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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.

https://www.nativchefs.com/blogAshadi 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 awakens four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi, in the Hindu month of Kartik. Devotees observe the Chturmas Vrat (fasting) 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.

https://www.nativchefs.com/blogFurthermore, 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 centre 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!!

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“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-

  • They 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
  • https://www.nativchefs.comPaper 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

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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.

https://www.nativchefs.com“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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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!!

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Maharashtra- A State of Hundred Flavours

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India is a land of varied cultures and different types of mouth-watering cuisines. The country boasts of a plethora of delicacies that each cuisine offers. Indian food can be described as a riot flavors since each region and culture have their own taste. With that being said, the state of Maharashtra offers a wide range of sweet and savory dishes with unique tastes to make your taste buds dance. But let’s take a small detour to learn briefly about the state’s history.

https://www.nativchefs.comThe state of Maharashtra has a very rich history and it first appeared in a seventh-century inscription in a Chinese traveler’s account. According to him, the name of the state derives from Maharathi (great chariot driver), referring to a skillful fighting force. Fast forward a few years later, Muslim dynasties ruled over Maharashtra, and the state was divided into several factions. However, a great leader named Shivaji Bhosale rose to the occasion and built a Maratha empire lasting for years and ushered in a new era for the people. Maharashtrian cuisine’s distinction increased in the 17th century. The delicacies prepared in the royal kitchens were an exquisite experience and every meal included a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies balancing each other.

What delicacies come to your mind when you think of Maharashtrian cuisine? Vada Pav? Pav Bhaji? Almost every day, we indulge ourselves in some of the irresistible and inexhaustible variety of street foods that this state has to offer. Maharashtra not only consists of beautiful beaches and forts but also an abundance of exotic delicacies with unique tastes.

Maharashtra’s regional diversity elaborates into different parts- Konkan, Desh, Khandesh, Marathwada, and Vidarbha. The Konkan region is a coastal region and consists of cities like Raigad, Thane, Mumbai, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg. Konkani cuisine is diverse and consists of ‘sub-cuisines’ like Malvani and Saraswat Brahmin, where seafood with some steamed rice is a heavenly combination.

Inwards to Konkan, the Desh region includes Pune, Satara, and Kolhapur, and this region formed the basis of the Maratha https://www.nativchefs.comempire. Spicy and richness are the two characteristics to describe the cuisine from this region.

The Khandesh region comes to the North of the Desh region comprising Nashik, Jalgaon, and Ahmednagar. The food here is influenced by the neighboring states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Moving inland comes Marathwada; a hot and arid region where sun-drying vegetables is a common practice. The region includes Nanded, Beed, Latur, Jalna, Aurangabad, and other neighboring states.

The north-east region of Maharashtra is the Vidarbha region which includes Nagpur, Amravati, Chandrapur, Akola, and Bhandara. Although a part of Maharashtra, its cuisine is affected by Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, and Telangana. This region’s culinary special is the Saoji cuisine, practiced by the Halba Kosti tribe. It involves spicy mutton and chicken curries which have a unique flavour and an authentic blend of homemade spices. A must-try here people!!

The state’s culture has numerous unique delicacies, some of which are popular and some are very rare. One of the homeliest dishes is the Amti. Made of Toor dal, it also consists of tamarind, jaggery, and coconut providing the dish a sweet, tangy, and spicy flavour. Another such dish is Bharli Vangi (stuffed eggplant). The stuffing consists of coconut, peanuts, tamarind, onions, and a unique masala to give it a mouth-watering taste. Usal is also a popular curry dish in Maharashtra which is prepared with a variety of sprouted beans. A quintessential comfort dish is the Metkut bhaat, where Metkut is a fine powder consisting lentils, grains, and spices, and is found in almost all Marathi households.

https://www.nativchefs.comMaharashtrian cuisine comes with a great selection of snacks and have satisfied many bellies in this state and the country. Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav’s monarchy in the fast-food sector has attracted a crowd from beyond the borders of this country. Pav Bhaji involves mixed veggies cooked in butter and a unique blend of spices, partnered with bread. The name Vada Pav stimulates a drooling reaction from all Mumbaikars as it’s The dish of this metropolitan city. Deep-fried fritters consisting of spiced and mashed potatoes placed inside a split pav with some zesty chutney!! Mmmmmmmm!!

