Category: Food

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Best restaurants in Himachal Pradesh for Indulging in the True Local Flavours

Those phantasmal snow-capped peaks, the mesmerising green forested meadows, the fluffy clouds joining the mist from the hills, the scent of pine, fir and deodar, the crickets and birds chirping to break the silence of nature — if you are eager to experience this magic of nature then Himachal is the place to be.

The plethora of activities such as skiing, camping, paragliding, zorbing and various other adventure sports. One major attraction of visiting Himachal would be to taste the delicious earthy flavours of the state. Himachal Pradesh has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers. The gastronomic local delicacies are served in all popular restaurants.

Most of the restaurants serve a delicious blend of local ingredients and exotic flavours. The dishes are prepared with nouveau culinary techniques mixing the aroma of a rich blend of local spices. The most popular restaurants in Himachal Pradesh use fresh organic ingredients availed from local production.

There are picturesque mountain restaurants that give you an opportunity to soak up the legendary scenic beauty while you titillate your taste buds with rumbustious culinary delights of the wilderness from the land of lofty Himalayas. Set foot in Himachal prepared to get floored with food that really touches your soul!

Evergreen Restaurant, Kasole

Evergreen restaurant, Kasole, Himachal Pradesh

Evergreen Restaurant located in Kunihar, Kasole, Parvati Valley is famous for the amazing view that it offers along with food. It serves delicious Chinese and continental spreads. Located in a small hill town, this restaurant makes you feel relaxed with soothing food mixed with calm scenery all around. This restaurant is rated in the top 10 restaurants in Kasole.

Renaissance, Manali

Renaissance,Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Renaissance Manali presents a homely, warm and relaxed atmosphere. This restaurant is famous for customising your orders based on your preferences. It commands alluring views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Enjoy a range of Mexican and Italian specialities along with authentic Himachali food. Try their chicken hot and sour soup and hot chocolate among hot beverages in a cool chilled out ambience. This restaurant is located in Old Manali Road, Near Manu Temple.

Café Simla Times, Shimla

Café Simla Times gives you the opportunity to grab a book with the best cup of coffee in Shimla. It is one of the oldest coffee shops in Shimla. The interiors of the café is fascinating with handwritten posters and pamphlets pasted on the walls.

Cafe Simla Times, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

A cosy café with a bar to sit with your beer and watch the mesmerising sunset across the hills while you listen to some jazzy live music. Try out the best of Café Simla such as wood fired oven pizzas, shakes, and desserts and enjoy the live local bands performing over the weekends.

Goofa Ashiana, Shimla

Goofa Ashiana, located at the Ridge, The Mall at Shimla serves delectable Asian and Indian meals. The combination of cosy ambience with a picturesque setting along with delicious fast food offerings makes it a very popular eating place for guests.

Goofa Ashiana, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

The mouth-watering menu of Goofa Ashiana includes authentic Chinese and North Indian cuisines. You can even get some hot Gulab Jamuns, samosas, sandwiches, pakodas, cakes and patties. It is a landmark building in Shimla because of its gazebo-like shape. This place makes for a good early family dinner or maybe a sumptuous breakfast.

Cecil Restaurant, Shimla

The British reminiscent of aura and glamour, Cecil Restaurant, is among Shimla’s elite corners. This all-day dining out restaurant in Longwood Shimla still breathes the fashionable royalty that it was once. The food spread includes international, pan-Indian along with palatable local Himachali dishes. Get mesmerized by the stunning views and the combinations of pizzas, pastas, non-veg spreads, soups and appetizers.

Cecil restaurant, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Having an English style High Tea under the vast skylight in Cecil’s signature atrium lounge or some freshly brewed coffees, or maybe some premium alcoholic drinks along with a wide menu of a variety of snacks. Professional service and good food make this place coveted. Try Mexican, Chinese, Continental or Thai — you will be impressed and left speechless. The colonial elegance with the exotic curries and soups makes Cecil a must visit restaurant.

La Plage, Manali

The immensely popular restaurant La Plage in Manali has a Chic and sophisticated interior with wooden furniture and large windows that allow a lot of sunshine. Gorge on the authentic French cuisine sitting amidst brightly coloured interiors.

