Five Indian Superfoods you definitely need to include in your diet!

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Food is one the most basic necessities of life. It gives us energy, immunity, strength and nourishes our body and helps perform all the daily life actions. Now, there is another category of foods which are usually known as super foods containing high doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals which provide potent immune system, strengthening benefits and help in reducing the effects of medical conditions.

Eating Superfoods might reduce the risk of chronic diseases and result in prolonged life. To most of people, super foods mean exotic foods such as broccoli, blueberries, olive oil, etc and believe that only these foods are good and healthier for us. However, several studies and researches prove that traditional Indian Superfoods deliver the same result too.

Here is a list of few traditional Indian Superfoods which are better than exotic foods in some or the other way-

Ghee

Superfoods

Often dismissed due to its fatty nature, ghee has acquired global superfood status. Nutritionally dense one tablespoon of pure ghee contains 135 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat – 45 percent of the recommended daily diet. It is free from sodium, sugar, protein, fiber and carbohydrate. If consumed on a regular basis then this Indian super food can enhance your brain functions, improve digestion and boost your immunity. It is also credited to prevent some cancers and melt down fat.

 

Amla

Amla Superfoods

This Indian gooseberry translucent green colored fruit has almost eight times more Vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and around 17 times that of a pomegranate. So, it’s the time to accord the recognition this Indian super food deserves. It can help you fight the common cold and burn fat and manage chronic conditions. It is also accredited to improve eyesight and build immunity.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric Superfoods

Turmeric commonly known as Haldi in Hindi, comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and offers significant anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric helps detoxification, enhances liver function, inhibits certain types of cancers and improves cardiovascular health. While we have been using it for decades and centuries the world has now started swooning over turmeric so late.

 

Oats

Oats Superfoods

Enriched with fiber, oats are a rich source of magnesium, potassium, and phytonutrients. This Indian super food contains a special type of fiber that helps in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Magnesium works to regulate blood-sugar levels, and research suggests that eating whole-grain oats may reduce the risk of diabetes.

 

Jackfruit

Jackfruit Superfoods

Jackfruit is a multi tasker: it can be used as a fruit, nut, vegetable vegan meat or a carbohydrate. Its use as chakka, a whole meal that’s an alternative to rice and roti, has now come to the forefront. It helps in losing weight, beating diabetes, reducing cholesterol, preventing colon cancer and increasing longevity.

So, now are you wondering how to use these Indian super foods in your diet, we can help you in making your task easier!

 

The Tastesutra FoodVibes – 5 Indian Sweet Dishes you can’t afford to miss

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Sweetness has its own blend of joy, whether be in life or the one served as dessert. Let us be quite loyal to self, and accept the fact that sweet dishes are no longer just a dessert. Their unmatched taste and the splendid fragrance can flood anyone’s mouth.

Indians have a distinct penchant for sweets, and alike inclination can be seen in those who visit the nation of vivid tastes.

While there are a large number of Indian sweet dishes that are popular among the people of the nation and the global population, we have here tried to list top five sweet dishes that will surely make it impossible for you to avoid having them.

Here we go!

1-    Gajar Ka Halwa:

Gajar Ka Halwa - Tastesutra

The dish has an irresistible essence in it. You might be very choosy with what you eat, but with the very fragrance of it reaching your nostrils, you won’t be able to deny a scoop. Being made by grated carrot, condensed milk, and nuts the dish holds an impeccable space in its genre.

2-    Sandesh:

Bengal’s super hit dish Sandesh will simply melt in your mouth, leaving behind the splendid taste. Despite its roots being in the eastern India, it has its presence all across the nation. The dish no doubts is part of every festival and occasion celebrated in Kolkata, but you can also find it marking an impeccable presence across different states in various occasions. It is made with cottage cheese, cardamom, and saffron.

3-    Modak:

 

Also known as most loved sweet of the Lord Ganesha, the dish is found primarily in the southern and south eastern section of India (especially Maharashtra). Though it is prepared with special love during the Ganpati Utsav, but one can find its presence on different occasions, as it has a good number of lovers. It is made with coconut, jaggery, nutmeg, and saffron being stuffed in dumplings of sweet flour.

4-    Aam Shrikhand:

Being known as ‘King of fruits’ in India, Aam (Mango) has the power to bring water to anyone’s mouth. Imagine the essence when it comes amalgamated with hung curd and few other ingredients, to leave behind a marvelous sweet taste. The mildly sweetened yogurt commendably studs the mango pieces and makes the final sweet dish an irresistible serve. The dish is highly popular in the Gujarat region.