Misal Pav is also a popular delicacy consisting of spicy curry made of sprouted beans topped with chopped onions, cilantro, farsan for some crunch, and a dash of lemon juice. Another MUST-TRY dish in Maharashtra is Poha. This breakfast dish originates from this state and consists of flattened rice flakes tempered with oil, curry leaves, onions, mustard seeds, and peanuts. Looking for a snack while fasting? Sabudana Khichdi comes to the rescue. Consisting of tapioca pearls, it’s tossed in with potatoes, peanuts, and selected herbs. Monsoon season indicates the arrival of Alu Vadi which is made of Colocasia leaves. Covered with gram flour, they are steamed and fried to give it that perfect crispiness!! My god writing all this is making me hungry!! What about you?

In Maharashtra, the Kolhapuri cuisine is the epitome of non-vegetarian delicacies. Rich with spicy rassa (a type of gravy), it acquaints us with the royal Maratha kitchens. Meat, mostly mutton, is an integral part of any Kolhapuri meal. The unique taste and richness of their dishes come from a blend of spices known as kanda-lasun masala (onion-garlic). Pandhra (White) and Tambda (Red) rassa originate in this region to tease one’s tastebuds. Lavangi, a special variant of the red chilli, is native to this region and is bound to make your mouth numb. Whoo, that’s a lot of spicy!!

https://www.nativchefs.comThere are various selection dilemmas when it comes to authentic Maharashtrian desserts. The most popular desserts in Maharashtra are Modaks and Puran Poli. Puran Poli is a sweet flatbread stuffed with a combination of jaggery and Bengal gram. Ukadiche modak, favourite delicacy of Lord Ganesha, is basically sweet dumplings consisting of a mixture of coconut and jaggery. Modaks gain high demand during the Ganesh chaturthi festival, one of the biggest festivals in Maharashtra.

Dairy-based desserts include Shrikhand and Basundi. Shrikhand consists of hung curd sweetened using powdered sugar. Basundi is a sweet treat, which consists of thickened milk combined with cardamom, nutmeg, and dry fruits. Let your taste buds dance with these sweets!!

Well, all these delicacies have left all of us salivating. So, which is your favourite delicacy and which will you try first? You can explore our website as well to experience these delicacies at the comfort of your home!!

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Food Safety- An Invisible Problem

“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food!!” A quote to remember when you are handling your food. We enjoy different delicacies with our loved ones and like to explore new types of cuisines. But does anyone pay attention to the safety of ingredients?

https://www.nativchefs.com Food is a necessity for all living beings in this world. However, ‘food safety’ is a critical stage in guaranteeing that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain. Access to a good chunk of hygienic food is key to maintaining a long life and promoting good health. It’s estimated that there are about 600 million cases of food-related diseases every year. Unsafe food poses a grave threat to human health as illnesses are usually infectious or toxic in nature. These are often caused by different types of bacteria, viruses, or chemical substances and enter the body through various means.

Hence, to reduce food-related illnesses, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations facilitated the observance of World Food Safety Day on 7th https://www.nativchefs.comJune. The year 2018 saw the first year for World Food Safety Day in an effort to reduce the burden of foodborne diseases.

With governments, producers, and consumers sharing the responsibility for food safety, everyone plays a vital role in ensuring the reach of hygienic food from farm to table. Member states of the WHO also participate in food safety drives and raise awareness in other countries, which face food-related issues.

Five steps that call for action, laid out by WHO, in every country are-

1. Ensure It’s Safe- Governing bodies should ensure hygienic food for everyone

2. Grow It Safe- Farmers and food producers need to adopt good practices for healthy crops

3. Keep It Safe- Businesses should ensure safe storage of food products

4. Know What’s Safe- Customers should be aware of safe and healthy food products

5. Team Up For Food Safety- Everyone should work together to ensure the safety of our food products.

https://www.nativchefs.comIn India, the first World Food Safety Day was celebrated on 6th June and was kicked-off at the FSSAI headquarters to commend the remarkable work of food businesses and individuals to promote food safety. Awareness for food safety has risen in recent times and everyone strives to procure safe and hygienic food. Foodborne diseases are gradually decreasing and we will be able to tackle this situation in the near future.

In recent times, following a particular diet has gained a lot of popularity and people are forgetting about certain health repercussions of not eating fresh and home-made food. Skipping certain meals, restricting certain types of foods, not eating past a certain time, etc. are some of the few ‘dieting myths’ that people follow. To stay healthy, enjoy some treats in between and make sure you eat freshly prepared food. Even FSSAI and local doctors https://www.nativchefs.compromote eating freshly cooked food.

We at Nativ Chefs believe exactly that. Our home-cooks make sure to get fresh ingredients from the market and sanitize fruits and veggies without losing their taste and benefits. We make sure to provide you the authentic taste without compromising on food safety!! So, from everyone at Nativ Chefs, we hope you all are staying healthy and ensuring safe food for your loved ones!!