La Plage, Manali, Himachal Pradesh

This spacious eatery looks inviting and is known for its range of delightful French cuisines. The dishes prepared along the lines of authentic recipes with a blend of  genuine spices exudes the real robust French flavours. If you are the exploring type and in love with what’s new in food, do try this place. The chef will walk you through the menu and help you choose what is best. And the best will not cease to surprise you.

Deyzor Hotel Restaurant, Kaza

Deyzor Hotel Restaurant is a charming eating place in Kaza and is the best in Kaza. The friendly, polite and professional staff serves some amazing dishes. The restaurant has a warm, colourful, cosy and inviting décor. The restaurant gets even more interesting with the quirky and inspiring quotes, facts and trivia pasted all across the restaurant. Expect some fresh food cooked with love and care.

Deyzor hotel, Kaza, Himachal Pradesh

This place serves delightful Indian as well as continental fares. The desserts are to die for. Taste some apple pie to believe it. There is Simba the St. Bernard to win you over in case you are a pet lover. The restaurant follows environment friendly policies and bans the use of single-use plastic. Have a tete-a-tete with Skalzang, the owner, to get to know some of his archery feats.

Other Restaurants to Try in Himachal

Also try out the Moonpeak of McLeodganj, Dharamshala around Dalai Lama’s temple path; Himalayan Café of Kaza, for a serene look at the lake; Lazy Dog Lounge of Manali for its surrounding greenery; and Rasta Café in the Kullu Valley for authentic recipes prepared with organically sourced ingredients.

You may like to read An inspiring and rejuvenating experience – Best Places of Interest

Have you had the spiciest food in India?

Don’t bother skimming through this list of the spiciest dishes of India if you don’t have the hots for the hot.

1. Phaal Curry

It’s not everyday that chefs wear gas masks while whipping up a dish. But when they do the dish in question has to be Phaal curry. Made from Bhut Jolokia, the hottest chilli in the world, Phaal holds the distinction of being the hottest curry in the world. Even daredevils may ‘phaal’ after downing this one.

2. Pork Vindaloo

My grandma says that the longer you keep that murraba bottled up, the better it tastes. Google says that the same principle works for Pork Vindaloo. Apparently, the meat gets properly marinated and tastes better the next day. I don’t know what difference it makes because the dish is so hot that it feels like shovelling lava balls into your mouth.

spiciest food, Pork Vindaloo
Source: flickr

3. Kozhi Curry

If you have a thing for spicy food and that Syrian Catholic girl, think no further. Marry her. Chances are that you’ll find spicy chicken curry on your plate for most days of your life. An integral part of the Syrian Catholic Community of Kerala, the spiciest curry in India will take your taste buds for one helluva ride.

4. Chilli Beef

It takes a real Malayalee to polish off a plate of chilli beef without feeling the heat. For others, it can be quite a fiery rendezvous. From the tongue, the palate, the food pipe, the tracts… it’s as if the Ghost Rider’s blazing down through your system… charring down everything in his way. I’m surprised Malayalees still exist in Maharashtra. #BeefBan

Chilli beef, spiciest food

Source: recipesaresimple

5. Chicken 65

According to popular belief, this delicacy was the 65th item in a menu at a military canteen in South India and hence the name. Going by the food orgasm it evokes, this delicacy should have been named chicken 69. Though I wonder what happened to uthapam 73, payasam 17 and idli 23?

6. Bhut Jolokia Curries and Chutneys

The next time you take out your backstabbing colleague out for a treat make sure you heavily tip the chef so that he’s generous with the use of Bhut Jolokia in your colleague’s dish. You won’t have to stand the sight of him/her for at least a week.

PS – The government of India has used Bhut Jolokia grenades to safely immobilize terrorists.

7. Andhra Chilli Chicken

The people of Andhra know how to do justice to a name and how. This recipe has chilli written all over it. Before marinating and simmering the chicken in green chilli paste, the chicken is killed by force-feeding it green chillies. I need no further convincing about Andhra being the largest producer of green chillies in India.

8. Kolhapuri Chicken

There’s more to Kolhapur than Kolhapuri silks, Kolhapuri chappals’s the Kolhapuri Chicken. Keep a bowl of rasgulla handy before you sink your fangs into this fiery piece of chicken.

