saira malhotra

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Saira Malhotra’s Victory At The Varli Cook-Off and Her Winning Recipe

By admin | April 11, 2012

award

MarcusSamuelsson.com would like to send out a big congrats to our contributor Saira Malhotra for her recent win at the first ever Varli Cook-off! On April 6th, 2012, one day after the Varli Food Festival, Celebrity Chefs and Next Iron Chef competitors Jehangir Mehta and Maneet Chauhan hosted foodies, aspiring chefs, and lovers of all-things-Indian at the Varli Cook-Off competition.

Saira was one of the 8 participants in the fierce two-round competition that was judged by 4 internationally renowned and talented chefs and restaurateurs: Sanjeev Kapoor, Kunal Kapur, Prasad Chirnomula, and Rajesh Bhardwaj. Read More

News

What Real ‘Brits’ Eat: A Conversation with Chef Jason Hicks of Jones Wood Foundry

By admin | February 28, 2012

Jason Hicks

By: Saira Malhotra

Tucked away in the historic neighborhood of Jones Wood, on the Upper East Side, lies a humble and slightly recessed food driven pub; Jones Wood Foundry. This city has had its fair share of British and Irish pubs, but what many Brit expats will attest to is the feeling of home they get from their pint of Fullers and bangers and mash here at Jones Wood Foundry.

The pub culture is a way of life for Brits. Many recognize that there are few problems in life that comfort food, drink and straight forward British ‘talk ‘can’t provide relief for. The place is charming and quaint with its warm lighting and mahogany accents, yet, there is an element of wit, be it the restrooms or the hand-picked art work. The food is understated and simple yet there is mastery behind it; your very palate will tell you so. Read More

News

Mind Games and Dieting: How to Trick Yourself into Eating Less

By admin | February 6, 2012

Photo: Rakesh Rocky

Photo: Rakesh Rocky

By: Saira Malhotra

We have seen the paintings that create an optical illusion over and over, and each time we are dumbfounded. The mind enjoys playing momentary tricks on us and if we could see its face, we know its smile would be wry. When the mind games are obvious, we are able to call them out, but what about when they aren’t so obvious?

This week, NPR looked at the Delboeuf illusion, understanding how two dots of the same size, appear different when outlined by different-sized circles and the relationship this has with food consumption. Based on this understanding, Professor of Marketing at Georgia Tech, Koert Van Ittersum and Director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell, Brian Wansink, conducted a study to understand the impact of illusions and serving size.

When participants were asked to estimate volumes of soup in smaller bowls versus the same volume in larger bowls, their estimates confirmed the Delboeuf illusion. Read More

News

Chai Makes Way For Coffee: India Embraces Starbucks

By admin | February 2, 2012

Photo:

Photo: ELPhotographia

By: Saira Malhotra

Delhi, India: brutally hot in the summer and brutally cold in the winter. A city where meal, snack and dessert options adjust to reflect changes in a climatic backdrop, yet there remained one consistency- chai.  An integral part of the day, chai represents not just the hot beverage steeped with tea leaves and spices, but also a homely setting with company allowing for moments to regroup and share happiness and sorrow.

Today, the fundamental elements of getting recharged and exchanging notes continue to be a required part of the day. However, the beverage and venue have changed. In just under a couple of decades, India has witnessed the rise of coffee houses, a trend off set by coffee lounge company ‘Cafe Coffee Day’. There are now thousands of inviting coffee shops all over the country with their own signature look and feel, offering Western snacks of biscotti and donuts as well as traditional Indian high tea snacks of pakoras and samosas. Read More

NewsWhat To Eat And Drink

Spicing Up Your Meals: 4 Must-Have Spice Blends

By Saira Malhotra | January 30, 2012

Photo: Clyde Robinson

Photo: Clyde Robinson 

This week, Monica Bhide, Indian food contributor and cook book author, reminded us of the power of spices. Like a palate of colors, spices can change the mood and tone of dishes entirely, even if the rest of the ingredients are exactly the same. Imagine dry rubbing a chicken with Chinese 5 Spice, Garam Masala or Cajun spice mix. The experience would be different and it would beg for an entirely different set of condiments, side dishes and beverages to compliment.

