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A Mischievous Legacy- Krishna Janmashtami!!…shna-janmashtami/

Govinda Aala re, aala!! Who’s blue, mischievous, and has an affinity for Makhan? We all know the answer to that!! Of course, we are talking about Lord Krishna. Popularly known as Shri Krishna, people know him using other names as well, such as Girdhari- one who lifted Govardhan hill, Devakinandan- son of Devaki and Vasudev, Parthasarthy- chariot rider for Arjuna, Gopal- who takes care of cows, and many other names.

Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born to Vasudev and Devaki in a prison cell. The history of Janmashtami goes back several millennia, and if we keep surveying, there are multiple folklores relating to Krishna and his birth. Moreover, people believe Krishna’s purpose was to make a kingdom of peace, religion, and prosperity. Mathura’s King Ugrasen had a daughter, Devaki, who married King Vasudev. However, this was not accepted by Kansa because he had a prophecy of death from one of their children. Kansa imprisoned Devaki and Vasudev, and whenever a child was born, Kansa would kill them.

However, on the night of the birth of their eighth child, a divine voice asked Vasudev to ferry the child to Nandaraj, his friend. Vasudev found an exit, and with the help of Sheshanag, he was able to cross the raging Yamuna river. Before Kansa could reach their prison cell, Vasudev exchanged his newborn with Nandaraj’s daughter and returned to his wife. As Kansa tried to kill the daughter, she slipped away from him and transformed into the Goddess Durga. She foretold Kansa of his doom which would soon come true.

Krishna Janmashtami commemorates the birth of Shri Krishna, and people from every state and culture celebrate this festival. Janmashtami falls on the Ashtami or the eighth day of the Krishna Paksh or dark fortnight of Bhadon month. For Hindus, it’s one of the most important festivals, where, on the first day, people perform the Raslila (dance drama), which depicts Krishna’s life. At the stroke of midnight, prayers and pujas are performed to applaud Krishna’s deeds. Some children even dress up as Krishna and Radha. The celebrations reach their peak when people go two nights without any sleep and chant bhajans and folk songs connected to Janmashtami.

Festivities for Janmashtami have no end as almost every state and culture has its way of celebrations. Let’s look at some of the famous ceremonies in India-

  • Since Krishna was born in Mathura and grew up in Vrindavan, the Braj region in Uttar Pradesh celebrates this festival like there’s no tomorrow. Devotees decorate and light temples with rangolis, flowers, and lights, making it a glittery affair. People perform Rasleelas and storytellers treat the audiences with tales from Krishna’s childhood through song or dance.
  • People in Gujarat celebrate the festival similar to Dahi Handi, called Makhan Handi, especially in Dwarka, the origin of Lord Krishna’s empire. Folk dances, singing bhajans, and visiting temples such as the Dwakadhish temple of Nathdwara, are all part of the festivities in Gujarat.
  • In Jammu, kite flying is one of the main festivities during Janmashtami
  • Moreover, Janmashtami in Maharashtra is famous in districts like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Latur. Also known as Gokulashtami, one of the most popular festivities is the Dahi Handi. Here, they tie an earthen pot at the top where participants form a human pyramid to reach it and break it. This ritual is a symbolism of a young Krishna sneaking jars of butter from various houses.
  • In South India, locals decorate their homes with kolams and draw small footsteps using rice batter, symbolizing the tiny footsteps of a young Krishna entering their home. Devotees offer sweets like payasam and laddus for pooja, with some butter.
  • Janmashtami is also celebrated in countries like Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and Bangladesh.

Although Krishna was named ‘Makhanchor’, his love for eating was immense. Any dairy product, available in Vrindavan, was finished by Krishna and his mates. However, for this festival, there are certain delicacies that you must try, those are-

  • Panjiri is one of the vital ‘prasadam’ of this festival, and people believe this delicacy to have a good effect on the intestines. It’s prepared with coriander seed powder, ghee, sugar, and assorted dry fruits and is popular in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, and several others.
  • Some consider Maakhan Mishri as Lord Krishna’s favourite. It’s easy to prepare and consists of butter and sugar.
  • One of the most traditional drinks during Janmashtami is honey and milk, which is considered a symbol of purity.
  • Gopalkala, also known as ‘poor man’s food’, is offered to Krishna during midnight prayers. It’s a simple dish consisting of cucumbers, beaten rice, curd, coconut, sugar, ghee, and cumin seeds. Originating in Maharashtra, it’s offered as a prasad in almost every household.
  • Furthermore, Panchamrit is a milk mixture consisting of milk, ghee, curd, jaggery, and tulsi leaves. Its use is to bather Lord Krishna at midnight, and once the devotees complete the ritual, they distribute the Amrit among themselves as a prasadam.

