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Gastronomically Speaking


Food is a defining part of our lives and a marker of our identities. We figured this out from our edible obsessions during the pandemic of lockdowns. An anthology of food writing from Muslim South Asia underscores this reality.

Sourish Bhattacharyya



It took a pandemic to make humankind rediscover its umbilical affection for food. (Now that Rutger Bregman has elevated the collective noun ‘humankind’, I am delighted to reclaim it after its long exile on the charge of being a symbol of excessive political correctness!) Faced with an extended, exhausting spell of enforced unsociability, our social genes sought out their survival in the kitchen.

Almost as if on a cue, food became the new driver of conversation on social media, that ultimate purveyor of our civilisational concerns. Its channels were spilling over, like a Chinese banquet, with food memories, images and recipes. It was as if all of us on a cue were overcome by the need to communicate with one another through the medium of food. Social distancing didn’t allow us to share tables, so we turned to social media to share the day-to-day bounties of our tables. And those of us with children realised how easily—and diabolically!—the joys of spending quality time with children can translate into spending longer hours in the kitchen!

Talking about online food stardom, I will not forget easily how Dalgona Coffee, which is nothing but the whipped up ‘shaadiwallah’ coffee we all know too well, acquired a trumped-up social cachet during our own lockdown. It was impossible to miss the coffee whenever you logged on to Facebook or Instagram. Everyone—and her aunt—seemed to be making Dalgona Coffee!

Such stars kept being born and reborn day after day. One of them, as Emily Laurence wrote in Good Food, was banana bread. Sharing its recipe became a “transnational craze”, a behaviour that we may consider irrational in ‘normal’ times. As Claire Chambers, Professor of Global Literature at the University of York, U.K., and editor of Desi Delicacies, writes in her introduction to this volume of ‘Food Writing from Muslim South Asia’, “Food is not only for nutrition but also for comfort. With more leisure time yawning in front of us, many people turned to baking to quieten their nerves, quieten their nerves, and fill their bellies.”

The timing of Desi Delicacies, a heart-warming quilt of fact and fiction, could not have been more appropriate. Never before has the world been more hungry for stories woven around food. With the pandemic and political disruption dominating headlines, food offers a delicious, if momentary, escape from reality.

Momentary, because the pandemic brought joblessness and hunger in its wake, and the restaurant sector has been the worst hit, seeing its business plummet, revive briefly, before being locked down in vast swaths of Europe and America. The people employed in the food supply chain and delivery businesses, meanwhile, are the “unsung heroes”, as Chambers describes them, who get food to stores and to our homes daily without fail, although they rank next only to frontline hospital workers in the pecking order of exposure to infection.

My extended discussion on the pandemic contextualises the genesis of this cogently structured volume. It owes its birth to the culinary creativity spurred by the extended period of collective isolation. My only regret is that it does not capture the diversity of the Muslim experience in India, although Rana Safvi does a magisterial job of rescuing ‘Mughlai’ cuisine from the popular notion, thanks to the rise of post-Partition Punjabi restaurants, that it’s all about dunking in tomato puree and dairy cream. And of course, powdered spices are a no-no.

Pinpointing the differences in the ways of cooking the two signature ‘Mughlai’ gravy dishes—the qorma, which entered the Indian Muslim diet only in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and the lighter qaliya—Safvi says tomatoes, turmeric and coriander (the latter two are best for each other) are never used in a qorma, which gets its flavour profile from the effort that goes into braising the finely chopped onions in ghee or oil with yoghurt and whole spices. In a qaliya, finely chopped onions get replaced by onion paste, which is cooked with turmeric to form the base masala for the gravy.

Befittingly, Safvi concludes her essay with an observation that Lucknow’s much-quoted chronicler Abdul Halim Sharar (1860-1925) made more than a century ago in his ageless classic, Guzishtha Lucknow, “The most important activity in human life is eating. As any nation or community progresses, its diet is the most salient guide to it.”

Tabish Khair, an Indian scholar teaching in Norway, starts his essay with anthropologist and cultural theorist Mary Douglas’s contention that food, whether it can be eaten or not in a particular social context, is a primary marker of identity. In the Muslim marriages he attended growing up in his small town, Douglas’s correlation of food with identity was evident in the separate kitchens and dining areas—one that prepared the food for the primarily non-vegetarian Muslim guests and the other devoted entirely to the service of the vegetarian Hindus. “The ‘syncretism’ or pluralist nature of weddings in my immediate family was fraught by sometimes indelible lines of difference,” comments Khair.

