So we are back on the blog, after a long long time……Wayyy overdue if you must know the truth but we’ve been busy growing, which is good. We were beginning to feel the space crunch at our old kitchen so we’ve moved to a bigger location, not too far from our earlier one. It’s nearly double the size, so well, that’s new and exciting!
In a way it’s a new beginning of sorts for us, and I figured it was high time we restarted blogging as well.
And speaking of beginnings, do you know who the people behind the scenes are?
Well, Ahemmm, here goes then…… I’ll try and be kind, not really my style, but apparently that’s where my paycheck is supposed to come from .
We have three founders: Xerxes, Mohit and Vishnu.
Xerxes is a Cordon Bleu Chef, the brains behind the famous Red Fork , which was recently awarded the Best Restaurant in
Bangalore by ‘World On A Plate’. He’s a chef par excellence, a recent dad, a boxing champion and as most women and girls will tell you…
He’s a TOTAL DISH !!!!!!
If you’d like to verify the same on your end….. most days you can find him at Red Fork, dishing out food as delicious as his chocolate boy looks.
Xerxes is totally into gourmet food and exotic dishes. If he had his way, we’d have our produce flying in fresh from Australia everyday. Boxed food and being restrained by food costs is really not his cup of tea. So, if you have any complaints on our food costs, you know who to have a word with!
Then there’s Mohit !!
He’s the one who eats, drinks and dreams Chefkraft and Bikes (I’m not sure of the order of priority here though). If you have ever walked into our kitchen, you would have heard him before you saw him. Yes, I mean exactly what you’re thinking: He’s a Total Screamer. I guess, the only thing that makes more noise than him is his
Triumph Bonneville, though there’s a debate there as well. But
honestly he’s the driving force behind CK. No exaggeration here.
Last but not the least is……. Ummmm……….Someone help me remember…….
Ah yes, Vishnu, Head of HR at OLA and the guy we haven’t seen around here in the last 6 months or even more maybe.
The Silent Partner who literally takes the silent part very seriously.
Have you ever given a thought to the number of activities cooking involves?
Plan the menu
Make a list of all ingredients needed – fresh produce, dry groceries, sauces and condiments etc.
Figure out where these ingredients can be bought, and most often, no single store stocks all the ingredients, which means trips to multiple shops or logging into multiple online shops to source them all.
Prep all the ingredients as per requirement of the recipe and put away the remaining of the fresh produce for another use, so that it is not wasted.
Lots of times the sauces and spices you buy for some gourmet recipe may lie unused for months, so you need to keep track of the best before dates
This is where Chefkraft Recipe Kits come in.
What are Recipe Kits? They are Ready to Cook kits with portioned and prepped ingredients and a recipe card with detailed instructions delivered to your doorstep. They enable you to cook global Gourmet cuisines with family and friends.
They cut down ALL the above steps, allowing you to truly enjoy the cooking process. All ingredients, sourced fresh, prepped just right, as per the foolproof Recipe Card given to you in the kit make gourmet cooking a delightful experience.
When you tell anyone that you are a vegetarian, the first thing they’ll tell you is “Oh Ghaas Phoos!”. And then, “so, how do you get your protein”? If you are a vegetarian, I know you are nodding your head while reading this.
The average person needs roughly 0.8 gram/kg of body weight. This works out to an average of 46 grams/day for women and 56 grams/day for men (sedentary or mildly active lifestyle)
Protein has a very important role to play in cell development, repair, production of chemicals and hormones in the body, muscle building, immunity and even more so in conditions like pregnancy, lactation, childhood, adolescent growth spurts and in old age. So this is one nutrient you cannot afford to ignore!
Let us look are the 6 commonly available foods from which a vegetarian can get his/her protein quota for the day.
1. DAIRY – Dairy is a concentrated protein source, excellent for kids, especially because of the added calcium benefit. A cup of milk has 8 grams of protein, which is why 2 cups of milk a day for young kids gives them almost 70% of their daily protein intake. 100 grams of paneer provides roughly 18 grams of protein. Mix in 50 grams of grated paneer with 100 grams mashed potato to make patties and that’s 11 grams of protein right there for your kids. Easy, right? Cheese and yogurt are also good options to include in the daily diet.
2. GRAINS / PSEUDOGRAINS – You’ll get 8 grams protein in one cup of cooked quinoa. Quinoa too exotic? Our local grains like amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millets, sorghum, all provide 4-6 grams protein per 1/4 cup uncooked measure. All these grains can be used a rice substitute in Indian cuisine or in salads, soups, burgers etc.
3. VEGETABLES – Broccoli and mushrooms have roughly 3 grams of protein per 100 grams. 1 cup of cooked spinach yields around 5.3 grams of protein, which means it is easier to get more protein out of cooked green leafy vegetables than eating them raw, because there’s only so much quantity that can be eaten raw.
