Until 6 weeks ago, I was suffering from a serious delusion. I thought my life was perfect and that everything was just right whether it was my health, work, family, friends and so on. Delusion is dangerous. It makes you believe what is not true. It feels good to remain in that make-believe world but an intervention becomes necessary. Being a border -line diabetic came as a shock to me. It felt like I was living in a bubble, thinking I was healthy but that wasn’t true. I was pushed to take the test just because a doctor friend was shocked when I confessed about not able to recall when was the last time I got a health check up done. He literally forced me into and I am glad that he did. The result was not the one I preferred but atleast it was a wake up call which is important because only now I was in a position to do something about it.
When I first got to know that I was a border-line diabetic, I began to analyze why it happened? There could be several reasons –
- My irregular and sometimes extreme diet patterns leading to long hours of starvation or eating heavy meals together
- the stress levels which I was unable to control
Did I feel any symptoms that I ignored? Well, I felt an unnatural craving for sugar where one morning I woke up to have a big cup of milk with 4 tablespoons of Horlicks and plenty of extra sugar and still it felt like it wasn’t enough! I ate a chocolate every few hours and felt my energy crash several times in a day.
I started reading up on diabetes and asked my parents who have been diabetics for so many years for their guidance. Obviously, a lifestyle shift was in order and that is what I did. I started eating my meals more regularly. I tried to work out with discipline and started going for walks. I limited my sugar intake and replaced it with more natural sugars from fruits and dates. Ofcourse I have days where I end up eating more than that is necessary but I compensate it by eating light later. Skipping meals was the most difficult habit to overcome and I still struggle with it. But with the encouragement of my family and friends, I manage to stay disciplined.
This is my last dessert that I developed as a part of the 7 diabetes friendly recipes for Aster Medical Center. It has been absolutely wonderful doing this as it is so close to what I am going through in life. Thank you Aster Medical Center for this opportunity and for running this successful campaign called #AsterAgainstDiabetes. If you have been falling back, here’s your chance to know what Aster Medical Center has been doing this November on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram. You can also get yourself checked for diabetes at their FREE camp happening at Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park on the 4th and 5th of December (4-7 PM)
This dish is a Bengali dessert called Sandesh. I made a rose sandesh using stevia which makes it suitable for diabetics. It is low calorie and is quite healthy without the processed sugar. I also made the paneer at home, which makes this dessert healthier. To make paneer, you can opt for low fat or full fat milk and allow it to heat until it boils. Once it boils, add vinegar to it so that the milk curdles. Take it off the heat and add ice cubes so that the cooking process stops. Place a colander over a pot, layer it with a thin muslin or cotton cloth. Pour the curdled milk into the colandar. Bring the muslin or napkin together and while doing so squeeze the curdled milk. Take a plate and keep the muslin with the curdled milk on it and place a heavy weight on top of it to drain off as much water as possible. It is as simple as that!
For the rest of the recipe –
- 2 litres milk
- 3-4 tbsp of vinegar
- 2 tbsp stevia
- few drops of rose essence
- crushed rose petals
- Once the paneer is drained off all the water, open the muslin cloth and take it out of it in a bowl or a plate. Mash the paneer with your fingers and make it very smooth
- Add stevia and rub it well into the paneer. Add rose essence and the crushed rose petals.
- Knead well to bind and get rid of all the lumps
- Make small 10 round portions and if you have a sandesh mould, place it in there. I did not have a mould so I simply shaped them oval with my hands
- Garnish with more rose petals and store it in the refrigerator
- Serve chilled
The Diabetes -Friendly Dessert Series with Aster Medical Centre – Stuffed peaches with warm orange sauce
There is so much debate and confusion going on about what fruits are safe to eat if you are a diabetic. It seems very unnecessary because how can something natural like a fruit be harmful. We have enough of such harmful processed food that we ingest on a daily basis. All kinds of fruits are safe to eat for a diabetic. It is recommended that with fruits with high fructose should be consumed in limited servings – 1 serving to be precise. On the whole, it is absolutely fine to eat 3-4 servings of fruit each day but spread out through the day.
With the winters setting in which means it is a cobbler, pudding season. There are beautiful peaches, plums, berries of all sorts that can be used to make amazing bakes. A friend bought home these lovely peaches the other day and I felt compelled to do something new with them.
This is a part of the 7 diabetes friendly dessert series I developed for Aster Medical Center. Aster Medical Center is doing a campaign against diabetes this November and all the desserts that have been developed can be enjoyed by diabetics and non-diabetics alike. Follow Aster Medical Center on #AsterAgainstDiabetes on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram. You can get yourself checked for diabetes at their FREE camp happening at Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park on the 4th and 5th of December (4-7 PM)
As for the recipe, here you go-
- 6 fresh peaches, deseeded and cut into halves
- 2 tsp stevia
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- For the stuffing
- 1 cup paneer/ cottage cheese ( crumbled)
- 3 tbp low fat milk
- 2 tbsp stevia
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- Orange sauce
- 1.5 cups orange juice ( freshly squeezed)
- 1/2 tsp stevia
- 2 tsp cornflour , dissolved in 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Heat 2 cups of water, stevia and lemon juice in a heavy bottom pan
- Add the peach halves and let them poach on slow flame. Stir them in between
- Take them out of the pan when the peaches soften and let them cool
- For the stuffing
- Mix the paneer/ cottage cheese with all the ingredients and stuff the cooled peaches.
- Refrigerate the peaches & the stuffing
- For the Orange sauce
- Mix the freshly squeezed orange juice, sugar substitute and cornflour in a pan and cook on slow flame until the mixture thickens
- Add the lemon juice, mix well and keep aside.
- To serve - Take a chilled stuffed peach and place it in a small serving bowl and pour some warm orange sauce and serve immediately
It has been raining desserts on my blog. That is what I call living a sweet life ( that is low -calorie, sugar-free, natural and delicious). For this post, I have a very simple – 2 ingredient pick-me-up dessert that can quell the monstrous sweet cravings that you have while you are on your coffee break in office or as a pre-work out snack that fuels you with energy. Dates are such versatile ingredients and we have the privilege to enjoy the best variety in the Middle East. You can use any variety of dates you like and the result will be just as delicious. These raw balls are gluten- free, dairy- free and processed sugar -free. If you have a nut allergy, you can use seeds such as sunflower or even pumpkin seeds instead of almonds. If you are not an almonds fan, you can swap it with cashews or even pistachio. Everything tastes amazing with dates.
