A rejuvenating experience at Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa

The Hilton Shillim property is located off Lonavla away from the city, amidst the peaceful Sahyadri mountain range in the Western Ghats and a short drive from Mumbai and Pune.  The vast property is spread across 320 acres; the retreat features all-villa accommodation, extensive dining options and among the largest and most comprehensive spa facilities in Asia. They have a range of activities for all age groups spread out across the property. From the moment you enter the property you are surrounded by nature and the beautiful mountain ranges that marks the beginning of a rejuvenating experience.

We visited the property around mid October when monsoon had just ended. With pleasant weather we did experience some rainfall which enhanced our experience at this lush green property. This wellness retreat & spa believes is natural, organic and nutritious food and the ideology of a healthier lifestyle. Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa recently launched an all new wellness menu, created by Chef Shubhendu Kadam, where the food items are specially curated in accordance with the Ayurvedic principles of  Dosha(individual body types). They believe in integrating the ancient philosophic, spiritual and artistic wisdom of wellness principles with modern international practices to re-fresh and re-inspires the body, mind and spirit.

All the food items are made using fresh, seasonal produce, with cooking techniques that stress on preserving natural flavours and wellness properties of the ingredients. They also grow their own organic fruits and veggies. They want to create a memorable experience with super foods that detoxify and cleanse the body, quashing the notion that Spa Cuisine is tasteless and uninteresting.  Using the Farm to Table concept at their organic cuisine restaurant Green Table, they aim to create a unique gastronomic experience.

The all new wellness menu has macrobiotic, Ayurvedic, European, Mediterranean and Asian elements. It includes dishes such as a Trio Of Cereal Basket With Fresh Fruits And Nut Milk, Spinach Stuffed Amaranths and Walnuts Idli With Chutney, Pumpkin Ginger & Coconut Cappuccino, Beetroot Aur Til Ke Kebab, Chicken Cafriel, Tridoshik Roti served with Sweet Potato Malabari Curry, Palak Aur Lehsoon Ka Shorba,Southern Spiced Chicken Tikka and Halwa Trio.

To sum up Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa is a gorgeous 320 acre property that helps you completely revitalise your body and bring your health back on track physically, mentally and emotionally. This experience is enhanced by the food served which is super fresh and of the highest quality. It is a complete gourmet dining experience with super foods that detoxify and cleanse the body.

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The Siemens experience with Chef Ranveer Brar

Siemens has always been a household name and the appliances are used by us everyday  to create homely meals. I recently got the opportunity to attend Chef Ranveer Brar’s masterclass at Acetech 2017. Chef Ranveer used the Siemens kitchen appliances and created some unique treats for us.

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These are super simple and can be created with ease using the kitchen appliances. He made a Kunafa which is essentially a Turkish dessert, using the Siemens oven. Kunafa is a Middle Eastern dessert made with cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup. Chef created a super easy cheese based custard  and combined with it some vermicelli and quickly baked it in the oven. This dish was topped with some fresh fruit and a burnt miso chocolate crumble.

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The next dish he created was a marinated halloumi cheese with a braised green tomato. The halloumi was marinated in a tamarind sauce and sriracha sauce and pan fried on the Siemens hobb till the edges got crispy. Simultaneously Chef created a sriracha peanut butter sauce on the same hobb. The halloumi was placed in a vinegar and sugar braised green tomato topped with a peanut butter sriracha sauce.

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The last thing Chef created using the hobb is some pan fried burrata cheese which was coated in panko bread crumbs. The oozing fried cheese was placed onto those delish green tomatoes as well.

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Bringing style to kitchens since 1960

Bajaj Electricals, a trusted household name has never let us down with their product ranges. Not only in the quality aspect but the changing styles they have incorporated in the ever-increasing product range. Personally for me, the home appliance products from the brand say simplicity with a modern touch. Be it their juice makers, blenders, hobs, coffee makers or toasters.

I’m completely obsessed with smoothie bowls and I used the Bajaj Mixer hand blender to make this delish healthy green smoothie recently. Follow the recipe below to make your own bowl of goodness.

Ingredients: 

1/2 ripe avocado

Handful of Baby Spinach

1 Medium Sized Banana

1/3rd cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup fresh coconut water.

