Indian Cuisine – Best of All!!

food2

Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

The cuisine of India is famous for its use of spices, herbs and other exotic ingredients. The style of cooking and flavors differ in every part of this country. India is well known globally for its diverse cuisines and a large assortment of dishes served with unbeatable hospitality, dishing bliss-on-a-platter to the food lovers.

The Indian cuisines most popular with the travelers are Mughlai and delicacies from the North-West Frontier epitomized by the ITC Bukhara in New Delhi. Mughlai cuisine is an ancient technique of cooking developed in the India in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperors. It has been influenced by the cooking styles of multiple lands developing a unique and rare blend – several delicacies with spicy to mild flavors, with a lingering rich aroma of whole and ground spices & herbs, assortment of meats cooked as kebabs or relished with gravies, and an assortment of mouth-watering breads. North Western Frontier brings to us the Peshawari cuisine, a rustic and delectable style of cooking. In this cuisine, large pieces of vegetables and meats are marinated and prepared at high temperatures in the tandoor (clay-oven), to keep the food tender and moist. The spices, herbs and flavors used will suit every palate – of course with adjustment of chilies to taste.

Apart from these, there are many regional cuisines famous among the tourists like Punjabi food, Rajasthani food, Bengali dishes, Gujarati wholesome thali, Malabar cuisine, Kashmiri food, Awadhi cuisine and delicacies of Chettinard and North Eastern cuisine.

The changing times and innovation has also led to localization of many international cuisines, still the original recipes stick out for their authentic taste. India Fusion food has made rave around the world. The cuisine that stands out is the Fusion food. Its origin can be traced back to the British rule in India, where the British and Indian cuisines were fused to create new delicacies. From that time onwards, people have gone ahead and combined foods from various countries together to create a whole new selection of dishes. This cuisine can be found in metropolitan parts of the country, with different preparations to suit different regions.

India’s celebrity, New Delhi born Chef Suvir Saran opened the DeviRestaurant in New York to great reviews. And it is the first Indian restaurant in the U.S. to have earned a Michelin star. The restaurant offers a unique blend of authentic Indian home cooking brought together with traditional and regional delicacies. Chef Manish Malhotra of the Indian Accent at the Manor showcases Indian food for the 21st century with a remarkable creation of fusion specialties. Awarded the best restaurant all India by Time Out, Indian accent, offers a range of tasting menus that are a must try – for one and all!!

food 1There are many Indian dishes, snacks and desserts that are popular world over, like:

7 Popular Indian Snacks

Samosas – fried pastries containing mixed fillings served hot with mint and tamarind chutneys (accompanying sauce). This snack has a lot of preparations and different types of fillings in different parts of the country – common ones being potatoes, peas, vegetables and chicken

Chaat – one of the most famous savory snack available at almost every street / market of the country. Its popularity has off course resulted in its numerous variants using different ingredients in different regions

Bhelpuri – is said to have came from cafes of Gujarat and local food stalls of Mumbai. It is nutritious and delicious, with its main ingredient being puffed rice mixed with tamarind chutney and chopped vegetables

Vada Pav – a famous Maharashtrian snack usually having fried patties of potato in a heated bun with different side ingredients and chutneys

Momos – are popular in the whole country but these did originate in the state of Sikkim as an appetizer. These steamed dumplings can be steamed or fried, filled with boiled and grated vegetables or any type of minced meat, often served with a soup

Paani Puri or Gol Gappa – round, thin and hollow bread, fried till crispy, which is filled with spicy mint water, diced potato and boiled chickpeas, with a hint of tamarind chutney and spices

Idli, Vada and Dosa with Sambar – are popular snacks from South India, also famous all over the country for their distinctive tastes. These are made from fermented lentils and rice batter in various proportions by steaming, deep frying and shallow frying respectively. All served with coconut chutney

 

7 Popular Indian Dishes

Biryani – a rice dish usually cooked using basmati (the best quality of rice), many spices, meat, eggs and vegetables. This world famous dish comes from the ancient and royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperors

Butter Chicken – the renowned chicken preparation, from the kitchens of Punjabi cuisine, which puts India on the Food Map of the world. For this dish, the chicken is marinated in yoghurt with spices and then cooked in a special sauce made with loads of butter, onion, tomato puree and a number of spices, giving it a unique flavor

Tandoori Chicken – a savory dish made with marinated chicken, cooked in a clay oven with several spices.