I am doing this 7-diabetes friendly dessert series for Aster Medical Center’s campaign against diabetes. Simply follow #AsterAgainstDiabetes to know more. Has anyone been to the free camps that Aster Medical Center has been conducting at all the prominent super and hyper markets in Bahrain? If yes, you should certainly share your experience by following Aster Medical Center on social media – #AsterAgainstDiabetes on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram
I find that most of my friends who are in their mid -to-late thirties are very reluctant to go and get a diabetes check up done. On probing, I found out that they feel, the results won’t be in their favour and it is better that they don’t get it checked at all. I feel it is preposterous to think like this. Just because you don’t get it checked, doesn’t mean the anomaly is going to go away or cease to exist. But if you get it checked, there’s a chance to slow it down and even reverse the condition. I say this with confidence because, I got my health check up done and found out that I am a border -line diabetic. It was shocking because when it came to diet and exercise, I was better off than most. But the human body is complex and it is affected by the food we eat and the lifestyle we lead. A little introspection told me that the stress of being an entrepreneur was taking a toll on my health. I had to stop worrying so much and let things be especially the stuff that was not in my control. After I got over my initial shock, I thought of cutting out processed sugar as much as possible if not entirely and practice portion control. It is not easy but it is definitely worth a try because my health is my most important asset.
There are several different types of blood glucose tests. Common among them are:
Fasting Blood sugar test (FBS): When fasting the hormone glucagon is stimulated and this increases plasma glucose levels in the body. If a patient doesn’t have diabetes, their body will produce insulin to rebalance the increased glucose levels. However people with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin to rebalance their blood sugar (typically in type 1 diabetes) or their body is not able to use the insulin effectively enough (typical of type 2 diabetes). Consequently when blood glucose levels are tested, people with diabetes will have blood sugar levels significantly higher than people who do not have diabetes.
A postprandial blood sugar test (PPBS) is a blood glucose test that determines the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in the blood after a meal. Glucose comes from carbohydrate foods. It is the main source of energy used by the body.
Normally, blood glucose levels increase slightly after eating. This increase causes the pancreas to release insulin, which assists the body in removing glucose from the blood and storing it for energy. People with diabetes may not produce or respond properly to insulin, which causes their blood glucose to remain elevated. Blood glucose levels that remain high over time can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.
A 2-hour postprandial blood sugar test measures blood glucose exactly 2 hours after eating a meal, timed from the start of the meal. By this point blood sugar has usually gone back down in healthy people, but it may still be elevated in people with diabetes. Thus, it serves as a test of whether a person may have diabetes, or of whether a person who has diabetes is successfully controlling their blood sugar.
So the Aster Special Package for World Diabetes Day includes FBS, PPBS and then a consultation with Internal Medicine Specialist, to interpret the results. All these for only BHD 5.
(source : Aster Medical Center)
So do not hesitate and be promptly get your check up done. You could visit Aster Medical Center’s free camp at Adliya Garden on the 22nd & 23rd of November between 4pm to 7 pm.
- 1 cup fresh dates
- 1 cup almonds
- salt ( optional)
- vanilla essence /almond essence(optional)
- Process all the ingredients in a food processor until its a one, good homogeneous mix.
- Roll out balls and place them on a plate
- Roll the balls in cocoa powder, roasted sesame or even desiccated coconut.
- Enjoy at room temperature. They store well in a fridge if you do not plan to use them in 5-6 days. Mine are gone already.
With so many Indian diabetes-friendly dessert at one go, I began to miss baking. The mad baker in me started to get restless and I knew I needed to do a diabetes friendly bake for sure. I was certain that the recipe that I would develop will also use something seasonal. The weather in Bahrain is just perfect now with the winters setting in slowly bringing with it mesmerizing sunsets and great vegetable and fruit produce. Apples are my absolute favourite when it comes to fruit baking and I wanted to create a dessert that was very simple, delicious yet low calorie.
If you are anything like me, you must be someone who loves to munch stuff on the go. I need to eating something or the other while I am working, reading or even doing household chores. I try and steer clear from processed foods as much as possible and prefer munching on nuts, seeds and fruits. But sometimes even that gets boring, so I try and bake something that ticks all the boxes for taste, effort and makes for guilt-free munching. These baked apple fries definitely fall in that category.
Before I get into the recipe, I would like to introduce you to a very special ingredient –
It comes from the sweet sap that results from tapping the thick flowering stems of the coconut blossom. This sap is further evaporated at low temperatures, producing a raw, low glycemic and nutrient-rich pourable syrup. Low glycemic sweeteners are better choices for most people, but they are especially good for diabetics and those wanting to lose excess body weight. This is because they don’t create blood sugar spikes and don’t cause addictive eating behaviors and cravings soon afterwards. (source)
I bought my coconut nectar from Al Jazeera supermarket in Bahrain. I am sure all the other leading super markets may have it too. I add it to my oatmeal ( but sparingly), use it in my bakes and sweeten my yogurt when I am craving desserts at night. Even if you are not diabetic, I would highly recommend that you use this alternate sweetener.
This post is a part of the 7 , diabetes-friendly dessert series for Aster Medical Center. I have joined their campaign to halt the diabetes epidemic that seems to be striking anyone and everyone, regardless of age or lifestyle. To view my previous posts, click on the links. I created diabetes-friendly shrikhand, dates peda and protein burfi for Aster Medical Center to show my support. You can show your support too by following their campaign – #AsterAgainstDiabetes on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram
There is also a FREE diabetes check up happening at Lulu Hypermarket in Dana Mall on the Nov 19/20/21 Thu/Fri/Sat between 6 pm to 9 pm. Make sure you do not miss this opportunity and get a check up done by the experts at Aster Medical Center.
Now the recipe-
- 2-3 apples ( any variety)
- Organic Coconut nectar - 2-3 big glugs
- 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven at 200 C
- Wash the apples, peel, core and then slice them into thin fries. ( not too think and not too thick)
- Melt the butter in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl
- Coat the apple fries with all the ingredients - butter, coconut nectar, cinnamon and oats.
- Keep it aside for 10 minutes
- Spread out the coated apple fries on a parchment paper, keeping enough space between each fry to bake evenly
- Bake it for 30 minutes ( take care that they don't burn. Incase you feel, they are burning, just take them off even if it is before the 30 minute mark)
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Drizzle with more coconut nectar/ honey and enjoy. Even without drizzle extra coconut nectar it tastes wonderful.
- It tastes more like apple pie but isn't complicated to make or eat.
