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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Consuming Walnuts may Help Keep the Gut Healthy

Walnuts may help increase beneficial bacteria

A new study suggests that walnut consumption may be beneficial for digestive health by increasing the amount of good probiotic-type bacteria in the gut.1 Walnuts do this by acting as a prebiotic to help nourish and grow the bacteria that keeps the digestive system healthy. Researchers found that a diet with walnuts led to an overall significant increase in the diversity of bacteria in the gut.


“Gut health is an emerging research area, but we are seeing that greater bacterial diversity may be associated with better health outcomes, whereas low diversity has been linked to conditions such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease,” said Lead Researcher Lauri Byerley, PhD, RD Associate Professor of Research in the Physiology Department at Louisiana State University.

In this animal study, rats were randomly assigned to a diet containing ground walnuts, equivalent to about 2 ounces (1/2 cup) per day in humans, or a diet without walnuts for up to 10 weeks. Calorie and nutrient intake was similar between the two diet groups. Compared to those that did not consume walnuts, rats that ate a walnut-enriched diet saw an increase in beneficial bacteria including, Lactobacillus, Roseburia and Ruminococcaceae.

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“The health of the gut is related to overall health in the rest of the body,” said Byerley. “Our study is showing that walnuts change the gut, which could help explain why there are other positive health benefits to eating walnuts such as heart and brain health.”

The bioactive components of walnuts may be contributing factors in providing these health benefits. Walnuts are the only nut that contain a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (2.5 grams per one ounce) and also offer protein (4 grams per one ounce) and fiber (2 grams per one ounce).

Animal research is provided as background and used to inform future studies needed to understand the effect on humans. The results of this study shed light on a new way that walnuts may be beneficial for health, but more research is needed to understand how these outcomes translate to humans.

Funding for this research was provided by the California Walnut Commission (CWC) and American Institute for Cancer Research. The CWC has supported health-related research on walnuts for more than 25 years. While the CWC does provide funds and/or walnuts for various projects, the actual studies are conducted independently by researchers who design the experiments, interpret the results and write the manuscripts.

About California Walnut Commission
The California Walnut Commission, established in 1987, is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The Commission is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The CWC is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Rajasthani Food Festival - Cuisine of the Royals - Courtyard Gurugram Downtown

The state of Rajasthan is known for its rich regal culture and heritage. The arid and dry nature of the region, the extreme climatic conditions, scarcity of water and vegetation has witnessed evolvement of unique cooking styles and food habits of the natives that is quite different and unique from other Indian cuisines.

Scarcity of water in the region has witnessed extensive use of dairy products by the inhabitants like milk, butter and butter milk so as to compensate or reduce the water content while cooking. Beans, dried lentils and legumes like gram flour, bajra and jowar form the main ingredients of many of the Rajasthani dishes. Ghee is liberally used in preparing different Rajasthani dishes which are rich in spice and flavour.

The royal heritage of the region as well as the gastronomic enthusiasm among locals have led to a wide variety of delectable and exquisite Rajasthani dishes starting from main courses to snacks to sweet dishes. Some items like Dal-Baati-Churma and Laal Maas have garnered both national and international popularity among foodies. 

One of the most popular cuisines in India, Rajasthani dishes are loved and relished by most Indians as well as foreigners.

To enjoy this flavourfully rich cuisine we were Invited by the Courtyard Marriott Gurgaon who have specially called chefs and Maharajs from Rajasthan to cook the best and the most authentic dishes from the region.

The Moong Dal ki Tikki, Mirchi Pakoda, Mutton Boti served with an array of pickles and chutneys were just amazing. The Gud ka Sharbat and the Bel ka Sharbat are the most nourishing coolers in this season and a must have with the meal. Don't miss the most delicious Laal Mass and the Safed Murg including the most sought after Gatte ki subzi and the ever so popular Ker Sangri the dried berries and beans. How can they forget the cult Dal Baati Churma. Baati was just to die for totally immersed in pure ghee and in three different variants. Desserts Ghewar and Besan Burfi are just delicious. 

