Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi- luxury and food experience at its best!

I am a sucker for luxury and a five star hotel is one of the best ways to indulge in some luxury, leisure and one is lucky enough if the hotel also offers some great food. I recently stayed at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi and I can easily say, that it gave me a perfectly balanced experience of everything. The comfortable stay in a spacious room, culinary delights at Dilli 32 and Cafe Knosh and immense hospitality throughout. Read the full story here

The culinary experience at Dilli 32 was indeed a special one, as the restaurant was running a food festival, Dining with the Maharajas, serving the royal food from Mahmoodabad. Read my complete post here 

I had a very pleasant and fulfilling experience at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel and I look forward to a visit again soon and also recommend the place to all my readers, I am sure you too will love it.

Experiencing Naga Cuisine at Nagaland’s Kitchen!

The native cuisine of the Naga people, Nagaland food comprises primarily of Meat and Fish which is usually either smoked, dried or fermented. The use of chillies is exceptionally high in the cuisine especially the world famous Bhut Jolokia. Replicating such traditional food and retaining authentic taste always comes as a challenge when exploring the cuisine outside the region, but Nagaland’s Kitchen has completely emerged as a winner in this case. They have not just replicated the dishes, but also taken utmost care to retain the authenticity of tastes by sourcing some of their ingredients right from the base region.

I recently went to explore the cuisine, which I had only heard about and I would say that in spite of having a lot of apprehensions, I found myself really enjoying the Nagaland food. Like mentioned above, smoked food is a traditional way of cooking in Nagaland, and they enjoy their meats and veggies with a smoked flavour. This particular style of cooking was brought alive at the Smokey Delight Festival at Nagaland’s Kitchen.

The ambience of the place was warm and comfortable and the festive vibes to it as Christmas is just around the corner. I was welcomed with a Jolokia Vodka Shot, with a word of caution. Yes you read it right, a word of caution here is imperative at Jolokia is one of the spiciest chillies found in the world, and this vodka shot was infused with the same. But I was really up for the challenge and wanted to try it out for sure.

So as it was a shot, and meant to be had in one shot, I gulped it down, I would say it wasn’t as spicy or bad as I was warned about. It surely hits the back of your throat and stomach for a few seconds, but thats about it. The best part was that it did not have any after taste, so i didn’t feel the spicy sensation on my tongue at all.

Coming to food, I started the culinary experience with a very nice Soup, it was available in both Smoked Pork and Smoked Chicken option and I settled for Chicken. It was called the Amrosu Soup and I found it perfect for that chilly winter evening. The taste of the soup was mild and the smoked chicken enhanced its flavour multifolds, I really enjoyed having it. Up next was Smoke Chicken and Dry Bamboo Salad and it too was very well prepared. I loved how the other flavours were kept mild in this too and the smoked chicken did its wonders yet again. Smoke Pork with Dry Bamboo Shoot was another amazing preparation.

In starters I tried Smoke Chicken Chilli and Pork Chilli, though I am not too fond of pork, but trust me, one bite into this and I could not stop myself. It was so so delicious.

The main course offered Smoke Chicken, Smoke Dry River Fish, Smoke Pork Anishi and Smoke Eel. I restricted myself to pork and chicken, but those who fancy having a dried fish and eel, should definitely try it here. Served with sticky boiled rice, both the dishes in gravy were tasteful.

For desserts, I had the traditional plum cake, which was prepared keeping the festivities in mind.

I would say, I had an extremely pleasant and wonderful culinary experience at Nagaland’s Kitchen and its one place that surely is worth your time and money.

