After Bihar’s Tax On Samosas, Kerala’s Tax On Burgers, Pizzas

After Bihar's Tax On Samosas, Kerala's Tax On Burgers, Pizzas



  1. 14.5% tax for chains like McDonald’s that sell junk food
  2. Tax will bring in 10 crores a year: government
  3. Kerala “fat tax” revealed in new government budget

Kerala has a new incentive to count calories.

The Left government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan has introduced a “fat tax” of 14.5 per cent on restaurants that sell junk food like burgers, pizzas and doughnuts.

The new tariff will apply to chains like McDonald’s and Domino’s and it’s up to them to decide whether to pass on the cost to customers by raising prices, said government officials.

Before it was voted out in May, the Congress-led government had introduced a policy that will to make Kerala alcohol-free within 10 years. Hundreds of bars have already been shut down, though five-star hotels are exempt for now.

The fat tax was announced by the government today as it presented its budget in the state legislature. The government expects to raise Rs. 10 crore annually through the new cess.

In January, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s government in Bihar introduced a “luxury tax” on samosas, partly to anticipate the plunge in the state’s revenues from a new ban on alcohol sales.


[Source  NDTV]

Could the Scottish Parliament stop the UK from leaving the EU?

Remain sign

To recap. The Prime Minister has resigned. The leader of the opposition is resisting pressure from senior colleagues to follow suit.

And, lest we forget in this temporary focus upon party leadership, the people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union after 43 years of membership.

In these unprecedented circumstances, it is understandable that there is a degree of uncertainty in the immediate response to events.

That disquiet includes Scotland where the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is seeking to draft a distinct reaction within the distinctive Scottish body politic.

She has said that the people of Scotland have voted, clearly, to continue in membership of the European Union, with its attendant rights and responsibilities. It is her duty, she argues, to attempt to carry out that popular instruction.

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First things first. Is there such a mandate? Ms Sturgeon says yes. She says Scotland is a nation – although not presently a state. She is the elected political leader of that nation, constrained by that office to follow the wishes of her voters.

How would you expect her, as a Nationalist, to say anything else?

It is the fundamental creed of her cause that Scotland is distinct and merits distinctive treatment, within the limits of shared sovereignty and co-operation which characterise the modern SNP.

Others of a Unionist persuasion say no. The Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, for example says that Scotland remained within the Union via the referendum of September 2014 – and that Scotland, consequently, is bound by UK collective decisions such as the vote on Thursday.

Nigel Farage and David Coburn of UKIP put it more bluntly, in their customary fashion. They dismiss utterly Ms Sturgeon’s elemental pitch.

What can Nicola Sturgeon do?

It was notable, however, that David Cameron stressed the involvement of the Scottish government and other devolved administrations in the EU negotiations to come.

Boris Johnson, he who agitated for Leave, seemed almost plaintive when he said there was no reason why Brexit should cause any disturbance in the domestic Union.

These, however, are differences of tone. Although such things matter, no Unionist will readily accept that Scotland should do anything other than submit to the declared will of the UK, as expressed in the vote on Thursday. That is, unless and until Scotland is an independent state.

So what can Nicola Sturgeon do? She has said she will examine all options in consort with the European institutions and others to seek to secure continuing links with the EU for Scotland.

One of those options would be a second independence referendum – in order to allow Scotland to join/rejoin the EU in her own right, as a sovereign state.

But what about those other options? In particular, what about the suggestion that Ms Sturgeon might encourage the Scottish Parliament to seek to exercise a veto over the implementation of Brexit?

Does it mean Holyrood has a veto over Brexit?

This scenario is based upon an interpretation of the Scotland Act 1998, the statute which created (or, rather, recreated) the Scottish Parliament.

Clause 29 of that Act, anent legislative competence, empowers the Scottish Parliament to legislate in the devolved areas for which it is responsible – while obliging it to take care that nothing it does is “incompatible” with EU law.

In short, EU law has force in Scotland and, in devolved areas, is enacted and implemented by the Scottish Parliament, not Westminster.

That has led constitutional experts, such as Sir David Edward to suggest that the consent of the Scottish Parliament would be required were it to be suggested that the UK’s relationship with the EU, in legislation and other areas, might be altered.

Sir David made this point in evidence to a House of Lords inquiry. Their Lordships report cited Sir David as envisaging that there might be “certain political advantages” to be drawn from withholding consent.

Which is true. It is further true that it is an established Convention (formerly known as the Sewel Convention) that the Westminster Parliament should not interfere in devolved areas without the consent of Holyrood. Such agreement is customarily given via a legislative consent motion, LCM, at Holyrood.

So does that mean Holyrood has a veto over Brexit? Up to a point, Lord Copper. Firstly, one should understand that relations with the EU have a long and complex history, in the context of the demands for self-government.

What does the law say?

A seat at the EU top table has long been a prize sought after by supporters of independence. Even those who backed devolution, rather than full independence, foresaw that Scotland would develop her own relations with the EU, in consort with the UK.

Thus the White Paper of 1997 which led to the 1998 Act fudged the issue. It said that dealing with the EU was a matter for Westminster, alongside foreign affairs.