The Courtyard Gurugram Downtown will host the Rajasthan Food Promotion from 23rd July-31st July at Dinner. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Dream Hotel Group Signs New Delhi, India Location

Dream New Delhi to Feature 187 Keys and Food Hall Concept by Renowned Chef Todd English

New York, United States ; New Delhi, Delhi, India

Renowned hotel brand and management company Dream Hotel Group today signed a hotel management agreement with chairman of Viiking Ventures, Sachiin J. Joshi to open Dream New Delhi in 2019. Set to open in the Central Business District of West Delhi, Dream New Delhi features 187 guest rooms and suites and five highly activated dining and nightlife venues including a Food Hall concept by renowned chef Todd English. Joining to celebrate the signing today were Dream Hotel Group chairman Sant Singh Chatwal, Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein, Sachiin J. Joshi, Chairman of Viiking Ventures; Rabinder Pal Singh, CFO of Dream Hotel Group; and Todd English, celebrity chef and restaurateur. The event also featured actress Rashmi Nigam as master of ceremonies.


 Dream Hotel group Chairman Sant Chatwal speaking at a press meet in NY on 17th July


“I am thrilled to expand our global footprint to India and bring the Dream Hotel brand back to my home country,” remarked Dream Hotel Group Chairman Sant Singh Chatwal. “With Dream Hotel Group’s unprecedented growth and high-velocity expansion, we are well positioned to triple our existing portfolio in less than five-years.”



Dream Delhi Press Meet - Snapsindia : Dream Hotel Group chairman Sant Singh Chatwal, Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein, Sachiin, renowned chef Todd English, Sachiin J. Joshi, film maker, actor and Chairman of Viiking Ventures; Rabinder Pal CFO of Dream Hotel Group at right ...pic Mohammed JAFFER-SnapsIndia


The signings come on the heels of the company’s largest international expansion news to date with nine new hotel signings across all four brands – Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels. Dream Hotel Group now boasts its strongest portfolio and its largest/most active pipeline ever. With 16 hotels open today and an additional 26 properties in the pipeline, Dream Hotel Group is on track to increase its global footprint by 230 percent over the next four years; tripling its existing portfolio by 2022.


“We are delighted to be partnering with Dream Hotel Group and its dynamic team,” said Sachiin J. Joshi, Chairman of Viiking Ventures. “India is among the fastest growing economies and we are excited to take the hospitality industry in this country to new heights with Mr. Chatwal himself, who is an inspiration to us all in India.”


“We recently reached an exciting milestone by signing most new hotel deals in the company’s history,” said Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein. “I’m incredibly proud to continue our unprecedented growth momentum with the signing of Dream New Delhi.”


Todd English, celebrity chef and restaurateur, joined in the festivities to celebrate thesigning of Dream New Delhi and the extension of his food and beverage partnership with Dream Hotel Group.


"I couldn’t be more pleased to extend my partnership with the Dream Hotel Group, this time, on a new venture to create an unforgettable dining experience at Dream New Delhi," said Chef Todd English. "I’ve always dreamt of bringing my restaurant to India and I can't think of a more exciting place to establish it."


Photos of the ceremonial signing and property renderings can be found here:


Video link to the event:


About Dream Hotel Group

Dream Hotel Group is a hotel brand and management company with a rich, 30-year history of managing properties in some of the world’s most highly competitive hotel environments. Home to its Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels brands, Dream Hotel Group encompasses three business lines: Proprietary Brands, Hotel Management and Dining & Nightlife. The Company is committed to the philosophy that forward-thinking design, service and guest experiences should be available across market segments. Dream Hotel Group is dedicated to offering travelers an authentic connection to their chosen destination through a truly original approach.


About Viiking Ventures

Viiking Ventures is a vast conglomerate with various business verticals such as FMCG products, hospitality, entertainment, realty, infrastructure, paper products and philanthropic activities. A young dynamic team of high caliber professionals with over 10 years of experience are the driving force behind the company’s growth and expansion.


