crisp pieces of puri, tears fill up the eyes but overall effect is pure pleasure. We all loved it.



This product is available in Pune. I have placed an order, waiting for it to arrive, I am planning to send this box to Spain for my family who love this a lot,

There is legend associated with the origin of pani puris. This is how it goes:

In the epic Mahabharata, a newly-wedded Draupadi returns home to be given a task by her mother-in-law Kunti. The Pandavas were on exile and Kunti wanted to test if her new daughter-in-law would be able to manage with the scarce resources. So she gave Draupadi some leftover potato sabzi and just enough wheat dough to make one puri, instructing her to make food that would satisfy the hunger of all five of her sons. It is believed that this was when the new bride invented pani puri. Impressed with her daughter-in-law’s ingenuity, Kunti blessed the dish with immortality.



Friday, November 30, 2018

November 2018- California Walnut Month


November was quite a busy month for me. With Diwali season in tow and lot of commitments with relatives and friends, my social media interaction was at a pause. There were many events happening in my city but I was not able to attend any. .

November has also been observed as #Californiawalnutmonth by our food community The FBAI. There were many events held in different parts of Mumbai.

There were some 50+restaurants, bars, home chefs, delivery/cloud kitchens, home bakers that served fabulous California Walnut creations and The FBAI has played the bigger role in organising all the events.

At the launch at #CaliforniaWalnutMonth, a Sunday brunch was organised at St.Regis Mumbai, that was attended in large number by most of our foodie community.  There was a delicious cold spread- including cold cuts salads and small bites by Paul Kinny.




I was not able to attend any events due to some reason or other, (I cannot even remember how the time passed me by) but finally at the end of the month, it was my friend's birthday and I got an opportunity to try some creations of California walnuts (how could I miss it?) at Indigo Deli in Bandra. I went with my close circle of friends to Indigo Deli to celebrate my friend s birthday and included Kale Salad with brittle California Walnuts on our choice of dishes. Walnut is normally used as toppings in salads for its crunchiness and it tasted good in kale salad that I had at Indigo Deli at Bandra.

The birthday cake was replaced by a pumpkin pie with California walnut in the centre that was beautifully personalised by the chef with birthday message



We really had a good time at the restaurant and it was memorable one too.

All my foodies  friends of Mumbai celebrated #CaliforniaWalnutMonth by getting together and enjoying different pop up and masterclasses held in different parts of the city. The basic purpose of this campaign was to incorporate the healthy California walnuts in daily diet. Various dishes were created by home-chefs and restaurants. The whole program was well planned and there was so much to learn.





Most interesting was the Diwali party hosted by Shital Kakad. She celebrated her Diwali in walnut way with her table full of delicacy made of California walnuts.



There was a master class on chocolate brownies, red pepper and walnut dip, walnut and banana smoothie by Samir and Hemali, and another masterclass hosted by Rachna Shah Sony who made vegan banana walnut muffins and toasted basil walnut  pesto. Yet another masterclass hosted by Poonam Shahani was an interesting one whereby she taught her creation of lotus stem and lotus seeds in walnut gravy. chicken korma with walnuts and vegetarian puloa with walnuts.

Anjali Thadani masterclass was about mushroom leek soup in walnut milk while Nidhi Joshi had a great turnout at her masterclass where she demonstrated her creation of walnut butter and snack walnut balls.

During this #CalifornaiWalnutMonth we learnt different creations from walnuts that included banana and walnut smoothies, walnut brownie, biryani with cashew and walnut sauce, mushroom leek soup with walnuts, walnut butter, modaks with walnuts, and many more varieties of dishes. 




Monday, September 24, 2018

Celebrating Chutney Day 2018


Today was a special day.

  • First because I was visiting this restaurant #OpenSodaBottleopenerwallah the first time,
  • Secondly that I was attending a IndianFoodObservation event at Powai and
  • Third that It was also clubbed with a book launch of 'Chutneys Adding Spice to Your Life’ by Aparna Parinam 


Last year, I had done an elaborate research of chutneys my family enjoys around the globe. I had interviewed all my cousins, asking them the details of the culture and the recipes of the city they have adopted as their own. ...hope u read it...have you??? if not…..then you better stop here...go to the link..HERE .... and then come back here to celebrate this Indian food observance day with me this year.


Coming back to my discovery of this restaurant at Powai in Mumbai..#SodaBottleOpenerwalla



This is an interesting place and I loved the Irani chai..malai markey..it brought back my childhood memories of my Pune trip (that I used to make so often) and frequent visits to the Irani restaurants. I really loved it. The decor is also good with big wooden tables and chairs, the walls covered with interesting designs and colorful bottles. There is art everywhere and one can sit there for hours and still be happy eating Mumbai Chaat like Pani puri, bhel and sipping  Chai.

I arrived early at the book launch and got opportunity to converse with the author Aparna Parinam, who is pharmacist by profession while cooking is her passion, so much so, that she has self published her book on chutney, preserving the traditional dishes of her family. The plus point of this book is that all her chutneys are pure vegetarian and they contain neither onions nor garlic. Good news for Brahmakumaris and Jains

I was there on a special invite by gracious Rushina Ghildiyal, who can churn out a new dish at a drop of a hat.

She brought to our notice that foodies are observing an ingredient of the month, where in the chefs around the city are trying and creating recipes on those ingredients during the month. Bananas and sea buckthorn are the chosen ingredients for this month and many chefs are creating dishes and have introduced them on their menu.. Rushina decided to demonstrate a new recipe using sea buckthorn and raspberry. She said that she was trying for the first time (having brought all the ingredients with her)  The result was marvellous....so very delicious that I was able to taste only a half teaspoon (why you may ask??...well because it was so yummy that it was licked off the plate before I could reach the table..i was busy clicking picture, you see)

Aparna Parinam demonstrated a chutney from her book.
you can find the recipe in her book on page no 103.



"Chana dhal chutney can be used as spread for the roti" she said. “This chutney does not need seasoning and all the ingredients need to be roasted. It goes well with idlis and dosas and has a shelf life of 2 to 3 days.” She added while churning the chutney in a thick paste.



 Do buy her book. It can be a good addition to your recipe bookshelf and has great varieties that include all kinds of chutneys such as coconut based, Curd based, vegetable based, fruit based, seed based, nut based and pulses based recipes. There are some food memories too that makes it an interesting read.

However, you must be curious to learn about the recipe that Rushina demonstrated

Sea Buckthorn Raspberry Chutney



This recipe was done in two parts.

In part one

Pour oil in a pan and fry 1 cup chopped onions and 1tsp garlic. Stir fry till light brown. Add 2tbsp of jaggery, 1tsp sugar, 1tsp salt and 1 cup of sea buckthorn puree. Add 1tsp red chili powder. Cook till oil separates. Transfer in a serving dish filling half the dish.

Make part two

Pour oil in the pan and fry 1 cup chopped onions and 1tsp garlic. Fry till light brown. Add 1tsp rock salt, 1tsp sugar, 1tsp jaggery powder and 1 cup raspberry puree. Cook till oil separates and pour it in the bowl containing the first part.

Mix it lightly. Garnish with coriander leaves



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