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Nestlé India launches 4 new Maggi flavours #MasalasofIndia

Nestlé India launches 4 new Maggi flavours #MasalasofIndia

I remember vividly when Maggi was launched in India. This ‘2-minute’ noodle took the market by storm and captured the fancy of practically all kids and parents. There is no child who is immune to the taste of Maggi. I speak from experience of my own childhood and that of my two children. So when Nestlé India invited me to a select gathering for the launch of four new flavours of Maggi, I was excited. #MasalasofIndia is their new range which is exclusively available only on PayTm just now and will roll out in stores soon.

maggi #masalasofindia

This trendy 4 pack comes with single serve packs of the new flavours: Mumbaiya Chatak, Bengali Jhaal, Amritsari Achari and Super Chennai covering four regions of the country. India is the land of spices and considering that the original masala Maggi sells like hotcakes, I think bringing in more masala flavours in our familiar palates made a lot of sense. Will the flavours live up to their names? Will they be delicious? All these questions dogged my mind when I headed to the Slurp Studio  in Bangalore on a Friday evening.

maggi #masalasofindia

Terrible traffic aside, it is always a pleasure to meet with fellow bloggers and food enthusiasts. To take us on a fun culinary ride, Chef Zaheer from Nestlé India R&D team had flown in. The adventure kicked off when we had a blind tasting of sorts. Though I had some expectation about the taste, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how authentic and delicious each flavour was.  My favourite was Mumbaiya Chatak, must have been coined due to the chatkaara it brings to your tongue as you slurp this delicious riot of delightfully tangy and spicy flavours. Bengali Jhaal was the surprise packet with its uniquely Bengali appeal in its pungency and heat. Chennai Masala was comforting with its hint of sambar powder, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Amritsari Achari encapsulated the robust flavours of the Punjabi heartland with a very pickle feel with its saunf and kalonji flavours.

maggi #masalasofindia
Chicken Teriyaki with Mumbaiya Chataki Maggi

Having tasted each one, Chef Zaheer showed us two delightful recipes with the new flavours. Chicken Teriyaki paired with Mumbaiya Chatak may have gone either way when it comes to fusion cooking but turned out to be quite a delightful twist where the milder chicken teriyaki perfectly complemented the lovely spicy Maggi.

maggi #masalasofindia
A version of Jhaal muri made with Bengali Jhaal Maggi

The second dish was a version of the popular street food Jhaal muri which looked divine and tasted something between a salad and a murmura mix.

That done, it was our turn to don the mantle of chefs and innovate with the new Maggi flavours. My team included Monika, Raksha and I.

maggi #masalasofindia
Both the teams rushing around in the cookoff

My team chose to prepare a Burger with a Bengali twist. We loosely called it Bengali Jhaal Ramen burger. A dish very simple, it did turn out pretty well. Since we had chosen the flavours of Bengal, fish was definitely on the cards. We wanted the fish to speak for itself hence it was lightly marinated in salt, turmeric powder and panch phoron powder. Then it was shallow fried. Similarly aubergine was sliced and marinated in salt and chilly powder. This was shallow fried as well. A quick salad of lettuce, onion and zuchhini was rustled up with a light dressing of the Bengal Jhaal tastemaker and some oil to further accentuate this flavour. Then Bengali Jhaal maggi was cooked with tastemaker till done. The buns were cut into half and toasted with butter.

maggi #masalasofindia
Bengal Jhaal Ramen Burger made with Maggi Bengali Jhaal

Plating was done by piling up the aubergine, topped with maggi and finished with the cooked fish fillet garnished with some pomegranate seeds and sev followed by the other half of the bun. This was served with the mixed salad garnished with pomegranate seeds and sev. The chef loved our dish and admired the innovation. Isn’t it true that sometimes the simplest flavours are the best?

maggi #masalasofindia
Veg moussaka with Mumbaiya Chatak maggi

The second team made a lovely veg version of moussaka which was cheesy, spicy and delicious. It looked gorgeous too. What was not to like?

The chef played safe when he announced both the teams joint winners. No one wishes to annoy so many women. 🙂 This brought down the curtains to a fun event filled with laughter, chatter and of course Maggi.

A lovely event that not only introduced the new flavours in a unique fun way but helped us experience the flavours and also get our creative juices going.