Nagaland's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Christmas Recipes from The Bristol, Gurgaon

Christmas Recipes

 

Red Velvet Pancake

 

 

Ingredients                                              Quantity

 

10 cups all-purpose flour- 1/2 Cup [Chopped]

Sugar- 1-1/4 Cups

Baking Cocoa- 2/3 Cups

Baking Soda- 6 tsp

Baking Powder- 4 tsp

Salt- 5 tsp

 

Additional Ingredients (for each batch)

 

Buttermilk – 2 cups

Eggs -2

Red food coloring – 2 tsp

Butter and maple syrup

 

Method

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking cocoa, baking soda and salt all together.
  • Place 2 cups in each of five resalable plastic bags or containers.
  • Store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months

To prepare pancakes

  • Pour the mixed ingredients into a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, eggs and food coloring.
  • Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Pour batter by 1/4 cupful’s onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top.
  • Cook until the second side is golden brown.
  • Serve with butter and syrup.

 

Mocha Cashew Butter

Ingredients                                                              Quantity

 

Salted Cashews -3 cups

Softened Butter- 1/2 cup

Semisweet Chocolate Chips- 1/2 cup

Instant Coffee Granules -2 tsp

Water -2 tsp

Salted Cashews (optional)

 

Method

  • Place cashews in a food processor.
  • Cover and process until finely ground.
  • Add half of the butter; process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, coffee granules, water along with remaining butter.
  • Cook and stir over low heat until smooth.
  • Stir into cashew mixture.
  • Top with additional cashews if desired.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

 

Mother Christmas Cake

Ingredients                                                              Quantity

 

Chopped Peeled Tart Apples (about 2 large) -3 cups

Sugar -2 cups

Apple Juice – 1/2 cup

Eggs -3

Vegetable Oil -3/4 cup

Vanilla Extracts- 1 tsp

All-purpose Flour -3 cups

Apple Pie Spice (Cinnamon)-2 tsp

Salt -1 tsp

Coarsely Chopped Pecans -2 cups

Candied Red Cherries, halved- 1/2 pound

Candied Green Cherries, halved- 1/2 pound

Diced Candied Pineapple – 1/2 pound

Salted Cashews (optional)

 

Method

  • Line three 8×4-inch loaf pans with waxed paper
  • Grease the paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar and apple juice; let stand for 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine the eggs, oil and vanilla.
  • Add to apple mixture; mix well.
  • Combine the flour, apple pie spice, baking soda and salt; add to apple mixture and mix well.
  • Fold in pecans, cherries and pineapple.
  • Pour into prepared pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  • Remove waxed paper.
  • Cool completely.

How are Swiggy Coupons helpful?

Swiggy offers online food ordering and delivering to your doorstep. In India, it is headquartered in Bengaluru. Swiggy was founded by Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy, Rahul Jaimini in the year 2014. Bootstrapped till last January, the food tech startup was present in just a few neighbourhoods of Bengaluru, with Koramangala giving a major chunk of the business. Today, Swiggy has raised its business plan to eight cities and more than 9,000 restaurants that allows them to function with ease and deliver their orders in minimum time. Swiggy works as your food providing buddy and understands your cravings for food at odd hours. They do not question your food requirements and get you, your favorite meal within few taps on your smartphone. After all who can say no to a hungry stomach. You need not worry about your food longing when Swiggy is around the corner and of course on your smartphone! There are days when you reach home, tired and stressed and the last thing you wish to do is to cook food for yourself or your family. Such crisis calls for Swiggy! You can sit and relax in your recliner and wait for your order to arrive magically on your doorstep. All thanks to the delivery boys of Swiggy! They are fast and accurate with directions. They are there with your food at just the right time, even before your food gets cold. There are another innumerable benefits attached to this amazing online food company – Swiggy Offers the flexibility to its customers to order as per their requirement without any restrictions of “minimum order” policy. To make it more simple, you can order anything and everything as per your wish and you do not have to add anything extra just for the sake of completing the terms and conditions of “minimum order”.

