This south Indian-themed pub is breaking stereotypes with coastal platter

If you ignore the twist in the spelling, uttering the word SamBar instantly reminds one of the popular and traditional ‘sambar’ Tamil lentil delicacy. Additionally, you might be surprised that SamBar serves a peppery Rasam Mary. But there’s a catch.

Located near Khar railway station, the newly opened south Indian-themed pub and kitchen ‘SamBar’ offers a variety of southern coastal food and drinks, celebrating the diverse culture of the region and breaking the stereotypes of “south Indian” food.

While Mumbaikars are well-versed with seafood with its various Malvani cuisines of the Konkan region, SamBar is one of the places where foodies can explore the rest of the coastal areas on a platter. Since the owner of the place, young Mangalorean boy Pragnesh Rai, grew up in Mumbai, the authentic flavour of every dish is guaranteed to match up to the taste buds of foodies.

On entering the bar, which is decorated with wall paintings of Kathakali dancers, you are welcomed by waiters wearing lungis and T-shirts and big welcoming smiles. Looking at the beverage menu, some of the cocktails certainly made me curious — Capi Madras and Rasam Mary are two of them.

Being a coffee fan, I settled for Capi Madras, a cocktail of vodka, coffee liquor and cardamom, served in two steel tumblers, like the way filter coffee is served. Well, it is enjoyable only if you like the strong flavour of coffee.

I continued with a whiskey sour along with Kori Vepuddu, an amazing south Indian spicy twist on chilli chicken.

sambar, sambar mumbai, sambar south indian food, sambar food, sambar lunch, south indian dishes, food, lifestyle, indian express, indian express newsThough chicken platters are quite a common affair at any pub here, keeping the choice of Mumbaikars in mind, SamBar serves a delicious sea food platter that combines dishes from various coastal regions. The platter includes meen urundai (a Tamil delicacy), peppered meen (a Kerala delicacy), Andhra fish finger (from Andhra Pradesh) and prawns Koliwada (fried shrimp in coastal patrani macchi). This is a highly recommended platter for fishetarians!

However, for people like me with a small appetite, Meen polichattu is a must try. If you are trying to find out a common factor of this Kerala cuisine, let me give you a reference. If you are well versed with Parsi food, this is similar to patrani macchi, and if you are a fan of Bengali food, meen polichattu will remind you of bhetki macch paturi.

But the spicing makes all the difference. The caramelised onion with a tangy, spicy marination wrapped in banana leaf, gives this Kerala steamed fish a distinct taste.

For the main course, I finished with a classic combo of mutton sukkha and appam. However, I did not end my food ride on a sweet note as I don’t have a sweet tooth. But my suggestion would be to try the awesome payasam.

Indian restaurant in UK fined over complaints of ‘curry smell’

While many of us would probably love it if we had sumptuous biryani smell wafting through all day, that wasn’t the sentiment shared by the neighbours of this Indian restaurant in the UK. The owners of Khushi Indian Buffet Restaurant have been fined by a court after neighbours complained of strong ‘curry smells’ emanating from the eatery. Middlesbrough Council fined owners Shabana and Mohammed Khushi after the establishment sent aromas of ‘biryanis’ and ‘bhajis’ filtering through the area.

The court reprotedly said the Linthorpe restaurant lacked a ‘sufficient filtration system’. Because of this, a bunch of locals had been complaining about the smells, which led to the council’s decision, according to a Metro report. Khushi, which serves Punjabi dishes and was based in the Red Rose pub, was set in a built-up residential area alongside other businesses.

The hearing took place last week at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, where District Judge Kristina Harrison heard from a council prosecutor that some locals complained of the smell of the spicy food from Khushi’s kitchen getting in through their windows overpowering. According to a Gazette Live report, the smells were so strong that the residents even felt the need to wash their clothes in order to get the smell out.