And then there are the invisible guests—members of the mainly Valmiki Dalit caste known by their pejorative collective name, Churha, who show up after dinner to forage for still-edible leftovers (the jootha, colloquially also known as joothan, which can be translated as ‘polluted’ or contaminated). They show up in Omprakash Valmiki’s Joothan, published in 1997, and then translated into English in 2003, with the sub-title ‘A Dalit’s Life’.

In a particularly moving passage quoted by Khair, Valmiki wrote: “The little pieces of pooris, bits of sweetmeats, and a little bit of vegetables were enough to make them happy. The joothan was eaten with a lot of relish… Poor things, they had never enjoyed a wedding feast. So, they licked it all up. During the marriage season, our elders narrated in thrilled voices, stories of baratis who had left several months of joothan.”

The left-outs got the leftovers, which became their marker of identity. The notion runs counter to the hypothesis floated by Robertson Smith, one of the founding fathers of anthropology, and quoted by Khair. “Those who sit at meal together are united for all social effects, those who do not eat together are aliens to one another, without fellowship in religion and without reciprocal social duties,” Smith had theorised. Khair counters this logic with the stark reality of jootha. “But what of jootha,” he asks, “where one had fellowship in religion but did not sit at meal together, yet partook in an eating that was intimate and at the same time removed?”

Cultural nuggets are scattered all across the book. In Pakistan, as we learn from the Karachi-based journalist Sanam Maher, the expression ‘burger boy’ is used to disparage anyone who has had an entitled childhood, an easy passage into adulthood, and stays detached from what is going on in the country. It is their equivalent of ‘pappu’, which Imran Khan carried ignominiously on his shoulders till he became prime minister.

“It’s the first time that the burger group will come out to vote,” joked a local politician, Shaikh Rasheed Ahmad, during the 2013 general election, which saw Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf emerge from the sidelines to become his country’s No. 2 political formation. “They are going to join the chapati and saalan folk. They might need to carry their laptops on their heads to protect them from the sun,” the Shaikh had said.

As we live in the time of preponderant death, thanks to the omnipresence of the Corona virus (before I complete this review article, the global death toll will touch two million), I must mention the occasions when a feast follows a funeral in the book. “Feasts honouring the dead no doubt fulfil multiple purposes,” writes Bangladeshi poet and scholar Kaiser Haq. “It is hoped that prayers from well-fed mourners will carry more weight. Sharing a meal is also a life-affirming act and cements social bonds.”

Haq’s memories of the biryani served at her grandmother’s chehlum, the end of the 40-day mourning period, prefaces her reminiscences of the feasting that follows Ramadan fasting in Old Dhaka, and of Chittagong’s tradition of mezbaani in that holy period (she uses the opportunity also to chuckle at the love that the denizens of this port town have for red chillies.)

Tarana Husain Khan, likewise, uses the fortieth-day feast as the backdrop for her fictional ode to Rampur’s Taar Gosht and Khamiri Roti. Describing the scene after the return of the men from the burial, Khan writes, “The cooking pots filled with curry were brought into the courtyard, and the women got back to the business of living, laying out food. The aroma of taar curry and baking rotis enveloped them. Holy texts and prayer beads were put away, the chatter became louder, and life pulled everyone back into the fold. Death receded.”

Here’s a smorgasbord of the sub-continental culinary tales that will prove to be invaluable to our understanding of why what we eat defines who we are. One may be tempted to ask if there’s any homogeneous demographic or psychographic entity that qualifies to be called Muslim South Asia because of the ethnic distinctions that sets one Muslim apart from another, in the same way as no two Hindus are alike in the sub-continental melting pot.

This absence of homogeneity dredges up so many possibilities. A second volume could be a great starter, taking us on a gustatory tour of the many kitchens waiting to be explored in our corner of the world, from Baltistan to Jaffna, from Ahmedabad to Sylhet and Chittagong.

The book, ‘Desi Delicacies: Food Writing from Muslim South Asia’ is edited by Claire Chambers (Picador India, Rs 450).The Mughal dastarkhwan (table), as shown in the spread laid out by Osama Jalai, doesn’t have any of the tomato puree- and cream-laden dishes associated with it in the popular imagination. It has evolved out of the finer influences of the Indo-Islamic culinary tradition showcased in the 15th-century cookbook of the royals, Nimatnama-i-Nasirshahi (Nasir Shah’s Book of Delights), and Humayun’s exposure to Persian haute culture when he was exiled in the court of Shah Tahmasp II.