With the kind of quality service provided by Swiggy, it has been completing around 2,000 orders a day with an average value of close to Rs. 300 per order. These figures are the true reflection of Swiggy’s reach and customer satisfaction. As their source of income, Swiggy charges around 15-25 percent commission from restaurant and hotel owners. Which means the users are safely kept at bay from extra charges. Although, happy customers somehow find the way to appreciate the service of Swiggy delivery boys by rewarding them with 15-20 rupees as a token of love. This kind of an arrangement has helped the users to get the maximum benefits out of their services and in return, Swiggy gets their feedback in the form of the money they receive from their customers. In addition to this, Swiggy also offers huge discounts to its customers if they order through their mobile application. You can choose your order and use Swiggy Coupons to avail various discounts on various restaurants and hotels. To not miss these amazing deals and discounts, you can get yourself registered on their website and get notified about these discounts and offers. This ensures that Swiggy’s customers make the best use of these benefits and save as much as possible. These offers can be availed either through Swiggy Coupons or by applying Swiggy promo codes which are available on their website as well as their mobile application.

 

 

Winter Menu at Chaayos!

Chaayos is almost a synonym for a tea cafe, there is no one better when it comes to serving hand crafted and blended teas and that too keeping in mind the Indian taste buds. For most Indians tea is their fuel to keep going, and you just can’t afford to go wrong with it, and Chaayos has really carved its name across the minds of tea lovers.

Not just tea, but Chaayos has always came across as a notch above the rest even when it comes to tea accompaniments. The sweets and savouries are just perfect always. What I personally love about their menu is the seasonal changes that they bring. Be it summers, monsoons or winters, Chaayos always brings in something special in their menu, which makes the visit to their outlet worth while.

With the winters setting in, Chaayos recently added 9 amazing menu items keeping the season in mind. With 2 varieties of tea, 2 desserts and 5 savoury items, the menu is a perfectly balanced one.

Gur Wali Chai and Tulsi Green Tea are the perfect companions for a breezy winter morning, afternoon or evening and you just can’t afford to miss it. Personally I found the Tulsi Green Tea extremely refreshing and comforting to the throat. Relish these teas with Paneer Bhurji Bun, which was an amazing preparation. Paneer bhurji loaded on soft buns makes for a delicious dish, I loved it. The Chicken Cutlet and Mutton Cutlet also need your attention as they both tasted really good, though again going by a personal choice I would any day prefer the Chicken Cutlet over Mutton. The Chicken Cutlets were nice, crispy on the outside, and soft and spicy on the inside.

Butter Chicken Kulhad with Masala Kulcha was another great preparation. Soft and succulent chicken chunks in rich tomato gravy served with masala kulchas made for an interesting combination and must be tried.

The best was the Open Keema Parantha, trust me you cannot have enough of this scrumptious dish. An open lachha parantha loaded with well cooked keema and some cheese is just what you need to comfort your taste buds. Simply done and simply delicious. Though eating it becomes a little messy, because its made and cut like a pizza, but because the parantha is soft, it keeps folding and you end up dropping the keema, but if you actually fold it right at the start and enjoy it as a small roll, you cannot go wrong, and also who minds getting a little messy when the food is so delicious.

The desserts too were simply done and yet very very tasty. A warm chocolate lava cake and banana-walnut cake, both of them were really good. Whereas the chocolate cake oozed out warm chocolate from inside, the banana-walnut cake was extremely soft and comforting.

To try this new menu, we went to the newly opened CP outlet and trust me this is one outlet of Chaayos that you shouldn’t miss visiting. Its by the far the most spacious and creatively done outlet. The vibrancy and energy of the place takes on you completely, and whether you wanna catch up with friends on a cup of tea and snacks, or a quick business meeting, or if you are alone and make tea and laptop your companion, this is the place for you. So for the place that it is and for the teas and food that they serve, Chaayos is a must visit place, so what are you waiting for..??

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Winter Recipes by Chef Anil Dahiya, Bristol Gurgaon

Healthy Easy to Make Winter Recipes

 

Pineapple Coconut Cashew Rice

Ingredients                                                    Quantity

Long grained rice                                      1 1/2 cups

Crushed pineapple chunks                      1 (20 oz. Can)

(In the form of pineapple juice)

Unsweetened coconut milk                     1 (13.5 oz. Can)

Sweetened coconut flakes                      3tsp.

