Category: Food

Easy Thai Red Chicken Curry

2011-06-20-Thai-FoodVariety is the spice of life, someone once said! For a change, I decided to stay at home instead of going to a fancy Thai restaurant and get my cooking skills into action. Just so you know, I cook as frequently as the sun shines in UK. 😉

Thai Red Chicken Curry is very easy to make! I discovered this amazing recipe at a friend’s dinner in London. Since then, I cant seem to get enough of it! But that’s my relationship with every thing that is edible…FOODIE FOREVER! 😉

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Brunch at Automat Mayfair, London.

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Sundays should be reserved for food comas! A day where we can eat our heart out and not be guilty of the pounds we accumulate in the process…

Brunch at Automat in Mayfair is an incredible treat to activate your taste buds. It is an American Brasserie located in Central London inspired by the eating habits of New Yorkers. They give you around an hour to eat and go!!! We do miss the British etiquettes 😉 (more…)

Valentines Special! Fashion, Food & Gifts…

pittsburughmagazine.com2 Valentine’s day is around the corner. Over the years, it has shaped into one of the most commercialized days of the year, much further away, from its essence of being the most romantic one.Whether you are a single or a couple, V- Day has something to offer for everyone. Love truly is in the air…ALL AROUND US! 🙂

I’ve just seen a face, I can’t forget the time or place Where we just met, she’s just the girl for me And I want all the world to see we’ve met Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm mmm mmm (more…)

Mmmm Macrons…

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Whenever somebody would say macron, a rainbow of colours would flash in my head. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to set on my voyage of macron discovery – all thanks to a stranger that I bumped into…Cheers Macron Man! 🙂

Macrons have been around since 1533 – introduced by Chef Catherine on the time of her marriage to King of France. They are made of sugar, egg whites and almond flavour – very little has changed in this basic mixture throughout the years. It wasn’t until quite recently i.e beginning of 20th century that a chef, Pierre Desfontaines experimented with the colours and added flavouring in the middle of both the cookies. His idea of filling the cookies with chocolate ganache popularized macrons immensely. God Bless Him!!!

Now, I am sure after all this sweet talk you would be wondering where to get a flavour of this tempting and succulent goodie?! I knew it!

Here is a list of the best macron places in London – let me have your feedback if you have been to any of them already!

Laduree at Harrods 

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With only 12 tea places around the world, Laduree at Harrods is the safest bet to indulge in the authentic Parisian macrons. Flavours include: vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, rose, raspberry, coffee, salted caramel, liquorice and orange blossom. They have special flavours for Christmas & Easter: passion fruit and dark chocolate, raspberry, dark chocolate and lime, and dark chocolate.

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T: 0203 155 0111 E: salesuk@laduree.com

Brompton Road, London, SW1

Pierre Herme

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Pierre Herme is also referred to as the macron man – the master of macrons!Every creation is unique and a key to activate those taste buds, instantly.

Be it Mogador (milk chocolate and passionfruit) or  Arabella (milk chocolate, banana, ginger confit); or Métissé (carrot, orange, cinnamon) – all these fancy delicacies are worth a try!

T: 020 7730 3663 W: reservations@yauatcha.com

Knightsbridge tube. Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford St, W1U 1AT.

 PAUL

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PAUL is a French bakery that began as a family business in 1889 and had expanded into over 2000 shops all around the globe. Any French bakery is incomplete without a range of macrons to dig into!

Paul has 2 different sizes of macrons and various flavours that include: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pistachio, raspberry and lemon flavours.

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T: 0207 491 8957 E: rdewan@paul-uk.com

22 patisseries across London / 277-278 Regent Street, W1

Yauatcha

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Yauatcha in Soho has been in demand for devising their menus on the lines of Wagamama and Busaba Ethai. It focuses upon Asian cuisines such as dim sum, tea, cocktails and customised Asian macrons. The flavours include: hazelnut, passion fruit, milk chocolate, yuzu chocolate, blackcurrant, earl grey, coconut, raspberry and lemon

T: 0207 494 8888 E: reservations@yauatcha.com

15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho, London, W1

Try one of these and do let me have your much valued feedback.

Happy Nibbling 😉

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xxx

Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan – A Health Perspective

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Fasting is one of the ‘five pillars’ of Islam which lay the foundation of the Muslim faith. It is a form of worship and an act of willing abstention from food, drinks and sexual intercourse.  From sunrise to sunset a believer is in a state of constant test, physical and moral. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast for 29 or 30 days depending upon the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths (sayings of the Last Prophet, Muhammad P.B.U.H).

Fasting aims to develop and build self-control, restraint and patience in believers.