4. NUTS AND SEEDS – Almonds in addition to providing 6 grams per ounce (1/4 cup or a handful or 23 almonds) are also a great source of healthy fats and vitamin E. Other nuts and seeds that you can include in your diet are pumpkin seeds (7 grams per oz) , peanut butter 8 grams in 2 tbsp and so on!
5. BEANS AND LENTILS – A cup of cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein. In addition to protein, beans and lentils are full of fiber, iron and B vitamins. They also keep you full for longer. Use a variety of beans in your diet in the form of curries, salads or stir fries. Soya products such as soy milk and tofu are also protein rich foods suitable for vegans.
6. EGGS – For those of you who eat eggs, they are a very good source of complete protein, providing around 6 grams per large egg. Being a most versatile ingredient, it can be used in a variety of dishes for any meal of the day.
If you are a vegetarian, tell us what is your favourite way to stock up on protein!
We at Chefkraft love our healthy grains like quinoa, barley, millets and so on. Today’s focus ingredient is Quinoa.
Pronounced as KEEN-WAH, Quinoa is NOT a grain. It is a seed that belongs to the spinach/chard family. It is therefore called pseudo-cereal or pseudograin. While a large number of varieties of this grain grow in the Andes, the commonly available ones are white, black and red quinoa. In India, the one that’s commonly used is the white quinoa.
Quinoa is rich in protein, magnesium, dietary fibre and B vitamins. It is also a good source of antioxidants called flavonoids. Quinoa has double the protein content of rice, one cup of cooked quinoa yielding about 8 grams protein. It is one of the few vegetarian food options that has all nine essential amino acids (complete protein), which are usually present only in animal foods. Vegetarians usually need to combine various food groups such as dal + rice etc for complete protein. Being naturally gluten free, it is a great alternative to wheat for people who cannot tolerate gluten. A low glycemic index of 55 ensures a slow and gradual rise of blood sugar. That combined with the high fiber and protein content makes it a good food choice for diabetics.
How to cook:
Some people may find slight bitterness in cooked quinoa. Rinsing and soaking quinoa for one hour before cooking, helps reduce any bitterness. Properly cooked quinoa expands up to three times in size, becomes translucent and retains a slight crunch to it, similar to pasta cooked al dente.
How to use:
Quinoa makes a great addition to salads. Toss along with seasonal vegetables, salad greens and a dressing.
Eat along with curries instead of rice
Use cooked quinoa to add bulk to patties or veggie burgers
Quinoa flour can be used in dosas and pancakes
Indian breakfasts like upma and sabudana khichdi can be prepared by replacing quinoa instead of rava and sago respectively.
Here’s a crazy delicious pizza idea for you – Spread Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam on a pizza base and top with Goat’s Cheese. It’s as gourmet as it gets!
Check out our entire gourmet range of Sauces & Spreads. Your sandwiches & burgers will never be the same again! Did we tell you, a hamper of sauces makes a lovely gift for a foodie friend.
MOTHER’S DAY SPECIALS – BANGALORE
We are celebrating Mother’s Day all week by giving 10% off on all orders above Rs.500 until 8 May, 2016.
You can also order gift vouchers for your dear mum by calling us on 080-41137253 or 9886446532. Vouchers can be used until 31st May, 2016. So whether you want to gift a hamper to your mum or a recipe kit or cook for her, you have all the options!
It’s World Health Day and our Nutrition expert Dr.Nandita Iyer shares with you 5 simple rules to eating healthy.
Eat when REALLY hungry. Not when bored, thirsty, angry or for any other reasons.
Choose water over all other beverages. Most commercially sold beverages are a whole bunch of sugar and a whole bunch of chemicals. No good.
Try to eat healthy-ish most of the times. This leaves openings for occasional indulgences and makes it an easier rule to stick to for life.
Choose foods closest to their natural form. For example: Real strawberries + plain yogurt over store bought strawberry yogurt, daliaporridge over boxed cereal, real chicken over chicken sausages etc. Like Michael Pollan wrote, “Don’t eat anything your great-great-great grandmotherwouldn’t recognize as food.”
Make sure you eat a variety of vegetables everyday. Don’t miss out on these low-calorie, nutrient dense foods that help you stock up on antioxidants, fiber, minerals and much more!
It’s often the sum of these small steps that ends up making a huge difference to our overall health!
5 Indian ingredients to make your salads more exciting
A lot of us assume that salads are Western imports. While this assumption is not entirely baseless, Indian cuisine does have its share of koshimbir / kachumber / pickled onions / sliced radishes that make an appearance in the salad department.