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Avoid Summer Sickness, the Desi Way!!

Pack up all your winter wear and store it on a shelf, ‘cause it’s time to relish on some cool delicacies that will help you beat the heat. ‘Summer’, the name itself brings a mental picture of air-conditioners on full blast and everyone sipping on some cool drinks!!

It’s a torturous season with the scorching heat and electric bills shot sky high!! With the mercury level rising, the atmosphere drains us out completely. This results in it ruining our appetite and makes our body prone to dehydration. During this blistering season, our lifestyle helps us maintain our body’s equilibrium. Eating and drinking right is the first step to having a cool-headed summer!!

Keep your demons at bay by enjoying these summer-perfect foods at the comfort of your home because who’s going outside in the glaring heat?!

Beginning the list with a festive drink, Thandai, we all relish on this drink during Holi. But it’s an amazing drink with great taste and keeps your body cool during the summers. With the help of a special Thandai masala, some dry fruits, and cold milk, it will help your body maintain its temperature. Enjoy this drink straight out of the fridge with your friends and family.

A summer special fruit that almost everyone loves is Mango!! The name itself brings joy and hallucinations of enjoying that ‘aamras‘. Quoting Rujuta Diwekar, Mango is a combination of fiber, antioxidants, and many other nutrients!! Mango, as a flavour, also elevates certain dishes like cakes, milkshakes, and many others.

Aam Panna is an Indian drink which has heat resistant properties. Also known as Aam Jhora, it’s a go-to drink during Indian summers. Consisting of Mango, it has a tangy taste and is rich in citric acid making it a perfect drink to beat the heat!! Another drink like this is Kacche Aam ka Panna, which has a sour taste and consists mint to elevate its taste.

Curd or Dahi acts as a cooling agent for your body, and you can make it a part of your diet. It’s the perfect food to deal with the deadly summer heat. Not only does it help boost digestion, but it also boosts your immunity and helps your body prevent any diseases. With the help of a few ingredients, you can even make it at home!!

Another such food during summers is Cucumbers. Among its several benefits, cucumber keeps your body hydrated and helps in detoxification of your body. Along with that, it also soothes and refreshes the skin, treats bad breath, and helps maintain a clear skin. Make a juice from it using lemons and ginger, and you will be calm all day long.

With different types of Melons available in summer, it’s a great way to have something fruit-y!! Watermelon, Muskmelon, and Cantaloupes are the best summer fruits. While they are water-rich fruits, they help avoid muscle soreness, lowers blood pressure, improves digestion, and helps body hydration. Slice it into pieces and enjoy it or juice-it-up and enjoy it as a cool beverage.

Other fruits and veggies that will help you this summer are Sol Kadhi, Bel Sharbat, green leafy vegetables, onions, amla, and many others.

With the help of these foods, you can have a carefree summer and enjoy the season with a cool head.

From all of us at Nativ Chefs, stay safe people!!

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An Ode to Mother Earth!!

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We all are busy with our lives every day, trying to make the best out of it. But we hardly ever pay attention to the one thing that gives us life- Earth. This planet is a breath-taking place offering us various elements to live life to the fullest!! But to thrive, Earth needs special care that will help sustain it.

In all honesty, learning to co-exist with natural beauty is not our forte. We always seek to develop ourselves and our surroundings without paying attention to what effect it will have on the flora and fauna. Keeping this in mind, we set aside a day where we nurture and celebrate the natural beauty offered to us- Earth Day. Every year, 22nd April marks the anniversary of a modern environmental movement.

The year 1970 saw the birth of a movement that shed light on the problems impacting the planet. Unknowingly, we were all using toxic gases for the available machinery. At that point, industrialization and infrastructural development were at their crude stage. While people were using brand new machines, the companies that manufactured them were belching out sludge and smoke with little to no concern for the impact on the environment.

Silent Spring, a book by Rachel Carson, was released in 1962 and was a defining moment in human history. Showing concern for the environment and the effects of pollution on human beings, is the book’s main motive. America, in 1969, witnessed a massive oil spill in California. Because of this, a movement rose, realizing the threat to the planet. College students protested across the country in 1969, wherein an American Senator and some politicians encouraged the masses. Soon, the movement caught the attention of the world, leading to protests all over the country.

In 1990, the Earth Day movement went global, mobilizing millions of people from hundreds of countries and lifting environmental issues to a global stage. Like a raging fire, this movement spread to corners of every country, making it a large-scale mission to save the Earth. While the movement went global, it gave a big boost towards recycling and helped pave the way for a United Nations Summit. However, this was only the first step towards a long and conserved future for coming generations.