Process: Blend all the ingredients mentioned above until the mixture is smooth. Top with your fav fruits. I used Dragon Fruit, Stemilt Cherries from the US, Banana, Blueberries and Chia Seeds

Style today is not only about having chic art pieces in your living room or textured walls in your bedroom. Stylish home décor is slowly entering the kitchen appliance market. There’s a need for convenience, aesthetic design, utility and quality all at once. Bajaj Electricals has set a benchmark in the kitchen appliance space with their high quality consumer friendly products.

Watch the video below to take a look at Bajaj Electricals latest Diwali offer for their kitchen appliance range.

 

Turning Maggi into a gourmet meal

For a long time there has been a myth about instant noodles being harmful for our body but isn’t it more a question of enjoying things in moderation? I honestly believe having a balanced diet along with regular exercise is the way to go, rather than completely cutting of your favourite foods like a household favourite like Maggi noodles from your diet. The focus should be on hygiene, high nutrient concentration, low refined foods, optimal calorie intake, balance between taste and convenience.

Fats are as important for our bodies as much as protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals and calcium. A balanced diet is one that gives our bodies the nutrients it needs to function correctly. Fats are essential for the growth, development and functioning of our bodies when there is a shortage of food supply. ICMR recommends that the total amount of fat in an Indian diet should be 20-30% of the total calories consumed. So the consumption of your favourite packet of instant noodles only contributes to 1/5th of the total fat requirement for your daily diet. Consumption of fats in one bowl of instant noodles like Maggi is in fact lesser than consumption of fats in foods like Vegetarian Biryani, Cheese Veggie Toast or Aloo Paratha. Most people think that packaged food is processed and thus harmful for the body. The reason packaged food goes through a number of processes is because it needs to stay stable before it is consumed by the end customer. For example Maggi noodles goes through a five-stage process, which includes – steaming baking, quick frying to remove moisture, drying and cooling.

I used Maggi’s Hot Heads Green Chilli noodles to create a wholesome Thai Curry Noodle Bowl loaded with veggies. Follow this recipe to turn your Maggi into an even more delicious meal.

Ingredients:

2 packs of Maggi Hot Heads

1 pack of Coconut Milk

1 stalk of Lemongrass

1 Chilli sliced

1 cup coriander leaves

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ teaspoon Sugar

3 to 4 Garlic Cloves

1 small Onion

1 thumb sized piece of Ginger

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 basil leaves

Lemon Zest of 2 lemons

Your favourite veggies (I used carrots, zucchini and broccoli)

Process:

  1. In a food processor, place green chili, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, coriander, sugar, lime juice,1/4 can coconut milk and maggi hot heads chilli masala.
  2. Process to a paste and set aside.
  3. Simultaneously, boil your maggi noodles in water until cooked.
  4. Warm a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (30 seconds to 1 minute), then add remaining 3/4 can coconut milk.
  5. Add in your veggies, salt to taste and lemon zest. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Do a taste test. If it’s too spicy add more coconut milk. This curry should be a balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour.
  6. Add the boiled maggi to this mixture and mix well

Garnish with burnt garlic, basil and spring onion. Serve Hot.

Morphy Richards: Redefining luxury with a whole new range of products

Morphy Richards has been in India for the past 50 years bringing cutting edge technology along with aesthetic design to every kitchen in the country. They have raised the bar yet again, with a whole new range of gorgeous home appliance products that one uses to make everyday food. We were fortunate enough to get a sneak peak of this range and utilize it hands on.

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The first range is the Redefine range that uses ThermoGlass technology and with its sleek design, lets you clearly see your bread being toasted and water being boiled to perfection.

The Prism range by Morphy Richards is a class apart, when it comes to the way it has been designed. Textured finish, vibrant colours and stunning design is everything that this range is about.

The third and final range is called Total control and the name says it all. With the Smart Response Technology you can completely control the power of the appliance in a variety of ways. We used this range hands on and created everything from bread dough, meringue batter, smoothies, soups, sauces and mocktails.

These new products are changing the way people look at the home appliance market. They’re bringing everything from convenience to design to utilities to quality and much more to the table. These products will be available from the first week of September.