The duo was fined £258 each, ordered to pay £500 costs each, and a £30 victim surcharge.

biryani, biryani smell, indian eatery fined for biryani smell, Khushi Indian Buffet Restaurant,, Shabana and Mohammed Khushi, indian express, indian express newsIn their defence, their solicitor Neil Douglas said that since the two had moved into a former pub building, no variation of planning permission was needed and therefore the Khushis were never made aware of the type of filters they needed. There were some letters in favour of the couple, including one from a charity that praised the owners for providing food and drink to the local food bank, while some others said they don’t have a problem with the curry smells on the road, it didn’t stall the fine.

According to reports, a company specialising in fitting out Asian restaurants installed the kitchen in 2015, leading the couple to believe they had the right equipment. The pair, joint directors in the business, have already upgraded their filtration system, but face another £3,500-4,500 bill to complete the work.

Shabana, 42, speaking after the case, was quoted as saying, “We are relieved that it’s all over, but we feel let down by the council.” “We’ve tried to be a good neighbour but we feel we’ve been targeted by a small minority of people. Others have said they can’t smell anything until they’re inside the restaurant,” she said.

Mohammed, 46, said, “It has been very stressful. We have had this hanging over us, and we will also have the fine hanging over us and when you start a business, you’re trying everything you can to be a success.” The Khushis, however, had admitted failing to comply with an abatement notice, which aimed to stop “cooking odours being emitted by the extraction system at said premises, in order to prevent nuisance being caused to neighbouring occupiers”, between March and September last year.

From the Royal Kitchens

Culinary secrets from Rampur have crept their way into the kitchen of Taj Palace’s Masala Art in Delhi. Together with five khansamas who claim to have inherited their cooking legacies from their forefathers who served the royalty of Rampur, the staff of the restaurant have conjured up an array of dishes from a cuisine that is gradually being pushed into obscurity. “We have travelled across India and internationally to bring the essence of Rampuri cuisine to a larger audience. The cuisine, unfortunately, remains unexplored to this day,” said Suroor Khan, one of the visiting chefs, who is also a local caterer in Rampur.

The food served at the restaurant includes a rich reduction of lamb stock with a layer of fat floating over the curry, called Gosht taar korma; Dohra kebab; Kachche gosht ki tikki, the Indian cousin of the Afghani chapli kebab; and Adrak ka halwa, made using age-old techniques. The festival also features easily overshadowed delicacies such as Dum aloo in a tangy bukhara gravy, a halwa made from an assortment of vegetables and a Satrangi subzi.

The heavy-handed use of whole spices — cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, khus roots and sandalwood — lend the courtly cuisine a distinctive aroma. But it is hard to differentiate from the Mughlai and Awadhi fare, as proximity of their places of origin ensures both relatedness and comparison. In 1774, Nawab Faizulla Khan established the town by ousting the Rohillas with the help of the East India Company. In return, the Nawabs remained acquiescent to the British, thereby making Rampur safe for artists, chefs and poets, including Mirza Ghalib. This perhaps explains its similitude of flavours with other cuisines of the region.

Taj Palace masala art, rampur, culinary skills, culinary style, food, places to eat, places to eat in Delhi, indian express talkEven as Khan spoke of the food of his hometown in exalted terms, he shied away from sharing techniques of preparation, attributing the subtle taste and melt-in-the-mouth meat to a sleight of hand. However, after much cajoling, he divulged, “We slow-cook our food in clay pots and use ginger and onions to make the gravy. Unlike the food in Lucknow and Delhi, our gravies rarely use tomatoes as the base. Our kebabs such as Dohra or Kachche gosht ki tikki are soft because more time is spent on gilawat. We use bottlegourd and raw papaya to tenderise the meat before cooking it.” The peeli mirch or yellow chilli, a local favourite, is used liberally in all dishes though the cuisine is not for the fire-toothed.

The use of varq or silver leaf too began in Rampur’s kitchens. “The varq ensures that the food remains moist. It replaced the traditional parda (coating of flour) way of serving food in the Mughal courts,” added Khan.

