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Food map - India

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Must try these local dishes when travelling in India

Kashmir: Sweet sheermal, Haaq, Dum alu

Punjab: Chole-bhatura, Kulcha, Makki roti, Sarson saag, Tandoori roti, Missi roti, Rajma, Lassi, Halwa, Kara prasad, Parantha (plain and will stuffing) More...

Feel good with bhut jolokia

bhut jolokia red chilly assamSometimes all it takes for a jolt of endorphins to the head is a quick dose of chilli peppers. Not only do they release endorphins, research also suggests they work as aphrodisiacs. For the biggest burst of blazing spiciness, try the hottest pepper in the world—bhut jolokia, or the “ghost pepper”. Known for years to the Assamese, the pepper became internationally famous after making it to the Guinness World Records 2007 book as the hottest pepper in the world.

 

Vaishnav Bengali cuisine - Thakurbari bhoj

Vaishnav cuisine in Bengali food - Thakurbari bhoj

Bengalis value their own cultural cuisine, especially Thakurbari bhoj cooking...

BarunMallick, scion of the Posta based Mallick family, whose household puja celebrates its 155th year in 2008, shares, 'Heritage demands that puja cuisine is completely vegetarian, comprising largely of bhog (prasad) that is handed out to devotees, daily.'

This vegetarian fare bears the imprint of a glorious past. 'Thakurbari cuisine comprises the best of West Bengal's food tradition - mildly flavoured and soft textured,' says Anjan Chatterjee who owns speciality restaurant Oh! Calcutta. More...

Taking a Tea tour in the Himalayas

Makaibari tea estate, Kurseong

Matt Gross finds his way around tea estates in the Himalayas to recommend a visit:

Flying to a remote corner of India and braving the long drive into the Himalayas may seem like an awful lot of effort for a good cup of tea, but Darjeeling tea isn't simply good. It's about the best in the world, fetching record prices at auctions in Calcutta and Shanghai, and kick-starting the salivary glands of tea lovers from London to Manhattan.

In fact, Darjeeling is so synonymous with high-quality black tea that few non-connoisseurs realize it's not one beverage but many: 87 tea estates operate in the Darjeeling district, a region that sprawls across several towns (including its namesake) in a mountainous corner of India that sticks up between Nepal and Bhutan, with Tibet not far to the north.

Each has its own approach to growing tea, and in a nod to increasingly savvy and adventurous consumers, a few have converted bungalows into tourist lodging, while others are accepting day visitors keen to learn the production process, compare styles and improve their palates — a teetotaler's version of a Napa Valley wine tour, but with no crowds.

The men who run the estates are royalty — and they know it. When visiting their domains, you are at their disposal, not the other way around. At times, this can be frustrating; at others, delightfully frustrating.

I had my first such encounter — the latter sort — at Makaibari, an estate just south of the town of Kurseong, around 4,500 feet above sea level. More...

Cheers to Grape juice for health

Grape juice can help avert heart disease. While red wine in moderation is said to relax blood vessels and increase HDL levels, the ‘good cholesterol. Grape juice also has resveratrol and flavonoids which make red wine therapeutic. Especially the juice from red and purple Concord grapes. Ayurvedic wines like Draksha-aristha use grape juice as their base. More...

Discovering Thailand

On my first day in Thailand an array of colors, sounds, sights, textures, and most particular of all, tastes, bombarded my senses. I remember we sat around a circle at a neighborhood park to practice our Thai and for snacks we had a delicious assortment of fried worms, ants, maggots, and other local delicacies. More @ Matador.com

 

Ayurvedic wines?

Rajiv Kaushik, son of an Ayurvedic doctor, has taken to winemaking as a career. When the debate is hot about differences between Old-world and New-world wines, we notice that Ayurvedic wines, such as in Arishtha and Asava prepartaions have been around for over five millenia! They have recorded health benefits and are still used as patent medicine.

Son of an Ayurvedic doctor, he uses Vedas as the back ground for the history and formulation of wine. 'I had been studying various processes to make a wine that would go well with spicy Indian food and did research for 4 years.'
Ayurvedic Wines are an Indian entity. Have always been so. There alcohol content is restricted to about four percent, and they are all highly potent medicines, says Ayurvedic practitioner Dr Sharath Kumar.

Ayurvedic wines for good health

Why is it that while the Indian wine industry is busy bringing in French and Italian technology, winemakers and grape varietals to India, the treasure of Ayurvedic wines is quite lost to them?

Rajiv Koushik may be a one off case, but the big names such as Chateau Indage, Grovers, United Breweries, and even the upcoming names such as Vintage Wines, Indus Wines, Chateau D'Ori and others in the industry have yet to explore the potential of Ayurvedic wines for true health benefits, and showcase India's ancient wisdom to wine enthusiasts.

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