5-    Payasam:

With the very first moment you listen about South India, you can recall the tradition, natural beauty, and divine temples. But did you know that their way of sweetening the taste buds are as gorgeous as their entire saga?

Payasam is the south Indian version of Kheer and is made from delicious creamy, rice and milk pudding with cashews and raisins.

Conclusion

India is not the only land of different culture, religions, and languages but it has diversity in everything. This diversity together unites and leaves behind an unmatched impression in front of the people across the globe.

Happy Eating!

This Winters – Eat Good to remain Sans Flu!

Sniffing onto pollen and catching a continuous flu is like a must have in winters. Medicines, doctors and continuous ailments becomes a to do for majority of the winter season. But wait, there’s something really special in our lives, and we call it food! Yes, eating healthy does help your body not get affected by the viruses of Cold & Flu. Following are a few food items to help your cause!

1. Carrots

Winters and carrots have an old and gold relationship. Making an excellent base for soups, stews & rissotto, carrots are loaded with beta-carotene carrots make an excellent base for soups, stews and risotto. More so, carrots are rich in vitamin A which helps fight cold and flu and also protect you from infections which are very common during the colder months.

2. Green Tea

A powerful antioxidant, Green Tea has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. Drinking approximately three to five cups of green tea a day keeps your immune system in check. Its the best solution for de toxifying your body.

3. Mushrooms

They are said to be immunity boosters since they protect your system against cold and virus during winter. Natural killer cells are a vital component of the immune system which are found in increased levels in white mushrooms.

4. Garlic

Not many believe so but Garlic is one of the best home remedy to cure fever and cold. Western medicine has theorised that garlic has the ability to increase levels of enzymes that help the liver detoxify the blood that gives it special immune powers. Eating raw garlic provides maximum potency but if you cant survive taste, you should definitely have that cooked in food.

5. Honey

Honey in a lot of ways helps your body nourish itself.  Its known for its antibacterial properties that help fight bacteria and virus. You can have honey every night before going to bed, or mix it in a cup of warm milk for added advantage. More so, mixing honey and ginger during cold and cough provides a lot of relief too.

The list has just begun, Tastesutra’s here to present many more savouring platters which are a must have during winters. Keep watching this space for more. Until then..

Eat Healthy. Stay Healthy.

The Little Black Book Appreciation – A gratification of all sorts :)

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Each journey, when taken, has its milestones of achievements. The parameters of success are majorly intrinsic and getting a recognition from one of the most revered platforms notches up your motivation levels a step further. The moment of elation makes you read such articles over and over again, bringing together the reminiscence of all the happy moments spent with our friends and family (Since our guests are a family) while bonding over cooking and trying hands on Indian Cooking methods at our amazing cooking studio!

Following is the exact representation of our listing on LBB. Credit goes to their team for taking this up and appreciating our efforts. :)

Learn To Cook Different Cuisines In Fun Groups At Tastesutra

Ten-Second Takeaway

Tastesutra is a cooking studio in Lajpar Nagar, offering a range of traditional Indian cooking classes you can sign up for, from tea treats to five course meals. You can also ask them for special packages in case you want to make your own group.

Cook In Colour

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What we love most about Tastesutra is the studio itself. Instead of an uninspiring kitchen filled with metallic paraphernalia, you’re greeted with a bright airy space done up with colourful crockery and vibrant pots and pans hanging off the ceiling.

There’s a lot of wall art and bottles in different colours adorning a shelf on one wall. Basically, it’s a happy sunshine-y place and you’re bound to feel just a tad more cheerful here.

The Programmes

Tastesutra has pre-set classes starting from basic tea treats which takes between one and a half hours to two hours, to more comprehensive classes comprising a five course meal. You can pick and choose or opt for the Do It All class if you want to get a feel of everything. We’re eyeing the classes which involve rickshaw trips to the local markets and street food tasting.

And if in case none of these appeal to you, you can ask Aanchal Bhalla {the founder} to customise a class for you. They do special packages for groups- we think it’s a great way to bond with your friends and family. They also cater to corporates.

We once again thank Little Black Book and look forward to extending our family further – beyond nationalities, beyond boundaries – savoring the love for food and cooking only at Tastesutra!