How often do people say, “But I don’t have access to fancy ingredients to make salads”! Here’s the truth. You can make salad with anything you like and there’s nothing stopping you.
It is a misconception that you can only make a salad if you have lettuce. There are tons of salad recipes which use no lettuce. Take our 2 Bean & Barley salad, for example. Besides, lettuce is not the only green leaf you can use in a salad. All greens that you’ll find on the cart of your local greens vendor are salad-worthy. Each variety of green will offer a different flavour profile to your salad.
Also, Indian fruits like sapota, guava and mangoes go amazingly well in a salad, offering texture, colour and natural sweetness. Try out Indian vinegars from Coorg and Goa instead of the Red Wine or Balsamic for a whole new taste. The list of utterly desi ingredients you can jazz up your salad with is long.
Here are 5 Indian Ingredients that we’d love you to try in your salad:
No access to fresh lettuce? Worry not! Almost all Indian greens can be used in a salad. Wash thoroughly, pluck fresh leaves and toss along with other ingredients and the dressing. Methi leaves with finely chopped onions, cucumber, tomatoes, finely chopped chillies and a lemon juice based dressing makes an excellent salad.
All salad dressings need a sour component to make the taste pop, for example, vinegar, lemon juice etc. You can easily use tamarind paste for the sour component of the dressing. This will work well for Indian and Asian inspired salads. We have a popular Chefkraft Signature salad that features on our menu on and off – the Roasted Beetroot and Sweet Potato in a Walnut Tamarind Dressing.
Anything that can be sprouted – from seeds (like fenugreek) to beans such as mung, matki, black eyed peas and so on, can be added to salads. Smaller sized beans can be used in sprout form as it is. The larger sized beans need some cooking before they can be used. Sprouts not only add crunch, but also fiber and protein, making the salad a complete meal. Check out our Thai Chicken Salad with Bean Sprouts
Paneer is a good source of protein for vegetarians, mild enough to take on the flavours of the other ingredients and the dressing. Sit the paneer in a marinade of choice for 10-15 minutes and grilled it on a stove top pan before adding it to salads, for maximum flavour.
GULKAND / MURABBA
These Indian preserves and jams can be used in dressing a to add lots of flavour and a mild sweetness, as a substitute for honey. Gulkand adds a lovely floral note to your salad dressing from the rose petals and murabbas like amla or raw mango add a tinge of sourness along with sweetness.
You’ve loved the Chefkraft Salads home (or office) delivered to you around Bangalore, for their freshness and taste! Now we give you one more reason to love our Salads.
Chefkraft has associated with PHD (Website | Facebook), to bring to you Nutrisalads.
PHD is a Bangalore-based preventative healthcare company that provides expert nutritional, fitness and sports consulting services as well as tailor made programmes. They use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to create personalised programmes tailored to your body and your metabolism.
PHD, in association with our chefs, has designed a range of Nutrisalads that have been nutritionally crafted to provide a high nutrition quotient. This range of salads aims to provide you with a variety of options ranging from high protein, low calorie to high fiber.
Learn what’s great about your salad with the expert-backed nutritional information that will be provided with it!
This is our endeavour to support your healthy eating and fitness goals. We are also planning to start bulk ordering soon, so stay tuned for further updates.
For any queries, please write to us at email@example.com and we will be happy to answer them.
The Bangalore summer has sneaked up on us all of a sudden and we are reaching out for cool cottons, cold coffees and the AC remote. Here are some of the ingredients you should incorporate in your foods to stay cool this summer.
Cool as a cucumber, indeed! If you are one who does not reach for the water bottle often enough, make sure you eat enough cucumbers to stay hydrated. Cucumbers can be added to salads, smoothies, raitas, or even grated into idli and dosa batter.
Barley is an age old remedy to keep the body cool. Barley water is a popular home remedy to stay cool during summers. Koreans make a tea from roasted barley by simmering it in water. This strained water is drunk either chilled or at room temperature. Barley as a whole grain can be added to salads or used in a pulao.
Just the thought of fresh green mint leaves can be highly refreshing on a hot summer day. Adding mint leaves to salads, or grinding them up into a chutney are the obvious ways to use mint. Excess mint can be dried off in the shade and crushed to a powder to use in a variety of dishes.
Ask any South Indian and their first choice during summers is a curd-rice. Not a bad choice at all, as yogurt is rich in protein and calcium. Mixed with rice, it makes a healthy and filling meal. Use yogurt in smoothies, salad dressings and to make big bowls of raita to keep you cool in the summers.
This is almost everyone’s favourite fruit during the summer months. A ripe watermelon, cubed and chilled in the refrigerator is such a treat to dig into when you come home from the hot sun outdoors. This also makes an excellent after-play snack for kids. Watermelon, feta and mint is such a summer classic!