Kebabs – pieces of meat, vegetables or cottage cheese marinated in flavoring spices and cooked in a clay-oven before serving with a mint chutney

Palak paneer – a delicacy of Punjabi cuisine, usually served with Indian bread made from maize flour. Boiled spinach and cottage cheese are cooked with flavoring spices, onion and a vital hint of garlic

Dal makhani – a rich preparation of lentils and beans cooked with fresh cream, onions, tomato and spices, topped with butter

Naan and Parathas – popular Indian flatbreads prepared plain or with different stuffings. Naan is prepared in a clay oven and served hot, topped with butter. Parathas are usually stuffed with various fillings and cooked over a flat pan, also generously topped with butter

 

7 Popular Indian Desserts

Laddu – made from semolina, gram flour and other flours, mixed with oil, nuts and powdered sugar. Often prepared on festivals for offerings and on wedding occasions to distribute

Carrot halwa – a rich preparation of grated carrots, prepared in ghee (clarified butter) with khoya (thickened or reduced milk), milk and nuts. It is quite popular in North India in winters and is served hot – can leave many gasping for more

Rasgulla – a Bengali sweet made out of dough balls of cottage cheese that are steamed and then thoroughly dipped in sugar syrup

Jalebi – another famous sweet of India made with all purpose fermented flour batter, fried in circular shapes and then soaked in sugar syrup. Often served with Rabri – a delicacy made from condensed milk and served cold as an accompaniment to Jalebi or savored by itself

Gulab Jamun – the staple dessert in India, prepared out of fried khoya balls stuffed with chopped pistachio and other nuts. Dipped in rose flavored sugar syrup and are best enjoyed piping hot

Srikhand – a dessert from the Western and South-Western region of India, made out of strained yogurt mixed with sugar, nuts and different spices for aroma, especially cardamom

Kheer – an Indian rice pudding, made by boiling rice with milk, sugar and an assortment of nuts. It is then served hot or chilled, sprinkled with saffron, silver leaf and raisins

To book an experience, Contact Us

Advertisements

Visiting Islands

Image

Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

The islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep represent a mini India with a rich diversity of language, religion, culture, history, customs and society. The Andaman and Nicobar are islands in the Bay of Bengal, covered with dense forests and with an endless variety of exotic flora and fauna. The topography of the islands is hilly and abounds in evergreen forests, sandy beaches and meandering coastlines fringed with coconut palms that sway to the rhythm of the sea. The rare underwater marine life and corals, crystal clear water and mangrove-lined creeks, are a gift of nature. This is a world class eco-tourism destination with immense potential for adventure and water sports like trekking, island camping, snorkeling, scuba diving etc.

Lakshadweep is one of the most picturesque island destinations in the world today. A vast expanse of pristine beaches beautifully lined with striking palms, turquoise lagoons, dazzling coral reefs, eye catching tourist spots and salubrious climate. This is the ideal place for a break from the fast life, to refresh your spirits with long walks on the beaches, learn about the tribes living here and their traditions, even as you enjoy their cuisine. Enhance your experience with adventure and water sports.

Image

The Indian islands are a perfect destination for nature and adventure lovers who want to experience tranquility and thrill, romantics who want to arm lock in their private space and those who are on a path of rediscovering themselves.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable Island travel experience for you based your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Visiting Central India

Image

Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

Madhya Pradesh, with its capital in Bhopal, is seen as the heart of India. The river Narmada, flanked by the Vindhya and Satpura ranges, runs through it. All three of its major cities—Bhopal, Indore, the largest city and Gwalior, the tourist capital—are associated with royalty—the Begums of Bhopal, the Holkars of Indore and the Scindias of Gwalior. At one time the largest Indian state, before the creation of Chattisgarh, this region is associated with several strong female rulers—Rani Durgavati, Ahalyabai Holkar and the Rani of Jhansi, to name a few. Your visit to Madhya Pradesh could include the tranquil beauty of Pachmarhi; the glittering splendor of Marble Rocks; the roar of the Dhuandhar Falls at Bedaghat; Kanha National Park with its unique Barasingha; Bandhavgarh National Park and a visit to prehistoric caves. Visit Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Ujjain, Chitrakoot and Amarkantak for your spiritual well-being and the temples of Khajuraho to marvel at the skill of the medieval Indian sculptor.