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Gastronomically Speaking





Cake base:-

1.5 tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

140 g All purpose flour

200 ml Condensed milk

60 g Butter

½ Cup Lukewarm water

¼ tsp Cardamom powder

few threads Saffron

Icing :-

300 g Whipping cream

few threads Saffron

Cut Pistachio

Rasmalai Balls :-

2 L Full cream Milk

1Kg Sugar

Reetha water

1/2 cup Vinegar

Rasmalai Rabri:-

500 ml Milk

50 g Sugar

Pinch of Cardamom  powder

Pinch of Saffron

Decoration with Silver leaf

Rasmalai Recipe

1. Boil 2 L Full cream milk , Remove from heat and stir gently for 1 minute.

2. Take ½ cup of vinegar (dissolve in 1 L water) and add to the milk slowly by slowly and stir it lightly.

3. When it curdles, then strain in the cotton cloth. Squeeze lightly then put in fresh water 2-3 times.

4. Squeeze again lightly, Chenna is ready now, convert this in to small size of rasmalai balls.

For the Sugar Syrup

Let 1Kg Sugar +750 ml Water boil.

Take 3-4 cups of water from this syrup in a big pan.

Add ½ L normal water in it and keep aside.

When the sugar syrup is boiled than add 2 tbsp of reetha water in it.

When froth starts coming,

then add Rasmalai.

Do not touch for 2 minutes.

Then put the spoon on Sugar syrup speedily so we can see the Rasmalai.

Stir 2-3 times slowly so that Rasmalai do not stick with each other.

Boil the 1 L water separately.

When Rasmali is cooked 10-12 minutes then we add thin boiled milk

spoon by spoon.

Check the Rasmalai whether it is done or not.

Now remove the Rasmlai from Sugar Syrup and add to big pan, which we kept aside.

Leave the Rasmalai in Sugar syrup for minimum 12 hrs.

For Rabri

Boil milk till thick & strain.

Add sugar , Saffron & Cardamom powder.

Remove Rasmali balls from Sugar. Syrup and add to Rabri for at least 5-6 hours.

Base Cake Process –

1. Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius for 10 minutes.

2. Grace a 7 inch cake tin.

3. Sift the flour with soda bicarbonate, Baking powder and cardamom powder.

4. Cream together the butter, condensed milk and saffron water (Water mixed with saffron )

5. Add to the flour mixture with Lukewarm water.

6. Bake in preheated oven for approx 30 minutes .

7. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes.

Icing process

8. For Icing, in a bowl take whipping cream, beat for a while and add saffron then again beat till the cream become fluffy and form soft peaks.

9. Cut sponge cake horizontal in two parts.

10. Apply Rabri mixture with the help of brush, on top of that evenly spread layer of prepared icing cream.

11. Spread layer of Rasmalai and Pistachio on cut sponge cake.

12. Cover the whole cake with prepared icing.

13. Garnish few pcs of Rasmalai on top

14. Sprinkle chopped pistachio all over the cake.

15. Decorate Rasmalai pcs with silver leaf and saffron strands.

16. Keep cake in refrigerator for 2 hrs before serving for better taste .


Trusting on home remedies to cure a common cold and cough/flu is something we Indians have strong faith in. Not only because of the easy availability of the ingredients but also their full effectiveness of them! Here is one of the easiest Nuskha to avoid catching viral throat infections.


1-2 slices of Ginger

9-10 Tulsi leaves

A pinch Turmeric

1 tbsp Black Tea Leaves

1 glass water


In a pan boil a glass of water, for 5-6 minutes, with some crushed Tulsi Leaves and ginger.

In a glass put some black tea leaves along with turmeric; strain & pour the concussion to it.

Let it steep for a while.

Once it cools down, gargle with it.

Pro Tip

Gargle on empty stomach, preferably first thing in the morning. Black Tea Leaves contain a high amount of catechins and Teafurabin which prevents infection of the flu.

Tulsi Leaves, Queen of Herbs, is rich in vitamin A and C, calcium, zinc & iron; which helps in relieving symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, colds, congestion, coughs, flu, sinusitis, sore throat, & similar ailments.

Ginger and Turmeric both possess potent anti-inflammatory & antioxidant properties which not only fight viral and bacterial infections but also boost the immune system.


Flu season, step aside; Jaggery (Gud) is here to the rescue! Here is another Nuskha from Daadi’s kitchen to help you overcome the common cold and cough with an easy ingredient found in Indian Kitchens, Jaggery!


1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds

5-6 piece Black pepper

15-20 gram Jaggery

2-3 cups water


In a pot boil 2-3 cups of water with some cumin seeds and black pepper corns.

Once the mixture is ready, put it down and add some jaggery (Gud) to it

Let it steep for a while and drink up till it’s Lukewarm.