There are also a few other treats like Kheer, Basundi, Nariyal Barfi & Laddu, Besan Laddu, Ragi Laddu, Sabudana Thalipeeth, Masala Bhaat & kadhi, and Gulab Jamun that make this truly a festive time.

Janmashtami is near, and we hope you have reserved your energy for the celebrations. We wish everyone a happy and safe Krishna Janmashtami!!

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Celebrating An Unbreakable Bond- Raksha Bandhan!!…d-raksha-bandhan/

Brothers and sisters are like cats and dogs!! We fight, we laugh, but most importantly, we share a unique bond that can never break easily. It’s an ‘invisible promise’ that keeps living and is unbreakable. India celebrates this relationship in an illustrious manner, which Rakshabandhan or Rakhi.

Moreover, Raksha Bandhan falls in the auspicious month of Shravana and occurs on the full moon day (Purnima) according to the Hindu Lunar calendar. Also known as Rakhi Purnima, many states of India celebrate this festival. It’s known with several names, but the common thing is the prayer and the pledge for protection. In South India, Raksha Bandhan is called Avani Avittam in North India, it’s known as Kajari Purnima, and in the Western Ghats of India, it’s called Nariyal Purnima.

However, Rakshabandhan’s origin has a vast and varied story. Several stories connote this festival’s significance. Some are-

  • During the battle in Mahabharata, Lord Krishna hurt his finger after sending his ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ to behead Shishupala. Seeing this, Draupadi bandaged his finger with a piece of cloth from her saree. The bandage symbolises a promise that Krishna made to Draupadi to protect her at any cost. Lord Krishna’s help was quick when Draupadi was in need. In a rigged game of dice, Yudhistira wagers Draupadi but loses her. The Kauravas took advantage of it and tried to disrobe her. As the Pandavas couldn’t help her, she prayed for Krishna’s help. As the Kauravas proceed to unclothe her, the saree kept getting longer and was never-ending. Hence, this is known as Krishna’s miracle to protect Draupadi and is carried forward to other stories.
  • https://www.nativchefs.comIn a war between demons and gods, Demon King Brutra was advancing, and Gods lead by lord Indra were on the verge of defeat. After approaching Guru Brihaspati for advice, Lord Indra tied a sacred thread on his wrist powered by divine incantations. Lord Indra’s Queen Sanchi (Indrani) empowered the filament and tied it to his hand, leading them to victory.
  • After winning three worlds from the Demon King Bali, Lord Vishnu was to stay with him. However, Goddess Lakshmi wanted to return to her home place, Vaikuntha. Hence, she tied a rakhi around Bali’s wrist, making him a brother. In return, she asked Bali to release Lord Vishnu from his vow and allow him to return to Vaikuntha with her. King Bali agreed to the request, and Lord Vishnu returned to his wife, Lakshmi.
  • According to folklore, not having a sister on the eve of Rakhi was frustrating for Shubh and Labh, Lord Ganesha’s two sons. After obliging to their request, Ganesha created Santoshi Maa from the divine flames.
  • Another tall tale conveys the story of Yama and Yamuna. Yama did not visit his sister, Yamuna, for 12 years, ultimately making her sad. After taking advice from Ganga, Yama met his sister. She was glad that he came and took care of him. Seeing this hospitality from Yamuna, Yama asked her for a gift, to which Yamuna said that she wanted to keep meeting her brother.

Although the times have changed, the festival’s tradition and customs have been the same. Before the festival, girls browse through different shops, searching for the perfect Rakhi and sweets. Its significance varies from region to region, it’s primarily a North and West Indian festival, but it also has different importance in Southern and Coastal areas. Some are-

  • In the Western Ghats, locals consider it an offering to Lord Varuna, Lord of the Sea. The people offer coconuts to Lord Varuna by throwing them into the sea as a ritual. Hence, they call it Narali Purnima, which also marks the beginning of the fishing season.
  • South Indians call it Avani Avittam, which is highly significant to Brahmins. After taking a holy bath in the morning, Brahmins change their sacred thread (Janeyu) while chanting mantras. The yarn is a representation of the vow to adhere to the Vedic culture. They also take part in a pledge to perform their duties as Brahmin. Also known as Shravani or Rishi Tarpan, all Brahmins take part in it.
  • In North India, Rakhi is known as Kajari Purnima. After sowing the seeds of wheat and barley, people worship Goddess Bhagwati and ask her blessings for a good harvest.
  • Pavitropana is a different type of celebration in Gujarat. On Rakhi Purnima, devotees offer water to Shivalinga and pray for forgiveness. The ritual also includes tying cotton threads soaked in ‘Panchagaivya‘(mixture of Cow’s ghee, milk, curd, urine, and excreta).
  • In West Bengal, locals perform the prayers of Lord Krishna and Radha. Known as Jhulan Purnima, sisters tie Rakhi to brothers and wish for their immortality.

