Friday, March 25, 2016

A glimpse about Food Bloggers Association, Bangalore (FBAB)

Pic courtesy: FBAB

Its been a long time I have joined one of the popular foodie groups in Bangalore and I always wanted to share my thoughts on the same. It’s about Food Blogger’s Association Bangalore (FBAB); a great platform for food bloggers in Bangalore. Within a short span of time, FBAB became a popular name among bloggers and restaurants. My journey with FBAB started in last October and ever since I became an active member of it. We have heard about ‘chai pe charcha’, it was one such moment when Chef BB, Naveen Suresh and Nameesh Rajamane came up with a wonderful idea and decided to start a platform where bloggers, especially food bloggers get recognized. 
Founders of FBAB (clockwise) - Nameesh N Rajamane, Bibhuti Bhusan Panigrahy (Chef BB), Naveen Suresh
First meetup of FBAB was in Rasta CafĂ© in Dec 2014 and now day-by-day new bloggers and restaurant reviewers are joining in this group. Now they have 4.6k+ members in Facebook group with almost 200 registered members. As a Food blogger and restaurant reviewer, FBAB has always given me freedom to express myself through my reviews and also the members are now like in a big joint family.  I have made so many friends through FBAB, we support each other for everything and share our knowledge when it comes to food. Kudos to the founding members, as all three of the admins is working professionals and they put so much of their time and effort to organize a meetup. 
With Celebrity Chefs- Abhijit Saha and Chef Shaun Kenworthy
Meetups are organized in a professional way and this weekend they will be having the 27th FBAB meetup. Way to go FBAB team! I am proud to be part of an amazing association like FBAB. Thank to all the members who supports me.

To know more about Food Bloggers Association, Bangalore, check out - FBAB
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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My experience with ITC Foods

Yesterday evening I got some goodies from the ITC ‘Kitchens of India’ along with a note from the CEO of ITC Foods, Mr.V L Rajesh. For me it’s just not a box full of joy, I would like to call it as ‘Kitchen of treasures’.  I love ITC products ever since I attended a bloggers meet in ITC Gardenia and that's when I came to know more about ITC foods. Till then I was not a regular customer and always experiment with multiple brands.  Now I am a loyal ITC customer and I know ITC products are safe for me and my family.

A world class food brand which has some of the products like Kitchens of India, Aashirvaad, Sunfeast, Dream cream, Bingo, Delishus, Yumitos, Candyman, GumOn, B Natural and Dark Fantasy. Some of the ITC products which I love and never get bored are B Natural Jamun juice which is one of the best juice and my family favorite, Dal Bukhara which is made of slow cooked black lentils in a tomato gravy, very rich in taste and feast for all the senses, then other favorites are ‘ready to eat’ Awadhi Badam Halwa and Moong Dal Halwa; perfect 5-star restaurant style desserts which are cooked to perfection and rich in flavors. Being a Home Chef making Halwa at home is such a pain and I am sure once you try these products, you will never waste your time in preparing Halwa at home.

I was surprise to see two of my favorite stuffs in the gift box- Apple & cinnamon fruit conserve and Mango Jeera Chutney, I can’t wait to try these along with Yakhani Pulao and Paneer Darbari. These products are packed using ‘Retort Process Technology’ in which the food is sterilized and then packed with a special four layer pouch which keeps the food free from any damages or environmental contamination. This is the brand which I can blindly trust and recommend to my friends and families. Thanks a bunch ITC team for sending these goodies.

Few months ago, I was invited for ‘ITC Foods You Ask We Answer’ for the bloggers- an interactive session with ITC and selected bloggers from Bangalore. It was the time when one of the top noodles brand was facing problem after finding excessive amount of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) content in it. Whole nation was shocked to hear about this and just like any other person even I was hesitant to try any other brand. I stopped eating noodles and sticked to other stuffs. That’s the time I attended ‘ITC Foods You Ask We Answer’ where I got answers for my questions regarding the contents, quality of products, hygiene and more than anything else ITC’s team effort like a joint family. 


Few pictures taken at ITC Foods Bloggers meet, 'You Ask, We Answer'

Everyone knows about YiPPee, but atleast once we would have thought how safe is this product? I was very lucky along with many other bloggers who got an opportunity to meet the CEO of ITC Foods, Mr. V.L.Rajesh. He was so down-to-earth person who clearly explained the history of ITC and his wonderful long journey in ITC. He explained us very well that how they create each product from ITC and the guidelines they follow before it reaches to the customer. Host of this event was one of the top Vloggers in Bangalore, Ms. Archana Doshi from Archana’s Kitchen. Her anchoring made it easy for the bloggers to interact well with the ITC team. Head of Marketing & Executive Committee Member at ITC Food, Ms. Kavita Chaturvedi narrated the story of YiPPee. She told us how they wanted to be unique in market and came up with an idea of ‘long, non sticky, tasty and safe’ noodles which is everyones favorite brand now- Sunfeast YiPPee noodles. She also showed us the test reports which only YiPPee has cleared all the criteria according to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). So YiPPee is absolutely safe. Anytime you can check the lab reports which are available in  ITC website. Also go through the YouTube videos which shows the making of Sunfeat YiPPee noodles.

After the interactive session, Chef from ITC team showed us dishes made of YiPPee noodles and also we had a cook-off event with 5-6 teams in which my team made a creative noodles pizza with delicious YiPPee noodles.