About Todd English

Todd English is a renowned chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur and television star based in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. English is a four-time James Beard Award winner and inductee into the James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who in Food and Beverage in America." Todd has authored four critically acclaimed cookbooks, with his most recent, Cooking In Everyday English that was released in October 2011. English has also created the record-breaking housewares line, The Todd English Collection and hosts the Emmy-nominated PBS travel series Food Trip with Todd English. Todd English Enterprises includes over twenty-five innovative restaurants spanning the country and abroad, including three locations of his signature, rustic Mediterranean restaurant - Olives, located in Boston, New York City and Las Vegas, with two new locations coming soon in Mexico City, MX and Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Monday, 17 July 2017

International Street Food @ Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini

What is street food actually ?

Any food or drink item sold on or from a street by any vendor or a hawker from a portable cart or a truck or a road side setup, and is ready to eat within minutes also much economical than from a restaurant. Every country has some type of street food which is very popular amongst its people and even beyond its geographical boundaries. 

Though, Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China and India are more into street side cuisine but places like South America and even a few countries in Europe as well as the United States of America is one of the biggest consumers of street food. 

Nowadays people love to eat from the street not only for economical reasons but also to savour a more flavourful and rustic style of food and to experience the ethnicity of cuisine.

We as Indians love to gorge on streets anytime of the day. Crowne Plaza Rohini is giving us a  chance to experience this lovely food found usually on the streets from all over the world. On our visit to their all day dining restaurant Mosaic we were amazed to see the vast spread of street style food.

They also have live counters churning lip smacking hot dimsums and Nachos with different toppings and dips from the land of Mexico. The grills from the Asian as well as the European regions were to die for.

The Food and Beverage team at this property has a vast experience of different cuisines of the world, which is clearly evident in this festival. 

A delightful affair for foodies, the sumptuous feast promises to serve delicacies like Hot Dogs, Burgers, Tacos, Shawarma, Meze, and many more from the streets of the world. 

The menu elaborates exclusive flavours from America, Mediterranean, Europe and the Far East. Even desserts like Churros are freshly made and served by the talented chefs at the property. 

DATE   : 11th – 23rd July, 2017

VENUE : Mosaic, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini

Lunch - 12:30p.m. To 3:30p.m.
Dinner- 7:30p.m. To 11:00p.m.

Lunch Buffet  - 1349/- + Taxes
Dinner Buffet   - 1699/- + Taxes
Sunday Brunch – 1425/- + Taxes
Saturday & Sunday Dinner Buffet – 1849/- + Taxes

Sunday, 16 July 2017


A calm, serene and beautifully Turkish ambience greets you as you enter Baris. A delightful modern interpretation of the turquoise and Mediterranean style arches, the interiors instantly put you in a good mood. It’s a relaxing vibe, perfect for a much-needed break from the bustling city life outside.

The rich rugs, wall art and especially the lamps, add to the feel of the place.
The place also has a beautiful terrace, which is bustling with people especially during the sultry Delhi summer evenings. Arjun Toor who is one of the working partners took us through the concept and the thought behind the place and the food. The best part is they have an expat chef who is of Turkish origin. 

We just relaxed and left everything on the chef, and mind it we were not at all disappointed. The meal started with a sour and tangy shot, a palate cleanser, which was just about ok for us. But the very next creation just made us drool. The Shefin Salatsi was amazing, rocket leaves rolled in cucumber drizzled with fig vinaigrette over thin and juicy sauteed lamb slices topped with goat cheese. 

Next was the Chilled Mezze Platter which had lovely dips like the ever so common hummus ( as per me it was a no garlic hummus which is rather unusual for us), Aeli Ezmi ( tomato, chillies and herbs in oil) kind of a salsa. The yoghurt based dip Haydari was nice and just like the Tzatziki. I loved the Beetroot Labneh which was sweet and yummy. Dont miss the Yaprak Serma, wine leaves stuffed with rice, nuts and black currants.

