Friday, 21 September 2018

Langarwali Aloo Gobi

A must try once in your lifetime, Langarwali Aloo Gobi. A delicious and brilliant Punjabi style potato and cauliflower dry curry usually served in a Gurudwara ( Sikh holy temple). This vegan and extra special sabji can be served as main or side dish, and pairs well with Daal Makhani, rice and roti.


Langarwali Aloo Gobi. A delicious and brilliant Punjabi style potato and cauliflower dry curry usually served in a Gurudwara ( Sikh holy temple). This vegan and extra special sabji can be served as main or side dish, and pairs well with Daal Makhani, rice and roti.


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Degustabox August - Product Review

If you love surprises, you'll love Degustabox! I am so excited and thrilled to review another product on JCO and I am sure you're going to love everything about this product, and of course, I'll be offering you a discount code if you'de like to get your own box!

Degustabox is a surprise monthly subscription food box

Don't we all like to receive surprise gifts and pressies? I am in very much of favour of this, whether it is a birthday or Christmas, I like to give and receive surprises. I think they are the perfect way to add a spark, make fun and loving memories and a wonderful way to make the relationship stronger.

Recently, the kind folks from Degustabox asked me to review their August box and I agreed as I was so curious to know more about it. After exchanging a couple of emails with them, I was so ready to receive my first Degustabox.  I was aware of the delivery date and on the exact day, I received text and email that at a particular time I was going to receive the box and exactly that time I received the box in perfect condition. There is an option to alter the date and time. I couldn't wait to open the parcel and see those surprise goodies!

Degustabox is a surprise monthly subscription food box. August 2018 box


WHAT IS A DEGUSTABOX?


Degustabox is a surprise monthly subscription food box, that arrives at your home in a neat and perfect condition. Inside the box, there are roughly 12-15 non-perishable food products such as snacks, cereals, sweets and drinks for almost a year best before date. Some of the products are from well-known brands and some of them are completely new to the market. All of these products for much less than you would pay in the supermarkets.

HOW CAN I START TO SUBSCRIBE DEGUSTABOX?


You can subscribe to Degustabox online with an easy and simple method. Per month you'll pay £12.99 including delivery. If you join on or before the 13th of the month you'll receive your Degustabox between 22nd and 26th. Joined on 22nd or after, you'll receive that month's box by the 10th of the following month. Because it is a subscription service, there is no commitment for a certain period, if you change your mind, no question will be asked but just make sure you cancel subscription a few days before the payment for the next month.  It is a great idea to give it as a gift, you can choose from various subscriptions. You can choose an alcoholic or non-alcoholic version of the box.

WHAT WILL I RECEIVE  IN THE DEGUSTABOX?


This box contains a mix of products including some non-vegetarian items, along with 10-15 food products, you'll receive a handy card which explains all of the products inside the box with their prices. Also a couple of money off coupon codes. There are various subscription options for you to choose from.



LET'S SEE THE REVIEW OF DEGUSTABOX AND WHAT I RECEIVED IN MY AUGUST BOX?



Degustabox arrived right on time. Because the box is bigger than my letterbox, I stayed home to receive it. Couldn't contain my excitement when the delivery guy handed me this heavy box and was so eager to open the box to see my surprises. The box was so neatly packed with good quality packaging material. And the most exciting part when I opened the box, I was thrilled to see many well known and unseen products that were nicely packed in a suitable packaging material such as bubble wrap so they don't get damaged or broken whilst handling.

So, Let's see what I found in my box and my opinion about the product.

DORSET CEREALS SPECTACULAR GRAINS

Dorset cereals

My whole family love to indulge in healthy, filling and delicious breakfasts. I was so thrilled to see raspberry and apple with toasted spelt and popped buckwheat cereal box. Being a huge buckwheat fan I had to open the box there and then and tried this cereal straight away. Packed with superfood, fruit and nuts and that too vegan, what not to like about this cereal box, definitely going to buy once I finish it!

GOOD HEMP LONG LIFE NON DAIRY  MILK

Good hemp non dairy milk unsweetened

My daughter is a huge fan of this product, so I had to reserve this for her. This dairy-free hemp milk is unsweetened and made from hemp seeds, surely a glass of this milk is packed with much goodness. Did you know that this milk doesn't split in hot drinks?

ILLY INSTANT COFFEE

Illy instant coffee

And I got this ILLY instant coffee tin in my box too, straight away I handed it over to my dear husband as being a coffee addict only he can do justice to it. But when I prepared a cuppa for him, I ended up finishing that cup as the aroma was incredible, blends so easily and smooth.