But it suggested that the UK government would seek to consult the devolved administration in Scotland and take account of its views.

Let us turn now to statute. The 1998 Act proceeds by specifying the issues which are reserved to Westminster – then grandly declaring that everything else is devolved.

  • Schedule V to that Act lists the reserved areas. At sub-clause 7, it is noted that “international relations, including relations with territories outside the United Kingdom, the European Union and other international organisations” etc…..”are reserved matters.” They are, in short, Westminster’s purlieu.
  • However, it then goes on to note that this reservation does not include obligations under EU law.
  • Hence, Nicola Sturgeon’s argument that Holyrood is entitled to a say: based upon the legal formula which obliges Scotland to adhere to EU law. Westminster might usefully point to the broader Schedule V, reserving relations with the EU to the UK.
  • Then there is a further point. Clause 28 of the 1998 Act notes at sub-clause 7, in dry terms, with regard to legislative competence that “this section does not affect the power of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to make laws for Scotland.”

In that single little line is the subordinate nature of devolution. Generally, Westminster will let the Scottish Parliament get on with devolved legislation. Carry on governing. But it is also made clear that Westminster’s ultimate sovereignty over the UK, the entire UK, is unaffected.

So it could be argued – it is already being argued – that, if it came to a constitutional battle, Westminster would have the final say. Holyrood might withhold consent for the legislative moves to implement Brexit.

Westminster might note such a verdict, no doubt with polite gratitude – then proceed to implement Brexit, exercising its over-riding sovereignty.

Would that be wise? Would it be politically smart? Those are different questions, to discuss should this issue arise for real.

To be clear, Nicola Sturgeon is not personally making a big deal of this. She is not issuing scatter-gun threats.

She is attempting to remain calm, adopting the persona of one of the few serving leaders in these islands not resigning or under pressure to resign.

To be clear, further, she did not float the issue of a “veto” on Friday in her formal response. It emerged today in reply to decidedly adept questioning from my estimable colleague, Gordon Brewer.

Where does this leave an Indyref2?

Just as with the tone adopted by David Cameron and Boris Johnson, I think Ms Sturgeons’ demeanour is significant.

She is seeking to make slow, steady progress. In particular, she is not anxious to drive forward to an instant referendum on independence.

Why not? Because she fears she might lose it. The big challenges she faced in September 2014 were: the economy, the currency and membership of the EU. The third factor has now altered somewhat, positing the prospect of indyref2.

However, items one and two remain. What would independence do to the economy? What currency would an independent Scotland use?

Further, still, it is possible that Brexit might encourage furious Scots – and many are decidedly angry – to move in greater numbers towards independence.

Equally, it might make some think that the constitutional world is already scary and uncertain enough without revisiting the prospect of independence at this stage.

Ms Sturgeon, as she has made amply plain, wants more evidence that the people of Scotland are ready this time round to back independence. So she wants time. She needs time.

Hence, partly, the search for alternatives. The search for any means by which Scotland can maintain EU links.

To be clear again, this is a genuine, governmental search. Ms Sturgeon is not bluffing or deploying guile. She, authentically, wants ideas as to how to proceed.

Could Scotland stay in the EU?

Equally, however, she acknowledges that it may well be the case that there is nothing short of member state status which replicates, for Scotland, the EU links currently provided via the UK.

She has not specified options – but let us speculate. What might be possible? Could Scotland gain a distinctive status as, in reverse, is the case with Greenland and the Faroes which are parts of the Kingdom of Denmark, yet not in membership of the EU?

Well, maybe, although Scotland is decidedly different. The Scottish government are seeking to retain membership, once the member state of which they are part has left. Secondly, Scotland is an intrinsic part of the UK economy and the UK’s treaty obligations.

It might be thought difficult to disentangle Scotland’s rights and obligations from the wider UK.

It is possible to envisage a situation where distinctive status within Brexit is afforded to, say, Gibraltar. Scotland may be trickier.

However, as one senior member of the UK Government said to me, Europe is all about the politics. The constitutionally impossible suddenly becomes feasible if the EU’s leaders want it and need it.

But would they? Politically, would they? It seems probable that the old objections would arise. That member states like Spain and Belgium would not want to encourage special status for Scotland which might, in very different circumstances, be demanded by their own autonomous provinces.

Then what about associate membership status for Scotland, which has been floated? It is not clear what that would mean. How, for example, could rights and responsibility be accorded to Scotland without drafting new treaties which applied to Scotland alone? How would that fit with the removal of treaties affecting the UK?

How could Scotland, for example, access the single market and retain freedom of movement for workers while remaining part of a political entity, the UK, which has withdrawn from those elements?

I do not know. And, more importantly, Nicola Sturgeon does not know either, at this stage. To repeat, she is genuinely seeking answers. But, tactically, she is also buying time if it becomes evident that the only route to be pursued is that of independence via a second referendum.

And now, the epilogue. Today Dr Russell Barr, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, has issued a prayer, to be used, if they so choose, by the Kirk’s 800 Ministers. It concludes by seeking intercession to “free us from all bitterness and recrimination”.