Jaggery (Gud) is rich in many vital vitamins and minerals, it also boosts immunity, keeps the body warm, helps treat cold and cough and controls the temperature of the body.


Here is a recipe to homemade, easy  yet effective BlackPepper and Clove mouthwash.


4-5 piece Clove

4-5 piece Black pepper

2 cups water


In a Pan boil one cup distilled water with 6-8 pieces of Blackpepper and cloves

Bring the pot down and let the mixture stew for 5- 6 mins

Viola! Your ‘virus fighter’ mouthwash is ready!

The best part about this mouthwash is that it’s 100% natural and has a long shelf life!

Pro Tip

Black pepper and clove have strong antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

These Daadi k Nuskhe recipes are by Cherise India Private Ltd.

By Chef Yojana Balecha

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Gastronomically Speaking


Noor Anand Chawla



As a bustling capital city, Delhi witnesses the rise and fall of numerous food and beverage brands. Only the very best survive and thrive in this discerning foodie haven. Café Tesu opened its doors in 2017 in Essex Farms, and caught the attention of Delhiites with its traditional dishes, delicious coffee, and warm and welcoming interiors. Now the brand is spreading its wings by launching its second branch at DLF Avenue Mall in Saket.

“Our new spot welcomes you to a cosy space of imagination and culinary craft. From artisanal tea and coffee to traditional food recipes, Café Tesu at DLF Avenue focuses on every little detail to make sure your visit is worth the experience. The menu has been designed with the intention of bringing soulful food to the table, and also provide the option of a quick bite to those shopping at the mall or to guests heading to watch a movie. From quick bites, gourmet food to healthy variants, the spread covers a diverse range so that there is something for everyone,” says Dhruv Goyle, Chief Operating Office, Essex Farms and Café Tesu.

An alumnus of Les Roches, Switzerland, Goyle bears a strong culinary legacy as a third-generation restaurateur, whose family has been in the food and beverage industry since 1965. This is the reason he is so passionate about his work. He expanded his family business and launched the restaurant chains, ‘Yes Minister’, ‘Play House’, ‘Cafe Tesu’ and is now looking at further expansion.

The new branch of Café Tesu at DLF Avenue Mall in Saket, offers a fresh vibe and inviting ambiance awash with tones of gold and pastel pink. The overall look and feel is further enhanced with its logo which is accentuated by a well-lit blossom tree that can be spotted even from a distance. Effort has been put into choosing elegant lighting to highlight certain elements of the room such as its ceiling.

The menu includes a selection of quick eats as well as gourmet fare. There are healthy options as well as indulgences, ensuring there is something for everyone. Their popular hand-rolled tea blends and artisanal homegrown coffees are also on offer.

Cafe Tesu is all about the serving of what we like to call ‘Soul Food’. We bring comfort food in good portion sizes to your table. The interiors for both the outlets are planned in an ambient and spacious way, to allow everyone the promise of safety and hygiene along with the privacy of carrying out meetings and conversations in comfort. We are very keen to attract people from all age groups and therefore stress on the fact that there is something for everyone,” says Goyle.

Their all-day breakfast menu, salads, quiches, and pizzas have always been big attractions for their patrons, but when asked what their signature dishes are, Goyle says, “Sunny Avo which consists of a multigrain bread with guacamole spread topped with an egg sunny side up; and the Quinoa Tabbouleh, which is made with warm quinoa with roasted beets, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate, feta and balsamic vinaigrette.” He credits the popularity of these two dishes to the fact that they are both made of superfoods, which make them healthy and tasty, while also being on trend.

The pandemic was difficult on them, as it was on most hospitality brands, but they are slowly recovering. Helpful rebates from concerned authorities have aided them in this recovery. Plus, the unconditional support of their patrons during the lockdown who continued to order food for delivery, helped them get through this difficult time. They have also been very strict about ensuring that all safety and hygiene protocols are followed.

Dhruv Anand Goyle – COO – Cafe Tesu & Essex Farms

Though the last two years have been challenging, Goyle is quick to highlight a particularly rewarding moment too. “Once Instagram hosted one of their official events at Cafe Tesu, Essex Farms. We pride ourselves on being an Instagrammable cafe through our many decor elements, and hence it was a real honor for us to be chosen as the venue for their event!” he shares with pride. By catering to a number of dignitaries and industrialists, Cafe Tesu has become known as a good place to meet professionally over a quick coffee and small bite.

With two outlets of Cafe Tesu receiving a good response from customers, they are now looking to expand further. Goyle signs off with, “Looking at the volatility of the F & B industry at the moment, we are not rushing this, but we are weighing our options and you can definitely expect Cafe Tesu to be launching at other locations across the city in the future.”