- If you are a diabetic, make sure you have small servings
I have a family history of Diabetes and that makes me extremely vulnerable to the disease. I am well aware of how diabetes can slowly degenerate the different organs of the body and makes it more susceptible to other lifestyle disease. Diabetes Mellitus , describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both.
My father has been a diabetic for 35 years and I have seen him struggle with it every single day. But what I admire is he has enjoyed his food yet kept his diabetes in control. I haven’t seen him a day without exercising or walking. I have imbibed that discipline from him, I think. Children take a lot from their parents without really being aware of it.
Sometimes in the name of health, I tend to go to extremes with respect to my diet and exercise but with time and age, I have realized the importance of striking a good balance. Being happy is a big part of being healthy. Extreme diets put plenty of pressure on the metabolism, thereby skewing that balance which does more harm than good. I understood from my father, that it is okay enjoy your favourite treats once a while but compensate it later by eating light. There are a few tips that my father practices which I think can really help not only diabetics but also non-diabetics.
- If you know you are going to have a heavy meal or a sweet, make sure you keep it light the rest of the day
- Bite-sized sweets are the best in a diabetes household
- It is best to eat and enjoy a sweet in the morning, rather than later during the day
- If you cannot avoid sweets during festival seasons, try to eat the sweet little by little and enjoy it over one or two hours
- Best is to share the sweet with someone so that you do not have to eat the entire portion
- If you are making sweets at home, it is best to use natural sugar alternatives like honey, coconut nectar, agave nectar etc.
The recipe that I share with you today is a special diabetes -friendly recipe in collaboration with Aster Medical Center. It is to support #AsterAgainstDiabetes campaign this November. To know more about Aster Medical Center’s Diabetes awareness campaign you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram
Aster Medical Center is hosting a FREE Diabetes check up camp at Lulu Hypermarket, Ramli Mall, A’Ali on the 17th and 18th of November (6-9 PM). This is the best sort of opportunity to get yours checked!
This is a protein packed burfi which does not use any added sugar. I regularly have my protein shakes after my training session with my trainer and it occurred to me that the protein powder is a great ingredient to use in recipes.
- 2 cups cashew
- 1 cup vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp low fat milk
- Soak cashews overnight
- Blend the cashew and vanilla protein powder in the food processor
- Add 1 tbsp of milk and blend well
- Line a baking tray with parchment and grease it.
- Spread out the cashew - protein paste and level it. Sprinkle it with nuts, saffron ( whatever you fancy)
- Put it in the chiller to set.
- Cut into pieces and enjoy
- There is no binding agent like butter or ghee which make this burfi melt very fast.
- Enjoy each piece but remember to put it back in the refrigerator
- If you think the paste of cashew and protein powder is loose enough, you can skip the milk
As per the recent statistics published by the Ministry of Health, in Bahrain, 70% of the population is overweight or obese out of which 25% are school children. This kind of information really stresses me out because obesity is the first trigger for type 2 diabetes. Both my husband and my daughter are extremely fond of sweets and desserts and during festival season it is difficult to limit consumption of these sugar -laden goodies. With the promise of going sugar -free this Diwali, I developed several delicious Indian sweets that can be enjoyed guilt -free. I have to thank Aster Medical Center for the opportunity. Aster Medical Center is devoting the entire month of November towards their campaign called #AsterAgainstDiabetes.
To take a look at my previous diabetes -friendly recipe, go here.
There is so much information on the internet about Diabetes and how to counter it but the only way to make sure you are taking the right kind of precautions is to get regular check ups done – the blood glucose test.
So why take a blood glucose test?
A blood glucose test measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood. Glucose comes from carbohydrate foods. It is the main source of energy used by the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body’s cells use the glucose. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and released into the blood when the amount of glucose in the blood rises. Normally, the blood glucose levels increase slightly after we eat. This increase causes your pancreas to release insulin so that your blood glucose levels do not get too high. Blood glucose levels that remain high over time can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels.
In our sedentary lives, where processed foods are so easily available and consumed, this explanation should serve us as a reminder always that each one of us, regardless of our genetic disposition and age is equally susceptible to Diabetes.
(Information courtesy: Aster Medical Center)
For this 7- recipe diabetes -friendly dessert recipe series for Aster Medical Center, I tried and developed recipes around using natural alternatives to processed sugar which are not only healthy but also quite great to taste. Perhaps even better than their original versions with sugar.
Dates peda uses the natural sweetness from the dates and takes no time at all to come together. It is a microwave -based recipe which makes life so so easy.
The recipe is as follows
- 1 cup paneer/ cottage cheese ( I used the frozen variety from the market)
- 3/4th cup dates paste ( I used the ready made with no sugar)
- Alternately, you can soak a cup and a half of dates overnight and drain water to make a fine paste the next day
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Crushed nuts to decorate
- Crumble the paneer as finely as possible in a microwave safe bowl
- Take the date paste and mix it well with the paneer. I used my hands to knead it well.
- If you are using whole dates to make a paste, you can simply toss the paneer and dates into the food processor and grind it together into a fine paste.
- With the ready made dates paste recipe, you need to add warm milk little by little to get a dough with loose consistency.
- Now microwave it on high in spurts of 2.5 minutes. Every 2.5 minutes take the bowl out, mix the ingredients well with a spatula and add cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Get it back into the microwave for another 2.5, get it out, stir.
- Then put it back for another 3 minutes and remove it. The dough should be of a pliable consistency.
- It will be very hot, so be careful. But do not allow it to be cool because you will not be able to shape them otherwise.
- Finally, shape them into peda -shapes ( oval/round) and decorate with crushed nuts.
- The dates peda stays well and there is no need to refrigerate it.
Check back on my blog in two days time for my next diabetes -friendly recipe, until then, take care!
Happy Diwali folks!
Such a special time of the year. A time to celebrate with your family and friends. As expats in Bahrain, we make sure that we have some kind of celebration planned to feel the same vibe and spirit as back in our home country. Ofcourse crackers aren’t a possibility but lighting diyas (lamps) and preparing sweets and desserts make it just as special.
While the scale of celebrations remains unaffected, this Diwali is going to be slightly different.
I am going SUGAR -FREE!
But does that mean that I won’t be enjoying any desserts or sweets? Absolutely NOT! What are festivals without the usual burfis, pedas, kheer and halwas! An opportunity came along that made me more resolute about keeping this Diwali sugar -free. At Aster Medical Center , the month of November is all about diabetes awareness and they reached out to me to create diabetes- friendly desserts for this festive season. It was challenging to create recipes that not only taste good but also diabetes-friendly.