[Source  BBC]

HRD ministry approves common counselling for IISERs with IITs


NEW DELHI: The HRD ministry on Thursday allowed common counselling from next year for admission to seven Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) along with IITs and NITs. IITs/NITs introduced common counselling last year.

Though IISERs were keen for common counselling from this year, the ministry said it should not be rushed. “We advised caution. It is a good idea. Common counselling has found support among students,” a highly placed source said after the day-long meeting of the standing committee of IISERs. There are 1,120 seats in the seven IISERs — 200 each in the five campuses in Kolkata, Pune, Mohali, Bhopal and Trivandrum, and 60 seats each in the newer centres of Tirupati and Behrampur.

Like in the IITs, it has also been decided that 15 per cent of the supernumerary strength of each IISER will be made available to foreign students. However, the candidates will have to clear the joint entrance test. Indian students make it to the IISERs through three routes: by clearing JEE, bagging Kishore Vaigyanik Protshahan Yojna (KVPY) awards and being among the top 1 per cent of each school board, including CBSE.
As for NRI students studying in India and getting admission through one of the three routes, the fee charged will be the same as those taken from Indians. Foreign nationals will also be allowed admission for post-doctoral research. “They will have to fulfil all the existing criteria,” a source said.

Outside the media glare in little less than a decade, the five original IISERs started during UPA-I have made a mark with cutting-edge research in various fields, especially biotechnology. “In ranking and research, IISERs are just below Indian Institute of Science,” a senior official said. In terms of output, each IISER has about six or seven US patents and also have on an average 1,000 research papers published in international-refereed journals.

[Source  Times Of India]

NEET-II to be held on July 24: CBSE

NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) today said it will conduct the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test-II (NEET-II) for admission to medical and dental colleges on July 24, as scheduled.

As per the Supreme Court orders on NEET and the Ordinance promulgated by the government, the exam will be conducted on July 24 (Sunday), CBSE said in a statement.

The process of online application for NEET-II was opened on May 25 and ends tomorrow, it said.

Candidates have also been asked to check the NEET website for latest updates and information “so that they can immediately take necessary action as per the instructions uploaded on the website as for any activity, no additional time will.

[Source  Times Of India]

10 Best Samosa Recipes

10 Best Samosa Recipes







What would be the answer to your prayers in this sweltering heat? Untimely spells of shower, yes! They are the harbinger of the much awaited rains, nursing the otherwise tormented soul. When the sky turns breezy grey leaving behind its might and glow, you know it is going to shower some happiness onto you. One of the best ways to celebrate this shift in the season is to sit in your balcony with a cup of steaming chai or coffee, munch on those deep fried tidbits and let the pitter-patter transport you to another world.

For those who think it not the time for crispy friedbhajjis, pakoras or onion rings, we’ve got one of the most loved snacks of the nation that needs no introduction and certainly no special occasion to be served on to your plates – the mighty samosa. The pride of North India, joyously embraced throughout the length and breadth of the country, samosa has been bringing smiles on millions of faces since time immemorial. The classic aloo-stuffed pastry is not only one of the most popular street snacks in the country but is enthusiastically prepared in many local kitchens as well.


The entire process of making this parcel of delight is so captivating that you can’t help but stare at it for minutes altogether. From the nearly-perfect flavourful masala without which the desi pastry would never make for its iconic status, the meticulous rolling of dough to stuffing it the right way and finally letting each pastry into a kadahi full of oil. The sight of samosa getting deep fried to perfection is most delightful to the eyes. And what more can we explain? For when fried samosas reach you – sitting beside tomato or coriander chutney -words fail you, senses are in a swoon and all you know is that you just can’t wait for others to start or for ‘it’ to cool down considerably.

One of my fondest memories associated with samosas would be my mother’s love for a locally made bite sized variant. Though I liked them little for my undying love for the bigger, aloo-stuffed ones, my mom would relish these tiny pastries stuffed with nothing but a mix of flavourful masalas sans potatoes. These tiny delights were so loved in my family (even among the distant relatives) that whenever we visited anyone and not carried these we would invariably face the rant, “Allahabad se ayein hai aur masala samosa kaise nahi laye?” (How can anyone from Allahabad not get us those samosas?).

hari ram & sons

Hari Ram & Sons has been one of the oldest in local snack and sweet making business in Allahabad, they go back to being operational since the 1800’s and are extremely popular for their tiny masala stuffed samosas. I would describe the masala quite similar to the one usually stuffed in kachoris.

Similar to Hari Ram & Sons of Allahabad every corner of the country boasts of small eateries or food stalls that do exciting versions of this popular delicacy. Purely, for the love of fried samosas, we bring to you 10 spectacular variants of this desi pastry. Replace aloo with ingredients of your choice, let loose the reigns of imagination and arrive at your own personal version of the well-loved samosa. To begin with, allow us to inspire you a little with our best samosa recipes.
1. Baked Paneer Samosa
Recipe by Aditya Bal & Devanshi

The classic samosa recipe with a twist of cottage cheese, baked to perfection.

paneer samosa

2.  Gujarati Samosa
Recipe by Uma Singh, Farsaan Restaurant

Samosa made Gujarati style, stuffed with a mix of green peas and masalas.