Cooking experiences with Siemens

Siemens has always been a household brand for me, especially the baking equipment they offer I’ve grown up testing batches of cookies, cupcakes and tarts using Siemens oven. I recently got the opportunity to visit the Siemens experience centre at Andheri East where we got to use their range of hobs, ovens and steam ovens hands on.

 

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This beautifully set up space showcases different models of Siemens hobs, hoods, refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. The reason for setting up the experience centre is because they want every customer to experience the products before they make their final purchase decision. It also greatly helps in terms of giving one an idea of the space requirement for a varied range of products. We got to experience the entire set up hands on by using these premium luxury products to cook everyday food with absolute convenience. The first thing we made were batches of cookies in the Siemens sleek designed ovens. The best part was that after we baked them we could cool them of using the telescopic ray’s technology that the Siemens oven provides.

 

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We then moved on to the domino hob with a Deep Fryer, a Barbeque Grill and the Teppan Yaki each taking up only 30 cms of space! We fried some vegetable pakoras in the deep fryer whose temperature is super easy to control. The oil in the fryer is well intact in the hob space and prevents spillage.

 

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We then barbequed some chicken on the Barbeque Hob with lava stones that are super easy to remove and wash

 

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One thing that impressed me the most was the Teppan Yaki which is a silver platter attached to the hob it can perform all the functions like cooking veggies, making a caramel sauce, melting cheese and is super easy to clean.

 

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We then used the super convenient steam oven where you can literally steam anything from eggs to rice to idilis to dhokla

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The overall experience with Siemens was an extremely helpful one as it gave us great insight into what the brand is about and what the offerings are.

Weekend Getaway To The Mountains

With the Bombay heat soaring to a new level, the traffic taking longer than usual, this crowded city led me to escape to the mountains to Bombay’s very own hill station Mahableshwar. Known as the strawberry hub of Maharashtra, Mahableshwar is located 6 hours away from Mumbai with some quirky food stalls on the way, making the journey up to the mountains pleasing. Mahableshwar is located along the Sahaydris, at a high altitude of 1,372m above sea level. This region boasts incredible panoramic views, breathtaking valleys, thick foliage and a pleasant climate.

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I left Bombay early morning by 6 A.M. and reached our hotel bynoon. I was staying at Saj on the Mountains located close to the tourist spots in Mahableshwar. I ate lunch at their restaurant called Fasal. Saj has three restaurants; Fasal serving authentic Gujurati and Rajasthani thalis, Wilson Cafe a multi cuisine cafe and the newly launched Darwin serving European food. I relished a Thali at Fasal with everything from pakoda kadi, dahi ki tikki, anjeer puran poli, jaipuri aloo and basundi. Fasal believes in a farm to fork ideology and they use locally produced ingredients and directly tie up with farmers for all their food which is organic and wholesome. They also grow items like bajra and wheat in house which they use for a lot of their roti’s and veggies. All the restaurants work on different themes, Darwin the recently launched European bar & restaurant has a modern set up with a mini library, swings for seating, beakers and booth style seating as décor. On the other hand, the Wilson café is an open café, close to the poolside area where you can dine and at the same time enjoy some hot chocolate in the cool weather.

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This property is located up in the mountains close to the main Mahableshwar market and the Venna lake. The ambience is perfect to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the resort. They believe that everything should be accessible to their guests so that they can enjoy their stay at the hotel and at the same time explore Mahableshwar by only traveling short distances. For larger groups they arrange a variety of activities including strawberry picking at farms near by.

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Mahableshwar is the perfect getaway to just unwind in the pleasant weather. It is well-known for varied reasons – Old cultural temples, the main market where you can shop for wooden items, woolen clothes, leather bags and of course munch on some charcoal grilled corn cobs, strawberry and cream, carrots, radishes, gooseberries and mulberries. Eating at a farm area while visiting Mahableshwar is a must!

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A place like Mahableshwar has always been a savior when it comes to escaping the heat of the city even if it’s for a short time span. Everything about this place brings us close to nature, be it the air, the mountains or the freshly grown produce. Places like Mahabaleshwar are definitely a refreshing and soothing break from the city life.