In the coming few days, you will see a series of sugar-free, low calorie desserts that are easy to prepare and enjoy, guilt-free. The first of the series is Shrikhand.
Growing up in Gujarat, a state in the western part of India, Shrikhand – a yogurt based dessert- was a regular for festivals. Until now, I never realized how easy it is to make it at home especially when you can buy Greek yogurt. Traditionally, Shrikhand is made using hung yogurt – yogurt that is strained to drain all the water overnight. This allows the yogurt to be creamy and just right for Shrikhand.
Aster Medicals Centers intentions are backed by efforts where they are holding a camp for free check up at Lulu Hyper Market in Riffa between 6 pm – 9 pm. You can get your diabetes checked for free until the 12th of November. For more information you can check Aster Medical Center’s social media channels and search using #AsterAgainstDiabetes – Facebook, Twitter , Instagram.
Now for the recipe – I replaced the sugar from the recipe with ‘Stevia’. Stevia is a super sugar that is natural and has no side effects. It is wonderful for diabetics and people who want to stay off processed sugar. It does take some getting used to since the after taste is vastly different from what we are used to. Having said that, there are ways to mask that after taste with slight addition of honey or other alternate sweeteners like agave nectar.
(photograph courtesy: Sushil Sasheendran)
- 2 cups Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp milk, warmed
- generous pinch of saffron threads
- 5 tbsp of stevia
- 1 tbsp of honey
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/s tbsp of cardamom, crushed
- 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
- nuts to garnish
- chocolate shavings to garnish
- more saffron threads to garnish
- Place the 2 cups of Greek yogurt in a bowl and beat it well to make it smooth and creamy
- Add crushed cardamom and mix it well with the yogurt.
- Add the stevia and mix well ( add honey if you are not used to stevia's taste or do a half and half to mask stevia's taste)
- At this point your cardamom / Elaichi Shrikhand is ready. Fill small mason jars with Elaichi Shrikhand.You can garnish it with nuts and put it in the refrigerator to chill.
- Take the warmed milk in a small bowl. You can heat it for few seconds in your microwave. Add the saffron to it, give it a quick stir and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Add the saffron to the Greek yogurt and mix well. This is your kesar/ Saffron Shrikhand. Fill it in a small jar and garnish it with nuts and refrigerate it.
- Finally sift the cocoa powder and mix it well with the remaining quantity of Greek yogurt in the bowl and mix well. You will have to add honey to chocolate flavoured Shrikhand to mask the taste of stevia. Do not miss this step for chocolate shrikhand.You can add diabetes -friendly dark & milk chocolate pieces if you like in the Chocolate Shrikhand. Garnish with nuts and place it in the refrigerate to set.
- Shrikhand takes a few hours to set and the flavours to meld. It tastes the best the next day.
- If you do not have Greek yogurt, you can use normal yogurt and hang it in a muslin cloth overnight to drain all the water.
Chinese food has always been popular and I am glad to say we have a some really wonderful Chinese restaurants in Bahrain. Among those wonderful Chinese restaurants, Soie stands out. Soie is an award winning Chinese restaurant located at the Sheraton Bahrain Hotel, serving authentic Chinese cuisine. I was invited for a restaurant review at Soie several weeks back and I must tell you that even after such a long time, the memories of the good food still linger.
The interesting bit about Soie’s menu is that it is divided by the region the food comes from.
- South East Asia
- Hong Kong
It was a delightful experience to choose from different regions and quite educational too. While I was waiting for the order to come, I was happy to google away from interesting Chinese food related facts. Did you know, food is so important to Chinese people that when two Chinese people meet each other instead of saying “Hi, how are you?”, they say: “Have you eaten yet?” I love societies that are so pro-food!
The first dish to arrive was the very delicious and heart-warming Tom Yam Soup. It would be an understatement, if I were to say that the soup was the best I have had anywhere in the 35 long years of my life. So full of flavour, I couldn’t stop at one sip.
The chicken balls with sweet and spicy dip was a delectable starter. I was intrigued by the dip which wasn’t the regular sweet and spicy dip. It was definitely had a unique taste but I forgot to ask about the ingredients as our main course arrived soon after.
This main course was the highlight of our dinner. The sweet flavour from the mango and the sturdy flavours of the chicken is a match made in heaven. My usually reluctant husband couldn’t stop raving about it, long after the dinner was over. He loved it so much that the next day he recommended Soie and this dish in particular to all his colleagues at work!
Well done, Soie!
What’s not to love about chicken dumplings? To me, they act like palette cleansers in between courses.
The second main course was a sizzler that was spicy and oh-so finger -licking good. Unfortunately, we were so full from all the generous portions that we couldn’t finish the sizzler. Moreover, we had to make sure that we kept some space reserved for dessert.
I have been meaning to try the Green tea ice cream for a long time and finally I did at Soie. I enjoyed the fresh, tingling flavour of the gree tea. I could easily feel the matcha green tea bits on my tongue.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience at Soie with their wide selection on the menu, eclectic flavours from regional cuisine and generous portions. The interiors are avant garde yet relaxed. The staff was very helpful in making selections and the service was very quick. Thank you Soie for having us and extending such an authentic experience in Bahrain.
To have faith is like trusting yourself to the water. When you swim you shouldn’t try grabbing hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead when you relax, you’d float. It is so simple a fundamental, yet so difficult to grasp when you are in between things that are not in your control. Running your business can teach you things about yourself that you never knew before. It is like doing a crash course in all kinds of adrenaline sports at the same time. Deep sea diving, jumping off cliffs or most of time swimming with the sharks. But you know what, I wouldn’t change a thing because there is so much character polishing that happens every single moment of being an entrepreneur.
Last two months were extraordinarily difficult, work-wise. I was told that the region worked a certain way and I had no choice but to adapt to the nature of it. Overall everything was so slow and excruciatingly frustrating.
Though it was very grey in the months of August and September, there was never a dull moment. I met many people and each one of them had so much to teach me.
I understood that I needed to get out of my employee mindset and accept the fact that there will not be a monthly cheque coming into my bank account at the end of every month
Once I managed unrealistic expectations like not having a regular income, it was easy to focus on what I needed to do to get out of this murky situation. Let me tell, it is not at all easy to see anything clearly when finances aren’t robust and your lifestyle is feeling threatened because anxiety rules the roost. Yet, I learnt to accept. Somehow.
I am not saying that I don’t feel anxious anymore. Oh, it is just that, I manage it better now. Breathing helps and so does pushing myself away from the situation mentally into a completely different environment.
