Tag Archives: organic

The Real Taste of America in India

I am not a big fan of American food I confess. Big burgers, sandwiches et al do not excite me at all. I much rather eat global comfort food.But when The American Joint a vegetarian eatery opened in BKC Mumbai last year, I was intrigued. Unfortunately I was unable to visit the place, so decided to remedy this by going to the newly opened second outpost in Borivali West on Link Road. And to my utter glee I discovered it offers an interesting mix of American food and raw Indian flavours. That is not all, I loved the fact that they use only organic fruits and vegetables and serve food free of chemicals and preservatives. Kudos!

The ground floor section was buzzing with people on a Monday night. I was impressed. The first floor too seemed packed and the third section on a raised level is where I was seated. The cheerful vibe and decor in green with elegant ceiling lights caught my fancy immediately.

Interior 5

The menu looked attractive and the food reasonably priced. Oodles of cheese in most of the dishes. That is what struck me immediately. But then it is American comfort food we are talking about. Sandwiches, burgers, pizza, some avant garde fare, desserts, mocktails and shakes were attractively presented in the menu.

The  creamy baked potato soup doused with cheese was warm and comforting. I was speechless as the luscious flavours filled my mouth. The pita bread and hummus was perfect too- both in texture and flavours. The olive oil on the top however could be a tad less.

Try Some Feta with your Watermelon

The In-house veggie burger was  tasty, but a bit messy and ought to be served wrapped in paper, as it might be easier to handle. The salads are fresh and bursting with flavours and are everything a salad should be.

Pick The Greek

The food is well-presented in a fun and quirky manner which of course seems to be the order of the day.

Vegggidilla  – tortillas made with in-house flour caught my eye although I did not try those. Chole rice bowl – a meal of spicy chanas and rice can be both comforting and filling. College goers and fans of fries are going to love the exhaustive section with a variety of fries.Indulgent and sinful, but innovative too. The San Francisco Garlic and Sweet Potato fries sounded very unique.

Club Sandwich

The flavours and good quality ingredients shine effortlessly in each dish. There is clearly no compromise there. The service staff although affable and polite requires some more training as it is only the first week of this new outlet.

The  dessert section offers ample variety. The Ferrero Nutella mousse made in house was the piece de resistance undoubtedly. With the texture of a soft fudge, laden with nuts and crushed cookies, it is the stuff dreams are made of for chocoholics.

This restaurant clearly has a lot of potential and promise, once it overcomes the minor hiccups that occur when a restaurant opens. It is a great family dining destination as well the perfect hotspot for youngsters to relax and unwind over good vegetarian food.

Rating : 3.5/5

 

 

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Click, Order, Enjoy !

Convenience is key nowadays, and I love it when I can order things I need online, at the click of a button or from apps downloaded on my phone.

In the past week, with the heavy downpour in Mumbai, Gourmet Delight and Ananya Banerjee’s website

www. Gourmetdelight.in  is a food lover’s delight. Literally. It is a premier online organic food store and gourmet shop in Mumbai and Pune, India. Great ingredients and good quality stuff is what you can be assured of, from them.

Their range is varied -gourmet chocolates, homemade artisanal cakes, exquisite cheese, teas, spices, to healthy organic super foods such as flax seeds, buckwheat, kale and quinoa. What appeals to me is that each of the products you find here is sourced from renowned national and international brands, as well as reliable local Indian producers.

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I tried the Namjai Thai curry paste, elephant noodles laksa paste, Indian Basa  and Kara coconut milk. Need I say, my kitchen was replete with fragrant Thai food and the aromas filled the air, as I prepared an authentic meal, so easily and quickly. The right products, obviously make all the difference.

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Craving for something Bengali, lead me to Ananya Banerjee, the multi-faceted, talented lady’s website http://www.ananyabanerjee.com

I opted for her prawns kasundi, a typical mustard based tangy sauce or paste, from Bengal and yes, it had a twist – prawns integrated in it, along with shilebata chicken, a stone ground rustic chicken paste.

The kasundi was unique, as it was made with raw mangoes, with the addition of succulent prawns.  Unlike the usual Kasundi, I am used to, this  one, was an innovative relish. One can safely pair this with rice. I loved the fact that is absolutely organic and also without any preservatives or vinegar.