Celebrating the Great Indian Restaurant Festival 2017 at Cafe Terra

There’s a secret spot in Bandra, away from all the chaos & commotion of the city. Café Terra, located right above the Executive Enclave hotel is a charming rooftop bar serving all types of quick foods, beer & sangria’s. I discovered this spot on the Dineout India Application while going through GIRF’s offers for 2017. Yes, the Great Indian Restaurant Festival 2017 is here!

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The Great Indian Restaurant festival is offering unbelievable discounts like 50%
off on your Food, Alcohol & discounted set menus at more than a 1000+ restaurants across the city. They have offers from restaurants all across Mumbai like Raasta, Yauatcha, Masala Bar, Harrys, Shiro, Cafe Zoe, Chillis and many many more!

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What you can expect at Café Terra: As per the food goes, there’s everything from bar bites to sizzlers to pizzas & everything else you’d want with a chilled glass of beer. They have a fun range of cocktails, wine & sangria as well. The bar bites and salads at Terra are a preferable choice for pairing with your beverages. I would recommend this place specifically for the rooftop bar, if you’re looking to unwind after work & grab a drink.

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If you’ve been wanting to get away from the commotion of the city, de-stress & grab a drink, Cafe Terra is the place to be. Especially at this time of the year, not only because of the pleasant weather but also because of the 50% off you will be getting on your food bill. The GIRF also has offers like 50% off on your alcohol bill and discounted set menu meals at restaurants across the city.

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Check out the offer at Cafe Terra and more offers on the Dineout India app or their website: http://www.dineout.co.in/girf (The GIRF’s on till the 11th of this month)

P.S. Avail additional 20% cashback powered by PhonePe. Get 50% off your ride upto Rs.100 on Uber.

Inox Muchos x XXX:Return of Xander Cage

We recently visited the Inox at Malad for the apparent blockbuster XXX: Return of Xander Cage. As disappointing as the movie was, we were glad we chose Inox both for the movie experience and of course the munchies. The Inox brand has recently launched a whole new range of their snack packs, which is being sold not only at the theatres but 3000 retail outlets as well.

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There is a variety of fun popcorn flavours to choose from like Pineapple +Chilli, Cheese + Pepper and our absolute favourite toffee won caramel (we finished more than half the pack before the movie even started). The Inox brand has also launched Nacho packs with dips and Kettle Cooked Chips.

 

Disbarring the disappointing movie, we had a great movie experience at Inox & the snacks made up for all the disappointment and the best part was we picked up some of the snack packs back to enjoy them at home and have our own movie experience.

Movie Munching with Muchos

Have you ever just wanted to unwind and watch a movie at home while munching on some good old theatre caramel popcorn? Well, the Inox brand has now made that possible and is taking the movie experience out of theatres. Yes, you can now enjoy your popcorn and much more right at your home and not travel all the way to a theatre. The Inox brand recently launched their range of snack packs called ‘Muchos’ which literally mean munching in Spanish.

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The Muchos range has everything from Nachos to Popcorn to Kettle Cooked Chips. With top-notch quality Muchos is inspired by international flavors, which would keep you craving for more (We really wish there was more in the packs)

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Here are all the deets you need for Muchos range of products:

  1. Popcorn:
  • The Pineapple Green Chilli Affair: For all those who need a little spice and sweet to break the monotony
  • How Toffee Won Caramel: Yes, we’re talking double the amount of caramel and we’re not complaining (We cleaned the entire pack in minutes)
  • Super Cheese vs Pepperman: Because cheese popcorn’s way to mainstream

2. Kettle Cooked Chips: Thicker. Real Potato. Flavored With Love

  • Taste Side Story: Cheddar & Parmesan Cheese + Basil + Oregano
  • Pirates of Kettle Island Starring Rock Sea Salt

 

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3. Nachos: For the First time ever Inox introduces a Nacho Pack with a Dip Pack inside it!

  • Salsa Mexicana: Tomato Bell Pepper
  • Love Triangle: Cheese Jalapeno with a cheesy dip
  • Night of the Piri Piri: Piri-Piri Chilli +Lemon +Oregano

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Here’s the whole range of the Muchos Snack Packs. They’re available not only at all the Inox cinemas but across 3000 stores in Mumbai!

Check out their website for more details: http://mymuchos.com/