PINK PUNK GUNNA

Pink Punk Gunna fizzy drinks with low sugar

I had two flavoured of these non-alcoholic fizzy drinks cans in my box, a sparkling blend of natural ginger and cola tonic that is with less sugar, more character. Another one was natural raspberry with lemon. Both are with great taste, with real ingredients and unique flavour. I would love to taste their other flavours too.

LIO BITES

Lio bites 100% natural fruit crisps

Mango and coconut and Mango, Banana and passion fruit.  Lio bites are 100% natural fruit crisps, packed in a colourful and eye-catching packaging. These healthy, naturally sweetened, vegan and gluten-free snack is perfect for kids and adults, great for packed lunch or when you crave for something sweet, your taste buds will love this and body will thank you for not eating a huge bar of chocolate :) oh and did you know that one small bag of Lio bites count as one of five a day. Definitely going to order a box for my kids.

BOKA FOOD - All GREEN TRAFFIC LIGHTS CEREAL BARS

Boka Bars, less sugar and healthy green traffic lights bars

As we always love to munch on low sugar, fats and salty snacks, these Boka bars right up my street. I like the idea of all green traffic lights bars, the Boka bars labelled with green nutrition values, which means they are okay to consume without guilt. The flavours I received are Choco Mallow and Apple Cinnamon.


I also received a few non-veg and alcoholic products such as CROOKED ALCOHOLIC SODA, MAGGI FUSIAN NOODLES, JOHN WEST INFUSIONS TUNA and ROWNTREE'S RANDOMS sweets packet. We did not try these products, therefore, I am not reviewing them on my blog, but I am sure they also nice products too.

I and my family enjoyed these new products and surely will look out for when I go for next grocery shopping. Soon I'll be posting my September Degustabox review here, which is just arrived today and can't wait to see what are other surprises are in there.

If you fancy trying new food and drink products, subscribe to Deguatabox now. Degustabox is kindly giving our readers a unique discount code. Type in this code TIH2A when you subscribe to this service and you get your first box for £7.99.


Disclaimer - Thank you Degustabox for sending us Degustabox in exchange for a review. I was sent this box for an unbiased review and not told or paid to write a positive review. All the opinions are my own.
Being a Deguatsabox brand ambassador I get to try all the products (including variation from alcohol/ non-alcohol boxes and products that are only included in some variations of the box), unlike regular subscribers who will receive either one or the other. I received vegetarian and non-vegetarian and alcoholic drinks in this box, but being a Hindu vegetarian I do not consume any egg, meat or fish products.


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Farali Rajgiro Magas | How to make Farali Rajgiro Magas

These absolutely sumptuous Farali Rajgiro Magas or Farali Magas (Gluten-free amaranth fudge) are a quick and easy sweet recipe that can be enjoyed during fasting seasons such as Navratri, Shravan month, Mahashivratri or Janamasthmi. These creamy, firm yet melt in your mouth magas (fudge) is also gluten-free, so not only eaten by those who observe fast but who follow the gluten-free diet too.

farli Rajgiro Magas is a scrumptious farali dish that can be enjoyed on fasting days and prepared with amaranth, water chestnut flours, ghee and sugar. These fudge is gluten free.


Monday, 10 September 2018

Vegan Pistachio Olive Oil Cake

A must try dessert for any happy occasion, Vegan Pistachio Olive Oil Cake! This delicious and vegan nutty cake is prepared with good quality olive oil and pistachio nuts. This sublime, moist and dense cake is can be just done in a few tics. Serve slightly warm with ice cream of your choice or fruit sorbet.

A must try dessert for any happy occasion, Vegan Pistachio Olive Oil Cake! This delicious and vegan nutty cake is prepared with good quality olive oil and pistachio nuts. This sublime, moist and dense cake is can be just done in a few tics. Serve slightly warm with ice cream of your choice or fruit sorbet.

 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Hometastic Vacuum Sealer - Product Review

It's another review on JCO, I am so excited to be reviewing Hometastic Vacuum Sealer E1800-C, a product that can save you money, and help to reduce waste!

Hometastic Vacuum Sealer E1800-C, a product that can save you money, and help to reduce waste!


It is important to be responsible citizens, and in our household, we take extra care of our planet and it's people into our everyday life. We try to save water by taking shorter showers, recycle plastics, cardboard and newspapers. And most importantly, food. We absolutely hate food waste. If we have any leftovers, I quickly refrigerate or freeze them. However, the disappointing thing is that leftover food doesn't taste as fresh.

In India, we used to buy groceries in small quantity as over there you can ask shopkeeper how much you want, whereas here in the UK you tend to buy bigger sealed packets as obviously, they are much cheaper than loose and small packets. We get here far too many teasing offers on food but again there is the same issue of keeping fresh food fresh, crispier and flavourful.