Thai red curry paste                                1 tsp.

Garlic powder                                         1 tsp.

Onion powder                                           1/2 tsp.

Ground ginger                                         1/2 tsp.

Salt                                                           1/2 tsp.

Pepper                                                       1/8 tsp.

For Garnish

 

Ingredients                                                    Quantity

Lime juice                                                  3tsp.

(According to taste)

Salted roasted cashews                           1/2 cup

Chopped cilantro                                     1/2 cup

Freshly cracked salt and pepper

Method

  • Pour pineapple juice (collected from crushed pineapple) in a measuring cup. Add coconut milk in 3 equal cups – add water if necessary.
  • Transfer the liquid into a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer
  • Stir rice, coconut milk, sweetened coconut flakes, thai red curry paste and onion powder.
  • Bring it to a boil then cover and reduce heat to low (dial should be a little above lowest setting).
  • Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stir for 15 minutes and add water if necessary.
  • When rice is tender, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • When ready to serve (not before), stir in lime juice, cilantro and cashews.
  • Taste and season with freshly cracked salt and pepper and additional lime juice to taste if desired.

Tomato Halwa

Ingredients                                                    Quantity

Tomatoes                                                              10-12

Sugar                                                                      2 cups

Ghee                                                                      1/2 cup

Cashewnuts                                                          20

Raisins                                                                    2 tablespoons

Green cardamoms                                               6

Cloves                                                                     4

Tulsi leaves                                                            1/4 cup

Rose petals                                                          1/4 cup

Edible camphor (optional)                                1 a pinch

 

Method

·       Wash the tomatoes, remove the eye and make an incision on the lower side.

·       Boil water and blanch the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes. Drain, peel, deseed and chop.

·       Reserve the pulp with the juices. Grind the cardamom with 1 tablespoon sugar to a fine powder, sieve and keep aside.

·       Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and fry the Cashewnuts and Raisins to golden brown.

·       Wash and shred the Rose petals and Tulsi leaves and reserve.

·       Boil the sugar with ½-cup water and make a single-thread syrup and keep aside.

·       Heat the ghee in a wide kadai (utensil), roast the cloves in it, till they start to crackle.

·       Add the tomato pulp and cook till the liquid dries up. Cook on low heat.

·       Increase heat and add the hot syrup slowly.

·       Reduce to low heat, keep stirring to avoid burning and cook till it starts to leave the sides.

·       Sprinkle the Cardamom powder, Rose petals, Tulsi leaves and the Camphor.

·       Mix well

·       Garnish the halwa with fried Cashewnuts and Raisins and serve warm.

Bhutte ka Kees

Ingredients                                                    Quantity

 

Medium sized corns                                          4

Ginger                                                                 2-3 (1/2 inch)

Turmeric                                                             1 tsp.

Chilli powder                                                      1-2 tsp.

Mustard seeds                                                  1 tsp.

Oil                                                                       2 tsp.

Milk                                                                     1/2 cup

Water                                                                 1/2 cup

Lemon juice                                                       2 tsp.

Sugar                                                                 1/2 tsp.

Salt to taste

A pinch of Asafoetida (Heeng)

Chopped coriander and grated coconut for garnishing

Method

  • Grate the corn with a hand grater to make a coarse paste. (You can also use a food processor or mixer grinder but it will affect the taste. It tastes better if you use the hand grater)
  • Chop the ginger and green chilli finely.
  • Add oil in a pan. Add asafetida (heeng) and mustard seeds till it splutter.
  • Add green chillies and chopped ginger.
  • Add corn paste, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Stir it occasionally to make sure that no lumps are formed.
  • Cook it for approx.10-15 mins until the liquid in the corn paste gets dried off and the colour of the mixture changes to golden yellow.
  • Add milk and water. Continue stirring till its consistency becomes like halwa or upma.
  • Add sugar and lemon juice.
  • Garnish it with chopped coriander, grated coconut and serve hot.

