Two Homegrown Himalayan Brands That You Must Check Out

In this age of blatant consumerism, I was recently introduced to two home grown, 100% desi brands that epitomize the concept of ‘Make In India’. Read on to know more about Himalaya2Home and Aromazeia, and my recommendations from both these webstores –

Himalaya2Home

I was introduced to the Himalaya2Home brand by Mr. Alok Bhatt, who shared detailed insights into Garhwali and Kumaoni food practices with me post my return from Mussoorie. I was looking for a platform for my readers (and myself) , where they could order grains and pulses that I devoured during my trip and vouched for – and Himalaya2Home fulfilled all our requirements. Here you’ll find cereals, pulses, spices, herbs, honey, oil and personal care products all originating from the mountains.

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A Luxurious 12 Hours in Goa

There’s a Goan vacation for everybody! India’s favourite tourist destination offers a plethora of options for every kind of traveler. Adventure junkie to the nature lover to the honeymooning couple to the food explorer – Goa has something for everyone. Especially if you’re a luxury traveler, and you love your five star hotel beds, relaxing spa treatments, gourmet fine dine, and the best of service. Goa will spoil you with luxury stay options as well. And who better than the Marriott group of hotels – the first name when it comes to grand hotel stays, to help me experience an opulent Goan getaway.

Location: W Goa, Vagator

We drive down Goa’s narrow picturesque bylanes, passing by shuttered shacks and the occassional North Indian tourist on a scooter to arrive at Vagator in North Goa. The rains convert Goa into a different destination altogether – flooded paddy fields on either sides of the road, coconut trees swaying dangerously, and shades of green you didn’t know existed. #50ShadesOfGreen. After a failed attempt at climbing up to Chapora ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fort in a downpour and a subsequent skidded knee, we made our way to W Goa. 

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My June Food Favourites

The monsoons create havoc outside my window as I type this. A strong urge of piping hot bhajiyas and hot chocolate envelope me, and I cannot help but wonder why nobaarish ka khaana is being listed out in this post.

Nevertheless, July is coming up and a lot of deep fried foods and steaming beverages shall be consumed. Until then here is a round up of my June food favourites – dishes, restaurants and events that made the cut.

1. When you can’t decide between coffee and dessert – Starbucks’s Summer Beverages FTW!

What I love about Starbucks is that they keep reinventing their menu, introducing newer drinks keeping in mind seasonal specials. Their indulgent drinks on offer currently are the Coconut Strawberry Bliss Frappuccino and the Roasted Marshmallow S’mores Frappuccino. The former was an interesting blend of tropical coconut and citrus strawberries, while the latter was a creamy vanilla coffee interspersed with marshmallow chunks. Not a fan of sugary coffee drinks? Try their Cold Brew instead – a strong Kenyan brew served over ice.

Available at Starbucks outlets all over the country.

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Five Places to Check Out in Bohri Mohalla For That Perfect Iftaar Feast

Visiting the Bohri Mohalla area or the Minara Masjid area during Ramzan is about more than just food; it is an experience. The lights and sounds are captivating. You cannot help but get drawn into the festivities and camaraderie. It’s such a beautiful amalgamation of people from different cultures, religions, and walks of life. And then there’s the food. Smells of meat being grilled, malpuas being fried, and masalas being coated. Sights of colourful phirnis and halwas on display, kebabs hanging off skewers, and ginormous tawas cooking up every meat imaginable. 

I wrote these lines back in 2015, when I wrote about another Iftaar walk, which you can read about here. Nothing much has changed in all this time. The vibe at these places during Ramadan and my feeling about the entire eating out experience during this holy month remains the same. Even though most people flock to Mohammed Ali Road and the Minara Masjid area for their share of grub, I have been partial to Bohri Mohalla and the stalls there. There’s lesser jostling through crowds here, and the food is just as delicious. Here are my top five stalls/restaurants that you must visit in the Bohri Mohalla area to get your Iftaar feast.

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Exploring Garhwal – The Food. The Sights. The People.

It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. ~ Sir Edmund Hillary

The mountains can be both awe-inspiring as well as overwhelming. Their grandeur can make you feel like an inconsequential speck in the larger scheme of things, which is exactly how I felt driving around in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand during our four-day Culinary Soujourn of Garhwal. I, a self proclaimed beach bum with an exaggerated fear of heights, finally learnt to give in to nature, live in the moment and embrace the mountains. ‘Respect the mountains, and she’ll respect you back,’ my grandfather’s saying came echoing back to me.

Garhwal is a mountainous region in the state of Uttarakhand; it’s vibrant Garhwali culture has remained overshadowed and underexposed over the decades. Their simple, hearty cuisine and sustainable cooking methods are also lesser known among the larger population; which is why the Culinary Soujourn of Garhwal organized by the JW Marriott Walnut Grove Resort and Spa, Mussoorie in collaboration with Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal of the APB Cook Studio was the perfect way to acquaint myself with their culture and cuisine. Along the way I fell in love with a region I knew very little about, a cuisine I had never eaten before, and people we never knew yet they welcomed us into their world with open arms. It was love at first sight. And/or first bite.

Room with a view!
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