 

Cook.Bond.Eat


Happy Navratari! – Ashtami Food – Black Chickpeas

Navrataras hold a special significance in the Indian culture. Besides religious importance, ‘Ashtami’ food is much awaited for its taste on offering. After a fast of 7 days, this comes as a major appetite fulfillment for all the households, especially across North India.

Ashtami prasad mainly consist of dried kale chole (black chickpeas) that is paired up with Sooji halwa and puri – the combination is often known as KANJAK food. KANJAK refers to kanya pujan, young girls are ceremonially worshiped. People wash their young feet, apply kumkum and tie roli (a sacred thread) on their hands. Later young girls are offered kala chana – Ashtami Prasad and before they leave people give them gifts in form of money or toys.

Recipe :

In order to have a perfect recipe, Chana are soaked overnight. Next morning, they are pressure cooked for 8-9 whistles (time can vary). Once chickpeas are thoroughly boiled and soft; proceedings get pretty simpler and no fancy ingredients. You may use regular spices and a tablespoon of oil. Feel free to add/delete spices to this recipe – adding amchur (mango powder) will add some tanginess to these chana recipe. You may experiment with Green Chilly and Cilantro too!

Along with black Chana, you can try Suji ka Halwa and fried pooris to form a perfect combination of Ashtami Prasad.

Looking forward to hosting you soon at Tastesutra!

Happy Eating!

The most important ingredient of an Indian Menu – Breads!

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A major curiosity amongst tourists visiting India, breads are reflective of the intrinsic character of Indian cuisine. Without them, no Indian Menu is found complete. Although there are multiple varieties of breads across Indian regions, we’ve picked a few favorite ones in this article.

1. The Great North Indian Naan

Be it butter naan, garlic naan, keema naan or cheese naan, this bread is an absolute favorite across North India. Its an oven-baked, leavened flat bread which could be made from both whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. To prepare the dough for naan, you need to mix flour with yoghurt, salt and yeast culture post which you need to knead the mixture for about 10-15 minutes. Once you are done with the kneading, set aside the elastic dough for a couple of hours. You will notice the dough rising after a few hours. You can then break the dough into small balls, flatten the balls and bake them in an oven. Naan has a typical tangy taste because of the mild lactic fermentation that takes place in the dough.

2. Poori

While talking about Indian breads, it’ll be a sin not to mention the much loved Aloo-Puri. In most Punjabi households, you’ll find them for brunch on those lovely Sunday mornings. Puri or Bhatura is a type of bread that is deep fried and made crisp. Puri is delicious deep fried Indian flat bread made from the flour of whole wheat. You need to knead the flour using water and oil until you get unleavened, pliable dough. Break the dough into small balls and roll them out into small round discs of medium thickness. Heat oil in a kadhai before dropping the discs one by one into the hot oil. You will find the discs getting fried, changing color to golden brown and soaring to the surface of the kadhai to give you fluffy puffy delectable puris.

3. Thepla

Moving on to Gujarat, this is a kind of flatbread made from whole wheat flour.  You would generally find these in majority Gujarati Menus. Methi or fenugreek thepla or coriander thepla flavored with til or jeera is a sureshot heart melter!

4. Dosa!

Moving down South, you find a complete transformation in breads. From the conventional mixture of flour and water, there’s a switch to batters made with rice flour, lentil flour and semolina. An excellent meal for health, dosas may be served plain or stuffed with combination of vegetables and chutneys. Down south, you’ll find an amazing number of varieties in restaurant menus. Also, Masala Dosas have found their food fantasy in a lot of North Indian regions too! The batter, made with a mix of rice and lentils, is poured on a pan and evenly spread to obtain the shape of a pancake. Mysore Masala Dosa is a personal favorite.

5. Malabri Parotta

Finding their way down south, there’s a special variety of Paranthas with a unique texture. The Malabari Parotta flat bread of Kerala tastes superlicious with their chicken curries. It is a variant of the Lachcha Paratha from North India and is made with refined flour, egg and oil.

If we further look at the variants of breads, there are multiple options available across the country. Stuffed Paranthas and Naans are usually preferred for breakfast with a bowl of curd. In a nutshell, Indian Food never fails to impress your taste buds. Just pick on a cuisine or a menu and find your self in utter indulgence of some finger licking super delicous food!

Until the next time, Happy Eating! :)

‘Fasting’ Foods during Janmashtami!

Falling on August 25th this year, Krishna Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna and is celebrated with utmost joy and excitement all over the country. Though the means of celebration are variable across India (Eg : Maharashtra  – Playing of Dahi handi as depicted in a lot Hindi Movies), majorly swings and cradles are placed outside homes or in pooja rooms to mark Krishna’s birth and childhood.