The writer pens lifestyle article for various publications and her blog She can be reached on

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Gastronomically Speaking

Low-calorie, immunity-booster dishes to binge in the coming festive season



Raksha Bandhan has just gone by, but a long list of festivals is lined up. And in India, no festival can be complete without bonding over delicious food, especially gorging on traditional sweets. However, in today’s modern lifestyle, people often face the difficulty of balancing their diet with their health. They either end up eating a lot and feel guilty later, or do not eat at all, and have a feeling of missing out on the feasting.

If you want to be out of this dilemma, then you can follow some mindful tips and tricks by Dr Nicheta Bhatia, who is a nutritionist, Assistant Professor at Lakshmibai College, Department of Home Science, University of Delhi. “Food is a behaviour. If we consume it mindfully, then instead of worrying about it, food can become the source of our physical and mental well-being,” says Dr Bhatia.

So, in these Covid times, let’s take a look at these nutritionist-approved lip-smacking recipes that are not just low in calories but also act as natural immunity boosters.


Prepared with pure milk, jaggery and beetroot, this recipe gives a healthy twist to the delicious traditional modak recipe. Since we are substituting sugar with jaggery, people with diabetes and hypertension can also enjoy these sweets in controlled quantities.

One can also reduce the quantity of jaggery and increase the amount of beetroot to manage the level of sweetness.


Prepared with dry fruits, jaggery and very little ghee (only 25 grams of desi ghee for 80 pieces), Pinni is a sweet dish especially relished by the Punjabi community. This traditional recipe includes desi ghee along with oats, flax seeds, melon seeds, almonds, raisins and ragi, all of which are immunity boosters. The sweet is rich in protein, zinc and vitamin B12. The calorie content is also low and there are multi-micro nutrients present. Oats Pinni can also be modified into Oats Churma (Jaee ka Churma) by reducing the amount of ghee and jaggery and increasing the quantity of oats. With these changes, the sweet dish is fit for consumption for diabetic patients in limited quantities.


Another delicious traditional sweet to opt for is Bajre ka Churma which also works as an immunity booster. Prepared with bajra, ragi, jaggery and very little ghee, this delicious recipe is so healthy that it can be consumed not just on the festival day but also in your routine. “When we eat good foods, there is no reason to feel guilty for enjoying the delicacies, and the feeling of fulfillment helps our minds and bodies to be happy and healthy,” said Dr Nicheta. She also shared some fun, easy and healthy recipes especially for children, which can be prepared ahead of the festival to prevent the kids from eating junk food.


Mix oats with dry fruits and then dip the mixture in melted chocolate. Set it to freeze in the refrigerator for a few hours and then enjoy. Kids would love to eat these super healthy chocolates.


Children these days end up eating a lot of packed chips. To prevent them from consuming junk, one can prepare these chips at home with ragi, wholewheat flour, bajra and millets. Prepare these in advance and store them in boxes, so that this healthy alternative is available whenever kids feel like eating chips.


Take orange and regular Marie biscuits. Dip them in milk and pile them on top of one another. Sprinkle some drinking chocolate and cocoa powder on it. Now, take a little desi ghee, mix it with liquid chocolate and cover the biscuits stack with this chocolate mixture and then set it in the refrigerator. Chill it for a few hours and when you take it out, cut it and you’ll see beautiful layers of brown, orange and white. Yummy, nutritious and filling dessert is ready.

While these delicious dishes will surely promise a happy and healthy time, Dr Nicheta further suggests some tips to balance the heavy festival lunch with the rest of your day.

One, start your day with a light yet filling breakfast such as a Chia fruit dish. This can be made easily by combining soaked chia seeds with oats and slices of fruits. Chia seeds have empty calories and this wholesome dish is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B and Vitamin B12. This filling dish, full of fibre will help to balance out the calories from feasting later in the day.

Two, in the evening after a heavy meal, have a cup of green tea and add some freshly squeezed lemon drops to it. One can also consume half a cup of lukewarm water, boiled with dates (2) or raisins (5-6). These drinks help improve digestion, cut saturated fats, reduce acidity and help increase iron absorption.

Three, drink plenty of water during the day and avoid soft drinks.

Four, a heavy lunch can be followed by a light dinner such as a bowl of sprouts chaat with paneer and veggies. Rich in water, minerals and multivitamins, this dinner will help in compensating the heavy calories from the day.