This post is going to explore the various health benefits of fasting. So let’s get the ball rolling! 🙂

Dates 

A fast is opened with a date for spiritual and religious reasons in Islam. It comes with many health benefits. It is pertinent to get the right amount of boost after an entire day of fasting. A date has 31 grams of carbohydrates which makes it a great source of energy! Dates also provide fibre which aids digestion throughout the month of Ramadan. In addition to this, dates are one of the most nutritious fruits with high levels of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins.

 5:2 diet

Dr. Michael Mosley, a BBC journalist with a medical degree researched the impact of continuous fasting in his Horizon Investigation (2012). He fasted for 2 days every week and lived on 600 calories during the days he was fasting. The findings of this study provided evidence for the life-extending and life-improving benefits of fasting on the human body. This also led to the popularity of 5:2 diet. In the diet: 5 days of the week, eat as you normally do, but twice a week, limit your food to 500 calories (for women) or 600 (for men).

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Fasting for intermittent periods can help shield the brain again degenerative illness. Researchers at National Institute on Ageing in Baltimore suggested that a reduction in calorie intake or a day or two a week is extremely beneficial for brain. Evidence was found that it helped protect against severe effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Keeping the balance

Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anesthetist from Oxford, says there’s a strong and intricate relationship between diet and health. “Ramadan isn’t always thought of as being an opportunity to lose weight because the spiritual aspect is emphasized more generally than the health aspect,” he says. “However, it’s a great chance to get the physical benefits as well’’.

When we are fasting, our body is starved. As a result, it starts to burn fat so that it can get energy. Weight loss is a result of this. On the other hand, taking fasting as a diet regime is not right at all. If we skip eating before sunrise or control our appetite while breaking the fast then it can have detrimental effects on our body. Our body will start breaking down muscle protein for energy.

Boost your brain

Fasting has positive effect on our mental and spiritual health.  As per a research by scientists in USA, it was revealed that mental focus achieved during Ramadan increases level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which causes the body to produce more brain cells, thus improving brain function. Moreover, there is also a marked reduction in the amount of hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal gland, meaning that stress levels are greatly reduced both during and after Ramadan when an individual is observing a fast.

Time to Quit!

Ramadan is often termed to be cleanser. Many vices such as sugary foods, smoking are refrained from during the holy month. As one abstains from them our body will gradually acclimatize to their absence, until our addictions are kicked for good.

It’s also much easier to quit habits when you do so in a group, which should be easy to find during Ramadan.Ramadan and fastings ability to facilitate the ‘ditching bad habits’ is so noteworthy that the UK’s National Health Service recommends it as the ideal time to quit smoking.

Lower levels of cholesterol

It is an eminent fact that weight loss is one of the many physical outcomes of fasting but there are healthy changes taking place in our body. A team of Cardiologists in UAE found that people fasting enjoy a positive effect on their lipid profile. In simple terms, it means there is a reduction in cholesterol in blood stream thereby reducing risks of heart diseases and strokes.

Lasting appetite reduction

One of the main problems with extreme fad diets is that any weight lost is often quickly put back on quickly, even with a little added extra. For those observing fasts, it is completely different. The reduction in food consumed throughout fasting causes your stomach to gradually shrink, meaning you’ll need to eat less food to feel full. Ramadan is great time to start if we want to build the habit of eating healthy. At the end of Ramadan, our appetite will be lower than it was before, and we’ll be far less likely to overindulge with our eating.

Detoxification

Apart from spiritually cleansing our souls, Ramadan provides a fabulous detox for our body. By controlling food intake throughout the day, our body will have a chance to detoxify our digestive system throughout the month.When our body starts utilizing  fat reserves to create energy, it will also burn away any harmful toxins that might be existing in fat deposits. This body cleanse will leave a healthy blank slate behind, and is the perfect stepping stone to a consistently healthy lifestyle which needs to be maintained! Obviously 😉

 

Ramadan is a period of fasting. It teaches us reflection, patience, humbleness, devotion, generosity and sacrifice along with nourishing a feeling of unity and brotherhood. While major religious holidays have largely become commercialized events, Ramadan retains its intense spiritual meaning.

Lets promise ourselves to be better humans this Ramadan! Let this month cleanse our mind, body and soul…

Ramadan Mubarak!!! 🙂

xxx

i am fasting

GM Diet Plan

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I love food. Some people eat to live and some LIVE to eat. Clearly, I have always found myself in the latter category. Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Desi….yes! It’s a never-ending list but you follow the point? 🙂

 Food is my life.

Recently, I gained around 5 kgs and since then I have been on my toes training at the gym, squats at home, running outdoors…you name it!

I feel much stronger and healthier owing to 3 months of a religiously active routine. However, I have not lost any weight and this is getting frustrating. Extremely!