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Now coming to the point – Food! The culture of fasting is pretty much prevalant in India to mark devotion on such festivities. There are special food items made of differentiated ingredients which can be eaten during a fast. This Janmashtami, we highlight some of the ‘Fasting’ foods in India and trust us, they too promise to beat your taste buds!

Flours & Grains

Following flours and grains are permissible on a fasting day :

Kuttu Atta (buckwheat flour), Singhara Atta (water chestnut flour), Rajgira Atta(amaranth flour), Araru/Araruta Atta (arrowroot flour) Sama Chawal (barnyard milet), Sabudana (Sago/tapioca pearls), Makhana (Foxnuts).

Alongwith, you may chose to have All Fruits, Vegetables like Dudhi/Laudki (bottolegourd), Aloo (potato), Kaddu/kumhara (pumpking) Arbi/Kocchai (colocasia), Suran/Jimikanda (Yam), Shakarkhand (sweet potato), Kheera (Cucumber), Kaccha Kela (plantain).

The salt used during a fast differs from regular salt. We use rock salt or sendha namak instead of normal salt and the taste does not differ much. Its as tasteful!

Now while preparing meals during a fast, you have an ample number of options. Here, we pick a few take you through an ultimate ‘fasting’ journey with some delicious foods on this auspicious day.

  • Sabudana Tikki

 

These are crisp and soft pancakes made with tapioca pearls, mashed potatoes, ground peanuts and spices. They are crunchy to begin with and melt into an amazing delicacy . Try these hot or warm with a fasting chutney. If cooked well, they promise to serve your day well enough!

  • Roasted makhana

In india, apart from roasting the seeds or making makhana kheer or khoya matar makhana or phool makhana raita or aloo makhana, they are also served as prashad. The prashad variant is soft to taste but when you roast them, they become crisp and crunchy. The do act as an excellent healthier substitute to popcorns!

  • Banana Chips

Banana chips are good tea time snacks and are lovely to munch. They can be stacked before a fast day in both fried and baked variants. Their charm increases manifold during monsoons. So Janmashtami – Monsoon – Banana Chips forms an ideal combination!

  • Fruit Chaat

Differentiating itself from a normal fruit salad, fruit chaat comes loaded with a tinge of spice. This forms one of the most healthiest treats to your taste buds with all the necessary nutrition, roughage and a perfect sprinkling of Chaat Masala!

  • Singhare ki Poori and Vrat Potatoes

Though made especially on Fasting days, this flour is really healthy for consumption. Its a common tradition in North India to make these pooris with meshed potatoes during a fast day.

  • Kuttu ki Roti/ Buckwheat Parantha

Kuttu flour is used in making many recipes during fasting days like kuttu ki poori, pakoras, halwa or a dosa. Buckwheat flour is devoid of gluten, so mashed potatoes are added to help bind the flour. Addition of potatoes also makes it easier to roll the rotis.

  • Shrikhand

Shrikhand is a traditional Indian sweet made with hung curd and flavored with saffron and cardamom. Its a common feature in Thalis in Gujarati & Maharashtrian restaurants. With time, it has become a favorite sweet dish in other parts of India too.

The above-mentioned foods are just a few picks to serve your appetite during a fast day such as Janmashtami. We wish you the best of food on this day and the choicest of blessings for you and your loved ones.

Signing off, we look forward to your presence soon at TasteSutra – Cook.Bond.Eat

Eat Healthy. Stay fit!

Cook. Bond. Eat – An Year of Bonding over Cooking!

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“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’
But I dream things that never were;
and I say, ‘Why not?’”
– George Bernard Shaw

We all have dreams. And those dreams do come true. That’s been the story at TasteSutra – A Hands on Uber Class Cooking Studio situated in the heart of India i.e New Delhi, The National Capital of India. Our journey for the past one year has been one of rejuvenation, excitement and utmost fulfillment of our objective, to bond the world over food!

Designing a cooking studio and representing the same as a concept to bond over cooking, it did take quite a few miles to cover this journey. As we look back, we feel humbled to have served Indian Cooking Experience to a variety of Tourists from across the globe. We feel proud to claim one of the top positions on TripAdvisor too – for classes & things to do in Delhi!