Now that you are armed with all the knowledge, get ready to celebrate a guilt-free, happy and healthy festival time with your family in the coming months. ANI

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Gastronomically Speaking

Shanghai Nights with Mamagoto’s new cocktail menu

The limited-edition ‘Shanghai Nights’ menu takes into account garden aromas, smoky streets, Asian citrus notes and a touch of spicy heat. Those in the mood for something sharp and heady will appreciate Le Shanghai, which is a blend of fruity apple flavours with smoky whisky and a touch of nuttiness added through hazelnut syrup.

Noor Anand Chawla



People who enjoy the flavour of authentic Asian food, are familiar with the name Mamagoto. This fun Asian eatery with vibrant interiors first opened its doors in Delhi’s favourite foodie haven Khan Market, in 2010. Ever since, many names in the Asian culinary space have come and gone, but Mamagato has stayed firm on the horizon, having expanded significantly and become a means for comparison with others.

If you are wondering what the word ‘Mamagoto’ means, its literal translation is ‘to play with food’, and the restaurant’s relaxed vibe and delicious offerings encourage patrons to do just that. This fusion Pan Asian café describes itself as having a ‘casual atmosphere where affordable Asian cuisine and drinks combine with quirky décor.’

The food here is inspired by the secret dishes made by Asian street hawkers. Mamagoto’s team sampled these lesser-known delicacies during extensive travels through this part of the world, and then experimented in their own kitchens before finalising what would be served to customers. “Our serving portions are to share, so we encourage groups and families to enjoy our meals together. Mamagoto is a casual ‘come as you are’ space,” shares Rahul Khanna, co-founder of Azure Hospitality, of which Mamagoto is a premium brand.

Apart from their culinary delights, on offer is a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages made with fresh juices and ingredients at a reasonable price point. Their team delights in creating concoctions they believe are not available elsewhere in the city. The creations are deconstructed and added again to achieve unique flavours. They are also made with the freshest of ingredients such as natural juices. One of their most popular beverages is the ‘Pop Rocks & Monsoon Sangria’—pitchers of which are quick to go.

“We keep coming up with quirky new dishes and drinks frequently, and we love this creative aspect of our work. We are funky, interactive, fresh, colourful, and beaming with energy and our excitement hits the ceiling when people say, “Oh! But you are too noisy,” laughs Khanna.

Their kitchen is helmed by Jayanti Duggal, who has been travelling for decades in different parts of urban Asia. In the process, she has discovered numerous hidden gems including some recipes that were stored deep under North Korean nuclear bunkers.

Recently, Mamagoto took its fun design and high-energy interiors and street hawker-inspired Asian fare to Dehradun. At their new joint in this city, one can try flagship favourites like Chiang Mai Train Station Noodles, Basil Chicken Cups, and Rock Shrimp Tempura, served with a long list of Dim Sum and Sushi selections and other wok-tossed goodies. Their signature bowls such as the Spicy Ramen are perfect for sharing as well as for a night out or to tuck into at a late lunch with friends.

With the launch of its new limited edition cocktail menu, Mamagoto is offering a unique drink selection to its clientele in Delhi. Inspired by the vibrant city of Shanghai in China, it has been named ‘Shanghai Nights.’ “In the 1920s and 30s, before the onset of the Cultural Revolution, Shanghai was a hedonistic and liberal-minded metropolitan city, home to gambling dens, jazz clubs and gangsters. It was called the Paris of the Orient, and had a strong ‘Great Gatsby-esque’ vibe. Most importantly, it was a melting pot of Chinese and international cultures with numerous celebrities frequenting its bars and even making it their home,” shares Khanna.

Inspired by this glitz and glamour of yore, with dimly lit street corners, shady boss men, their beautiful molls and nights of ‘spirits and stories’, the team at Mamagoto designed this new selection of cocktails.

The limited-edition ‘Shanghai Nights’ menu takes into account garden aromas, smoky streets, Asian citrus notes and a touch of spicy heat. Those in the mood for something sharp and heady, will appreciate Le Shanghai, which is a blend of fruity apple flavours with smoky whisky and a touch of nuttiness added through hazelnut syrup. Paramount Sweet is a fresher take on spirited delights, and is named after the 1930s ballroom that pioneered Shanghai’s jazz scene. This drink is a mix of bourbon and gin with romantic flowery notes of rose. Wild Dance is directly influenced by the first jazz band at Shanghai, which was called the ‘Wild Dance Band’. This cocktail is a mix of bourbon and passion fruit and is a tropical delight. 

As a port city, Shanghai was also home to numerous smugglers, and the rum cocktails on the menu are an ode to their impact on the city’s culture. One can choose from drinks like Smugglers Paradise, which is a heady blend of rum and brandy, or Paris of the East made with dark rum and coconut. For a lighter start, Miss 1984 made with gin and lavender syrup, is the perfect choice of drink. It is a tribute to the first woman who graduated from Fudan university, who was a trailblazer and an icon for other women, driving around town in her own car whose number plate read 1984. Tequila lovers will enjoy the Shanghai 1935, named after the Oscar winning film, which is a blend of tequila and rose vermouth with notes of vanilla.