Luckily there are now products to help us increase the shelf life of our fresh food.

Recently the lovely folks from Hometastic asked me if I was interested in reviewing their best selling Vacuum Sealer, I jumped at the chance as I knew how fantastic and useful this kitchen gadget would be in my kitchen. Actually, this was on my wishlist for Christmas.. guess Santa has come my house bit too early this year :)

Hometastic Vacuum Sealer E1800-C, a product that can save you money, and help to reduce waste!


What is Vacuum Packing?


Vacuum packing is a method of packaging that removes air from the package prior to sealing. This method involves (manually or automatically) placing items in a plastic film package, removing air from inside, and sealing the package. Shrink film is sometimes used to have a tight fit to the contents. The intent of vacuum packing is usually to remove oxygen from the container to extend the shelf life of foods and, with flexible package forms, to reduce the volume of the contents and package. ( Source Wikipedia )

Hometastic Vacuum Sealer E1800-C, a product that can save you money, and help to reduce waste!

Hometastic Vacumm Sealer is a compact machine that sits on your kitchen worktop and doesn't occupy so much room - it isn't bulky and has a black, glossy sleek finish. It comes with a manual and a few seal bags to get you started. It is very easy to use with one-touch technology. This machine comes with two features, a seal button which seals the bags only, and VAC seal button and Stop button which vacuum and seal the bags automatically. Hometastic Vacuum sealer comes with 10-year warranty, a great peace of mind. If you buy now, you'll receive an incredible 100-day guarantee. If you're not entirely happy with the product, a full refund will be given back and no questions will be asked. But, I bet you won't need to do that as this machine may be compact but it does a mighty job.

Vacuum sealers are just not just for the professionals or restaurant owners, they are a very useful gadget for ordinary people like us who can save money, time and energy. Only with three steps you can vacuum pack your own food - 1. cut the bag into the size you need, 2. place the food item in the bag 3. vacuum seal the bag with only one touch and voila!

Some of the examples of storage guides - NOT vacuum vs Hometastic vacuum sealed food

In the fridge (5 + 3 C)

Soft cheese ( NV) 5-7 days (HVPS) 20 days
Vegetables (NV) 1-3 days (HVPS) 7-10 days
Soup (NV) 2-3 days (HVPS) 8-10 days
Pasta / Rice leftover 2-3 days (HVPS) 6-8 days

Room Temperature (25 + 2 C)

Fresh Bread (NV) 1-2 days (HVPS) 8-10 days
Flour (NV) 4-6 months (HVPS) 12 months
Dry Fruits (NV) 3-4 months (HVPS) 12 months

In the freezer (-18 + 2 C)

Vegetables and fruit (NV) 8-10 months (HVPS) 8-24 months
Meat (NV) 4-6 months (HVPS) 15-20 months
Fish (NV) 3-4 months  (HVPS) 10-12 months

What are the benefits of hometastic vacuum sealer?


If you have bought a hometastic vacuum sealer, you have started your journey to save money and wastage. By vacuum sealing your food with this machine, your food will keep your food fresh up to 8x longer in the refrigerator and freezer, preventing from freezer burn on meat and keep mould at bay.
You can vacuum seal your leftovers and save them for later use, and still, you'll have the same freshness and flavours.

For a single person, you can buy or cook food in bulk, with vacuum seal you can save a lot of time, money, energy and space, especially student like my daughter who doesn't have a lot of time on her hands. Rather than buying expensive bottles of sauce and paste, she can take one portion vacuum sealed pack from home.

Not only vacuuming the food, but it is perfect for marinating too as this seals all the flavours quickly.

Although ingredients sold in bigger packs have best before date, with vacuum seal you can save and keep those ingredients for a long time.

Many ingredients such as nuts and flours like Millet gets rancid very quickly, it's a good idea to keep in small portions in vacuum seal and keep it fresh for longer and use at later dates.

Vacuum sealed food is a more hygienic way to save as no open or odour releases in the fridge or freezer for food such as onion and garlic.

Vacuum sealed bags can free up more space in your freezer. Actually, I noticed that two vacuum sealed packets occupied less room than the original packaging.

If you've bought lots of seasonal fruit and veg such as berries, mangoes just freeze them first, then put the right amount of portions in the bag, vacuum seal and use it for a smoothie at a later date.

How does Hometastic Vacuum Sealer work?


Check out my video below of it in action.


I am pleased to let you know that for our readers Hometastic, has provided you with the promo code if you would like to purchase Hometastic Vacuum Sealer. Use promo code ' JCO30OFF'     (JCO3zeroOFF) to get 30% discount on the Hemestastic Vacuum sealer on Amazon.