It is also unbelievable how far the firm has come in the last 5 months with a team that help deliver projects. By the grace of God, I have a talented lot on my side – smart, intelligent and very capable. I feel safe from that perspective because I can rely on them for any kind of work.
Yet, there are days when I don’t feel like getting out of my bed because in my head, it feels there is nothing worth looking forward to. Then those days pass and I get back to work. Well, I am a moody entrepreneur like that. What I am not is the fearless kind. I know I operate from a position of fear. Fear of the future, the fear of putting myself out there in the crowd of the unknown and the fear of feeling like a fraud. That is fear I constantly struggle with. But what I have understood is most people who have willed themselves out of their comfort zones feel like frauds. Confident frauds, if that makes sense. Ofcourse, capability exists and so does commitment and sincerity yet can’t escape feeling like a fraud. How are we doing what we are doing and getting away with it? A keen and educated observer would say, through your skill, sheer determination and hard work!
Such a shame, isn’t it!
However, I have all the confidence when it comes to enjoying some splendid cake. Especially the kind that I bake myself. For no reason. This cake is stellar and trust me you will have your family and friends fighting for crumbs. In the making of this cake, I coated the berries with flour so that they do not sink at the bottom. But they sunk anyway. Now this is why I have trust issues but I am letting it go because the cake turned out amazing.
This recipe is from BBC Good Food Magazine-
- 225 gm softened unsalted butter
- 185 gm golden caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs
- 225 gm self-raising flour
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons + juice of 1
- 40 gm clear honey+ 1 tbsp for icing
- 150 gm blackberry
- 150 gm raspberry
- 100 gm icing sugar
- a few sprigs of fresh mint
- 1. Heat Oven to 180 C/160C fan/glass 4.
- Grease and line a 900 g loaf tin. Line with baking parchment.
- 2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy - this takes about 5 mins in a kitchen mixer with a paddle, or a little longer with a hand mixer. Crack eggs into a bowl and give them a quick mix. Slowly add them to the butter and sugar mixture, along with 1 tbsp flour, beating all the time.
- 3. Next add lemon zest, the honey and remaining flour. Give it a really good mix until well incorporated. Put about half the cake mixture into the tin and level it out with a spatula. Place 2 rows of blackberries (about 10 berries) and 1 row of raspberries on top of the mixture. Gently put the rest of the cake mixture into the tin and place another row of berries on top. Gently push them down so they are visible.
- 4. Bake in the center of the oven for abut 40 mins or until a skewer inserted into the center comes clean. The cake should be firm and not wobbly. If it is, cook for a further 10 mins, but put a sheet of foil over the top to stop it from getting too dark. Don't worry too much though, this cake is meant to have a dark caramelized crust.
- 5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 mins, then tip it out, upside down, onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- 6.To make the icing, use the strained juice of 1 lemon and mix it with icing sugar and honey and mix well until you get glossy icing.
- 7. Drizzle the icing on top of the loaf with a spoon.Garnish the loaf with berries, mint leaves and finally drizzle the honey over the fruit.
Movies are such a big part of our life in Bahrain where outdoor activities are limited to only a few good months in a year. Each weekend invariably is about catching up with the flick that is playing at the movie hall closest to our house. But it becomes a problem when none of the flicks playing in any of the movie halls and multiplexes seem like an attractive option. Movie CDs and DVDs feel like too much effort and a waste of money. CDs sometimes are camera prints which feels very uncomfortable to watch. Additionally, after you watch them, they just lie in a pile, gathering dust, in a corner of the showcase. Under such circumstances, watching movies and sitcoms online seems like the most interesting, comfortable and viable option.
That is why I was very excited when I received this useful piece of information about ICFLIX, the Middle East and North Africa’s leading online streaming service, that has formed a strategic partnership with VIVA Bahrain to offer an ultimate digital experience, giving VIVA customers access to premium movies, TV shows, cartoons and documentaries for only BD 3 a month.
What this means is, I do not have to subject myself to the torture of waiting in the traffic to reach the mall on a weekend, standing in a line at the movie hall for tickets and buying tasteless, fattening popcorn. Instead I can simply create the movie-hall experience at home, make myself some flavored pop-corn, relax and watch my favourite movies by streaming them online through my ICFLIX subscription.
What makes this super easy is this tie –up with my telecom service provider VIVA Bahrain. As a long –time VIVA customer, I can access the ICFLIX service on up to five devices including smartphones, smart TV’s, computers and tablets. The good news is customers registering to this premium service will enjoy one month of ICFLIX for free! So if you are a VIVA customer like me, you can enjoy streaming of your favourite content by texting ‘ON’ to 98663 to activate your premium ICFLIX subscription, which will get charged to your post-paid bill or prepaid credit. Once you send the SMS, you will need to sign up and give your promo code here .
So what are all of you waiting for you! Sign up today and enjoy unlimited movie viewing in the comfort of your own space, whenever you like!
This time last year, I was trying to trace the horizon at a rough and choppy beach in Oman. What wonderful 6 days they were. Recently, a friend was visiting Oman from India for work flying via Oman Air , and wanted to know what she could do in Oman in 48 hours. 48 hours, in my opinion, is very little time to explore even your own neighborhood. Nevertheless, I had a plan that could ensure she could maximize her stay within the given timeframe. Oman has such a varied landscape comprising jagged mountainous ranges, never-ending, serene coastlines, and surprisingly patches of fauna. I haven’t toured the whole of Oman myself, but there are a few good places that I have been to and would highly recommend. If you are in Oman for work, it is most likely that you would be in Muscat, the capital of Oman which is a melting pot of cultures and influences. So if you have 48 hours, these places are a must-visit in Oman.
- Grand Mosque (Sultan Qaboos Mosque): The mosque is surrounded by lush gardens and adorned by a shimmering lattice dome. It boasts of having the second largest prayer carpet and chandelier in the world, and can house 20,000 worshipers at a time.
- Mattrah Souq is all kinds of splendor. You can slip from one shop to another, the display and its wares have a different story to tell at each shop. To the untrained eye, the wares may look near about the same. However, for a prop aficionado, it is a paradise. It is possible to spend countless hours combing through each of the exquisite treasures from daggers, crowns, coins, ornaments and semi-precious stone studded jewelry.
All the above places in Muscat can be covered easily in half a day, following which, I would recommend that a taxi be hired. Alternately, if you have valid license in the GCC, it would be better to drive down to Sur with a GPS. Do not forget the GPS. It is a 4–4.5-hour drive with great sights on the way.