Best enjoyed with Mamagoto’s signature Dimsum and Sushi offerings, the ‘Shanghai Nights’ cocktail menu is loaded with tipple blends that will enhance your meal and make for a memorable evening. The limited edition menu is available at the Mamagoto outlets in DLF Mall of India in Noida, Select CityWalk Mall in Saket, Ambience Mall in Gurugram, Khan Market, CyberHub in Gurugram and DLF Promenade Mall in Vasant Kunj, till September 30, 2021.

The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog She can be reached on

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Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Serves: 1


Energy: 145.0 calories

Carbs: 23.0 gms

Fats: 3.0 gms

Protein: 6.0 gms

Fibre: 5.0 gms


• 3 tablespoon Oats

• 2 tablespoon Carrot Grated

• 1 tablespoon Fresh Peas

• 2 tablespoon Capsicum Green Chopped

• 2 tablespoon Rip Chopped Tomatoes

• 1 unit Chopped Onion

• 1 tablespoon Coriander Leaves / Chopped Cilantro

• 1 pinch Black Pepper powder

• 0.75 teaspoon Garam Masala

• Pinch of Turmeric Powder

• 0.5 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder

• 0.5 teaspoon Coriander Powder

• Salt to taste

• 1 cup Water


• Dry roast the chopped onion in a non-stick pan until it shrinks

• Add oats and roast until you get an aroma

• In the meantime, pressure cook the vegetables separately until they are soft and slightly mushy (two whistles)

• Add the cooked vegetables, little water, red chilli, turmeric, garam masala powder and salt to oats

• Cook on a medium flame for three minutes until the oats become soft. Add more water if required

• Boil for a while, and then use a ladle/masher to mash the ingredients well (depends on how you want the vegetables to be)

• Cook for two more minutes until the preparation gets porridge-like consistency

• Add chopped coriander leaves and pepper powder and switch off the flame

• Serve hot

– By Celebrity Dietician Shweta Shah


Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Serves: 1


Energy: 210.0 calories

Carbs: 33.0 gms

Fats: 6.0 gms

Protein: 6.0 gms

Fibre: 4.0 gms


• 3 table spoon Ragi / Nachni Flour

• 1 tablespoon White Rice Raw

• 1 tablespoon Black Gram / Urad Dal Raw

• 2 tablespoon Carrot Grated

• 1 teaspoon finely chopped Green Chillies

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped Coriander leaves / Cilantro

• 0.5 teaspoon Cumin seeds

• Salt to taste

• 1 teaspoon Cooking oil


• Soak urad dal and rice separately for about two hours and grind together to form a batterer

• Add the ragi flour to the batter and mix well

• Add salt and water to make a smooth batter

• Keep the batter aside for 15 minutes

• Heat a non-stick pan, grease it with 1/4th teaspoon oil. Pour the batter and spread it evenly in a circular shape

• Add grated carrot, chopped coriander leaves, chopped green chill on the batter

• Cover the pan and cook on low heat until ragi uttapam is cooked at the bottom

• Cover the pan and add the remaining 1/4th teaspoon oil on it and flip the other side to cook

• When both the sides are cooked, remove the ragi uttapam on a plate

• Serve hot with mint coriander chutney

– By Celebrity Dietician Shweta Shah


It purifies the blood and helps as a strong antibiotic agent. Loaded with Vitamin C and anti-bacterial properties, it inhibits infections and chest congestion.


• 2 Drumstick

• ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder

• 1 cup Tuvar Dal

• ½ cup Grated Coconut

• 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds

• 1 Red Chilli

• 1 sprig Curry Leaves

• Salt to taste

• For tempering:

• 1 teaspoon Oil

• Mustard Seeds, Urad Dal and Cumin Seeds


• Wash and cut drumstick into 1 inch long pieces

• Pressure cook dal and set it aside

• Boil drumstick with turmeric powder and salt

• Grind coconut with cumin and red chilli into a fine paste

• Mix in dal, curry leaves, and ground paste into boiled drumstick and cook

• Add water to get a semi-liquid consistency

• Let it simmer for three to four minutes

• Remove from flame and temper with mustard seeds, cumin, and urad dal

• Serve hot with rotis or rice and pickle

– By Gita Hari, Culinary Expert & Wellness Food Curator


This side dish is full of the goodness of bananas. Packed with minerals, especially potassium, contains dietary fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. It aids the absorption of essential minerals and nutrients.