Gujarati samosa
3. Masala Onion Patti Samosa
Recipe by Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, The Imperial

This one comes with a flavourful masala onion filling.

Masala Onion Samosa

4. Moong Dal Samosa
Recipe by Niru Gupta

A mix of moong dal and subtle spices stuffed in dough and deep fried.

moong dal samosa

5. Mushroom Samosa
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta

For those who can’t resist mushrooms. Stuff them in and fry away

Mushroom Samosa


6. Classic Samosa
Recipe by Niru Gupta

The best-loved, most celebrated recipe, simplified.

 Classic Samosa

7. Noodles Samosa
Recipe by Nishtha Asrani

For those who love fusion cooking, skip potatoes and stuff in some noodles

Noodles Samosa


8. Punjabi Samosa
Recipe by Niru Gupta

Pockets of dough stuffed a mouthwatering mixture, deep fried.

9. Singhara Atta Samosa
Recipe by Niru Gupta

Fasting or simply calorie conscious, these singhara atta samosas are as good as the classic version.

Singhara atta samosa

10. Keema Samosa
Recipe by Jitendra Kumar, Executive Chef, Lake Palace Hotel

For the love of meat, samosas stuffed with keema and fried till golden brown.

[Source  NDTV]

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn’t Want to Eat Them

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Paint Splatter Canvas Cookies

Want to make your party a big hit? Give these cookies a chance. They are not only easy to make but will also, catch all eyes at the party.

Image Credits: Pinterest/jacksandkate

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Emroidered Cookies

Chef Judit Czinkné Poór’s this creation, is too good to be consumed. The embroidery-inspired floral patterns, is what truly fascinates us.

Image Credits: Pinterest/mymodernmet

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Green Tea Lava at Spot Dessert Bar

The calming taste of this ‘evergreen’ Best Desserts will give you never-ending happiness. The cake’s exterior is layered in rich dark chocolate, while a mix of green tea chocolate lava melts inside, topped with a side of fresh green tea ice cream.

Image Credits: Pinterest/patucaborja

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Lemon & Lime Tarts

Sascha who creates her own ‘garden of eden’ with this enchanting dessert scores full marks in terms of creativity and presentation.

Image Credits: Pinterest/sweetgastronomy

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

The Art of The Meal

Pat Parker, a ceramicist in Florida, designed a dessert to imitate the grain and color of the trees in Brittany. It has sorrel extract, blackberry sauce, dehydrated blackberries and buttermilk. It becomes more of a woodland fantasy when it’s finished with fresh sorrel leaves and pine nuts.

Image Credits: Pinterest/bloomberg/dominique-crenn

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Choco Rhapsody Cake

Not only Michel Willaume, the creator of this extraordinary dessert has mastered every speciality in pastry cooking, but he is also one of the most travelled French pastry chefs.

Image Credits: Instagram/michelwillaume


10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Polished Marble Cake

Russian confectioner Olga Noskova creates cakes with a mirrored glaze which resembles pieces of polished marbles. They look too pristine and shiny actually dig in.

Image Credits: Pinterest/mymodernmet

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Black Bird Wedding

The eye-catchy design of this modern wedding cake is everything all brides around the world want now!

Image Credits: Pinterest/cakesdecor

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Rose Apple Tart

‘Flowers, from the heirloom species to the simplest one, they are capable to incite the most beautiful feeling’ and this perplexing rose apple tart proves the statement.

Image Credits: Pinterest/localmilkblog

10 Modern Art Desserts So Beautiful You Wouldn't Want to Eat Them

Snow White

With white chocolate mousse, coconut mousse, yuzu jelly, lychee jelly, coconut dacquoise and meringue, this dessert is beautiful.

Image Credits: Instagram/chefsofinstagram


[Source  NDTV]

Ramzan Special: 8 Amazing Iftar Dishes You Must Try at Md. Ali Road, Mumbai

Ramzan Special: 8 Amazing Iftar Dishes You Must Try at Md. Ali Road, Mumbai







Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar year. The precise time of its beginning every year is decided by the sighting of the moon and astronomical calculations. The month is one where Muslims across the world observe a fast from sunrise to sunset. It is a month of prayers, humility and abstinence. But for food lovers, it also a period where the most delicious delicacies are prepared for Iftar feasting. The meal that is consumed before sunrise is called Sehri and it is supposed to sustain you through the day. Post sunset and prayers, the fast is broken with an Iftar feast, usually eaten with family or local community. With the monsoon underway, you may have second thoughts about setting off to enjoy an Iftar food walk in Mumbai but we suggest you shake off those doubts and go ahead. You’ll thank us later.

The first question, though, is where should you go? And how do you decide what all to eat? With a plethora of options available, it is very confusing to pick one place for Iftar delicacies. You could take an organised food walk or else just take our suggestions and customise your walk as per your personal preferences. We present to you, a curated list of the 8 absolute must-haves this Ramzan in Mumbai.