With a vibrant celebration, meetha khaana toh banta hai!! There are several delicacies to try on this festive day!! For example, in Avani Avittam, South Indians gorge on unique delicacies like Varagu Thattai (a snack made of millets ), Aval Payasam (Poha Kheer), Spicy Murukku, Unni Appam, and many others. Whereas on Narali Purnima, coconut is the staple food during the day. Delicacies like Narali Bhaat (Coconut rice), Naral barfi (Coconut barfi), and Naral Laddu (Coconut laddu) are the main attractions during the day. However, in contemporary times, chocolates and traditional mithais have also emerged as popular gifting options during Raksha Bandhan with attractive Rakhi hampers.

Let the bond between siblings stay unimpaired. We wish everyone a Happy and safe Raksha Bandhan!!

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Monsoon’s Harvest Festival in Kerala- Onam!!…l-in-kerala-onam/

The monsoon season and the month of Shravana bring several festivals in India. The months from July to September showcase different cultures’ vibrant and beautiful celebrations. Although most harvest festivals occur in the summer season in India, Kerala’s Onam occurs in the monsoon season. The tagline for Kerala Tourism (God’s Own Country) is quite fitting, as the South Indian state offers unique celebrations.

Kerala celebrates Onam on Thiruvonam Nakshatram in the Malyali calendar month of Chingam. It’s a 10-day celebration which starts from Atham Nakshatram– first day and ends on Thiruvonam- 10th day, one of the most important days. It’s a rice harvest festival that consists of elaborate feasts, songs, dances, elephants, boats, games, and flowers, making it dynamic. The popularity and representation of this festival made Onam the National Festival of Kerala in 1961. Moreover, the Indian government promotes Onam in a big way by celebrating ‘Tourist Week‘ for Kerala, resulting in an immense inflow of foreign and domestic tourists in the state., the history of Onam is unique. According to folklore, King Mahabali, an asura (demon), ushered in the best times for Kerala, which brought prosperity and happiness all around. But seeing this, the Gods were not pleased and felt challenged. So, to end Mahabali’s reign, Lord Vishnu emerged as Vaman (a short Brahmin) and deceived the king to give him all his land. As a result, the Gods sent Mahabali to a lower world, giving him one benefit- he could visit his land once a year. Therefore, Keralites believe King Mahabali visits them during this time, and people make efforts to celebrate his homecoming lavishly.

Celebrations take a grand turn, and with a culture as rich as Kerala’s, the carnival offers tons of festivities, food, and bejewelled elephants. Locals try to celebrate this festival majestically. There are various activities the encompass the festival, such as,

  • Athachamayam is a cultural celebration in Ernakulam and witnesses almost all the folk art forms of Kerala. It commemorates the victory of Raja (King) of Kochi and locals dress up as the king’s loyal subjects. It marks the beginning of the Onam festival with decorated elephants, music, and other folk art forms.
  • Pulikali is also known as Tiger Dance. On the fourth day of Onam, artists paint their bodies like tigers with stripes of yellow, red, and black and dance to some folk songs. The main idea of this event is role-playing with participants dressed up like tigers and hunters.
  • Noble and majestic elephants participate in the Thirunakkaru Arattu procession.

  • One of the enchanting features of Onam is Vallamkali, the snake boat race. Locals host it on the river Pampa where colourful and decorated boats race against each other. While oaring, the boatmen chant traditional songs as the spectators’ cheer for them.
  • Similarly, Kummattikali artists wear an attire consisting of plaited grass and a wooden mask where they collect small gifts from different houses and amuse children.
  • Traditionally, the festival includes games as well called Onakalikal. Men go for sports like Talappanthukali, in which they play with a ball. Ambeyyal, also known as Archery, Kutukutu (Kabaddi), and combat sports like Kayyankali and Attakalam.
  • However, women indulge in cultural activities known as Pookalam. It’s a flower mat consisting of a complex floral pattern and is present in the main entrance of a house to welcome King Mahabali.
  • Dance performances are an integral part of the festival. Kaikotti kali, Thumbi Thullal, and Kathakali are the dance styles that add to the zest of celebrations.