It will soon be my turn to host a few friends for lunch and I think I have found just the kind of help I was looking for! These friends have been delighting me with their culinary expertise ranging from the coast of Bengal to the Malabar coast. Lord knows what all they can whip up in international cuisine!
So I grabbed the opportunity to check out Chefkraft, having been tempted a couple of times already by their beautiful mailers. The premise is pretty simple – choose a gourmet dish off the menu and receive all the ingredients in a ready-to-cook state and spend the bare minimum time to put it together and claim your masterpiece!
Being the ‘app’y person I am, I quickly downloaded the iOS app, though you could choose to stick to the desktop site or use Android.
There are four categories on the menu: Salads-n-Smoothies, Quick Meals, Recipe Kits and Specials.
The app is pretty easy to use with the standard UI that one sees in most food ordering apps – category scroll on top, gorgeous images tapped for more details and a cart to put it all into. ChefKraft has one more lovely feature – the Weekly Planner – which we will come to a little later.
What I liked upfront was the clear split between vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu items.
One doesn’t have to see how the other half lives at all!
Now on to the categories… Salads-n-Smoothies, well that’s pretty obvious and these are ready-to-eat salads that look so delicious, accompanied by such an enticing write-up that I was so tempted to order multiple salads! Better sense prevailed and I opted for a Citrus Splash Refresher smoothie of oranges and carrots. Though I could see that it would perhaps be a single portion glass bottle, a indication of the volume would be a good-to-have.
Now for the true gourmet dishes… there were two ways to do this. Either order a Quick Meal, which means the food is ready-to-eat, no further cooking required and you would need to spend just a few minutes heating it up and maybe adding a garnish or sauce.
Or, give yourself an option to say – ‘I made this!’ and not be lying through your pearly whites – by going for the Recipe Kits. This gives you the full cooking experience with the recipe kit description telling you the time required to cook, servings and complexity level. And the most important bit – what you need to already have at home. Thankfully this stays simple – usually just down to salt, few spoons oil, a pot or pan to cook in, etc.
Now the kids had already figured out I was ordering something for dinner so chants of ‘pizza, pizza’ rose in the background. I clicked on the recipe kit for Habanero Pizza and decided to give it a go.
Delivery cut-offs are clearly mentioned on the app and I was just in time (5 pm) for the 7 – 9 pm slot. There are three slots available daily – 12pm, 3pm and 7pm delivery. Though it was a Saturday evening in Bangalore, the delivery person arrived well in time around 8pm and bless his soul – not one call for directions! Simple Cash on Delivery option.
Each item was delivered in a sturdy cardboard box, well labelled and the ingredients were packed with an ice gel pack to keep things fresh.
I quickly got down to putting together the pizza and thai green curry and rice from the recipe kit. One serving of ready-to-eat thai green curry/rice was anyway already available.
The pizza was a breeze. Pre-heat your oven. Run through the recipe card. Step by step build the pizza. Pop it into the oven. There was a moment of doubt when the recipe card said to sprinkle a portion of the cheese on the sauce and I had two packets in front of me – mozzarella and cheddar. But no harm done as I went with the mozzarella. The ingredients were clearly of super high quality and quantity was also generous.
And it came out looking like this in 15 min. Yum!!
Next, to test my Thai cooking skills so to speak. The rice was washed and put into the pan to cook. The curry itself was just too easy to make. Frankly every ingredient is neatly labelled and staring you in the face. So you just have to go step by step and you are sure to have a winner. At the end I was left with a small packet of kaffir lime leaves, which was part of the ingredient list but with no mention in the recipe so I just tossed it in and let it add to the flavour. The rice and curry were done in about 20 min and dinner was served. Frankly I was feeling quite awesome while putting this together. Aroma of lemon grass and galangal wafting through the house as I gently tossed it in the pan – I could really do this and with so little effort.
Delicious if I do say so myself! And my family even thought that the “home-made” thai curry was tastier!
Much later I noticed this little but important line in the email order confirmation. Am definitely going to hand it over when I order next – We encourage you to return your empty Boxes, Ice Gel packs and/or plastic to our representative.
And coming back to the Weekly Planner, once you get addicted to being such an awesome cook, Chefkraft lets you plan your menu for a week and pre-book the boxes too.
While food delivery options are available in plenty, this model definitely has some huge pluses – you can see the quality of the ingredients, have the pleasure of putting together the meal yourself, explore cuisines that you would not otherwise attempt at home and enjoy the variety that there is on offer!
For those who need a quick meal or want to put something together but not from scratch, for that office potluck or sudden house-guest, this is indeed a great option. And priced such that you can keep checking the menu and planning for a few meals of the week through Chefkraft.