This month, all roads lead to Mohammad Ali Road. Having said that, it will come as a relief that the suggestions are not over-rated (for once). Do not think twice and head straight for Md.Ali Road for your Iftar walk. The entire area under JJ Flyover has a festive air through the month and the tempting aromas beckon you. Yes, it can get crowded, but that is half the fun of it. So take a deep breath and head straight for where the crowds are headed. This is as exciting as it gets. However, most of the food here is street food and given the crowd, it may be best to leave children back home, if that is an option.

If all that did not caution you off, follow this guide to embark on the food walk of your life –

1) Start with the best, the famous Nalli Nihari at Chinese-n-Grill (strange name considering the food it’s famous for) is popular for a reason and begs to be tried. The restaurant opens its doors at 8.30 pm so you should plan accordingly (no early bird luck here). Tender meat falling off the bone is cooked in delicious gravy, spiced just right. Lap it up with hot and soft tandoori rotis.

2) Surti Barah Handi is a visual delight and sure to get you clicking away with your camera. As the name suggests, 12 large clay pots are lined up right outside, each in the process of slow cooking an authentic delicacy. This process of slow-cooking the meat lends it a super-soft texture and by the time it is ladled out, it is almost one with the gravy. You can also try the Paya, which comes highly recommended. The huge naans served alongside are legendary.

Dharamsey Cross Street, near Raudat Tahera Mausoleum, Opposite Crawford Market

3) Those quail dishes in MasterChef Australia had you pining for some? We’re two steps ahead of you. Presenting – Quail, Indian-style. Order a plate of Tandoori Quail from the stalls opposite Islahi Dawakhana. Simple plastic chairs offer you the chance to rest your feet before you embark off on your next food-stop. The dish is a tiny portion but the flavour of the meat compensates for its size. Feel free to order generously.

4) One of the most popular pit-stops in this area and my personal favourite is a place called Noor Mohammadi. A legend of sorts, much like Karim’s in Delhi, it has been serving delicious fare for close to a century. It is popular with film stars, celebrities and business honchos alike. The recipes may be centuries old but the flavours have only gotten better with time. We highly recommend the interestingly named Sanju Baba Chicken (allegedly Sanjay Dutt’s favourite dish), a delectable dark semi-gravy chicken dish that will have you licking your fingers. The thick and dark gravy has been infused with whole spices and is lip-smacking delicious. There are tons of recommended dishes here, if you have the appetite for more. The Chicken Hakimi, Tandoori Chicken dunked in a tasty marinade and Shami Kebabs each have their fan following. The Nalli Nihari here is a tad too oily and perhaps not as well flavoured as the rest of the dishes.

5) Have a sweet tooth? Take a break from all the meat and indulge in a portion of phirni at Suleiman Usman Mithaiwala (near Minara Masjid). Popular for its sweets, the unique Sitaphal Halwa begs a try too. However, if all you need is a refreshing drink, head to Imaam Sherbet and sip on the traditional pink milk-based watermelon sherbet that is popular during Ramzan.

6) No Ramzan Food Walk can be complete without trying some succulent kebabs. Your best bet is to head straight to Haji Tikkas in Bohri Mohalla which offers mouth-watering kebabs like Khiri Kebabs and Kofta Kebabs.

Khara Tank Road, Bhendi Bazaar

7) The fast is traditionally broken with a date or a glass of water. It can also be broken with a dish of delicious Haleem. This dish, made with wheat, lentils and meat, is a best seller in this month and otherwise. Get your fill at Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Durbar. Ask any local and there is a good chance that they will vouch for their Haleem (called Khichda in Mumbai). The Biryani served here deserves a special mention as well. They even have an outlet in Mahim so in case you can’t make it to South Mumbai, you can still relish some Iftar delicacies.

18, Lady Jamshedji Road, Opposite St. Michael’s Church, Mahim (West)
70, Dinath Building, 195/197 Patthe Bapurao Road, opposite Alfred Cinema, Grant Road

8) Last but definitely not the least, try to make space for at least one Seekh Kebab at Al-Madina. The large crowd that throng the place speak volumes about the popularity and taste of the food served here. Juicy seekh kebabs that melt in the mouth are served with mint, lime and warm pav.

Minara Mazjid Lane, Mohammad Ali Road

That may seem like a lot of food but all that walking helps you build up an appetite. This Ramadan, head to town and indulge your taste-buds. You’ll come back with plenty of tales to tell for months to come.
[Source  NDTV]

The Downfall of Continental Food in the New ‘Global Cuisine’ World

The Downfall of Continental Food in the New 'Global Cuisine' World








The most telling comment on #Brexit, the UK voting itself out of the European Union, comes on my Twitter TL from someone whose reading of history isn’t untinged by irony. “June 23, 2016: The power that colonised half the world killed itself out of fear of colonisation,” reads the mock RIP. Colonialism is long dead and the post-world has fallen through a rabbit hole, turned upside down. But if this sense of political irony is telling, the history of food has always been full of such delicious subtext.