Want to experiment with food? This Mediterranean restaurant is perfect for all moods

Not many restaurants are successful in catering to diverse set of audiences, moods and occasions — an ideal family dinner, a meeting adda for friends, solo dining or a quiet place to flick through a recent book while sipping your coffee. On the contrary, this new kid on the block seems to tick all the right boxes.

As the name suggests, Baris — a peaceful Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in the heart of the national capital — seems to brilliantly combine tailored efforts to cater to diverse sets of audiences.

The classy two floor place can be relished in both the fine dining section and the laid back lounge where sky is the limit for the traditional hookah.

The restaurant section has a colour coordinated interior with arabesque windows, which is not only some sort of a soothing balm on the eyes but it can also comfortably engage at least 50 people. The terrace – with lovely decor all over – makes it a beautiful place and offers seating for another 50.

Baris is everything you can hope for, from traditional and authentic Mediterranean flavour dishes and desserts to die for to admirable presentation, service, atmosphere and Turkish aesthetics.

The menu has been created with the help of Turkish chef Sahin Ibis who takes you on a journey through Turkish streets.

Starting from Cigar Borek — crispy cigar rolls with feta cheese — to Adana and Urfa Kebab, every savoury was a delight prepared with authentic Middle Eastern flavours.

While the Adana Kebabs — named after a major city in southern Turkey — will miraculously melt in the mouth, the Urfa Kebabs will take you to to the land of the crescent moon. These delicacies were as juicy as it can get and were perfectly grilled.

The well presented lamb shanks, rice pudding, the kababs and pumpkin Catalana were among the chef’s signature dishes.

Mediterranean, Mediterranean restaurant, Mediterranean food, Baris, Baris food, New Delhi, best restaurant in capital, best food in capital, Mediterranean delicacies, latest, food and wine, food porn, Indian express, indian express news“I have blended Middle-Eastern and Asian spices according to Indian palates which gives an appropriate taste suiting Indian taste buds,” the chef said.

“We have also experimented with dIfferent kind of herbs such as thyme and rosemary to produce improvised taste,” he added.

Not only did the place have a lot to offer in non-vegetarian section but there was also a large share of vegetables, and surprisingly the vegetarian food was equally impressive.

Peynir kebab and Mantar Yahnisi are delights to try. The chef emphasised the fact that he prepared the dishes according to Indian palates. “We use much less spices in Turkey. If I serve you what we eat in Turkish homes, you’ll find it horrendously bland.”

Mocktails on offer are different too and go well with Turkish Pide (Pizza). My pizza selection was Demeluzzz pide, which was simply mouth watering. In mocktails, I tried Moraccan Mystery, a muddled drink with Pomegranate and Coriander.

Want to try Nawabi delicacies? Rampur’s royal kitchens will surprise you

When one thinks of Rampur, it is the formidable Rampuri “‘chaku” (knife) as well as the lilt of Mirza Ghalib’s poetry that comes to mind — but there is more to the city than that.

It may come as a surprise to many that Rampur’s culinary history dates to 1774, when Syed Faziullah Khan founded the city.

Rampuri cuisine has its dishes made in clay pots and is spiced with unrefined khada (raw) masalas, dalchini (cinnamon), sandalwood and peeli mirch (yellow chilly).

The city, some 150 km from the national capital, has had an abundance of cooks and artists from the surrounding areas settling there. For this reason, the city’s cuisine is heavily influenced by Mughlai, Afghani, Lucknowi, Kashmiri and Awadhi cuisines.

Rampuri cuisine was developed by the chefs of the Nawabs and is known for its distinct flavours and dishes with recipes passed on from the royal kitchen.

Haji Bhoora, a descendant of the city’s chefs, is in the capital with his team for a Rampuri Food Festival at the Masala Art outlet at the Hotel Taj Palace.

He said one of his forefathers was chosen by Faizullah to take over the royal kitchen. “He was the first nawab of Rampur and was very particular about his cuisine being unique. And that’s how the journey of this nawabi food began,” the 49-year-old said.