Of course, food will be a part of any festival. The main attraction is the grand feast called Onasadya or Onam Sadhya, prepared on the last day, Thiru Onam. It’s a nine-course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential food items, served on a banana leaf, where people sit on the mats laid on the floors to enjoy this fulfilling meal. The term ‘Sadhya‘ means banquet in Malayalam, and if there are larger leaves, it can have up to 64 or more items. famous delicacies on the eve of Onam are-

  • Kalan is a part of the Onasadya consisting of thick yoghurt, coconut, veggies, and some raw bananas.
  • Olan is a relatively simple dish consisting of pumpkin and pulses.
  • A Kerala classic, Avial is a huge favourite among the locals. Made of various vegetables and coconut, people prefer it any time of the year.
  • A chutney like dish, Ingi Puli is a unique dish that’s a must for the Sadhya. Ingi means ginger, and Puli means tamarind making them the key ingredients in this delicacy.
  • Vedukapulli is a pickle made from lemon, and the other is Manga Curry, a minced mango pickle.

You can also visit our website to explore more options in South Indian cuisine. “Thiruonam Ashamsakal“, which means “To everyone, Onam Wishes!!” Enjoy Onam with your loved ones and experience authentic South Indian Cuisine at the comfort of your home!!

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Muharram- The First Month of a New Islamic Year!!…new-islamic-year/

In India, different communities celebrate their cultural ‘New Year’ with their age-old traditions. Just like that, the Islamic community celebrates their new year in the Monsoon Season. Although a festival of sorts, Muslims don’t celebrate this festival with much joy because of its history. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and is one of the four sacred months after Ramadan. It begins after the sighting of the full moon on the final day of the Islamic calendar. Furthermore, during this month, devotees avoid warfare or any violence since it’s one of the holiest months. It’s the month of remembrance as people honour the martyrs and abstain from joyous events. Also known as the Mourning of Muharram, the Tenth day of Muharram is called the Day of Ashura. While the Shia Muslims mourn the tragedy of Imam Hussein’s family, the Sunni Muslims practice fasting on Ashura. Ashura means ‘Tenth‘ and refers to the tenth day of Muharram. The mourning begins from the first night and climaxes on the tenth night of Muharram.

The last few days, until the day of Ashura, are highly significant because during these days, Hussein Ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, along with his family and followers, starved without food and water. From the seventh day, they started suffering, and on the 10th day, the army of ‘Yazid I‘ killed Hussain and 72 of his followers at the Battle of Karbala on Yazid’s orders. The surviving members marched to Damascus and were imprisoned there. Hence, in their honor, followers consume less food, while some don’t even drink or eat until Zawal (afternoon) as part of the mourning.

However, during Muharram, some people can still enjoy festive delicacies specially made for the day. Fakia, a food platter that consists of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and some sweets, is gifted to loved ones during Ashura. Devotees consume a dessert porridge called ‘Ashure’ and popularly consume it across the Middle East, Turkey, and Armenia. The porridge consists of whole wheat, dry fruits, rose water, spices, and sugar. It’s a wholesome porridge that family and friends share among themselves. Khichda is a variation on the dish, Haleem, which is popular with Muslims in India during Muharram.

Festive treats also include ‘Muharram ka Sherbet’. Originally popular in Hyderabad in India, it’s a milk-based sherbet flavoured with dry fruits and cardamom. The flavour of the drink comes from the ‘smoking’ of Oudh bark, which gives it a unique and enchanting aroma!! Those who participate in the processions and those who are fasting consume this exotic drink. Zarda rice is another delicacy that consists of rice cooked in orange flavour along with nuts and spices. Lastly, Poha Kheer also is a popular sweet for Muslims. It’s healthy because it contains iron coming from flattened rice flakes.

If you want to explore more, check our website, where you can choose from delectable Mughlai and Bohra delicacies. We wish you all have a safe and healthy Muharram. So, to all reading this, Muharram Mubarak!!

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Shravana Maas- The Extensive Month Filled with Festivals!!…d-with-festivals/

It’s time for the monsoon season, and what better way to kick off the festive season!! It’s no winter season, but the number of festivals in India in monsoons are aplenty. The main event to start is the Shravana Maas, which encompasses other famous festivals of the Indian culture.