“Continental food” is a term that most of us in India recognise immediately though most of us would be hard put to define it and indeed those of us born in the post-Liberalisation world may not even have ever eaten any of it. We are more at home with burgers and American-style pizzas than with cheesy au gratins and cutlets of the past. Like many things both good and bad – the Railways, English education, bureaucracy, bed tea and porcelain plates on Indian dining tables and so on – “Continental” food is, of course, a Colonial construct: The term used by the English to stand for 19th and early 20th century fashionable French (and Italian) food.

Despite Great (and now not so) Britain’s tumultuous, on-off relationship with what they dismissively called “the Continent”, the latter, especially the non Puritanical France and Italy, were also seen as utterly desirable. We see references to this mindset constantly through 19th and 20th century English literature. For instance, the love affair of all the 19th century Romantic poetic greats with Italy is fairly well known.

“How beautiful is sunset, when the glow of Heaven descends upon a land like thee, Thou Paradise of exiles, Italy!” writes Shelley. Both Shelley and Byron spent their “exiles” in Italy and are buried there. Both had an enduring love affair with that country, its literature, its arts, and some of its women. While they may still lie in Protestant cemeteries, their tastes were Catholic enough.

What is Continental Food?

It’s fair to conjecture that the Continent-primarily France and Italy-exercised an exotic pull on the English imagination much like the “Orient”. It was to be simultaneously rejected for its lax morals including the use of garlic in food (as we are told by a member of Mrs Dalloway’s society), as it was to be appropriated.

Appropriating the Continent meant appropriating its food; the flair of its sauces and dessert a far cry from kippers and mash. If French food began to connote global gourmet sophistication higher than any other cuisine, it was to a large extent, ironically, because of British Colonialism.

The service that evolved in France – ironically from a la francaise, bringing all the dishes to the table all at once, to a la russe, Russian style, where dishes were served in strict order from cold to hot and savoury to sweet – became the gourmet gold standard.


“Mother sauces” from espagnole, velouté to béchamel that had come into existence in France post the Revolution in the late 18th-early 19th century not only gained common culinary currency but were gradually passed down to the khansamas of Kolkata too, when the old Mughal cooks attempted to create dishes fit for their new masters. And finally when Escoffier’s haute cuisine became fashionable, it didn’t just remain restricted to the great hotels and restaurants of the Continent – and America, another British colony – but to the rest of the world. Even in Lutyen’s Delhi, there were aspirations to the newly created peach melbas and crepes Suzette.

French food had always been heavily influenced by Italian gastronomy – and continues to – right from the time of the arrival of Catherine de Medici and her retinue of Florentine cooks into the court in 16th century. She married the man who was to become Henry II and that legacy spawned amongst other things sorbets, macaroons, zabaglione, as also the dominance of sauces, truffles, mushrooms, artichokes and more in French and therefore “Continental” food.


The Continental Food Era in India

In the Jewel in the Crown, India, Continental food began to connote for the aspirational Babus, the new class of bureaucrats created by the British to rule just like them, a whole set of sophisticated dishes totally different from the Mughal kebabs, rice, breads and curries that had made up gastronomy just 100-150 years ago: bastardised cassata ice cream, the newly minted 20th century inventions, potato chops (instead of veal cutlets), vol au vent, coq au vin and pasta and “English” vegetables in bechamel sauce, gratinated. This was the new food of the upper class colonised people along with party bits of shami kebab and smoked hilsa that passed muster with English tastes.

Ladies started giving themselves airs learning souffles and cooks took to making custards even as desi royals took to their clarets and champagne – both expensive Continental exports to Great Britain’s aristocracy, whose hold has not been quite shaken as yet.

Downfall of the Empire

In the post-Colonial world, post Cold War and post Liberalisation world, this is food we don’t recognise any longer. Red Velvets and New York cheese cakes are the great equalizers, your measure of sophistication may be measured by whether you recognise that pizza should be “original, Italian, thin crust” and not the imported from America, cheesy type. And if many of our food fashions still arrive in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore via London, it is food from other former European colonies that are trending-ceviche and hoppers to name just two.

Continental food as a construct has been demolished in a new “global cuisine” world order that does know a smattering of French gastronomy but is trying to use local ingredients in MasterChef Australia type creations. Foams and smoke are the nouvelle lightened sauces; and even if their origins be El Bulliesque “Continental”, their spread has been decidedly more democratic-through the idiot box and through the Internet that knows no boundaries. The most sophisticated “international” food today is a mishmash of many different influences from a world that refuses to be boxed in. You can’t isolate it as belonging to a particular country or even region. Even in Britain.

beetroot dish

About the Author:

Anoothi Vishal is a columnist and writes on food for The Economic Times and NDTV Food, and runs the blog She tracks the business of restaurants and cuisine trends and also researches and writes on food history and the cultural links between cuisines. Anoothi’s work with community-based cuisines led her to set up The Great Delhi Pop-Up three years ago, under which she promotes heritage, regional and community-based cuisines as well as researched and non-restaurantised food concepts. She has also been instrumental in reviving her own community’s Kayastha cuisine, a blend of Indo-Islamic traditions, which she cooks with her family and has taken across India to a diverse audience.