Image

Many cities in Madhya Pradesh—Ujjain, Sanchi, and Vidisha, to name a few—were well-known in the ancient world, a fact to which the archaeological treasures in the museums of the state provide mute testimony. Lovers of Indian classical music will want to visit Gwalior, the home of an important Gharana of North Indian music and the site of the Tansen Music Festival, to celebrate the life of Akbar’s much-loved court musician, who is buried here.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable Central India experience for you based on your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Pink Escapes – Bespoke India Experience

http://carlosmeliablog.com/pink-escapes-bespoke-india-experience/

Visiting West India

photo278

Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

The west of India includes a marvelous expanse spreading over Gujarat and Maharashtra, the two Indian states that are centers of business and the textile hub of India. Gujarat offers breathtaking locations and a scenic landscape, considered a melting pot of several civilizations resulting in a vibrant culture and a rich heritage. Azure seas meet sparkling sands, and the jungles are verdant, lush and green, where lion prowl and flamingos preen. Marble temples, white and pure, reflect the glory of the days of yore.

Mumbai – ‘Commercial Capital of India’, ‘City that never sleeps’, ‘City of Dreams’ – is the capital of Maharashtra. The city is forever alive, pulsating, vivacious and always on the move. Maharashtra also offers a gateway to the age-old palaces of the Maratha kings, carvings at Ajanta and the Ellora Caves and a spiritual experience at the Osho’s ashram in Pune. To top it all Goa, “The land of Sun, Sand and Sea”, is blessed with splendid scenic beauty, golden beaches, beautiful rivers, natural lakes and an architectural splendor – undoubtedly a “Paradise”. Once a Portuguese territory it portrays multitude of exquisite architecture and is also known for its magical night life – abundant bars and restaurants can leave night birds and gastronomes in a state of bliss.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable West India experience for you paced as per your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Visiting North East India

Image

 Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

North-Eastern India encompasses Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, which are called the seven sisters. These states exemplify the joys of the simple life and the beauties of nature. Visit the tea estates in Assam, as well as the Kaziranga and Manas National Parks, where the Asian elephant lives in the wild. Learn about the work done in Assam to conserve the one-horned rhinoceros. Take a canoe down the rivers of Arunachal, which change their course and their moods in a moment. In Nagaland, visit the fourteen Naga tribes that coexist in harmony, some of whom have their own language. Meghalaya, literally means ‘The Abode of Clouds’ and is considered the ‘Scotland of the East’ because of its picturesque mountains and mesmerizing landscape.

Image

The North East has its own unique culture, as seen in the folk dances of Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal, as well as the classical dance of Manipur, based on lord Krishna’s worship. There are many unusual and delectable cuisines to try, several tribes to acquaint with and plenty of unspoiled scenery to explore. You could get intoxicated here on fresh air alone.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable North East experience for you based on your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Visiting East India

Image

 Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

East India is associated with the rise of Buddhism and Jainism, and the foundation of India’s first empire, that of the Mauryas, as well as its last, that of the British. Begin with Kolkata, which was the capital of British India till 1911 and is today a city of glaring contrasts—known as the birthplace of the Bengal Renaissance, Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, it also has a vast population that lives in slums, despite being one of three states in India where the Communist Party formed a democratically elected government that ruled for over thirty years.

Image

Kolkata is also known for the Durga Puja, celebrated joyously in September-October each year, as the Goddess comes on her annual visit to her parents’ home, accompanied by her children. The puja is a community affair—pandals are lavishly decorated, and music & dance surrounds the air. Follow in the footsteps of the Buddha, on visits to Bodhgaya, Gaya, Rajgir and Vaishali in Bihar; enjoy the beauties of Orissa’s unspoilt beaches; delight in the Konark Sun Temple, which is designed in the shape of a chariot and participate in the Jaganath Rath Yatra in Puri, and marvel at the arts and crafts associated with this region. In Sikkim, trek through the Kanchenjunga and visit monasteries, as you gasp at the wonderful landscape and the biodiversity.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable East India experience for you based on your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Visiting South India

Image

 Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

South India encompasses states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, as well as the union territory of Pondicherry. These southern states are known for their fairs and festivals; tea, spice and coffee plantations; wildlife; ancient temples; beautiful hill stations; beaches and backwaters. On your visit, you can also avail of various alternate therapies to heal the body and rejuvenate the spirit—everything from Ayurvedic massages, hydro-therapies, naturopathy, to yoga and meditation retreats. South India also offers a variety of cuisines, from the courtly Hyderabadi cuisine of the Nizams to the mild Udupi cuisine of Karnataka, the seafood of Malabar and the Chettinad from Tamil Nadu.