This shouldn't be an optional kitchen gadget, it's a must as this will save you money, waste and help to build a better world for all of us.


Disclaimer - Thank you Hometastic for sending us Hometastic Vacuum Sealer. I was sent this product for an unbiased review and not told or paid to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Yaki Onigiri Yutaka

These Yaki Onigiri aka grilled rice balls are a traditional and versatile Japanese side dish or a wonderful snack that can be seen all over Japan - made with a crunchy layer outside and soft and sticky rice inside. These simple rice balls are prepared with sticky rice, covered with tamari soy sauce and then cooked in a cast iron pan on stove or BBQ.

Learn how to make Yaki Onigiri. Yaki Onigiri is a traeditional Japanese grilled rice balls that are easy to make and prepared with only 4 ingredients such as rice, salt, oil and soy sauce.


Thursday, 30 August 2018

Kesar Gulab Jamun

How to make Kesar Gulab Jamun | Kesar Gulab Jamun is an enticing and delicious all-time dessert recipe of Indian desserts flavoured with aromatic saffron.

Kesar Gulab Jamun is an enticing and delicious all-time dessert recipe of Indian desserts flavoured with aromatic saffron. It makes for a perfect dessert to serve on a special occasion and I bet your friends and family will love this awesome surprise. What's more, it is an ideal recipe for Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Raksha Bandhan or Eid.


It makes for a perfect dessert to serve on a special occasion and I bet your friends and family will love this awesome surprise. What's more, it is an ideal recipe for Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Raksha Bandhan or Eid.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Maddur Vada

How to make Maddur Vada | Maddur Vada are crispy and irresistibly delicious deep fried fritters which hail from the state of Karnataka, India.

Maddur Vada are crispy and irresistibly delicious deep fried fritters which hail from the state of Karnataka, India. These crunchy and tantalizing Maddur Vada are also known as Madhur Vada too and are prepared with mixed flour such as rice flour, plain flour, semolina and flavoured with onion, green chillies and curry leaves. Ideal for an afternoon tea, trips and picnic when cooked perfectly and stored in an airtight container.


These crunchy and tantalizing Maddur Vada are also known as Madhur Vada too and are prepared with mixed flour such as rice flour, plain flour, semolina and flavoured with onion, green chillies and curry leaves. Ideal for an afternoon tea, trips and picnic when cooked perfectly and stored in an airtight container.

Monday, 27 August 2018

3-day French Riviera Itinerary

3-day French Riviera Itinerary - The best place to visit on the Cote d'azur

The French Riviera, or the Cote d'azur, is famously known for its glitz and glamour. Stunning coastlines, magnificent yachts and picturesque towns are just some of the things you will find in this part of the world.

Now I LOVE holidays. If I had the chance, I'd be off somewhere new every weekend. Sadly commitments mean that this isn't always possible and you have to make the most of the 3/4 days that you get off. The only way to fit in so much is a hell of a lot of pre planning! We did surprise ourselves with just how much we fitted in!

Day 1

Nice - Antibes



Early morning on day 1, we landed at Nice Airport. we took the nice airport express bus which took us to nice main station. We left our luggage at Nice central station and made our way to the waterfront. We decided the easiest way to see the sights was to get the mini tourist train that cost us 10 euros. Within 45 minutes, we saw the most important sights of Nice. It took us to the Colline du Chateau where we had the picture perfect view of the Bay of Angels. It stopped here for 10 minutes. The train also took us past Massena Square, the Old Town, the Promenade des Anglais and Albert I gardens.

Antibes



We then got the train from Nice to Antibes - roughly a 10-15 min journey. The main train station was an easy walking distance to the harbour.



We took a stroll along the waterfront until we reached the town. We were really lucky to get the chance to see Dilbar - the world's biggest yacht. We visited the Musee Picasso and took a lazy stroll around town.

Cannes



We finally made our way on the train to Cannes where we would be staying for the next 2 nights. We had dinner and got ready to get much needed r&r. Our home for our trip was at the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes. The highlight was walking along the Cannes waterfront in the dark with the glittering hotels and shops with the supercars revving.


Day 2

Monaco - Eze


This day I was really looking forward to. It has been on my bucket list for a few years now and the yearning to go increased once I watched Riviera on tv which was set in Monaco.

A fairly short train ride took us from Cannes into Monte Carlo station where buses were waiting to take tourists around the sites. Monaco can be done on foot but to save time, we mostly used the buses. Our first stop was to the Prince's Palace of Monaco to beat the crowds where we had a clear unspoilt view. There is a stunning view looking over onto Fontvieille with the luxurious mansions, yachts and red Ferraris. We had sometime before the changing of the guard at 11:55am so we decided to have a wander around the Old Town with its winding paths.