9. Madras Curry

The sight of meatballs swimming in a bowl of red-coloured sauce is every spicy-food lover’s delight. If you don’t mind the consequential runny nose, watery eyes and sweaty brow, then this one’s a pure delight. Shouldn’t they be changing its name to Chennai Curry? Just saying.

Madras Curry
Source: taste

10. Misal

Primarily consisting of a combination of the spiciest dry red chillies, green chillies and black pepper powder, the heat level of this popular roadside delicacy can range from ‘mildly hot’ to ‘shove a fire extinguisher in my mouth hot’. Burn baby burn!

11. Chicken Chettinad

They say that chillies unleash endorphins which in turn make you happy. For me though, a mere mention of Chicken Chettinad does the trick. This cuisine from Tamil Nadu is one of the spiciest and aromatic cuisines in India. Apart from a satiated appetite, it also leaves you with a scorched tongue.

12. Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Pepper is sometimes called comfort food. But it doesn’t take long for this pepper to jolt you out of your comfort zone. Have this side dish in excess and you end up writhing on the floor.

13. Laal Maans

You won’t be able to savour this fiery mutton curry from Rajasthan for long because the chillies won’t allow you to. Statutory warning – The spices could sear off a quarter of your taste buds.

14. Kashmiri Chicken

What do you do to experience a piece of ‘Paradise on Earth’ sitting in the scorching heat of Delhi? Simple. Just order a plate of Kashmiri Chicken. Although there are other spicier treats that you can lay your hands on, what sets this one apart from the rest is the tinge of sweetness. Sweet!

15. Saoji Chicken Curry

This hot delicacy comes from one of the hottest cities in India, Nagpur. Saoji Chicken Curry is a rich amalgamation of the hottest spices you can think of. My advice to you before you dig into this mouth-numbing spicy treat – brace for impact!

Saoji Chicken curry, spiciest food
Post Courtesy: Scoopwhoop

~ Amit Purohit, Digital Marketer (2016-present)

Exotic and spicy Saoji food from Nagpur has a distinctive taste that has made its place in every nagpurian’s life. The cuisine also called Saoji Waradi/Saoji Chicken/Saoji Mutton is famous for its hot flavours. Its irresistible taste gets into your mind and soul once you taste this food. It is a must try for all spicy food lovers and those who try will surely get addicted to its taste. The special ingredients used in the preparation of curry for Saoji food include poppy seeds (Khus-Khus), powdered coconut, black pepper, dry coriander, bay leaves, grey cardamom, cinnamon, cloves etc.

Saoji food is gravy dish mainly prepared as non-vegetarian chicken and mutton dish; one can also prepare vegetarian dishes using the same saoji gravy/curry. The vegetarians can enjoy Potato, Paneer or Soya Chunk dishes in the Saoji Curry to relish its authentic taste(however non-veg is highly recommended).
The best thing about Saoji food, although being very spicy, is not harmful to the body and does not lead to any digestive problems, as the process of cooking has been modified to overcome any health problems.(Seriously none problems at all)

~ Rutvick Pedamkar, Add Spice To Food Adds Spice To Life.

Have you had the spiciest food in India? If yes, how was your experience?

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10 Appetizing Trends in Confectionery Packaging

The packaging is the essential element of any product as it provides protection to the product from any external damage and presents it beautifully to the buyers. Due to this, every market from confectionary to toys, and from food products to daily use products, focus on creating an appealing package for their product.

The need for effective packaging is more significant in confectionary products because the flavour and aroma need to be protected. Furthermore, confectionary packaging also helps in providing the healthy and hygienic end product to the customers.

Along with all of this, the most attracting confectionary packaging seduces the taste buds of viewers, especially kids who already love candies and chocolates! In this way, it boosts the sale of the products as well.

Due to its so many benefits, confectionary manufacturers follow various packaging trends to make their product appetizing.

Let’s have a look at top 10 confectionary packaging trends:

  1. A Special Focus on Aesthetics and Design:

With the aim to attract more consumers, confectionary companies are focusing on the aesthetics and design elements of the packaging. Yes, a packet is no more a mere protection layer, but it is a tool to market the product and communicate with the buyers.