Image

Voted among the world’s best travel experiences, don’t miss a Kerala Houseboat Cruise. As the houseboat winds its way along spectacular waterways, witness a way of life that is beautiful, laid-back and where nature abounds – a tranquil blend. Experience the ancient temples, confluence of great oceans, pristine beaches, mesmerizing folklore and more, on a South India Sojourn.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable South India experience for you based on your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Visiting North India

Taj Mahal

 Visit Us     Facebook     Flickr     Twitter

Northern India is a tourist’s delight. It has shaped the course of India’s historical and cultural evolution over the last 5000 years. It is the birthplace of many religions; several sacred rivers flow into the northern plains from the snow-capped Himalayas and India’s many conquerors, emperors and rulers have left behind the remains of forts, palaces and temples for us to marvel at.

Drown in the beauty of the Taj Mahal; visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; explore ancient forts and remarkable palaces; appreciate the many and varied arts and crafts and meet the warmest people ever to welcome you.

City palace from Lake Pichola

Visit Rajasthan, home to legendary warriors and kings, where royalty is still held in reverence; travel through Kashmir and Himachal, where the cool climate provides much-needed relief to holidaymakers during India’s scorching summers; wander through the colorful bazaars of Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh, looking for just the right artifact to present to loved ones and friends back home; go on camel safaris in the Thar desert or elephant safaris in a national park; marvel at the beauties of medieval Indian architecture and the liveliness of modern India in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur; enjoy dining with royalty; relax with the best spa therapies available; achieve a spiritual breakthrough on the banks of the Ganges or discover the essence of religion in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

We can design and execute a completely personalized and memorable North India experience for you based on your interests and imaginations.

To book an experience, Contact Us

Visiting Jaipur – Sightseeing, Shopping and, Eating – Suggestions and Options

Hawa Mahal

Connect with us     Visit Us     Facebook    Flickr     Twitter  

Visiting Jaipur

Jaipur city was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber who ruled from 1699–1744. The construction of the city started in 1727. It took around four years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks based on the anatomy of the human body, two of which contain the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built along with seven strong gates. During the regime of Sawai Ram Singh, the whole city was painted pink to welcome Prince Edward of Wales (who later became King Edward VII). Today, avenues remain painted in pink, giving this famed city its distinctive appearance – a pink hue that is resplendent of their hospitality.

The city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by an elaborate road structure. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses the sprawling Hawa Mahal palace complex, formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory, Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites. Included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit of the North, along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is an extremely popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India.

Sightseeing, Shopping and Eating in Jaipur — Suggestions and Options

Go sightseeing in Jaipur. Start with the old part of the city which tells the tales of great wars, the stories of royal romances and the intricately etched yester years in its every corner. From Panch Batti circle and the old world Raj Mandir cinema, head along M.I. Road, the main thoroughfare. Continue along M.I. Road, and you’ll come across the pink walls of the Jaipur Old City on your left. There are three gates, spaced around 500 meters apart, which provide entry into the Old City. The first one is Ajmeri Gate, followed by New Gate, and lastly Sanganeri Gate.

The Old City is surprisingly well laid out, with its wide, straight streets running in a grid which forms a series of bazaars. Make a photo-stop at Hawa Mahal, which was constructed for ventilation for the women who used to watch the royal march through the screens of this building. This was built by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799.

Visit the Amber Fort, which is known as one of the most fascinating of the Indian forts which includes an amazing set of palaces, temples, gardens and halls. The Shila Mata temple has a great religious importance. If you want to tread up the fort on elephant back, rather suggest you start here early in the morning. Other attractions include Diwan-e-Aam, Sukh Niwas, Jas Mandir and Sheesh Mahal, all of which gives a glimpse into the majesty of days gone by. Do stop at Artchill – showcasing Indian art.

Amber Fort

Enjoy a photo-stop at Jal Mahal, the monsoon palace of the Jaipur Maharajas, located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. Proceed to City Palace, where several courtyards and gardens provide wonderful contrast to its many palatial structures including Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal and the Sri Govind Dev temple. Also visit Jantar Mantar- the Observatory, a world heritage site. This wonderful astronomical observatory is famous throughout the world and bears the hallmark of exceptional astronomical development of the medieval period.