- Wadi Dayqah Dam: On the way to Sur, stop by the Wadi Dayqah dam, which has breathtaking views. This is the biggest dam in Oman and is surrounded by mountains from all sides. It is a heavenly sight to see the clouds descending down on the mountains. It is an ideal place for a picnic with family and friends.
- The Ras Al jinz Turtle reserve is a must-visit. This is one of the best kept secrets of Oman and a must-see for all nature and animal enthusiasts. Rightly named as the Circle of Life, this reserve is the safe haven for turtles to lay eggs. You will not be allowed to click pictures. Find yourself being utterly spell-bound by the sights of 65-year-old turtle digging a large pit to lay eggs and baby turtles scampering off to meet the sea.
…. and like this, the 48 hours can be put to the best use.
I have been dreaming about a vacation for a long time, but my start-up demands a lot of time out of me, which invariably means I cannot get away any time soon. However, nothing stops me from dreaming about a short vacation. So where can I escape to without really burning a hole in my not-so-deep pocket?
Very recently, a friend had visited Dubai and has been showing me the pictures of all the places he went to. The typical Burj Khalifa kind of touristy things don’t really appeal to me, but there were these beautiful pictures of The Beach that caught my attention. Now, that is the kind of place I wouldn’t mind spending a long weekend at. Gazing at the rising or the setting sun at the beach, going for a long walk, and curling my toes on the wet sand sounds appealing to me. My 5-year-old can build her sand castles, while I can read a book and lounge on my beach bed with one eye on the book and the other on my daughter.
I look at the shops at The Beach and it feels like a scene out of a quaint place in Europe. People chatting up with friends and in no particular hurry to finish their meals. I am particularly interested in checking out the gourmand sweet shops. I have been told that the Beach is a place away from the madding crowd, yet urbane with all the attractions of food and outdoorsy things-to-do for grown-ups and kids alike. I would imagine this place to be perfect to write. I have been meaning to start another novel, and if I could find a place to sit and write by the beach, with the breeze in my hair, there couldn’t be a more perfect setting.
Come to think of it, it would be even more wonderful if I could have my brother and sister-in-law to join us from India. They are in the middle of permanently moving to the US; I am extremely thrilled about it and wish them all the luck, but it would mean that I’d be seeing very little of them whenever I travel to India. I wish they could visit us before they move, and Dubai would be definitely be an ideal place to meet and spend time. Plus, this time they have no excuse because there so many convenient direct Indigo airlines flights from India to Dubai!
Imagining the trip with my brother and sister-in-law has already made me so cheerful. I hope it comes true! Meanwhile, I’ll just day dream scrolling down through these pictures from The Beach.
Pictures courtesy : Sushil Sasheendran
“Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”
― Okakura Kakuzō,
Avid tea drinkers know what I am talking about here. So do coffee drinkers. Drinking smalls cups of tea or coffee mugs of elixir make a bad day seem bearable and it allows you to take upon the world with more courage. Sometimes, it is hard to look upon tea and coffee as mere beverages. They take upon a larger meaning where they lend that support, balance and beauty that we truly deserve. Such was my experience at this exquisite Japanese tea house called Chawan at the Amwaj Lagoon.
A concept based around «Hanami» a Japanese tradition of drinking tea under the cherry blossom tree, Chawan ( meaning Tea Bowl) surprises you with its tranquil and aptly designed interiors. The display cases were adorned with hand-made and hand-painted tea cups. Every inch of the restaurant seemed to have been thoughtfully done and embellished.
The entire evening was spent listening to fascinating trivia about Japan’s esoteric culture and sipping on Cherry Blossom tea from Ms. Budoor, who is the owner cum chef cum everything of Chawan. Dressed in a flowery Kimono and looking like an absolute doll, she took me through her cultural experience of living in Japan. Having studied her masters and worked in Japan, Budoor found herself falling in love with the language, food and cultural nuances. She visited auctions and collected an enviable range of hand made tea cups, cushions and other genuine Japanese artifacts which she proudly displays in her Tea House.
Budoor makes all the snack -type food all by herself and you could have pleasure of watching her as she quickly shapes the ‘Onigiri’ – Japanese rice balls with her deft hands. Further into our conversation, I was quite surprised to find out that Budoor holds a job as an on-air graphics designer for Al Arab News channel. Running a restaurant with such finesse at such a young age with a day job – now that is really something!
My Japanese experience began with Budoor presenting the hot towel to clean my hands. Then she politely offered me the Tea House’s menu. I was a bit confused and asked her to help me out. She picked out a few very authentic Japanese snacks and asked me to try the Cherry Blossom Tea.
Every sip felt like a moment out of time.
Some sort of a balance was being restored.
Hot and fragrant, the tea nuzzled my throat and the cheer of the cherry blossom was doing its trick. As I was still enjoying the lingering taste of the tea from my last sip, Budoor presented the “sampler bento ” that included kani salad “crab salad with Japanese mayo and fish roe”. The crackers were dutifully served with Chawan’s signature Wasabi Hummous. There was two bites of Shrimp and crab dumpling “ebi and kani gyoza” too with a soy based sauce. The flavours were striking and tantalizing.
It felt like my taste buds were lighting up!
Next item was Onigiri – Japanese rice ball. A carb -fest with sticky rice moulded into a petal-shape, supported by a seaweed. A quintessential Japanese snack served to school-going children in their bento- lunch boxes.
Dessert was a non-fussy and utterly delicious -Mochi ice cream and Matcha pudding “Japanese green tea”.
After such a beautiful food experience, I wanted to know more about Budoor and Chawan. Budoor explained, she wanted to bring back the essence of Japan to Bahrain and share the quiet exquisiteness of the Japanese culture and heritage via her dainty tea house. She practices the famed Japanese tea ritual in Chawan and helps people like you and me experience the heart of Japan. She even allows you to borrow beautiful Kimonos to authenticate the experience.
After my elaborate dine-in experience at Chawan, Budoor showed me gracefully to the door bowing humbly and saying – Arigato ( thank you). Well, I would say, Arigato, Budoor for this elevated experience. Find your own piece of Japan and head to Chawan and treat your senses.
The outlet is open 6 days-a-week, except on Monday, from 5pm to 10pm on weekdays and 5pm to midnight on weekends.
For details, follow them on instagram @chawanbh
and check out this extensive menu here.
This post was a sponsored one but all the views expressed were mine.
All pictures are mine, except where stated by Chawan.