Following the road around, a short walk brought us to the Monaco Cathedral and the Musee Oceanographique. It was time then to make our way back to see the changing of the guard by walking through Saint-Martin gardens.


Our next stop was Monte Carlo Casino. We even had a peak inside!



We had a little time before our bus to Eze so ducked into the Metropole shopping centre.

Eze



We knew we'd have some free time as we had dedicated the whole day to Monaco, so why not take a small detour to a neighbouring village. We took the Lignes d'Azur 112 bus up to the mediaval Eze village which is perched on a narrow rocky peak.



You must pay a visit if you are visiting Nice, Cannes and Monaco for a sublime experience.  Link to the timetable here: https://www.departement06.fr/documents/A-votre-service/Deplacements/transports-en-commun/112.pdf

Day 3

Cannes-Grasse



We started our morning eating breakfast on the terrace of our hotel. Cannes is small and very easy to fit in one day. 





We walked along the stretch of the Croisette, first to Port Pierre-Canto, then back towards Palais des Festivals and Le Vieux Port. Keep an eye on the ground for the stars!!



Marche Forville is well worth a visit for those unique souvenirs and food gifts for back home. I stocked up on the most fragrant Herbs de Provence and use it in as much cooking as I can!


Grasse

The 600 line bus took us to Grasse - the centre of the perfume industry. Of course, there were some truly stunning views! There was plenty to do in Grasse such as visit the perfume factory.



After a couple of hours in Grasse, we made our way back to Cannes. Taking a walk up to the Musee de la Castre rewarded us with beautiful views of the croisette.



Finally made our way back to Nice Airport by bus from Cannes (bus no 200) And that for only 1.50 euros with the most spectacular view of the coastline!

Already wishing I was back! Until next time …

Au Revior!


Saturday, 25 August 2018

Rajkot Na Peda

How to make Rajkot Na Peda | Rajkot Na Peda/Penda, are hugely popular and a favourite sweet Indian delicacy from the city of Rajkot, Gujarat.

Rajkot Na Peda/Penda, are hugely popular and a favourite sweet Indian delicacy from the city of Rajkot, Gujarat. Ideal for any happy occasion or festive season.


These gorgeous looking and melt in your mouth Rajkot Na Peda are only prepared with 3 ingredients - milk, milk powder and sugar. Ideal for any happy occasion or festive season. This easy version of Rajkot na Peda is prepared with milk powder, for a quick and easy but delectable treat.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Baked Sesame Vegetable Spring Rolls

How to make Baked Sesame Spring Rolls | Baked Sesame Spring Rolls are a scrumptious and tasty Indo-Chinese appetiser or anytime snack that are homemade too. They are packed with freshness and flavours.  These are baked, so of course, you can indulge in more. Just don't forget to enjoy while they are HOT and dip in a sweet and spicy sauce!

Baked Sesame Spring Rolls are a scrumptious and tasty Indo-Chinese appetiser or anytime snack that are homemade too. They are packed with freshness and flavours.  These are baked, so of course, you can indulge in more. Just don't forget to enjoy while they are HOT and dip in a sweet and spicy sauce!


These super tasty crispy and flaky spring rolls are prepared with delicious stir-fried vegetables that are cooked in Indo-Chinese sauces and stuffed in filo or spring roll pastry and made into rolls, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked in the oven till golden brown. Definitely, my vegan baked sesame spring rolls are a healthier alternative to deep-fried ones!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Palak, Paneer and Matar Paratha

How to make Palak, Paneer and Matar Paratha | Palak, Paneer and Matar Paratha (shallow-fried Indian-style spinach, Indian cottage cheese and green peas flat bread)  are perfect breakfast or brunch consisting of a spinach dough and stuffed with mildly spiced paneer and green peas stuffing. Each and every morsel is bursting with delicious flavours that you won't forget in a hurry!

Palak, Paneer and Matar Paratha (shallow-fried Indian-style spinach, Indian cottage cheese and green peas flat bread)  are perfect breakfast or brunch consisting of a spinach dough and stuffed with mildly spiced paneer and green peas stuffing. Each and every morsel is bursting with delicious flavours that you won't forget in a hurry!


Indian breakfasts and paratha are synonymous, it is comfort food for many. In most of the North Indian homes, breakfast or brunch is incomplete without paratha, it could be plain paratha or stuffed paratha smeared with ghee or butter and what can be better with than these scrumptious and moreish Palak, Paneer and Green Peas paratha.

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