In 2000, Earth day marked its 30-year anniversary, but this time the focus had a broader perspective. Clean energy, global warming and many other issues were taken into consideration. Soon enough, there were 5000 environmental groups in 184 countries to help spearhead this mission to save our planet. However, after a decade this movement faced some new problems. In 2010, oil-lobbyists and a disinterested public led to a new challenge but, earthday.org re-establishes the movement on a digital platform.

People recognize Earth Day, today, as one of the largest secular activities in the world. We mark this day as a day of action to change our ways of living and fight for a sustainable environment. With developments on the digital frontier, the new generation is making a major impact on others by using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and others.

https://www.nativchefs.comWith these developments over the years, one this is for certain- the ravages of climate are more apparent than before!! Large scale fluctuations in weather affects flora and fauna. But with the help from the new generation, we can have a fiercer movement to save the natural beauty of our planet. Only with small changes today, can we have a large impact tomorrow. Let us all save the environment today, so that the next generation may have a better future!!

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A Ramzan Like This!!

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From dedicated fasting to a never-ending feast, Ramzan is a ‘festival’ that shows a whole new demographic for celebration. It’s the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, where there’s a fasting period for a month, but the iftar food is worth the wait!! Ranging from non-veg, veg, spicy, sweet, and many other forms and tastes of food, Ramzan offers a kaleidoscopic range of food and festivities.

Ramzan, also known as Ramadan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the month of fasting for Muslims worldwide. A celebration of Muhammad’s first revelation, people regard Ramadan as one of Five Pillars of Islam. The word ‘ramadan’ derives from an Arabic word, ‘ramidha’ meaning ‘become burning/scorching’. According to folklore, in A.D. 610, the angel Gabriel appeared in front of Prophet Muhammad and presented with the holy book of Quran. Muslims fast during this month to mark the revelation of Quran.

https://www.nativchefs.comWhile it’s an annual event, it lasts for about 29 to 30 days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next. The fasting from sunrise to sunset is ‘fard’, which is mandatory, while the predawn meal is ‘suhur’, and the nightly feast is ‘iftar’. The iftar meal is a vibrant affair that offers a wide variety of meals to experience!!

With several types of kebabs and platters available in nooks and corners of the Muslim community, some delicacies are a must-try during this festive season. Some are-

Starting with a festive platter called Iftar Thali, it has two variants, Mughlai and Bohra. Both comprise several elements to satisfy your craving for different tastes. Kebabs, parathas, and dessert are the main attraction for the Iftari meal, and we are sure that this platter won’t disappoint!! The Mughlai and the Bohra variants consist of contrasting delicacies, with each element having a unique flavour, making it a must-try during Ramzan.

https://www.nativchefs.comMuslim meals are incomplete without Biryanis. While kebabs are a popular delicacy, biryanis are also a staple food among the communities and are one of the most loved delicacies across India. According to an Indian restaurateur, Biryani originated in Persia, and it was the Mughals who brought it to India. Delicacies like Chicken biryani, Mutton biryani, Chicken Tikka biryani, and many others top the demands of customers during the iftar meals.

Chicken Kebabs are also a hugely popular delicacy among the people. A starter for any party, this delicacy will surely leave your guests wanting more!! Kebabs are a variable delicacy in terms of shape, taste, and cooking method. Hailing from the Middle East, their history dates back as long as 17th Century, B.C.

A unique delicacy that you can experience is Umm Ali. It’s an Egyptian dessert and is the National Delicacy of Egypt. Consisting of Bread, Rabdi, and dry fruits, it’s an exotic delicacy, and is one of the oldest dishes in the town. According to folklore, the dish dates back to the Ayyubid era in Egypt, and the then queen was responsible for it. She wanted a delicacy named after her and asked the chefs to make a delicacy ‘worth her name’. Hence, the dish Umm Ali was born!!

www.nativchefs.comMutton Kadi Chawal is a traditional Bohra delicacy consisting of mutton cooked in coconut milk. It’s a unique delicacy consisting of creamy mutton gravy, succulent pieces, and a special mixed-rice to complement the meal. It’s a rare delicacy that gains popularity mainly during the Muslim community’s festive celebrations.

Other such delicacies that you could try are Bhuna mutton with Ghakar, Shahi Tukda, Sheer Khurma, Mughlai Chicken Korma, red aroma chicken, and many such delicacies. You can visit our menu page to know more about other such traditional delicacies.

We hope you all enjoy authentic Ramzan-special delicacies with your friends and family. Share positivity and happiness with your loved ones and enjoy this summer festivity safely.

We wish you all Ramzan Mubarak and enjoy Ramadan with delicious and traditional at the comfort of your home!!