The Hindu calendar, unlike the Gregorian calendar, works differently, where Shravana is the fifth month. Shravana is the holy month that signifies the arrival of the South-West monsoon. Also known as Sawan ka Mahina, this month derives its name from the one that rules the skies during Purnima (full moon day), Shravana Nakshatra. Hence, the Shravana month is auspicious for Indians and consists of popular festivities. Moreover, every year, the Shravana month begins sometime around late July and ends mid-August, according to the Gregorian calendar. People mark the start and the end of this month by full moons (Purnima), and they spend the entire month fasting. According to rituals, people dedicate a Monday fast to Lord Vishnu and every Tuesday to Goddess Parvati. Fasting every Tuesday of this month is locally known as ‘Mangala Gauri Vrat‘.

https://www.nativchefs.comAccording to folklore, the Shravana month has a rich history making it auspicious. The ‘Puranas‘ and the ‘Samudra Manthan‘ were extracting ‘Amrit‘. During the process, a deadly poison started to emerge. The Devas and Asuras couldn’t touch it, and it would have meant the end of the universe. However, Lord Shiva drank the poison and stored it in his throat and hence, he received the title ‘Neelkantha‘. Furthermore, to reduce the effects of the poison, the Devas would offer holy water from the Ganges. This story took place during this month, and that’s why it is considered auspicious.

People fast on Mondays because it is auspicious, and believe that the worship of Lord Shiva is 108 times more powerful. Several Hindus observe the Shravan Somwar Vrat- fasting and devoting pujas every Monday. Moreover, the month of Shravan is very dear to Lord Shiva, and those who perform Somwar Vrat are blessed with happiness. However, people’s purpose for fasting can vary. Some may do it for long life, a happy married life, or for their loved one’s well-being. Devotees worship Lord Shiva with a concoction consisting of Bael Leaves, water, and milk.

Fasting, for devotees, is an important ritual, and it tends to affect us. It helps in detoxifying our body, and it’s a way to recharge and rejuvenate. Furthermore, we need to make a healthier choice because our digestive system is not strong in these humid conditions. Meanwhile, fasting can take a toll on our body as it tends to make it weak, and we feel low on energy. adhere to a strict vegetarian diet. So, during fasting, you can eat fruits, delicacies consisting sabudana (tapioca), milk and milk products, and bhagar (barnyard millets) but cannot include garlic, onions, and table salt in their diet. You can enjoy dishes like Sabudana Khichdi, Upwas Tikki, Upwas Combo, and many other delicacies. These fasting dishes can help you keep you maintain immunity during fasting.

Along with these delicious fasting items, the Shravana month is full of vibrant festivals as well. Some are-

  • Krishna Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna on the 8th day after the full moon. Gopalkala, Kheer, Panchamrit, Muruku, are some of the few famous dishes during this festival.
  • Raksha Bandhan is a festival that signifies the bond between brothers and sisters. The festival means ‘Bond of Protection‘.
  • Onam is a South Indian festival originating in the state of Kerala to honour the Asura (Demon) king, Mahabali.
  • https://www.nativchefs.comTeej, like Shravan, is a month full of festivals celebrated by women in Nepal and North India. Women celebrate Haryali Teej and Hartalika Teej to welcome the monsoon.
  • Nag Panchami is a Vedic worship of snakes and is celebrated on the fifth day of Shravana.
  • Varalakshmi Vratam where ‘vara’ means boon. On this day, the Goddess of Fortune, Lakshmi grants wish fulfillment.

Many other notable festivals are Narali Purnima, Gayatri Jayant, Basava Panchami, Kajari Purnima, Pavitropana, Pavitra Ekadashi, Pola, Shravana Mela, and many others.

So, to all non-vegetarian lovers, we hope that you can power through a month of pure vegetarian delicacies. We hope you all enjoy this Shravana month and enjoy all the delectable food during the various festivals!!

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The History and Significance of Ashadi Ekadashi

Monsoon season is the time when the human body’s digestive system takes a break. One can see that there are several fasting days during this season with festivities. We get to experience festive treats with our family and catch a glimpse of the celebrations of different communities. Ekadashi is one such festive day where the celebration comes in the form of fasting!! This festive day is known by other names such as ‘Shayani Ekadashi‘, ‘Padma Ekadashi‘, Toli Ekadashi in Telugu, and many others. It is the 11th Lunar Day of the Hindu month of Ashada. This day is particularly significant for Vaishnavas, the followers of Lord Vishnu. Moreover, devotees hold a fast during this day to commemorate Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi. People spend the entire night singing prayers, where people keep fast and take vows to be observed during the Chaturmas (four-month period of monsoon).

The story for Ekadashi goes that Lord Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar (ocean of milk) on this day and wakes up four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi, in the Hindu month of Kartik. Devotees observe the Chturmas Vrat (fasting) to please Lord Vishnu, and in this fast, people cannot eat grains, beans, cereals, certain vegetables, and other restrictions. However, you can still enjoy certain Upwas delicacies with your family. For example, our fasting special Upwas Thali is a one-plate meal that consists of all the ingredients permitted during fasting.