This is the main reason why you can easily find attractive designs, innovative aesthetics and unique texts on your sweets packet. Confectionary products like candies, lollipops and chocolates focus more on such things to attract kids.

2. Sustainable Packaging is Stealing the Limelight:

As people are becoming more familiar with their duty to save the environment, they have become more inclined towards sustainable and environment-friendly packaging. In such a scenario, confectionary brands are moving towards plastic-free sustainable packages.

sustainable packaging

Big companies like Nestle are substituting the plastic straws with paper and more biodegradable alternatives. Like this, many prominent companies are moving to either paper-based or recycle-able ways of packaging.

3. Single-Serving Packaging Fulfils Everyone’s Dream:

People who avoid taking sugar-based products for maintaining their diet plan can now have a taste of it! The single-serve packaging is making it easy for people to buy confectionaries that contain only a bite or one piece of the product.

single -serve packaging

These packets are helping such people in controlling their sweet cravings. Moreover, kids who can’t keep their hands off the chocolate packet after opening it can be satisfied as they eat the entire product from a single-serve packet!

4. Mini-Sized Packaging for a Healthy Lifestyle:

Mini-sized packets are much similar to the single-serve trend. The basic difference is that some confectionery products can be separated for single packages, while others can’t. For example, a big muffin or a big pastry won’t fulfil the health purpose of single-serve packaging.

mini-sized packaging

So, such product manufacturers are launching mini versions of the same products which health-conscious people can eat in one go without much calories intake.

5. Stir and Eat Packaging is Customers’ Favourite:

Confectionary products that contain moist and crunchy ingredients are moving towards stir and eat packaging. This type of packaging allows them to keep the wet and dry ingredients of the product separate until a person mixes it to eat.

These packages also attract kids as they love to do something different rather than just opening a packet and eating the product.

6. Multi-Unit Packaging for Sharing Buddies:

Multi-unit packaging is also in the trend as it is perfect for people who avoid visiting the markets on a regular basis. These packets contain many small packets of the same product such as lollipops, chocolates, wafer biscuits etc.

Multi-unit packages are ideal for sharing, and buyers can also save some amount by buying a single bulk packet instead of small ones. Mostly, all the confectionary brands have launched multi-unit packages for storing purposes.

7. Easy to Open Convenience Packaging:

Packages that are convenient to open and store the product for future consumption are considered best among the customers. People are so busy in their life that they find 3-4 layer packaging quite annoying to open especially when they are feeling hungry or in a hurry.

So, confectionary companies are launching easy to open packages that even kids can open without any extra efforts. Plastic stand-up pouches are one such example. They are lightweight as well as easy to open and use.

8. Reseal-able and Portable Packages Cut the Struggle:

Usually, confectionary products like sweets contain a syrupy substance which makes it quite difficult for people to carry them outside their house. This becomes a much bigger problem, especially when the packet or box is opened once. Considering this, many confectionary manufacturing companies are moving to this packaging trend.

The packets which are re-closable and easily portable are gaining popularity nowadays. You can find many packets that can be resealed with Velcro, zippers etc. People can easily carry such packets to their workplace or kids can take them to school without any mess.

9. Health-Focused Messages on the Front-of-Pack:

People check the amount of glutton, fats and other health-related elements before buying confectionaries. People are interested in knowing “what is not added in the product” more than “what is added in the product”. That’s why companies are adding this health-related information on the front of the pack to gain more attention.

messages on front of the pack

You must have seen messages like “100% glutton free” on the front of many confectionary packaging. This is done mainly to highlight that healthy aspect of the product to gain more health-conscious customers.

10. Box Packaging for Serving Gifting Purposes:

Many confectionaries manufacturers also launch big beautiful boxes that contain a few products from their company. These boxes are specially designed for gifting purposes. You have seen many boxes of famous companies like Cadbury, Haldirams etc. during the festive season.

The trend of these packages in the confectionery market is very strong because sweets and other such products are mainly exchanged by people on festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas etc. So, innovative boxes containing varied items are produced by all the big companies to gain benefits of the festive season.

Functional Food and Beverages: Is it the future of Human Health?

The food and beverage industry is ever evolving. It is also an industry that is directly related to human health and wellbeing. The diversity of the industry has a new and growing trend these days and that is the concept of functional foods and beverages.