We are always tired of eating the same thing-different day but the solution isn’t far either. Purchasing different cuts of meats or vegetables that we have barely heard of let alone know what to do with, can lead to a discouraging experience if things don’t quite work out. But imagine what just a few different spice blends could do.

Throw in a little Ras-el Hanout and then allow your mind to drift to Morocco Read More

News

Sustainable Fish Swimming Mainstream To Large Supermarkets

By admin | January 27, 2012

Photo: FrenchDuck

Photo: FrenchDuck

By: Saira Malhotra

Fish has been a hot topic for many food activists, environmentalists, restaurateurs and even many households in recent years. With an increase in fish consumption, no longer just being reserved to a restaurant experience, the question of sustainability is thrown in to light.

We wanted fish and we were able to buy it as expensively or inexpensively as we wanted. There was little understanding of where it came from; unless of course we associated quality with a buzz word location that prefaced it – Is this sea bass Chilean? Did this Salmon swim the crisp fresh waters of Norway?  Then something changed. The integrity by which the fish was raised came into question.  We became aware of varying harvesting techniques and we understood that it was not ‘all the same’. We were told that certain fish were becoming endangered and then that conversation led to an entire list of them. Read More

News

Mindfulness Can Help You Eat Without Putting On the Pounds

By admin | January 17, 2012

Photo: Juli

Photo: Juli

By: Saira Malhotra

NPR’s The Salt recently brought up a very timely topic for those with New Year resolutions: How To Eat Out Without Putting On The Pounds. At a time when search engines deliver results relentlessly on miracle diets, fad diets, cookies with a promise of that perfect body and colonic cleansing to make you drop a size in less than a week, The Salt demonstrates a different perspective.

When we throw in the towel on radical diets, cleansing programs and other self- imposed restrictions, one could ask whether we are looking in the right places to achieve and sustain our goals. In a recent study performed by researchers at the University of Texas, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, there is another way – mindful eating.

Women that joined in on a 6 week mindful eating program were able to eat substantially less even when they were around tempting environments.  According to Gayle Timmerman, author of the study, post program, women were eating 297 calories fewer than before they did the program and many lost around 2 pounds of weight. Read More

News

Can Food Worsen ADHD?

By admin | January 17, 2012

Photo: Carl_C

Photo: Carl_C

By: Saira Malhotra

Last week, NPR reported on ADHD and its relevance to food. Since ADHD came to light, there has always been a huge emphasis on what should be removed from a child’s diet. Food containing color and additives often concern parents with regards to hyperactivity or worsening a child’s condition of ADHD.

When parents make dietary adjustments by removing certain candies, cookies, chips and sugary beverages, items they deem as culprits of bad behavior, there is often distress when it is met with a lack of improvement. “When [elimination] diets fail, parents can feel they’ve failed,” says Linda Brauer, coordinator of the Grand Rapids chapter of the advocacy group Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Food containing certain ingredients contributes marginally to hyperactivity flair ups Read More

News

Five Predicted Food Trends For 2012

By admin | January 13, 2012

Photo: Daniel Hoherd

Photo: Daniel Hoherd

By: Saira Malhotra

It is 2012 and there is an influx of predictions all around. Pundits and people seem to have answers to: what’s in store for the economy? Which celebrity couple will split? Will black be the new black? Organic or commercially grown?

Some goals (the basis for many predictions) for the New Year, dissipate without a trace, others are followed through with rigor, and then of course there is always the presence of a curve ball that sets us on a new track altogether.

This week, Standard.net highlighted some of the trends we could expect to see in the food world for 2012.  Read More

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