My colleague at work mentioned GM diet plan where you lose 5 – 8 kgs at the end of first week.  GM diet plan was developed for the employees of General Motors Inc. This plan was first tried at John Hopkins Research Center and was later approved for distribution by Board of Directors of General Motors in 1995. The diet plan is formulated to cleanse the system and is also referred to as a complete ‘detox’ diet plan. GM improves attitudes and emotional health as well owing to its systematic cleaning effects. It is formulated to flush out impurities from our system and provide us with an abundance of energy and rejuvenation at the end of the 7 days.

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You are required to drink 10- 12 glasses of water each day for it to work. Lets have a look at the diet plan below:

Day One  All fruits except bananas. Your first day will consists of all fruits you want. It is suggested you consume lots of watermelon and cantaloupe.
Day Two All vegetables. You are encouraged to eat until you are stuffed with all the new and cooked vegetables of your choice. There is no limit on the account or type. Avoid oil and coconut while cooking vegetables. Have large boiled potato for breakfast.
Day Three Any mixture of fruits and vegetables of your choice. Any amount, any quantity. No bananas yet and no potatoes today.
Day Four Bananas and milk. Today you will eat as many as eight bananas and drink three glasses of milk. You can also have one bowl of vegetables soup.
Day Five Today is a feast day. You will eat 1 (one) cup of rice. You also have to eat 6 (six) whole tomatoes and drink 12 (twelve) glasses of water today to cleanse your system of the excess uric acid you will be producing.
Day Six Today is another all vegetables day. You must eat 1 cup of rice today and eat all the vegetables you want cooked and uncooked to your heart’s content.
Day Seven Today your food intake will consist of 1 cup rice, fruit juice and all the vegetables you care to consume. Tomorrow morning you will be five to eight kilograms lighter than 1 week ago. If you desire further weight loss, repeat the program again. Repeat the program as often as you like, however, it is suggested that you rest for three days before every repetition.

I am going to start it from Monday! Who is joining me? xxx

p.s: I did laugh at Day 5 when they call it ‘feast day’ because we can have 6 tomatoes and 1 cup boiled rice! hehe 😀

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Bananas are NOT just for Monkeys!

Monkey bananaI had boycotted bananas for a long time before I began training. On the strict orders of my instructor I started having a banana between lunch and training. Frankly speaking, I love them now owing to their numerous health benefits and NO! I am not even a monkey. Not yet…

Here is quick look at how beneficial bananas are for the human body and otherwise:

Source of Fibre

A single banana has about 3 grams of fibre. Dietary fibre helps in feeling fuller longer and also keep digestive processes running efficiently.

Satisfy your sweet tooth

An average banana has 110 calories and can fulfill your sweet tooth cravings without ruining your diet and training.

 Potassium

As per a research by Colorado State University, potassium is essential for a smooth nerve and muscle function. It also facilitates the balance of fluids in the body along with preventing painful cramps after rigorous exercise.

An average banana has approximately 400 mg potassium packed in it!

Fat & Cholesterol

 Bananas are completely free from any fat and cholesterol and are a great natural and healthy diet!

Digestibility

Mashed bananas are one of the most widely used baby foods especially when they are introduced to solid foods. They are easy to digest and a source of important nutrients when suffering from indigestion or a virus without straining the stomach too much.

 Manganese

 Manganese aids in bone health and speedy metabolism. Bananas are a great source of manganese, as one medium banana provides about 3 mg. Adults on average need 1.8 and 2.3 mg of manganese daily.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are instant energy. Eating a bananas before  or after a workout is the best way to feel energized!

 Vitamin C & Vitamin B-6

 An average banana has 10 mg of vitamin C which boosts immune system, cell health and improves and facilitates the absorption of other nutrients.

Our body needs vitamin B-6 to grow new cells. An average banana supplies 35% of daily B-6 requirement

Overcomes Depression & helps in reducing PMS symptoms

Bananas help combat depression due high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin ( the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter).

Moreover, it not only lifts  your mood but also  reduce PMS symptoms, as it regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation. You listening ladies? 😉

Bananas

Other benefits

  • Banana skin relieves against itching as a result of insect bites.
  • Bananas aid in lowering body temperature and can be eaten when running a fever or just to cool down on a hot day! 😉
  • It helps in quitting smoking as it contains high levels of potassium and magnesium which helps in quitting.
  • Helps in removing a wart by putting the inside of a banana peel on the wart and tapping it.
  • Rubbing the inside of banana peel on leather shoes and handbags makes them shine instantly!

 

Bananas can be eaten and used in multiple forms! A banana on its own, mixed in a fruit salad, as an ingredient in muffins (when you are not watching your calories as such), frozen yogurt, smoothies and the list is never ending!!! 🙂

They makes a great, healthy and a nutritious snack. Apart from this, from alleviating the mood to making your handbags/shoes shine! Bananas are awesome! And oh! who doesn’t like witnessing banana peel falls? 😛 Its been a while since I have been a spectator to one..