The scripture of Bhavishyottara Purana tells us that Lord Brahma narrated the significance of Shayani Ekadashi to his son, Narada. It’s the story of King Mandata, whose kingdom faced a drought lasting for three years. No one in his kingdom was able to find any solution to please the rain gods. Finally, a trusted sage advised the king to observe a Vrat (fast) of Dev-Shayani Ekadashi. The king did so and reaped the fruits of his vrat as the rain returned to his kingdom. Because of this, the tradition of fasting during Ekadashi was born., this day also observes a huge yatra (a religious procession) of pilgrims known as Pandhapur Ashadi Ekadashi Waari Yatra. Pilgrims come from various parts of Maharashtra to the city of Pandharpur. This city is the center of worship of the deity, Vitthal, a local form of Lord Vishnu. These pilgrims are referred to as Warkaris, and they sing chants dedicated to Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar.

With this, we hope you enjoyed reading the blog, and have a safe and healthy Ashadi Ekadashi!!

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The Origin of Paper Bags and Celebrating Paper Bag Day!!…ng-paper-bag-day/

“Why do paper bags never win poker tournaments? Because they always fold.” Sorry to start with a bad joke, but carry bags are an integral part of our grocery shopping. Before the invention of plastic bags, people used cloth bags. Bags form a part of the packaging process for almost every product and service in today’s world.

Image Source: The Guardian

Carry bags can be of plastic or cloth or paper, or a combination of some materials. But plastic bags have the highest demand because of their durability, strength, and storage features. Cloth bags are also an excellent option, and we reuse them, but they can get dirty and need to be washed. People discard plastic bags since they have an endless supply because it’s cheap and the raw materials are available in abundance. However, this seems a big issue in the world- Pollution. People use plastic bags once and dispose of them without any consideration to the environment. A plastic bag is known as the “Bad Boy” of pollution since it’s not biodegradable. These bags also affect biodiversity, killing thousands of species of flora and fauna every year.

Here are some interesting facts on the use of plastic bags. The world uses over 100 billion plastic bags in a year, which requires more than 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. An average person uses just over 360 plastic bags per year. Compared to that, in Denmark, a person uses four plastic bags in a year!! There’s more to go on, but bags need to be carefully discarded and recycled so that there’s no or minimal harm to the environment.

Considering this issue, there was a sudden urge to make something that can be discarded but doesn’t ‘damage’ the environment. Then came the idea of Paper Bags. In this, we will highlight the use of paper bags in Nativ Chefs packaging along with a brief history. Paper bags, as the name suggests, are made of paper which acts as ‘carry bags’ for groceries and packaging goods for consumers. However, the year 1852 saw the birth of the paper bag. The credit for its creation goes to Francis Wolle, who first introduced a machine for the mass production of paper bags. Moreover, several others then tried their variant in developing the paper bags’ design, and as we can see today, there are several types of paper bags.

With the paper bag being a ‘green alternative’, there are some advantages in using the paper bag such as-

  • https://www.nativchefs.comThey are made of renewable sources and hence, are recyclable and biodegradable
  • It takes minimal energy to manufacture paper bags as compared to plastic bags
  • These bags are made from wood fibre, so they can be recycled and can be turned into newspapers or magazines
  • Paper bags are eco-friendly. Since they leave no toxins, they can be used as compost

Keeping these factors in mind, we, Nativ Chefs, also use recyclable paper bags to deliver the best experience to our customers. Furthermore, our bags and containers are biodegradable. So, after disposal, we are sure that there’s minimal or no harm to the environment. You can even reuse our paper bags to get groceries for your home, or you can also use them as a gift to make someone happy!!

Well, we hope everyone reduces the use of plastic bags and uses more paper bags to avoid polluting the environment.

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Celebrating Nativ Chefs’ Three Year Jubilee…ree-year-jubilee/

Food is an integral part of our lives, and we have the affinity to try something new. Back from when man used to hunt for food with crude tools to the present day where food reaches your home within 30 minutes after ordering it. We have seen lots of advancements in terms of food and its components.

However, in the present world, food fusion is a common culture among the masses. ‘Westernisation’ of different cultures has led to people losing their grip on their roots. Traditional delicacies that have been in the families for generations are slowly disappearing. But after the pandemic, people have realised the importance of home-cooked food; this has bred a new demand, and slowly, there’s a concept of home-chefs popularising in today’s world. But for Leena Dixit (founder- Nativ Chefs), it was a pre-conceived notion that home-cooked food is the best. We are celebrating our third anniversary. So, we thought, why not provide the readers with some insight on Nativ Chefs’ journey from our founder’s point of view?!

Leena Dixit realised the concept for home-chefs about 15 years ago, when she was a home-chef herself. After working in the corporate world for more than 12 years, she realized she wanted to have a business of herself. Being a fan of traveling, she wanted to try the local cuisines of the places she visited. For instance, she stayed for two years in Thailand and noticed the Indian diaspora craving for homecooked and traditional food.