• 2 Raw Bananas

• ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder

• 1 teaspoon Sambar Powder

• ½ teaspoon Asafoetida Powder

• 2 teaspoon Oil

• Salt to taste

• ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds

• ¼ teaspoon Urad Dal


• Peel the skin of bananas and cut them into roundels

• Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and urad dal

• Introduce banana roundels and sprinkle turmeric powder, salt, and asafoetida powder. Spray a little water and stir well

• Add sambar powder and cook till done. Serve as a side dish with rice and sambar or parathas

– By Gita Hari, Culinary Expert & Wellness Food Curator

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Gastronomically Speaking


The use of simple and easily available yet exotic ingredients is what sets this selection apart while ensuring it appeals to varied tastes.

Noor Anand Chawla



The well-heeled of the capital are familiar with the benefits of artisanal food offerings, but even they are hard-pressed to find authentic homemade pasta that shuns wheat for healthier varieties of Indian grains. A limited-edition collaboration between popular restaurant Sly Granny in Khan Market and artisanal pasta brand, Casarecce promises to address this issue. Curated by Chef Utkarsh Bhalla who is the Brand Chef of Sly Granny, this limited edition menu is being offered to Sly Granny patrons till 28 August.

Casarecce, co-founded by Chef Sambhavi Joshi, means ‘Homemade’ in Italian and is a nod to the delicious flavour of fresh handcrafted pasta. After several years of working in top-notch restaurants, Chef Joshi decided to pursue her true passion – to make her own artisanal pasta. Using the best of Indian grains and traditional methods of cooking, while incorporating global flavours into the mix, this brand has made a mark for itself in a short span of time. 

Casarecce’s philosophy resonates well with that of Sly Granny. Chef Utkarsh explains, “The pasta at Casarecce is locally made, healthy and tasty and it can offer different kinds of flavours depending upon the creator and the chef. We love the diversity and inspiration this provides and have used this quality to create an exciting and exclusive menu.”

Calling itself experiential, Sly Granny is branded as the receiving parlour of a wicked, smart, wise, eccentric, polymath of a Granny. Described as ‘a polyamorous phenom with varied gastronomical interests’, this anonymous granny serves prohibition-era cocktails and select wines to ‘urban dwellers and other creatures of the night’. In keeping with this philosophy, the team at Sly Granny enjoys shining light on the unique aspects of every dish. Artisanal pasta made by hand, therefore, fits well with their overall ethic.

“It is thrilling to see the talent that our country has. India is a country blessed with a rich abundance of quality ingredients. Chef Sambhavi is a whiz at creating beautiful yet healthy artisanal pastas for lovers of Italian food. She uses sustainable methods for preparation, which appeal to a lot of people these days. I wanted to curate a menu for the patrons of Sly Granny to serve them an experience in our signature style. This would keep our regular clientele happy and attract more people interested in artisanal pasta,” says Chef Utkarsh. Adding to this, Chef Sambhavi says, “Sly Granny has been one of my favourite restaurants in the city for quite a while. This limited edition menu highlights our pasta in a way that we couldn’t imagine, these dishes do justice to all the love and effort we put into creating the products of Casarecce.”

Being Indian in the 21st century means having an equal appreciation for tradition and modernity. Through their concepts and approach to business, both Sly Granny and Casarecce, embody this outlook. Sly Granny is also particular about sourcing ingredients locally and putting forward dishes of global standards with unique recipes and stylish preparations. Chef Utkarsh, in fact, takes it as his responsibility to highlight rich and abundant local produce and present it in a way that appeals to globally exposed taste buds.

The specially curated limited-edition menu offers Beetroot Creste de Gallo, in which the shape of the pasta is curved, hollow and ridged. It is made with blue cheese and a liberal addition of arugula, red beet chips and candied walnuts. The Saffron Pappardelle is pasta cut into flat, wide noodles, and is aimed at meat lovers, as it is a preparation of lamb ragu and kalamata olives. Another interesting dish is the Cappellacci Pasta, made with Mushrooms and Mascarpone cappellacci. It also has caramelised leek fondue, truffle oil, leek straws and black olives —an interesting concoction that has been received well by patrons. Another one of their signature dishes is the Sriracha Fusilli with Roasted Shallots. The use of simple and easily available yet exotic ingredients is what sets this selection apart while ensuring it appeals to varied tastes. Discerning foodies of Delhi will appreciate this limited selection and should pay Sly Granny in Khan Market a visit before it is taken off the rolls. 

The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog She can be reached on

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