The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


[Source  NDTV]

What India is Dishing Up Across the Globe

What India is Dishing Up Across the Globe







Indian food is hot on the global table. It’s omnipresent and is slowly conquering world kitchens. There are restaurants from Dubai to New York dedicated to desi fare but there’s more to it than chicken tikkaand masala dosa. Indian cuisine is complex and mature still there is a lot of room for intuition. Some of India’s best recognized faces in the culinary world and masters of their trade are reinventing classic dishes and combining them with global cuisines to capture newer audiences.

Talk to anyone about a new wave of Indian restaurateurs in England, and they will point to Atul Kochhar as an inspiration. The first Indian chef to win a Michelin Star, he runs three Indian restaurants in London – Benaras, Indian Essence and Sindhu. “I realized that Indian food is not perceived in the same way by the British as it is by Indians. I wanted to present Indian food abroad in a way that people will appreciate it. Each one of my restaurants has a different character and style. At Benaras you can enjoy a Scottish Crab Kofta while at Indian Essence the Chicken Tikka Pie served with Spiced Prune Compote is everyone’s favourite,” he tells me.

To innovate and personalize a dish without totally stripping a recipe of its originality is a masterful craft. Zorawar Kalra’s Farzi Café has created a market for designer Indian food where classics are dressed differently but with all the authentic flavours and is gaining recognition on an international stage with the newly opened outlet in Dubai. “While Farzi Café in India focuses on elevating and re-introducing Indian cuisine in a new avatar, Farzi Café in Dubai offers global cuisine with a combination of Arabic and Indian influences. Like one of our most ordered Arabic influenced dish on the Dubai menu is Farzified Shawarma Biryani, crusted layered rice biryani with grilled chicken served along with fried egg, green chili curry and labneh raita,” says Zorawar Kalra.

The influence of Indian food is strong with dishes like Okra Salad in Semolina Shell, Dal Chawal Arancini and Pita Golgappas on the tapas menu and in the mains, there’s Charmoula Crusted Paneer Tikka and Crab and Spinach Poriyal while some dishes have been given  a local touch with Arabic ingredients like dates, zatar spice and sumac powder.

Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor has curried a lot of favour in Dubai. Their menu showcases quintessential Indian ingredients and cooking techniques. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor shares, “The idea is not to alter the ‘Indianness’ of the dishes but give them a little twist to suit the western palate like the Blue Lobster Biryani, Mango Murgh Makhani or the stone-flamed Lamb Chops with Haleem that we offer.”

Over the years, people’s palettes have developed to crave flavours that are exotic and varied. New York, for instance is hungry for more sophisticated and admittedly delicious food. Indian food was introduced majorly by immigrants and has been accepted rather slowly in the Big Apple. The rise of modern Indian food is a reflection of a change in this scenario. Indian chefs are demonstrating their imaginative blends of cuisines and instilling the philosophy of Indian cuisine into the ingredients that are available here to create an appetite for something more adventurous.

Since Indian Accent’s debut in the city, Chef Manish Mehrotra has been a busy man trying to reinterpret nostalgic Indian dishes with modern techniques, “The idea is to give the diners the real flavours of India which are usually under represented outside the country but in a contemporary style. We use local and seasonal ingredients and marry them with Indian flavours. We are using ramps that go very well with Soft Paneer, my all-time favourite Soft Shell Crabs which we’re getting fresh and we also have Pathar Kebab made with beef.”

When two cultures meet, slight changes are bound occur naturally. I asked Indian-American Chef Flyod Cardoz how he translates Indian food to the American palate, “Indian cuisine has an increasing appeal for American palates but not heavy, greasy curries with unrecognised ingredients. There is also a difference in preferences. For instance, Indians may like their meat soft and tender while American love medium-rare. I may change the way ingredients are used or use traditional flavours to enhance local ingredients like Black Sea Bass, Quail, Brussel Sprouts or Squashes but my food is still very Indian at its core. This sort of fusion is good to make them understand what our food is all about. My Cheddar Cheese Naan was one of the highest recognized dishes and so was the Duck Samosa. At Paowalla, I’ll be playing a lot with whole grains like sabundana, nachini and poha.”

Chef Kunal Kapoor believes that a bit of modernization is needed to represent the accomplishments and diversity of Indian cuisine on foreign shores,“To be able to innovate you need to go back to tradition. It’s not a trend; it’s the revival of old forgotten dishes with a modern twist. The menu at Patiala in Dubai offers a mix of desi khaana and modern Indian food. We have simple dishes like Bhuna Pyaaz, Dal Takda, Ajwain Naan along with Chillean Sea Bass wrapped in Kasundi Mustard, Strawberry-Balsamic Chutney or the Mango Lassi Ice Cream.”

Indian food has always been synonymous with home comfort but now may be the time to move away to the mainstream to an exotic setting. This new embrace allows people to dream. It’s a challenge these Indian chefs have happily taken on to introduce niche dishes to a larger and more curious audience.