Step into the world of Nouvelle Indian Cuisine and cook in style with the help of Asha Khatau!

From Asha Khatau’s kitchen to yours! With the thought of “expressing herself” in mind, the gourmet queen Asha penned her book, Nouvelle Indian Cuisine, which officially released on 30th November 2017.

“The book was a great way to express, what I believe is my unique style of cooking. I was not worried about what people would think. I played around with flavors, had fun, experimented, and at the end of it, tried to bring the world together on a plate” said Asha Khatau

Ms. Anuradha Paudwal said “Asha ji is family, she is like a little sister to me. She has done a great job in this book. I would also like to thank Amruta ji for removing some time from her hectic schedule & marking her gracious presence on our request. I wanted the best lady for the launch of this book. This book is not special just for its content but also the fact that she has entered her 60th year makes it even more special. As far as Amruta ji is concerned, all I can I say is that we have the very best lady as or the first lady, we are proud of you” 

Chef Vicky Ratnani said Definitely this book must go international because there are many people around the world who aspire to cook Indian food. I think the kind of dishes this book has are very trendy easy to make at home. This book is fabulous and one day I will surely cook these recipes”

Nouvelle Indian Cuisine by Asha Khatau, the latest book in The Best of Epicure series, Nouvelle Indian Cuisine by Asha Khatau, is a modern and experimental approach to traditional Indian cuisine.

Nouvelle Indian cuisine, which was inspired by French nouvelle cuisine, began over a decade ago and is now on its way to becoming mainstream. The hallmarks of this cuisine are dishes plated aesthetically in a modern style that are also lighter on the palate.

The recipes featured in this book use the best of traditional Indian flavours while combining them with modern culinary trends. In other words, Indian food prepared with western sensibilities and a modern style of plating and serving making it distinctively unique.

With over hundred delicious recipes to choose from, this book is sure to please the gourmets, foodies, and the young generation. These recipes are easy to master and equally impressive.

About Asha Khatau- Asha Khatau is a well-known figure in the field of gourmet vegetarian cooking. After twenty years of experience in providing memorable meals for her family and friends, Asha was persuaded to start her own cooking classes about eighteen years ago, which run under the name of ‘Epicure’. The classes feature regional cuisines from all over the world. She has also conducted cooking demonstration all over India as well as different parts of the world. During her extensive travels in India and abroad, she makes it a point to visit local bazaars and restaurants to taste authentic flavours and ingredients.

The success of her cooking classes inspired her to write her first book The Best of Epicure’s Vegetarian Cuisines of the World, which was awarded the ‘Best Vegetarian Book in the World’, at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2002, considered to be the Oscars of the cookery world, in the cookbook category.

She has delivered ten more books so far and each one of them is super-successes. Her book, Delectable Desserts of the World, has received an honorable mention at the World Media Awards 2006 in the Best Foreign Cookbook in the World category. Exciting Vegetarian Cuisines of the World placed her among the ‘Top Ten Chefs in the World’ for her research on vegetarian cuisines, at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards at Paris Book Fair 2011.

At a show celebrating 20 years of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards it was announced that Asha’s first book Vegetarian Cuisines of the World was chosen as one of the ‘Top 20 Books in the World’ and is amongst the ‘Best of the Best in the World’.

Her latest activity includes consulting to eminent caterers and restaurants in Mumbai, for menu planning as well as training people in international cuisines, designed to client needs. Her cookery videos are now available on YouTube. She also volunteers at SPJ Sadhana School and Om Creations.