I am itching to try out new recipes with these flavours and here’s one that has come from my kitchen.

maggi #masalasofindia

Delicious Veg Upma with Super Chennai Maggi

Serves 2


2 tsp. oil

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. urad dal (white lentils)

1 sprig curry leaves

1 onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped

2 slit green chillies

4-5 button mushroom chopped (you can use green beans, peas or any other vegetable you like)

chopped coriander leaves for garnish

2 packet Maggi Super Chennai


Heat oil in a pan. Tip in mustard seeds and urad dal. When they sputter, add curry leaves and green chillies. Fry for 30 seconds. Now add onion and cook till it is golden brown. Now add in the tomatoes. Allow to cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Now add chopped mushroom and cook for a minute. Add half a packet of the tastemaker to this mixture.

Simultaneously cook Maggi Super Chennai as per instructions on the pack. Keep a little of tastemaker aside. Add this to the upma seasoning you were preparing in the other pan.

Add the cooked maggi to the Upma seasoning and mix well. Serve it hot garnished with coriander leaves and some khara boondi. Got a thumbs up from the kids.

Try it.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Do share some of your Maggi memories and which is your favourite from the new ones introduced.

Philips Airfryer User Review

Philips Airfryer User Review

I have been seeing the adverts of Philips Airfryer since months now when it was launched with a great media blitzkrieg. To tell you the truth, I was skeptical of the claims made. As an avid cook and someone who loves to read about and experiment with food, it seemed highly unlikely that all fried foods could be replicated both in terms of the texture and taste without deep frying. But, the proposition was too inviting to pass. So, recently I bit the bait and bought myself a sparkling new Philips Airfryer. I did consider Kenstar one as well which is cheaper by a few thousands but then the Philips brand name and the credibility I attached with it tipped the scales in its favor.

So for a little less than $200, I bought this swanky gadget, the price having gone down a bit since it was launched. Mind you, I already have an oven and a microwave so this felt like more of the same thing, but airfrying seemed exciting.

What does the gadget entail?

Philips airfryer user review
Pic courtesty:

The gadget has a frying basket just like the conventional fryer with a dripping chamber below. Both have a non-stick coating. They are easy to pull out and clean. You also have a temperature knob and a time setting. A very simple device that even children can use. Be careful of the heat though. There is a coil that circulates heat at high temperatures which does the cooking in less time. It fries, roasts, bakes and grills food items.

I have been experimenting with this gadget for more than 2 weeks now. Here is the review of what I made and how it turned out. Some of them may not have accompanying pics because we just polished off everything in a hurry. 🙂 But I promise to update the pics, the next time I cook the same stuff.

What came out on top:

Philips airfryer user review

Fries and wedges: Who does not love fries? Those delectably crunchy yet moist pieces of golden glory can flip both children and adults alike. I know my kids love fries, and I make them at home the deep fried way but not too often. The calories are always a concern. But, in the Airfryer, the fries turn out as good as say your favorite fast-food outlet. It is really quick to cook and the taste, crunch and moistness are the same. The same applies to the wedges. This was a pleasant surprise, I must say. I have also been making sweet potato fries which are awesome too.

Philips airfryer user review

Nuggets: The chicken nuggets were delicious and moist. The crust was crunchy just like in the deep fried version. This is as good as the deep fried stuff and much low on guilt.

Philips airfryer user review

Philips airfryer user review

Tandoori kebabs: I’ve prepared both chicken drumsticks and the regular boneless chicken tikka kebabs marinated at home in the airfryer. They come out exceptionally well just like they do in the tandoor or the oven including the browning on top. Cooked through, moist inside with barely any oil and way faster in cooking.

Philips airfryer user review

Veg kababs: My potato and plantain kebabs came out perfect, even better than the stove top version because they were crunchy on the outside and soft and juicy inside.

Chips: You can make crispy chips out of just about any veggies you like. I made the bitter gourd ones with a light batter of chickpea flour and spices and a light brushing of oil. They came out crispy and tasty. A nice munchie. Get creative and try other veggies too.