That’s it folks! Hope you are now looking at bananas in a different light!

 Remember! a banana day is surely enough to keep the doctor away…xxx

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Green Tea – Myth or Reality?

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My Green Tea Time!!! 😉

Green tea originated in China and is extremely popular in the contemporary world. Chinese have been drinking Green Tea for thousands of years due to the drink’s  innumerable healing and  health benefits.

So what does green tea do?

  • Burns Fat

Ever since I can remember I have been hearing stories about how green tea burns fats and slims you down. It affected me so much that I started drinking 2 cups until I was told, 1 cup has the same effect has multiple!

A study of overweight men in US reported that men with same diet routines and exercise regimes burnt 200 more calories per day after they started consuming green day and also increased their energy levels.

  •  Fights Cancer

Oxidation damages healthy cells of the body and have been associated to illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and strokes.The antioxidants present in green tea help fight against cancerous cells.

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde found that, delivered to skin cancer tumours in concentrated doses in a laboratory test, EGCG (antioxidant present in green tea) eradicated 40 per cent of them, while an additional 30 per cent were reduced in size.

  • Healthy Teeth

Green tea helps clean the teeth because of the presence of fluoride. Fluroide kills bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque and cavities. As a result, green tea is beneficial in maintaining healthy teeth and oral hygiene. It also helps in curing bad breath as it has high levels of an antioxidant, called polyphenols. Polyphenols attack bad breath by deactivating sulphur compounds produced by the bacteria.

  • Lowers Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance called a lipid, made in the liver. High cholesterol leads to a lot of other illnesses. Drinking green tea frequently can benefit people with high cholesterol levels as it lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and prevent the accumulation of blood clots in the body.

The Peking Union Medical College in Beijing analysed the results of 14 random trials in which participants drank green tea ranging from three to 12 months. The study found that on average, green tea was shown to reduce total cholesterol by 7.2 milligrams.

 

Pukka-tea
My fav green/herbal/min tea brand!

three_green_311x321_p258What are you waiting for? Want a cuppa green tea? GO ON THEN! xx

Patogh – Scrumptious Iranian Cuisine!

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Biggest Bread Ever!

I have never been to Iran physically but I feel I have traveled to Tehran and beyond owing to my obsession for Iranian food.

Recently, I discovered Patogh after a sudden pang of craving for chicken kebabs and tender lamb curry. Located on Crawford Road, London, it is just a few minutes’ walks from Marble Arch tube station – Patogh is by far the best Persian cuisine I have eaten in London.

Patogh is a small and compact place with a  limited seating. There is no fancy decoration and please forget fine-dining when you decide to pay the restaurant a visit. Tables are shared, mocha walls are decorated with old Persian paintings and antique red lanterns. The moment I entered, it felt like I had stepped into an abandoned Persian  kingdom which had lost it glory and grandeur in a long forgotten battle, hundreds of years back. As my growling stomach pulled me back to reality, I desperately hoped that the food would be good and YES! It exceeded my expectations! 🙂

Food is the main highlight of Patogh. It is prepared in front of you as you order. Specialties include: gigantic bread sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with mint yogurt ( I can bet you wouldn’t have seen a BIGGER bread than this!), Hummus, Chicken/Beef Skewers and Kebabs served with Saffron Rice with a slice of butter on top ..YUMMM!

Me and my friend shared a lamb curry with chick peas , cooked in delicious Iranian spices and tastefully garnished with ginger and a chicken Kebab  which comprised of 2 huge Kebabs and served with saffron rice, boiled tomatoes and salad. We also tried their mint yogurt drink which is quite similar to lassi (yogurt-based drink which originated in the Punjab region in Subcontinent. It is made by blending yogurt with water and spices).

At a quick glance, Patogh is definitely worth a visit! They have:

– Huge Portions

– Mouth-Watering Food

– Economical (we ordered 2 mains, 2 starters, 3 drinks, pot of mint tea  and our bill was only £26!!!)

– Efficient and friendly Service

They don’t accept payment by card so get some cash out from the nearest cash point before you get set to relish some juicy kebabs 😉

Highly recommended, make sure you go with an appetite! Definitely a journey that made me feel like I was in a food street in Iran, munching on greedily…Oh the joy!

LIVE Cookin' :)
LIVE Cooking!
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Heavenly Hummus!
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Lamb with chick peas
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YUM YUM Chicken Kebabs with Saffron Rice! nomm nomm nomm
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Sauces and Oils

xx

Your Coffee!


Chocolate, men, coffee – some things are better rich.~Anonymous 

So how well do you know your coffee? 😛

I am Cappuccino all the way! Which is your cup of coffee? xx

Spilling the beans...
Spilling the beans…