Being a decent cook herself, Leena was always trying to cook new stuff in the kitchen. She had the thirst to expand her horizons and wanted to know more about this particular concept. We call it a concept because she wanted to provide an experience to her customers that made them realize their hometown delicacies. Furthermore, she realized that this type of market was not explored by many people and had a huge potential for success.

However, while working for a company, she noticed very few women work compared to men. She also saw that there’s a lot of talent in the culinary world that does not have a platform to showcase it. So, with the idea of women empowerment, highlighting the chefs, and demonstrating the local cuisines of India, Nativ Chefs was founded.“I wanted to give the home-cooks a sense of independence by helping them earn money with the help of their passion of cooking”. Leena was shortlisted in IIM Bangalore because of her concept and was able to make it a scalable model over the course of three years. Now, Nativ Chefs has a stable team with over 60 ‘Nativ Chefs’ and around 160+ delicacies delivered to more than 10,000+ customers!!

We are also proud that we have organized events like Indian Treasures which also presented the traditional delicacies of India. We even helped the people during the pandemic by providing free food to those in need. These three years have taught us a lot and we have grown as a team to deliver the best experience to our customers.

All the dadis and nanis recommend having traditional home-cooked food; so, why not try Nativ Chefs?! Experience the authentic taste of our delicacies at the comfort of your home and connect to your Nativ delicacies with your loved ones!!

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The Comfort of Monsoon!!

The chilled cloudy weather, the rain keeping us comfy at home, and witnessing the rainfall while sipping on some hot beverage and some snacks. Oh yes!! That’s the monsoon season summed up. After the barbaric heatwave of the summer season, the monsoon season is a breath of fresh air. There’s a pop of colour in the atmosphere with vibrant umbrellas, the lush-green leaves on trees, and the muddy aroma of the earth.
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However, there’s this sudden craving for the crunchiest fried snacks. If you’re a foodie, the monsoon is the best time to visit India. Moreover, the food culture during the monsoon season is rich and varied as every state and city offers different delicacies. Street carts flood the streets with monsoon-special snacks, and people queue up a huge line to get that seasonal experience. The ‘usual suspects’ are Samosas and Vada Pavs, but there’s more to monsoon food that meets the eye.

North India presents almost every snack with a hot, brewing cuppa. Samosas and Pakodas are their specialities. Hot beverage such as tea is a constant intake throughout the day with different variations like masala tea or ginger tea. Moreover, Dahi Wada, Kachori, and Dal Cutlets are also some delicacies that you must try!! If you are looking for tourist-friendly spots, Dharamshala, Ladakh, and Manali are majestic during the monsoon season.
Image source: Adobe Stock

If you want to explore the snacks during the monsoon season in India, North East India provides a unique insight into the snacks department. Originating in Nepal, people visit North-Eastern states to try the local variety of momos. States like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and others, have their version of this steamed and savoury snack. Shillong and Cherrapunji in Meghalaya are the two most sought after places during the monsoons.

The state of Maharashtra is known for delectable fried delicacies in every corner of its outline. Pav Bhaji, Mumbai special Vada Pav, Misal Pav, etc. are some of THE most famous snacks in monsoon season. Juhu beach is one of the most famous attractions where people order snacks from stalls and enjoy the monsoon with their loved ones. When it’s monsoon in Maharashtra, Malshej ghat and Lonavala comes to mind. These two are THE most popular spots for people travelling with family or friends.

Gujarat boasts a wide range of snacks that are both yummy and healthy. Many associate Gujarat with Dhoklas, but their monsoon snacks are something that you never heard of but will want to try. Methu na Gota and Dal Wadas gain lots of demand during this season. Khandvi, Muthia, and Patti Samosa are also snacks that are famous in this season. If you are travelling to Gujarat, you might as well visit Saputara and Dandi beach. Although located in different areas of Gujarat, they are ‘must-visit places.
Image source: LanternStay

South Indian snacks are unique and differ a lot compared to North India. South India’s Bhajis and masala tea are the main attraction if one is visiting in monsoons. Sharing Mysore Bhajis for breakfast and Onion Bhajis as a snack in the evening with your friends is a common sight there. However, South Indian states not only flaunts delicious food, but also amazing places to visit in the monsoon. Places like Chikmaglur in Karnataka and Wayanad in Kerala are a few places that top every persons bucket list!!