[Source  NDTV]

10 Best Noodle Recipes: From Soba and Udon to Chopsuey

10 Best Noodle Recipes: From Soba and Udon to Chopsuey







There’s nothing like noodle time! Come rain, come shine, digging into a bowl of noodles is the epitome of comfort food. The strings of happiness come in many forms and can be tossed in a number of ways with myriad ingredients to make spectacular treats. Noodles may have been introduced in India by the traders from China and South East Asia years ago, but it has become very much a part of India’s culinary landscape now, where it is popularly known as chowmein and a star dish in the exclusive category of Indian Chinese Cuisine.

While most restaurants are found guilty of adding MSG (monosodium glutamate) while preparing noodles (which is also the reason that makes them so irresistible), the best way to enjoy a plate without added chemicals is to make it at home. This way, you can also play around with ingredients and sauces of your choice to make your perfect noodle dish.

The most commonly found noodles in the markets are the chowmein noodles, but you can also look out for other kinds like udon, soba, ramen, flat noodles (commonly used for pad Thai), glass noodles, rice noodles, etc to have some fun. While cooking noodles, time plays an important part because you don’t want the noodles to be overdone and sticky. Follow the instructions on the pack and cook them for the mentioned time till al dente, and then run them under cold water. Drizzle a little oil and mix well to ensure that the noodles don’t stick to each other.

Coming to the sauces and seasonings, there’s no end to the options. For something healthy, make a wholesome soup or a light salad by tossing the noodles with fresh herbs and spices, or for some indulgence, load it up with meats and veggies and stir-fry with a drizzle of soy or oyster sauce. You can also fry them crisp and toss them in your bowl of veggies for some crunch, or make lip-smacking starters by wrapping them around prawns and chicken strips and deep-frying them till nice and golden. If you are still looking for some extraordinary noodle recipes to woo your family, we have the perfect list for you. Our top 10 noodle recipes have it all – from Thai soup and Laksa to Japanese soba noodles and all-time favourite chopsuey. Dig in!

1. Japanese Soba Noodles
Recipe by Plavaneeta Borah

Easy to make, these noodles taste delicious when stir-fried with teriyaki sauce. Throw in some veggies like mushrooms and carrots, caramalised pork strips (if you like) or just dunk them in dashi. For the recipe, click here.

Japanese Soba Noodles

2. Thai Noodle Soup
Recipe by Chefs Nikhil & Natasha

Nikhil and Natasha cook up a variation of the classic Thai noodle soup. This soup is made with the goodness of chicken, peanuts, broccoli, rice vermicelli, coconut and fried garlic. For the recipe, click here.

Thai Noodle Soup

3. Glass Noodle Salad
Recipe by Chef Veena Arora, The Spice Route, The Imperial

If you love to start your meal with Yum Woon Sen Chae or the Glass Noodle Salad, this recipe will blow you away. It’s made with gorgeous glass noodles, onions, lettuce, chilli, broccoli, baby corn and tomatoes. For the recipe, click here.

Glass Noodle Salad

4. Rocky’s Pad Thai
Recipe by Rocky Singh

TV celebrity Rocky Singh’s favourite noodle dish is the Pad Thai. It is a fried noodle dish commonly served as a street food in Thailand and can be loaded up with veggies and meats. For the recipe, click here.

pad thai

5. Stir Fry Udon Noodle with Black Pepper Sauce
Recipe by Chef Wang Yixuan, Yauatcha, Mumbai

Udon noodles are cooked with a blast of flavours. Bell peppers, mock duck and a host of other ingredients are tossed in to notch up the taste. For the recipe, click here.

Stir Fry Udon Noodle with Black Pepper Sauce

6. Prawns Wrapped in Noodles
Recipe by Chef Nikhil Chib

Chinese food is so delicious that you would keep coming back for more. This time chef Nikhil Chib cooks up an easy Chinese-inspired dish. Tiger prawns marinated in spices, then wrapped in noodles and finally fried golden. Delightful! For the recipe, click here.

Prawns and Noodles

7. Chicken Chopsuey
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta

An all-time favourite Chinese dish, here’s the recipe of the sweet and tangy chopsuey with chicken and crunchy fried noodles. For the recipe, click here.

Chicken Chopsuey
8. Laksa
Recipe by Chef Shivneet, ITC Maurya Sheraton

Laksa is spicy noodle soup popularly eaten in Singapore. This recipe shows you how to make fresh laksa paste at home. For the recipe, click here.

Laksa Noodles

9. Quick Noodles with Mixed Meat
Recipe by Chef Roopa Gulati

A classic noodle recipe cooked with a mix of veggies and meat. You can also add in some seafood for some extra indulgence. For the recipe, click here.

Mixed meat noodles

10. Rice Noodles with Stir Fried Chicken
Recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani

Rice noodles tossed with stir-fried vegetables, chicken and calamari, and topped with toasted peanuts for that extra crunch. For the recipe, click here.

Stir fried chicken noodles
[Source  NDTV]