Kindly Cook Event

In the past one year, TasteSutra has had the privelege to serve over 150 guests from more than 50 countries. Reminiscing on our experience, it feels amazing to know that guests visiting our country find it exciting to put Indian Cooking Experience on their itinerary. We were honored to do a pop event on navaratas with Kindly Cook. Our local market tours, discussions about Indian food & Spices, talking about relationships and how food binds us all – the entire understanding of Cook.Bond.Eat  has finally started to sink in. We feel elated to see our guests smiling while they work out their ways with Indian Cooking Methods.

Guest from Swaziland enjoying Cooking!

More than anything else, its a matter of immense satisfaction to see nationalities united over the concept of bonding over cooking. Having hosted people from a number of countries, we strongly feel that boundaries and borders are purely man made demarcations while hearts all around the world feel totally the same. Talk about smiles, emotions, relationships, bonding and of course the love for food – each sentiment finds itself in the same dimension in all the people around the world. More so, it unites us all.

Shanghai in India! Tried Sarees and Indian Cooking

Along with food, The Indian Cultural Diversity also finds itself on a priority list of our guests. They never shy away from trying a piece of our culture and all ears to our heritage and history. Its interesting to know that the varsity of Indian Food also appeals as a heritage to most of the guests. Our cooking methods, varieties, ingredients & multiple staple foods all through the country – The combination of all results into an Indian Food Heritage. And at TasteSutra we try our best to share the maximum with our guests with a compete hands on Indian Cooking Experience.

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In addition to the above, its fascinating to see guests from all walks of life, irrespective of their age, visit TasteSutra and value the cooking experience. Their words of motivation encourage us further to deliver the best. More so, it adds a responsibility to ensure ultimate experiences and represent our Food Heritage in the most subtle manner.

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Amongst all the experiences, we were really glad to host a corporate cooking session with H & M. It was really special to see colleagues from the same office spend time off their work and try their hands on Bonding Over Cooking. A perfect idea for a team building exercise, isn’t it? It appeals even more if you are a foodie! (And majority of us are!)

As we move ahead and look towards strengthening our concept even further, we seek support and motivation from all our guests and well wishers. We are full of gratitude for the love offered and promise to keep this saga of memories healthy and continuing. After all, this is just the beginning. :)

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
– Robert Frost

Tada!

Exploring Bihari Cuisine with TasteSutra

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Bihari cuisine happens to be one of the least explored cuisines in the country and a few bloggers and members of online food communities got a chance to not just try but also cook some authentic Bihari dishes at the bloggers meet organized by Tastesutra.

We were invited by Anubhav Sapra of Delhi Food Walks.To begin the meet we sipped on some bel and sattu ka sherbet,and also tried our hands on cooking while learning about various Bihari dishes, flavours and spices.The cooking session was followed by tasting session and the food was served in traditional plates .My plate consisted of different bihari dishes such as the famous litti with 3 types of chokha-aloo, parmal and baingan,kathal ke kebab, mirchi ke pakore, tadka dal, fish curry, rice, puris, aam ki chutney, kathal ka achaar,and some intense flaxseed chutney

The food was wholesome and flavourful.The winners for me were the tangy aam ki chutney, the puris made in mustard oil and the spicy mirchi pakoras. The chicken deserves a special mention as it was loved by everyone who tried it. We ended the meal with bihari mithai- thekwa and lai and some motichoor ladoos.It was a delight to cook, eat and learn about the yummy bihari food and I can’t wait to try out sone more dishes from this state.

Taste Sutra organises cooking classes and workshops for small groups,families,and couples in their studio. It could be an amazing way to bond with your loved ones while learning a new cuisine.

Find them here.

Original article by Sheebu published on Traveller with feet and stories

Traditional food ideas of Delhi – How to beat the heat?

Summers are invariably stretching year after year with the soaring temperature. This intensely hot season cannot be taken for granted or else it will surely take toll on health. Along with the high temperature comes extreme thrust which leads to dehydration of body. Our body is always reaching for something cooling, soothing and thirst quenching.

Traditional food of delhi Local cooking classes
Tastesutra – a getaway for traditional food of Delhi suggests avoiding meat and heavy food intake during these hot months to avoid indigestion. SO EAT LIGHT. Include non-oily stuff like fresh fruits and vegetables in your food intake. Salads are best to beat summer; they hydrate the metabolism of your body. Make salads with ingredients like watermelon, sprouts, pineapple and cucumber toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice for an extra tang. It’s better to avoid heavy salad dressings.
Continue reading Traditional food ideas of Delhi – How to beat the heat?