Baris has a great selection of Hot Mezze too, Chef served us a platter which consisted of a Hummus bin Dujaj  (chicken crusted with spices like sumac, cumin etc), Manti which a Buff Turkish dumpling served over a yoghurt dip. Lamb Kibbeh a lamb mince and burgul kebab which was a bit dry for my palate. The cigar Bourke which was like a spring roll #crispy from outside but soft and cheesy inside was nice. Felafil was nice but not the best, which I have tried many a times but the Spinach Fatayer was really good, it was a triangular pastry stuffed with spinach, feta and pine nuts.

We also tried one or two kebabs like the Istanbul Kebab, which was a lamb Seekh and was wonderfully made. Though we missed on many of them as the selection is vast and can’t be tried all in one visit. 

A must have is the Turkish Pizza or Pide as they call it. An oval shaped pizza with folded corners crusted with sesame and topped with your choice of meat and other things. We had the Lamb pepperoni one, it was amazing I must admit as the yummy flavours were just bursting in mouth, the toasted sesame elevated this to a new level altogether.

In the mains, we tried the Kuzu Incik, the lamb shank cooked with pomegranates and tomatoes and served on a bed of saffron rice. Melt in the mouth, aromatic and delicious.

The piece de resistance, however…the desserts. Baklava to dies for! Sweet sweet flaky pastry with pistachios, walnuts, mangoes…just pure heaven. Yes, they are tad too sweet for the conscious palate, but then that’s how baklava is done. Best to eat it the traditional way. The fig tiramisu was another surprise that we quite loved.

On the whole, a meal that was infinitely satisfying, very clean and light on us and something worth repeating.

Building 3, Local Shopping Complex, 
Mazjid Moth, Greater Kailash (GK) 3, New Delhi

Review By : Vickrham (vicky)
Co- Reviewer : Sonalini Chaudhary
Pics By : Vickrham (vicky)

Friday, 14 July 2017


Holiday Inn Jaipur - Image Source (Google)

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and a colorful city of kaleidoscopic images of Rajput magnanimity and royal charm of strong fortresses along with graceful palaces securing a treasure trove of Rajasthan’s marvelous rich heritage. These are just a few of the charming cameos that compose the heritage value of the pink city. Jaipur is a famous tourist destination among the local tourist and the expats. The reason behind it is the way the city has adopted to new trends and technology, yet keeping it’s heritage value alive. There are many reasons why global visitors are drawn to its irresistible charms. Stylish hotels in Jaipur have mushroomed with alacrity to accommodate these eager visitors and accord them gracious hospitality and the latest of them being Holiday Inn Jaipur City Centre.

Holiday Inn Jaipur City center is a 5-star property located in the Pink City of India. Just few minutes’ drive to Railway Station, Bus Stand and Airport. Easy access to most popular tourist attraction like Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, City Palace, Jal Mahal and Albert Hall. The 24-hour travel desk will assist with the best tourist attractions in and around Jaipur. 

Sink in the most comfortable beds with a choice of pillows during your stay. The contemporary rooms that features LED TV, iPod docking station, media hub & glazed windows for a peaceful sleep experience. The spacious and elegant rooms and suites at this property are complete with modern touches & advance amenities for a memorable stay experience. The hotel offers facilities like 24 hrs food service, doctor on call, porterage, Wi-Fi, lift and parking facility. With three dining outlets, guests can choose to indulge in a buffet or a la carte options. 

Holiday Inn has left no stone unturned especially when it comes to provide their patrons with lip smacking food and soothing drinks. Treat yourself to InterContinental, Indian and Rajasthani Royal cuisine at Monarch or dip into their Chinese delicacies with a glass of wine at The Chao. Kick back and relax after a long day at The Roadhouse Bar & Grill, get a premium feel of royal lounge at Ten Kings with a variety of snacks & beverages to choose from. Equipped with 171 rooms that are separated elegantly in four categories Superior, Executive, leisure and Executive suites.

In a nutshell, a location close to the central points of the city, a hub providing state of the art facilities and restaurants churning out lip smacking food to their patrons. Holiday Inn Jaipur City Centre is undoubtedly one of the players to look forward to, when it comes to cater business clients and global tourists.