I remember very clearly, one of my very first bakes was an apple pie. It was quite nice, though the crust wasn’t exactly even. I couldn’t agree more with Jane Austen when she said, ” Good apple pies are a considerable part of domestic happiness”. The humble apple pie set the foundation for me in baking and gave me the confidence to carry on with my other baking trysts.
Pies have such a rustic appeal to them that there is no way anyone can resist them. Fruit based pies are just as popular as the chocolate, custard and savory ones. When it comes to pie, I pretty much enjoy all kinds of pies. So when the opportunity came my way where I was sent some pies by the generous folks at Pies & Bakes to taste, I couldn’t be happier.
Pies & Bakes is run by the baker extraordinaire, Mohammed. Completely self-taught and immensely talented, Mohammed started Pies & Bakes as a home baking business several years ago. He says, he began by treating his family and friends who enjoyed his creations so much that they encouraged him to share his creation with the rest of the world.
I was intrigued why was he is particularly interested in pies. To this, Mohammed had this to say, “With everyone baking cakes, pies set me apart from the crowd.”
Which were Mohammed’s favourite pies to bake and eat?
“The more complicated the order the more I enjoy the task. As for eating. so far I have not tasted or made a pie savory or sweet that I have not enjoyed eating. But I tend to lean more to sour pies than sweet ones.”
Personally, I enjoy all kinds of pies and apple pie is my absolute favourite. Mohammed and his team were kind enough to send me an apple and a cherry pie. Both these pies were more about the fruit and the crust was buttery, crumbly and just right. It takes years of experience to work a pastry like that and I have nothing but admiration for this self-taught baker.
Check out Pies&Bakes delectable menu and the very special kind of pies they bake – sugar free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and so on.
The Apple pie was absolutely delicious and wasn’t overly sweet. While the Cherry pie was so much cherry that for a moment it felt like it was spring. To order, all you need to do is call and pies can either be picked up or home delivered.
On being asked, whether he teaches pie baking professionally, Mohammed said, ” So far the only students I have are my nieces and nephew. I spend time with them in the kitchen during weekends and I give them ingredients to create their own mixes.” Sounds like an interesting exercise many of us would like to be a part of.
To get in touch with them and to order their delectable pies and other bakes ( they special in healthy breads ) you can save their co-ordinates here
If you are a fan of savoury pies, you can order for a custom pie ( off the menu) as well.
Mohammed enjoys choosing one kind of pie from each country and reading its literature. He starts with trial and error adding his own touches and once he is comfortable with the taste, it goes to the menu. So far he has several success stories in savory pies such as the chicken mushroom pie, cottage pie, Bastilla, Butter pie, Fisherman’s pie and so on.
I know where to get my pie fix from each time I crave a seasonal pie. Thank you Mohammed, my family, friends and I loved your pies and we think they are top notch.
Let us begin this review from the very end. This is how I ended up after my food review at Rendezvous in Bahrain City Center.
Rendezvous is a restaurant that serves continental, Arabic, and fusion cuisine and you’ll spot it very close where all the Cineco movie halls are. They have both the buffet and the ala carte to choose from. I have been to Rendezvous before for office lunches with colleagues and each time, I felt so spoiled for choice. Rendezvous food makes a bit nostalgic because they are perhaps one of the few fine-dine restaurants in Bahrain that serve – Indo-chinese and Indo-Italian style food which I grew up eating in India. It is spicy, sweet and savory – all in one that is simply lip smacking good.
I visited Rendezvous during Ramadan and the spread was generous as always. The spread was a fine balance between Arabic, Indian and continental.
Warning: long photo essay ahead.
Starting with the desserts first because that is my favourite course. The desserts section was simply splendid. There was so many desserts that children are sure to enjoy like this jelly which was a pure delight. No restaurant serves jelly on its own these days and that makes Rendezvous very special. At times, savouring spoonfuls of cool jiggly jelly can be heavenly.
That was the dessert section but not limited to what I have shown here.
Seen enough? Not yet.
Let graduate towards the main course now.
But let us persevere and plough on, in the true spirit of culinary adventure.
Next come the appetizing appetizers
That brings me to the close of the food review. After to so much food, it is natural to be in a food induced coma. I would recommend Rendezvous if the sight of different kinds of spreads entices you. I enjoy being spoiled for choice and hence I would keep visiting Rendezvous to experience more incidences of food coma.
Per person charges : 5.5+ taxes
This is a sponsored post but the views expressed are entirely mine
It is said that people change over time and that impacts a relationship as time passes. But Amit, my husband, hehasn’t changed at all over the last 10 years that I have known him. He is the same guy who enjoys being at home, catching up with his favourite TV shows, reading history books and eating simple food. His choices, his habits and his behaviour reflect the simple thoughts and a way of life.
Each year for my husband’s birthday, I plan for a party not because he insists because I know he is too uncomplicated to want one. This gives me an excuse to plan for the party as well which is a process I enjoy a lot. This year, I thought of making homemade pizzas and some simple appetizers for a bunch of close friends. I asked him his choice of cake and he said wanted something very simple like a tea cake or a date cake. Thankfully, I found a wonderful recipe from a friend to fulfill this wish of his.
Sometimes I wonder, how is it possible to remain so simple at all times. Earlier I fought with him a lot about not doing enough exciting things, not going out too much and living such a plain life. What I failed to understand was he had already been there and done that. We were at two different places in life. While I was always in the hurry to do something or the other, he was more about being relaxed and being in the moment. First 5 years were spent in fine tuning and the next 5 in acceptance.
In these 10 years, I have come to appreciate his way of life, though I cannot completely shift gears and lead a simple life like he does. What I have understood is that simple tastes are just as attractive as the multi-faceted ones. This date cake falls just in line with my husband’s philosophy and was just right as his birthday cake.
But then I had to add my touch to it and thought a luscious toffee sauce would be just right to complement the taste. The toffee sauce is so easy to make! Had I known this earlier, I wouldn’t have waited this long to make it because it has so many uses and stores well too.
- for date cake
- 1 +1/2 cup / 210 g pitted, chopped dates
- 1 cup / 250 g boiling water
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 100 g, butter chopped
- 3/4 cup / 135 g sugar, light muscovado
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup/ 150 g self -raising flour
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped finely ( without skin)
- for Toffee sauce
- 150 g butter chopped
- 1cup/ 250 ml single ( pouring) cream
- 1 1/2 cup ( 265 g) light muscovado sugar
- chopped pistachio and whipped cream for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 355 F
- Place the dates and baking soda in a bowl and add boiling hot water to it. Let it soak for a 10 minutes. Post soaking, pulse the date mixture and turn it into a coarse paste.