So, here’s what’s cooking:

We started our meal with griddle seared kachhe gosht ki tikki, dohra kabab and murgh sondha. It’s made of pounded minced lamb kebab — the best non-vegetarian alternative to the famous aloo tikki and perhaps better than that.

Dohra kabab was intriguing at first because of its skewered combination of chicken and lamb mince kebab but the taste was just perfect. Murgh sondha was like any other desi version of grilled chicken — crispy and nice.

However, the clear winner was gosht ki tikki that took the gastronomic experience to a whole new level.

Royal kitchens, nawabi food, lucknow food, best nawabi food, ginger halwa, ginger pudding, mutton biryani, best mutton korma, Mughlai, Afghani, Lucknowi, Kashmiri, Awadhi cuisines. subz meetha, foood, healthy and tasty food, Latest news, Indian Express, Indian Express NewsFor the main course, I picked murgh jehangiri and gosht taar korma, along with mutton biryani and rotis.

The main course doesn’t really live up to the great expectations that were raised out after eating such delightful starters.

The murg jehangiri, cooked in yoghurt and almond gravy, was visually quite inviting but didn’t taste all that great perhaps because the very flavour of almonds didn’t go well with the meat.

Bhoora described gosht taar korma as the signature dish in the royal kitchen of Rampur. The slow cooked lamb in rich marrow gravy was just fine.

One thing to look forward in the main course is the heavenly mutton biryani — perhaps the best I have had so far, beating all other varieties available in the city.

By the time I was done with the mains, I was so full that there was hardly any room left for desserts. But the final platter had two unimaginable desserts on offer — adrak ka halwa and subz meetha — that were not to be missed.

There was something really soothing about the famous Rampuri dessert made of vegetables — subz meetha.

Next up was ginger pudding. Before eating this, the only imaginable sweet thing made of ginger is perhaps the herbal solution of ginger juice and honey.

But strangely, this bizarre halwa was so tasty and just the best way to end the meal. Overall, a great experience.

Dubai, UK, Singapore most preferred vegetarian-friendly holiday destination by Indians

With a high vegetarian population in the country, outbound travellers choose a destination based on accessibility to vegetarian food in which Dubai, the UK and Singapore are preferred the most, according to a survey.

As per the latest Cox and Kings survey, ‘Top vegetarian-friendly destinations and preferences of Indian vegetarian outbound travellers’, Dubai, the United Kingdom and Singapore have topped the list. Other destinations preferred by vegetarians for holidaying are the US, Switzerland, Malaysia, Israel, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, it added.

The survey was conducted from January to March 2017 with a sample size of 5,000 respondents with age groups ranging from 20-65 years through Cox and Kings offices.

Due to an increase in the number of vegetarian and Indian restaurants and growing Indian population here, these destinations are becoming the top choices for Indian vegetarian travellers.

The survey also revealed that cuisine is the most important factor while finalising a holiday. While 70 per cent of the vegetarian travellers choose their destination based on accessibility to food of their choice, 30 per cent would scout for a vegetarian restaurant after they have selected a destination, it said.

It found that 85 per cent of the younger generation, between the age group 20-45 years, is open to cosmopolitan tours where they are served veg food. Whereas the majority of the travellers in the age bracket 46-65 years would necessarily opt for a group tour that assures vegetarian food. Assurance of a vegetarian meal drives type of tour and accommodation to be chosen, it said.

food, vegetarian, indian vegetarian, veg holiday destination, veg friendly holiday countries, vegetarian friendly countries, travel news, food news, lifestyle news, india news, latest newsThe survey said about 71 per cent of the vegetarian travellers chose vegetarian tours over cosmopolitan ones, the
reason being the availability of meals of their choice.

Hotels with vegetarian restaurants are preferred by 53 per cent of the vegetarian travellers, whereas only 20 per cent will be fine with a multi cuisine restaurant, it said.

“The demand for vegetarian outbound tours mainly comes from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu,” Cox and Kings head, relationships, Karan Anand said.

The survey found that 77 per cent of vegetarian travellers would carry ready-to-eat pre-packaged food items like noodles and upma, among others, on a shorter trip.