 

Finally Indians can freely enjoy every sip of Sugarcane Juice with OMG! -Oh My Ganna

Healthy snacking is fastly catching pace in the country and has become an important part of our Lifestyle. This trend is pushing F&B companies to create innovative and better healthy options. Juices are the best way to ensure a healthy snacking habit. Considered as the King of juices, Sugarcane Juice is blessed with extremely high nutritional properties. Indians love their traditional beverage and are crazy for freshly extracted sugarcane juice served in glasses by vendors across the country. But with these available platforms hygiene is the biggest concern along with round the year availability. Taking up the challenge, Nutricane Beverages Pvt. Ltd., a young company committed to creating natural beverages in India announces the launch of its first bottled Sugarcane Juice OMG! (Oh My Ganna) with a non-refrigerated shelf life, same great taste and nutritional values as fresh sugarcane juice without adding any chemical preservatives.

With OMG! one should be able to sip a beverage without the guilt of consuming something unhealthy or synthetic, especially when we are blessed with such goodness in nature. OMG! is crafted to deliver our nostalgic memories of sugarcane juice in an innovative form while keeping the essence intact.

OMG! comes in a 250 ml recyclable glass bottle at an attractive price of INR 40/-.The super fluid has hit the market in two avatars –OMG! Cumin Crush – Sugarcane juice with cumin flavor and OMG! Ginger Groove –Sugarcane juice with ginger flavor.

The company is proud to introduce the King of juices to the Indian market. The wait for a revolutionary beverage which can become a part of our healthy lifestyle is now over. Thanks to the indigenously developed technology which has taken its inspiration from Make in India, Nutricane is able to offer India’s own real flavor in the most hygienic and refreshing form.

Sugarcane Juice is blessed with extremely high nutritional properties. It can treat Jaundice, beat dehydration, work as a deterrent to fight diseases like cancer, enhances immunity level and is good for glowing skin. If consumed in moderation, Sugarcane Juice is also helpful for diabetic patients. Due to its highly perishable nature, it cannot be preserved beyond a few hours, which has restricted the availability of canned sugarcane juice in India. OMG! will now allow Indian Consumers to enjoy every sip of this superfluid with a promise of hygiene, intact nutritional values and extended shelf life.

 

 

About Nutricane Beverages Pvt. Ltd:

Nutricane Beverages Pvt. Ltd http://www.nutricane.in/ was founded with the idea of offering Natural beverages that can truly provide the sip of goodness, taste of freshness, a healthy mix & a natural fix to the beverage consumers especially the rising millennial of India and other markets. Taking start-up innovation to next level, the company worked hard to craft the real flavor of the country by developing world class patented technology as a big beverage revolution.

 

The company dares to create niche categories in the beverage domain by picking real flavors of the country which will be crafted naturally in their purest form for consumers. OMG is the next big innovation in the F&B space, crafted naturally in India for the world. OMG is a refreshing, tasty, healthy, nutritional and natural product portfolio which is soon hitting the Indian Market.

Yerba Mate Tea Comes to India…!!

The Instituto Nacional de la Yerba Mate (INYM) has come to India with the agenda of opening its route to the Indian tea market by means of popularizing the benefits and scientific significance of the Argentine tea. The Residence of the Embassy of Argentina, Delhi recently hosted a high tea event  in the honorary presence of Instituto Nacional de la Yerba Mate (INYM) along with the esteemed participation of tea sommeliers, Tea Trails, Food Halls and distributors.

INYM recognizes the fact that like the people in Argentina, households in India have immense love for Tea and endorsesthe therapeutic effects of the tea, also dubbed as the drink of the Guarani Indians. Describing the beneficial qualities of Yerba Mate, ‘Jerónimo Lagier, Director, INYM said, “With a higher count of antioxidants, it is a greener version of the healthy Green Tea, which increases one’s immunity and also satisfies the taste buds – with the Indian blends such as Ginger, Cardamom, Tulsi, Ginger, Honey and Green Tea. Our purpose in India is to cement our relationship through this drink as we know that India also consists of a large demographic of tea drinkers.