Other sights worth seeing in Jaipur include:

  • Albert Museum
  • BM Birla Planetarium
  • Galtaji
  • Laxmi Narayan Temple
  • Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh
  • Nahargarh Fort (spectacular sunset)
  • Jaigarh Fort
  • Gaitore

Shopping experience in Jaipur can give you an insight in the contrast of old bazaars and modern high end shops of the city. The local ‘Kundan jewelry’ is famous for the intricate work as much as the ‘Navratan jewelry’ (9 stones) that is believed to bring good luck to the users. The exotic blue pottery, the batik work and block printed textiles of Sanganer and Bagru, tie & dye fabrics, Mojaris (the local shoes), sandal wood carving items, beautiful stone carvings etc. An entire street and several city sectors were earmarked for artisans and traders in the past, and they continue to display their rich heritage to this day.

Near the Hawa Mahal are many shops dealing in pseudo-antiques and souvenirs. Some shops opposite Hawa Mahal stock the famous Jaipuri quilts, weighing from a few hundred grams to some kilograms. Nehru Bazaar, situated on the road between Ajmeri Gate and New Gate, is a favorite with the women of Jaipur. Many shops here are selling bright colored fabrics, shoes, trinkets and local perfumes. Bapu Bazaar lies on the road between New Gate and Sanganeri Gate, many shops here sell ethnic and modern clothes, copper utensils and patch-work bags that are famous with locals and tourists alike. Keep an eye out for the marvelously huge banyan tree on the right of this bazaar with its massive intertwined branches.

Stroll along and browse through the shops at Johari Bazaar. If the jewels at the high-end stores were a little out of your taste, you might find other options here that are more pocket-suitable. Johari Bazaar and the lanes that run off it are known for gold and silver jewelery, as well as inexpensive costume jewelry and bangles.

For an unforgettable shopping experience:

  • Ramganj Bazar for shoes or jootis (local styled shoes)
  • Kishanpol Bazar for tie and dye textiles
  • Maniharon Ka Rasta (Tripolia Bazar) for bangles and other items
  • Emporiums for hand-made rugs and carpets
  • Khajano Ka Rasta for marble carving
  • Sanganer village for block printing and hand-made paper
  • Blue pottery manufacturing units

Eating out in Jaipur can leave your heart & stomach filled with the unforgettable aroma of the delicacies of the Rajasthani cuisine and the local flavoring spices. The capital of Rajput kings had an impressive array of mouth-watering delights, kept closely guarded by the royal chefs. Legends tell tales of cooks trying to impress their guests by presenting at least one unforgettable item on the menu. The royal guests were served savory dishes made from stuffed camels, goats, pigs and peacocks. The food was served in gold and silver utensils, with a display of heartwarming hospitality that surpasses every imagination. Jaipur is famous for its Dal-Batti Churma, Mawa Kachori, Mirchi Bada, Rajasthani Subjis, Ghewar, Feeni, Gajak, Chauguni ke laddu and different kinds of Rajasthani breads.

You can visit Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, a very popular food joint as it is easily affordable and serves famous local snacks and sweet dishes – such as mouth watering Raj Kachori and Rasmalai. It is situated in the busy market of Johari Bazaar and serves other authentic Rajasthani specialties too.

Chokhi Dhani is one of the most popular places to sample traditional food, and of course, a slice of true Rajasthani culture. Enjoy camel rides and traditional performances or splurge in the in-house flea-market. This village-style restaurant serves authentic Rajasthani cuisine in an authentic ambiance with is several course fixed menu.

Elephant ride

Pamper your taste buds at Handi Restaurant, on M.I. Road, which specializes in Non-vegetarian biryanis, curries and tandoori items. The atmosphere is great aligned by traditional interiors and a matching decor. Nearby Copper Chimney restaurant is a chic, elegant place with a friendly waiters’ army and a rollicking horse mural to compliment the decor. It offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian food as well as a small selection of Continental and Chinese food. Indian wines are available to accompany the exquisite food, flattering the taste and the aromas.

Spice Court is a relaxed clubhouse restaurant, with a blue-tiled roof and a splendid evening courtyard, the food is fresh, the kitchen spotless, and the kebab platters are a serious business. Folk dancers play perfect companions to the tasteful display of dishes that leave gastronomes asking for more. Choose to order as per your preferences rather than opting for the buffet.

Last but not the least, there are several houses and havelis offering you a flavour of royalty, by giving you an opportunity to dine with a royal family, witnessing the authentic royal hospitality, listen to their tales and savor culinary specialties that have traveled several generations. Not a difficult possibility is to a cooking demo.