However, they would necessarily select a vegetarian-friendly destination if they have decided to go on a longer
vacation, that is more than five days, it added.

Study shows about 40 per cent of food in the US gets wasted

About 40 per cent of food is wasted in the US, say scientists who found that most of the discarded food contains important nutrients that could have helped Americans meet their daily dietary needs.

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University in the US calculated the nutritional value of food wasted at the retail and consumer levels, shining a light on just how much protein, fiber and other important nutrients end up in the landfill in a single year.

These lost nutrients are important for healthy diets, and some – including, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and vitamin D – are currently consumed below recommended levels. Nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, seafood and dairy products are wasted at disproportionately high rates.

Previous research estimated that as much as 40 per cent of food is wasted nationally, but it was not clear before this study how nutritious that food was. “Huge quantities of nutritious foods end up in landfills instead of meeting Americans’ dietary needs,” said Marie Spiker, from Johns Hopkins.

“Our findings illustrate how food waste exists alongside inadequate intake of many nutrients,” said Spiker.

For the study, the researchers calculated the nutritional value of the retail- and consumer-level food waste of 213 commodities in 2012.

The research team, looking at 27 nutrients in all, found that food wasted in the US food supply that year contained
1,217 calories, 33 grams of protein, 5.9 grams of dietary fibre, 1.7 microgrammes of vitamin D, 286 milligrammes calcium and 880 milligrammes potassium per person, per day.

food, food wastage, USA, USA food, american food, america food wastage, american healthy diet, food news, usa news, lifestyle news, health news, indian expressNutrient loss estimates provided by researchers could contribute to a baseline for measuring future progress, researchers said.

The study also highlights how the amount of nutrients lost to waste compares to nutritional deficits in the typical American diet.

For example, dietary fiber is important for maintaining digestive health and is found in grains, vegetables and fruits.

Researchers estimate that, in 2012, food wasted each day contained upwards of 1.8 billion grammes of dietary fiber,
which is comparable to the full recommended intake for dietary fiber for 73.6 million adult women.

American women under-consumed dietary fibre by 8.9 grammes per day in 2012. The study found that the daily amount of wasted dietary fibre is equivalent to the amount needed to fill this nutritional gap for as many as 206.6 million adult women.

“While not all food that is wasted could or should be recovered, it reminds us that we are dumping a great deal of
high quality, nutritious food that people could be enjoying,” said Roni Neff, an assistant professor at John Hopkins.

The findings were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

5 simple kitchen hacks that will make your life easier

The kitchen can be a daunting place for many of us – with too many things happening in too less time! Notwithstanding whether you are a fabulous cook or a novice, most of us have been accused of wasting food, peeling a hard-boiled egg in a terrible fashion or simply making a mess in the kitchen.

All of us can do with a little help and some times it is incredibly simple. There are several kitchen hacks that can make your life simpler, and cooking an absolute delight. We bring you five of them.

 kitchen hacks, easy tricks in the kitchen, how to peel a hard-boiled egg, how to keep lettuce fresh for a long tine, ways to heat leftover food, indian express, indian express newsKEEPING LETTUCE FRESH

Keeping moisture out of lettuce can be quite a task, and most of us do not own fancy containers. But there is an easy way to keep them fresh for a long time. Check out this simple hack.


Peeling garlic can be pretty messy, and no matter how much you try, a bit of the skin always remain. However there is a simple way to peel garlic, and the best part is that in the end, your finger will not smell.

Indian eatery in UK may shut down after human meat report

An Indian restaurant in the UK could be forced to shut down after a fake news report claiming it serves human meat went viral on Facebook, according to a media report.

Shinra Begum, the owner of ‘KarriTwist’ in south east London, said people have threatened to vandalise the building and police officers have been called in. However, the article originated from a prank news site where anonymous users can submit their own fake news before sharing the stories on social media, reported on Wednesday.

“One person said he would have broken the windows if our shutters weren’t up. One member of the public did report it to the police. It has greatly affected our business. We have had people call us up telling us how dare you serve us human meat.