- Beat the sugar and butter and cream it. Add eggs to this and beat well.
- Add the date mixture, almond bits and flour and combine well with the egg-butter-sugar mixture.
- Pour the batter in a bundt pan that has been greased well.
- Bake it in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.
- Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool before cutting
- For the toffee sauce
- Place butter, cream and sugar in a pan on medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and bring the mixture to boil. After that, let it say on the heat for 5 more minutes. Golden, caramel coloured toffee sauce is ready to use on the cooled date cake.
- Serve the date cake with warm toffee sauce, whipped cream and chopped pistachio
You know that feeling when everything is spinning out of control despite your best effort? We all go through our fair share of troubles in our personal and professional lives. Then you try harder to control it by switching gears, changing direction and honking constantly, yet the derailment is imminent. What do you do, when it is all flailing arms, despair and utter confusion?
I understood two simple things-Wait for the storm to pass and life goes on.
Come to think of it, there are so many struggles and choices we face everyday. The struggle of striking that work-life balance, of finding that balance between finding time for yourself versus rest of the world, choices relating to eating healthy etc.
Life of an entrepreneur is extremely demanding and I always find myself struggling to balance my time for everything. I feel I am rushing all the time and sometimes ( well, most of the time) it is quite overwhelming. Food choices suffer because of this rushed state of mind. Not to mention all the food tastings and restaurant reviews I have to do. I keep making resolutions about cutting down sugar, exercising and I find myself steering away from it quickly. I fall for what is convenient and NOT what is beneficial. The most worrying part is, I do not feel guilty anymore. I find some excuse or the other to justify my indulgence and complete lack of discipline. Eating at odd hours has become a norm and desserts are an every day affair. I have sort of developed an addiction to sugar which is very, very disturbing. When I do not get my fair share of sugar each day, I grow irritable and cranky. An immediate infusion of sugar in any form quickly transforms me from a maniac witch to a fairy godmother. The transformation post sugar, is remarkable.
One of my recent pictures was an eye-opener for me. I rarely spend time in front of the mirror to assess my deteriorating state. But it caught me off-guard when I saw a random picture of mine clicked my someone else. I could see how different I was in my head vis-a-vis for real. Hence, I knew I have to act fast before it was too late. Plus coming from a family with all kinds of medical history, doesn’t help.
So I have decided to officially end my hedonistic food lifestyle and really take a closer look at how I am going to transform it. I believe I need to do this not just for my sake but also for my daughter who is absorbing everything that she sees.
I have started gym schedule with a trainer that is more endurance focused. I also have a diet plan. Mind you, it is not for the weak of heart – this diet plan. It is quite extreme and I need to be on it for 6 weeks. Usually I don’t write about my exercise or diet here because I am insecure in my head about not keeping up with it. But this time, I am going to be confident about it and I have no qualms in sharing this diet with anyone who reads my blog.
My diet for each day shall be as follows:
Starting 15th of July, up until 30th of August, 2015 ( 6 weeks) with 6 small meals
Only 1 liter of water through out the day.
100 g chicken + 100 g rice + 50 g almonds
100 g chicken + a portion of vegetables
2 whole eggs + 50 g quinoa
2 whole eggs+vegetables
100 g chicken + 3 rice flakes + 50 g almond
100 g chicken + a portion of vegetables.
Work out – 1 hour 15 minutes with the trainer in the evening
After one of this diet, I will try and including some cardio in the morning along with training in the evening with the trainer.
I really, really hope to stick with this plan and see it through. It is a matter of 6 weeks and it will be huge test of my will power especially because I am so addicted to sugar.
Before I sign off on a healthy note, here’s the recipe of a delicious soya mince- peas stir fry which is wonderful with chappatis and even just by itself.
- Soya mince - 1/2 cup
- peas - 1/2 cup
- onion - 1, sliced
- tomato - 1/2 a piece, chopped
- green chillis - 2 , slit or can skip
- salt - as per taste
- Cumin powder - 1 tsp
- turmeric - 1 tsp
- coriander powder - 1 tsp
- chaat masala - 1 tsp
- juice of lemon - as per taste
- coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, chopped
- oil - 2 tsp
- Heat the oil in the pan
- Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions.Fry until pink/translucent.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to this and let it cook
- Add peas and allow it to cook.Peas are done quickly.
- Meanwhile, which the cooking is happening on the side, boil some water in the kettle. Remove the boiling water the bowl and soak the aforementioned quantity of soya mince for 3-4 minutes. Run the water and soya mince through a sieve and let the water drain completely. Once the soya mince is a cooled down a bit, use your hands to squeeze out all the extra water.
- Add masalas to the cooked vegetables and finally add the softened soya mince.
- Towards the very end, add the chopped coriander leaves and juice of lemon. check for salt and add more if required.
- Serve it hot with or without bread.
Recently, I was asked to attend an Iftar at Sheraton at their Awali Ballroom. I had looked up the list of top Iftars in Bahrain and Sheraton featured on it. So I definitely wanted to try it and was really looking forward to this.
From the moment I stepped into the ballroom, I could feel a wonderful vibe with so many people; families, large groups of friends and the hotel staff serving their patrons. It was colourful and slightly louder than most other places I had been to before. A lavish buffet was laid out before us with international dishes and live cooking stations. We felt completely spoiled for choice. What you are about to see if you scroll down further is plenty of appetizing food pictures.
The Awali Ballroom has been decked up and it is a sight to experience.
The buffet had traditional dishes like shawarma, and all kinds of biryani. The salad station had a wonderful selection of salads, dips and other starters. The main course had a few vegetarian options as well. I particularly enjoyed the palak dal and rice with some pepper -lemon chicken (highly recommeded)
The dessert station had a live crepe making station which was hit among all the kids and adults alike.
The highlights of my Iftar experience at Sheraton are;
1. Huge variety that not only caters to traditional tastes but also international ones as well
2. Desserts were simply outstanding and so delicious. The chocolate mousse was absolutely addictive.
3. Very friendly staff who go out of their way to make sure the guests are well attended.
I am sure, these pictures would have really whet your appetite. So if you plan to have your Iftar at a restaurant, you should definitely give Sheraton a try.
Iftar: from sunset, BD15.9++ on weekdays and BD16.9 on weekends. Children four to 12: BD8.5++; under fours go free. Sheraton Bahrain, Manama (1753 3533)
(This is a sponsored post but views expressed are solely mine)