The event marked the launch of Argentina’s National drink ‘Yerba Mate Tea’ in India. It was organized in a bid to commemorate Indian herbs and Yerba Mate Tea for its health-giving effects. Yerba Mate Tea is not only a delicious drink but also has ingredients that boost the body’s defences. The main event was followed by an elaborate tango performance and interaction session between the launch team and guests. Distributors and manufacturers of various other tea brands graced the event with their presence in obligation to partner with the Argentinian tea manufacturers.

The guest list for the evening tea included renowned food bloggers from Delhi , who imparted their expert advice on global tea culture and variety of teas as well as shared their valuable feedback on Yerba Mate Tea.  Ace tea sommelier, Anamika Singh, enriched the occasion with her special blends followed by a session on the world of brewing. The event had a bright attendance of tea enthusiasts who collectively praised the tea for its taste and nourishing effects.

Often considered as a ‘Greener Green Tea’, Yerba Mateis traced back to the late 14th century and is known as ‘The Gift of the Gods.’Yerba mate contains life sustaining vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll that is directly assimilated by the human body which, when combined provides with essential elements for good nutrition and shields againstailments such as Cancer, Diabetes and High Blood Pressures. Launch concluded on a high note with the traditional ‘Gourds’ which involves drinking Yerba Mate through a Bombilla Straw as customarily used by Argentine people.

I tried a variety of blends, Paradise and Beauty were the ones I liked the most. Yerba Mate is surely gonna be one of my preferred beverages now as I loved the aroma and taste.

 

Avoid a Storm in Your Teacup: Knowing Your Oolong from Your Matcha

While tea is most commonly associated with the British, its popularity across our own nation is on the rise. So it’s time to start getting to know your different types of tea, how and when to serve them and the different benefits that they can have on your health. For now, let’s stick to three of the most commonly consumed varieties of tea: black teas, green teas and tisanes.

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Black Tea

Black tea is the most widely tried type of tea in the West. It is made of young tea leaves that are picked at a young age, withered, rolled, fully oxidised, and fired. Who knew such an extensive process went into making the leaves that fill tea bags in our local supermarkets and grocery stores? Different blends are available. This is a trend that has been carried out by the British for many years. Certain strengths and qualities are chosen for different tastes. For example, you may get a strong breakfast tea or a light afternoon tea. If you have more sensitive taste buds, it’s good to bear in mind that teas from different regions have different characters and signature flavours. Some of the most popular signature teas hail from Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri. Others are processed in specific ways that affect the flavour. An example of this is Lapsang Souchong. The leaves for this tea are smoked over a pinewood fire to give the final result a deep, smoky flavour. When it comes to brewing your tea, it all comes down to personal taste. Some prefer to add sugar, others honey, some lemon. Most will add milk to black tea.

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Tisanes

Tisanes are floral or herbal teas. Technically, a “tea” has to originate from the Camellia sinensis plant, the label has been increasingly attached to blends created from other species of plant. These teas are more of a novelty, offering beautiful colours, aromas and flavours. There are seemingly endless varieties of tisanes available, from Chamomile options to laso Tea which claims to aid weight loss. So make sure to read up on whichever type you opt for in order to understand its ingredients, qualities and how its consumption may affect you.

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Green Tea

Green teas are easy to identify: the fact that they are not oxidised in the process of manufacturing them, they retain their natural colour. They are heat processed to eliminate the enzyme responsible for the oxidisation process that gives black tea its distinctive colour. Chinese varieties tend to have been roasted or pan fired, while Japanese varieties are more frequently steamed. Popular varieties of green tea to try out include matcha, Sencha, dragon’s well, and gyokuro. Make sure to do your research when it comes to storing your chosen type best. Some will taste much better when stored in cool temperatures or dark atmospheres.

Finding the best blend of tea for your personal tastes, whether black, green or tisane requires experimentation and plenty of trial and error. So it’s time to start exploring the world of tea!

 

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