 

The chicken shile bata too was robust and spicy bursting with flavours and yes, I loved the aroma of my comforting mustard oil. Made me so nostalgic.

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Both the products were home style and that’s what I look for.

Of course her website offers a plethora of options, so got to log in again soon.

So, if you are stuck because of rains, do not fret, there are plenty of choices available from the comfort of your home or even your smart phone. Technology zindabaad!

 

 

 

 

summery salads

Salads are no longer just boring tomatoes, cucumbers or even sprouts.  A little creativity can make them go beyond the ordinary. Yes, even if it is a vegetarian one. Summer is an excellent time to enjoy salads made from fresh produce from the farmer’s market or your own garden. One inviting aspect of summer is, a table full of fresh salads. For many foodies, salads are a big turn-off as they as labelled as diet food. But I disagree. I love salads and enjoy them as much as any other food. They are healthy (well, almost always), delicious, fresh and crunchy. A colourful mix of whatever young lettuces, tender greens, herbs or other seasonal produce is freshest and most abundant in the market should be used. And so much can be done with salads.

Fruits can be added to vegetarian salads to make them even more interesting. A summertime staple, watermelon is inexpensive and refreshing. It’s also good for you because it contains lycopene, a winner in the antioxidant arena. Apples make a savoury salad when combined with mushrooms and greens. Pomegranates add a zing to the salads as do oranges and pineappple. Just give me a salad–vegetables or greens–tossed in a flavourful vinaigrette in summer and am happy. That’s summer one-dish dining for me.

I am not a great one for salad dressings. Especially mayonnaise. I prefer a simple lemon juice dressing, which makes the salad super-refreshing. Also try yoghurt. It is a great low-calorie option and versatile too. And if you are making a salad of cooked ingredients, you may add the dressing earlier so it penetrates the ingredients and flavours the salad completely.

Cheese, nuts, raw vegetables, potatoes are some options. Of course, non vegetarian ingredients include chicken, shrimps, red meat, the list is endless, but in summer, meat is best avoided.

But my all time favourite is, fresh shredded vegetables, topped with ground peanuts, all bathed in a salty, sweet and spicy sauce. Yummy. C’mon I am heading to have my salad for lunch.

Go Organic

On visits abroad one tends to pick up organic food, as certified organic products are easily available in the supermarkets. Thankfully it is beginning to happen inIndia too, albeit slowly. Only a few shelves in supermarkets are devoted to organic products. Organic food needs certification and sadly that is a slow and expensive process in India and perhaps that’s why farmers are treading a bit cautiously and some are still reluctant.

 But the good news is several stores acrossIndiaand in Mumbai are now offering organic food. Navdanya in Andheri West is popular, Sattvic in Kandivli and ofcourse Fab India, but the range is limited.

Was really glad yesterday when OrganicHaus,India’s first premium all-organic products brand,opened its first store in Mumbai at Kemps Corner. The company, founded by Dilip R. Doshi, former Indian cricketer, retails a wide range of EU certified organic products from vegetarian packaged foods, natural cosmetics to home detergents and food supplements that provide vital nutrition.  18 different brands and 80 different product lines are on offer under one roof including breakfast items, cereals, pizza and pasta sauces, breads, oils, teas, chocolates, and juices and a lot more.

I was mesmerized by the vast array of products, as I walked into the store. Personally speaking, I am a great fan of organic stuff as processed food, food with artificial colours and flavours does not work for me. Also, blessed with a sensitive skin, I often develop rashes and allergies.

Reputed brands like Allos, Beutelsbacher, Bionade, Byodo, Rapunzel, Salus, Schnitzer, Schoenenberger, Sonnentor, Sonett, and Vivani brands, as well as natural cosmetics from Logona und Sante adorn the shelves in this store.

The aubergine pate was delicious and a huge compliment to them as I do not eat anything made of aubergines normally. The breakfast bars in unusual flavours were exciting too as were the beetroot and vegetable juice. Sipping those made me feel so good and healthy. The dark chocolate from Vivani was creamy and left a great after taste in my mouth.

I really hope they open one in the western suburbs soon. So it can be a permanent goodbye to synthetic food, food grown using pesticides and artificial stuff. Let’s bring on healthy stuff  in India.