The state of Bengal comes with some distinctive flavours for the monsoon. Bengali people are considered foodies, and their menu varies from season to season. Aalu chops, a deep-fried item stuffed with mashed potato, and eggrolls are the mainstay for the season. These are some of the snacks for the monsoon that will tingle your tastebuds. The terracotta temples in Bishnupur and the lush-green Sonajhuri forest are some of the main attractions in West Bengal during the monsoon.

However, the monsoon is the season of infections, and we all get carried away when it comes to delicious food. We have to make sure that the food we eat is safe and hygienic. We all get cravings to enjoy some fried snacks during this season, but that’s one of the dietary mistakes. Excess of fried stuff during the monsoons can cause indigestion, diarrhoea, and other problems. Be sure to wash the leafy veggies properly because studies have shown that vegetables are susceptible to bacteria and fungi.
Image Source: Vadodara Municipal Corporation

Furthermore, there are grave risks in eating meat and seafood. Monsoon is a breeding season for them, and waterborne diseases are waiting for an invitation to affect you. Eating fast food from stalls and carts is also another risky affair. The atmosphere during this season favours the growth bacterial and fungal growth. However, you can still enjoy the monsoon by drinking plenty of purified water, seasonal fruits, and vegetables.

Don’t worry about Nativ Chefs’ food. We guarantee that the food will be prepared with the utmost respect for hygiene and make sure that the food reaches your home safely. We hope you have a safe and healthy monsoon and enjoy it with your loved ones!!

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Yoga- The Oldest Form of Exercise!!
Image Source : Upaya-Yoga

Did you know that the largest Yoga class was held in India and it involved over one lakh participants?! Did you also know that Lord Shiva is deemed the Lord of Yoga?! Well, all these facts make yoga an ancient practice that has been born and brought about for more than 5000 years!! Now, it’s time to take out your yoga mats, exercise, and relax as the ancient gurus of India did!!

Originally, yoga was practiced as a form of healing but it has grown to be so much more than that. The word ‘Yoga’ derives from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘union’, symbolizing the unity of body and consciousness. It’s a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices to interconnect a person’s mind, body, and soul. The practice of yoga traces back to the time of Lord Shiva, also known as ‘Adi Guru’. According to legend, it’s believed that Lord Shiva began imparting the knowledge of Yoga to the world on the day of the summer solstice. In pre-Vedic times, yoga was a part of the Indian lifestyle and Maharishi Patanjali wrote yoga practices in the Yoga Sutras. Yoga asanas have difficulty levels among them, however, we are listing 5 easy poses for you to kickstart yoga day!!

1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose) – An amazing pose for beginners as it does not include any physical dimension but helps in spiritual bliss. Reducing anxiety, stress, and mental tiredness are some of the best benefits of this asana.


2. Naukasana (Boat Pose)  – This pose stretches the abdominal muscles, helping improve digestion and reduces belly fat. Another benefit is to improve the efficiency of the abdominal muscles.


3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) – Stretching the entire body, it aids in weight loss and boosts digestion. It helps make the back flexible and also helps increase the blood circulation in the body.


4. Vakrasana (Twisted Pose) – An intriguing pose, it helps in making the body flexible and reduces belly fat. As it regulates digestive juices, it also helps in improve digestion


5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Stretch) – This pose basically corrects your posture and makes your spine flexible.


Yoga has several benefits. It not only keeps your body healthy but also improves your mental wellbeing. Because of this it has gained a lot of recognition in Western countries and is often used to treat patients with mental and physical illness. The message of yoga in promoting one’s mental and physical well-being keeps gaining relevancy each day. More people are practicing yoga to stay healthy and rejuvenated to fight social isolation and depression during these tough times.

With all these benefits from Yoga, an idea stemmed to propose International Day for Yoga. It was India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who put forth this concept during his speech at UN General Assembly. Out of the 193 countries, 177 countries approved the idea. June 21 was established as International Yoga Day because it’s a summer solstice, where the sun out for the maximum amount of time compared to the rest of the year. On Jun 21, 2015, approximately 36,000 people participated
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in performing 21 asanas along with Prime Minister Modi to commemorate the first International Yoga Day.

This particular day encourages people to adopt a new lifestyle and attune themselves to the yogi lifestyle. Newbies try some of the poses which they can perform easily. Those with experience try new poses to improve their flexibility and refreshment. There are particular themes for each year. In 2020, it was ‘Yoga at Home, Yoga with Family’, and this year, 2021, it’s ‘Yoga for Well-Being’. This year’s theme aims to tackle mental issues because of the current situation. It’s a virtual event that people can join and will be broadcasted on UNWebTV.

In the words of one of its most famous practitioners, the late B. K. S. Iyengar, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”

So, stretch your body and relax your mind this World Yoga Day. Let’s all connect together virtually and make the best of this day!!