It is also a fact that people these days are more prone towards adopting natural and convenient ways to improve and maintain their health. While food industries and manufacturers are responding to this growing demand by bringing into the market, ever increasing numbers of new and unique functional food and drinks products.

What actually are functional foods and drinks?

In simple terms, functional foods and drinks are dietary components or foods that are manufactured to provide additional health benefits on consumption beyond the basic nutrition that is inherently there in foods. These food and beverages aids in taking better control of one’s health as each one is meant to provide specific health benefits.

dietary supplement, functional food
Image is for representational purpose only

Dietary supplements or functional food and beverages have biologically active components that imparts health benefits or you may say desirable physiological effects. So, in short, a functional food or drink is a health food that claims to have health promoting or disease preventing properties in addition to the natural supply of nutrients.

The term which was first used in Japan in the 1980’s is now fast emerging and gaining wide recognition amongst all health conscious people around the globe.

So, to sum up we can say that functional foods are not eaten or drunk for the sake of taste or any emotional or traditional reasons but are consumed for their practical health and energy values.

What are the types of functional food and beverage products available in the market? What are their health claims?

In general, functional foods are the ones that included biologically and scientifically processed foods that are fortified with health promoting nutrients. Fermented products with live culture are termed as probiotics, example is yoghurt.

Functional beverages are ready to drink products that are non-alcoholic and may have non-traditional ingredients like herbs, amino acids and vitamins. These beverages are meant to promote energy, immunity and heart health.

Real fruit juices are functional foods.

Functional drinks are preferred more and in demand, as these are ready to drink, easy to carry and convenient in addition to them promoting health.

All functional food and drink products have labels pasted on them telling us about their health benefits and the reasons why we should have them. For example there are certain cereals that claim to have extra fiber and having food with extra fiber can help in reducing the risks of developing certain cancer types.

Also concurrent health issues keep on influencing the market. People these days are very inclined towards fat loss and weight management, heart diseases, gut health, cancers, diabetes and more. The possible means and ways to defend one-self from these health hazards leads to the use of more nutritious and functional foods and drinks.

Functional foods and drugs have been categorized in four types and these are: Whole Foods, Fortified Foods, Enhanced Foods and Enriched Foods.

The health benefit of each type is labelled on the product packaging along with its effects on our body. Say for example, calcium fortified juices is said to reduce the chances of osteoporosis and probiotic enriched foods and drinks are good for gut health and helps keeping it healthy and functional optimally at all times.

Understanding the current trend in India

In the modern era, there has been a growing attention on alternative ways to prevent and treat diseases. Neutaceuticals is one thing that is used extensively for the purpose. The term – Neutaceuticals refers to the link between the two domains – nutrition and pharmaceuticals. The human micro biota plays a vital role in maintaining health. Neutaceuticals have the ability to change the human micro biota for health benefits.

The global nutra-ceutical industry is one of the rapidly growing industries in the world today. Presently, United States, Japan and Europe accounts for almost 93% of the total industry and as these regions are approaching maturity, the current focus is one the emerging markets like China and India.

The growth and popularity of the industry in India is pretty fast and all can be attributed to health awareness and inclination towards nutrition. The Indian lifestyle is rapidly changing. With more preference of processed foods, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food choices, it has led to many lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardio vascular diseases and poor gut health. As a consequential result, Indian consumers, particularly the upper middle class and the high income group are preferring nutra-ceutical against prescribed drugs. They have slowly started to understand that food alone cannot fulfil their requirement of all vital nutrients and hence they are adopting to functional foods and supplements for disease prevention and healthy living.

To give consumers what they want, the food industry continues to innovate with new functional food and beverage products. The growing trend and the numerous benefits that we can reap out of these food and drink varieties makes us obviously think that functional food and beverage might be the future of human health.

Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt is the founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences, a passionate research scientist with doctorate in pharmaceutical biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University. His expertise lies in developing innovative products and processes by application of biotechnology, nanotechnology and fermentation technology. He is a proud recipient of Young Scientist Award and research grant from the Department of Science & Technology of Government of India.

He says, “Being a biotechnologist by profession I am convinced that microbiome is the most significant part of our body and plays a key role in our health. I believe that the focus of the future research for human health will revolve around microbiome.”

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