After the bloggers meet we had a buffet lunch with unique dishes and lip-smacking desserts from ITC Gardenia which gave me a foodgasm.  The taste of smoked Baingan Ka Bhartha and Tiramisu made of Sunfeast Dark Fantasy are still in my mouth.  They didn’t forget to give a basket full of goodies before we left the venue. My journey with ITC products started from that day.

Sunfeast Dream cream

I tried recreating Tiramisu with Sunfeast Dark Fantasy Coffee Fills and it was big hit.  Click here for the Tiramisu recipe
To know more about ITC and their products, please check out- ITC Limited

Once again, thanks a lot ITC team, for making us happy! 

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wahrabia Fest- An Arabian Food festival at Barbeque Nation, Bangalore

When it comes to Barbecue food, the first name comes to every Bangalorean's mind is Barbeque Nation. Since 2006 they are serving the hungry souls with an unlimited barbecue food and they were the trend setters in creating a new name in F&B business. I am a big fan of Barbeque Nation and when I got an invitation for a food tasting session for the on-going Wahrabia Fest, I was so happy. Thanks to two gorgeous ladies- Richa Seth and Tanvi Manjunath for inviting me for the Wahrabia fest.

Last Friday I went to Barbeque nation, JP Nagar outlet with my fellow foodie friends. Location is not difficult to find as it is very close to Dalmia circle and Google will navigate you to the place, if you are not sure about the route.

Inspired by the famous folk tales, Aladdin and Arabian Nights, once you enter the restaurant you will see a pleasant Arabian themed decor, pretty lanterns, Arabian food counters, staffs in Arabian costumes and a very good ambience. With its colorful and attractive decor which attracts the diners, next step will be to know more about the fest. Their courteous staff will give a brief description about the Wahrabia Fest and the special delicacies they serve to you. I opted for a non-veg buffet and while they were setting up the barbecue grill on the table, I got my first drink which was 'Aamchi Mango'; a raw mango drink with Vodka. It was little bit strong in taste as well as very refreshing; a much needed drink for this extremely hot climate.

One thing I always like about Barbeque Nation is their polite staffs. You need not to wait for long for any of the grills on barbecue table, they will ensure that whatever interests you, will be on the table.

Some of the highlights of the evening

Along with regular grills and starters, some of the starters from the special Arabian menu they served us were Egyptian Zuben (Grilled Paneer), Fiery BBQ Chicken drumstick, Samak Mashawi (Grilled Fish), Jujeh Kebab which is chunks of chicken pieces cooked to perfection in Arabian spices, Rubian Mashawi which is char grilled Prawns with Middle Eastern mild spices, Dabel Kabab (Minced lamb meat patties) are some of the starters I have tried from the special Arabian menu. For the vegetarians, they have scrumptious foods like Falafel pita pockets, Afelia Batata (Potato wedges), Sheesh Kudra (assorted grilled veg), Jalapeno Lime Mushrooms, Lebanese veg kabab, Sweet and smokey Pineapple, Crispy Corn, Zucchini Fasigratin etc.  I must say, this was a refreshing break from the regular Barbeque food we get in any of the restaurants in town.

Do not forget to check their live-counters for Arabian food which is one of the highlight of this fest. They serve traditional dishes like Chicken Shawarma, Mutton Shawarma, Riyash Mashawi (Barbecued lamb chops), Kesabi Dejaj (chunks of Chicken liver cooked in flavorful sauce with spices) and different meat skewers. Oh! I loved that delicious Chicken skewer. Chicken Shawarma was just okay. If you are a liver lover, you will definitely love Kesabi Dejaj as it has got the right amount of spices in it. Can anyone miss the mezze platter when you are in an Arabian fest? Try their cold mezze which comes with Fattoush, crispy Pita with Hummus, Mouttabal, Cheese Barrah which will be served on your table in a wooden platter. Hummus lacked the olive oil topping, but still it was a finger licking combo with the Pita strips.

Main dish section offered both Indian and Arabian salads, soups, curries and other stuffs. On the soup section there was Tomato and Okra veg soup and for the non vegetarians there was piping hot Shourabat Dajaj soup. I tried Nargisi Kofta along with Chicken biriyani, Murgh Angara and Farareej El Fahem (Chicken dish), which gave me foodgasm. For the fish lovers, they have a special dish on menu called Samak Harrah Al Shara. Do try it.

Next was my favorite section- Desserts. Any day desserts with different tastes and from different regions will boost my palate. I was not keen tasting the regular pies and pastries. So straight away I filled my plate with Middle eastern favorites like Baklava (layers of puff pastry with honey and chopped dry fruits) and Muhallabieh (creamy pudding topped with pomegranates, just like our Indian Phirni) along with some desi Gulab Jamuns and paan kulfi. Yummilicious Baklava and Muhallabieh are the must try desserts which should not be missed.

After a heavy dinner when we were about to leave, one of the waiter came with a hanging wooden box. Just like we Indians end our meal with a sweet maghai paan, this person made us a yummy role of Kataif Mihshi which is small pancake with mascarpone cheese and rose syrup filling. Pure bliss it was! Overall my evening was well spent with my fellow foodie friends and great food. So what are you waiting for? Check out the Wahrabia fest before it gets over and indulge in a pure Arabian foodgasm.

Wahrabia fest is happening from 2nd March and it will be there till 19th March, 2016, in all the Barbeque Nation outlets.

Barbeque Nation
#67, 15th Cross
6th B Main
For buffet pricing and reservations, please call - 080- 60600000/ 60600001
Checkout their website, Barbeque Nation

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