If it wasn’t happening to me I would laugh about it,” Shinra said.

KarriTwist, Shinra Begum, UK, FAKE NEWS, FAKE NEWS on UK restaurant, food in hotels, meat, human meat, human meat news, UK HOTELS, Health and food, indian express, indian express news“This has done the rounds everywhere and people are believing this. We have had it for 60 years and it could shut down after somebody wrote something like this,” she said.

“Even though the article, consisting of just a single paragraph, was littered with spelling and grammatical errors, people believed it was true,” Shinra added.

It was shared on Facebook with the headline: ‘ASIAN RESTAURANT SHUT DOWN FOR USING HUMAN MEAT.’

The story read: “Last night Indian restaurant owner Rarjan Patel was arrested for using human meat in his food recipes at his New Cross Restaurant, it is said that a total of 9 human body’s were found frozen ready to be processed for meat, Rarjan Patel remains in custody for further questioning whilst the restaurant has been closed down.”

The prank news site contains a number of fake stories, including false reports claiming people have died and that certain individuals are paedophiles. Shinra said she has seen a drop in customers since the story showing up. As a result of the restaurant being less busy, some staff have had their hours cut.

Drink it up: Refreshing thirst quenchers you can whip up at home

All you need are some delicious fruits, juices, a muddle, blender, and a shaker. Chop, blend and shake and voila — delicious wonders served up in a glass!

Chef Atul Shankar Mishra of The Royal Plaza hotel shares some simple mocktail recipes that are easy to whip up.

* Cucumber Squash

Mint leaves: 100gms
Cucumber: 1
Lime juice: 15 ml
Sugar syrup: 15 ml
Sprite: 1 Can
Black salt: As per taste

Put all the ingredients, except the Sprite, in a blender and whizz. Once they are well- blended, add the Sprite and combine or shake. Serve chilled with a cucumber wheel garnish and a thick straw.

* Orange Mint Mojito

Orange chunks: 6
Brown sugar: 1 cube
Lime juice: 15 ml
Mint leaves: 100 gm
Sprite: 1 can

Combine all the ingredients, except the Sprite, and muddle. Once everything comes together and all the gorgeous fragrance and flavours are released, top it up with Sprite. Serve chilled and garnish with orange wedges.

* Pineapple Punch

Basil leaves: 100 gms
Pineapple chunks: 6
Lime juice: 15 ml
Sugar syrup: 15 ml
Soda: 1 Can

Muddle all the ingredients, except the soda, well. Once they all combine and come together nicely and the juices flow, top it up with soda. Serve chilled with a pineapple chunk and basil leaves garnish.

Chef Charles Chee Kent Fui, Head Wok Specialist at Mumbai’s Hakkasan, shares some fruity delights apt for the unforgiving sun.

mocktails, best mocktails, thirst quenchers, mocktails and fun, home made mocktails, refreshing thirst quenchers, healthy lifestyle, indian express, indian express news* Virgin Hakka


Lychee, lime, coconut, passion fruit
Lychee juice
Ice cubes

Combine all the fruits in a shaker while topping it up with lychee juice and ice cubes. Shake well to combine. Pour out in a serving glass and serve chilled.

* Green Nile

Kiwi, ginger, coriander leaves, lime, lychee
Apple juice
Ice cubes

Put together all the ingredients, including the ice but not the apple juice and combine with a good shake. Add apple juice, combine again. Pour out in a serving glass and serve chilled

Chef Wang Yixuan, Consultant Dim Sum Head Chef at Mumbai’s Yauatcha, has lined up a delicious mocktail recipe so simple that even the laziest of us wouldn’t be able to resist trying

* Kiwi and lime mocktail

Kiwi, kiwi syrup, Passion fruit juice, passion fruit syrup, lime juice, jasmine tea, ice cubes

Shake all the ingredients, including the ice cubes, and combine well. Pour in a serving glass and top it up with ice cubes. Garnish with a kiwi wheel on a stick.