Almost there:

Philips airfryer user review

Samosa: This was a real challenge. You can’t make good samosas without deep frying them to death. In the shops they deep fry them twice and of course there is loads of dalda to make the pastry flaky. At 500 Calories+ for each samosa and artery-clogging saturated fats, I give this delicacy a miss most often. But the samosa version made in the airfryer was a decent replacement. Crunchier than the usual samosa, the taste was spot on. Of course, one can make the pastry flakier by adding more oil to the dough which I will be doing the next time around. But, it was a great experiment.

Philips airfryer

Wadas: I made the chana wadas which are a favorite in the family. Instead of deep frying, I airfired them. The crust was crunchy and the taste was 80% of the deep fried stuff but inside, it was missing the moistness of the deep-fried wada. Not completely there but a good alternative I guess.

Did not work:

Pakodas (fritters): Every Indian household loves its pakodas. These deep fried wonders can set any monsoon evening on fire. My first experiment with the pakodas did not go too well. The batter though cooked does not taste anything like the original stuff. I need to work more on the batter for the next time when I will incorporate more oil in it. The first attempt was disappointing. Also, you cannot make any pakodas with drippy batter in the airfryer. Hence only the thick batters work. I will be trying the onion rings too.

I have many more recipes to try, and I will keep updating the post here when I do. But, overall I am really very pleased with this gadget. It does make deep fried food easier to duplicate, healthier and guilt free.

Pros of the device:

Time: Your airfrying is at least 50% faster than a conventional oven. This feature makes it really perfect while making snacks both for hungry kids or for parties.

Ease: Compared to deep frying, there is no mess of oil, constant monitoring and danger of getting burnt with splashing or hot oil. You set the time and the gadget just turns itself off. So, you don’t have to stick around monitoring the proceedings. As a person who loves cooking but hates slogging on the stove, this feature is just so wonderful. Even your teen can operate it with a little caution to handle the hot parts carefully.

Less use of oil: There are two issues with deep frying. One is that of high Calories and the other is of the leftover oil. Oils deteriorate at high temperatures hence they are not fit for reuse after one deep-frying episode. But throwing so much oil away feels terrible. An airfryer needs you to use barely a tsp. to a tbsp. of oil for brushing. No issue of excess oil that is wasted. And, of course, airfrying does give you the same taste at reduced calories. It almost feels untrue. But, I have tried it and know it to be true.

Easy to clean: Both the frying basket and the bottom chamber are easy to wash with soap and water. They are detachable and can be washed in the dishwasher too. Use a wire brush to clean the foodstuff caught in the mesh of the basket.

Spacious: It is spacious and can cook for a family of four. Sometimes I do need to do two batches though.

Cons of the device:

Heavy: It is very heavy and the cord is quite small. Hence it occupies prime space on the bench. It cannot be moved around much. You cannot keep it inside your cabinet and bring it out when needed.

Attachments: I have seen that its European counterparts come with a separator and a small pan for baking cakes. But in India, they don’t offer those. I especially would have liked a separator because that can enable a single person to cook an entire meal together instead of wasting space and doing it in two gos. I feel baking will be a challenge because you can bake really small cakes in this one, and you will have to put in your own tin. I would rather use my OTG for that.

Overall, an excellent gadget to have if you want faster and healthier cooking. The kids love it especially as they get to eat ‘fried’ goodies so often.

Disclosure: I have bought the Airfryer myself. This is NOT a paid review. All the opinions are honest.

ASUS All in One PC ET2040 — A revolutionary new PC

ASUS All in One PC ET2040 — A revolutionary new PC

ASUS All in One PC ET2040

Ah Asus products, they are so innovative and perfect for our Indian conditions. I recently reviewed Asus ZenFone 5, which we all are missing in the family after the review piece is gone. And today I was lusting over this ASUS All In One PC ET2040. I really must get this one next.

Here are some of its sparkling features that appealed to me:

A portable desktop: I for one, have never completely taken to using a laptop. At home, when I am blogging or doing my writing assignments or helping the kids with their school projects, it is always done at my PC. Of course, the bulky thing is not portable. Now look at ASUS All in One PC ET2040. It gives you a 19.5 inch screen which is large just the way I want it. But it is light, comes with its nifty stand, takes hardly any space on my already crowded workstation and can be folded away and carried along when need be.

Backup Power: I live in Bangalore and work from home. I need to be online for my work when I pen blog posts or when I am doing my writing assignments. Despite having power backup in our community, I have been stranded at times when the system just shuts down. That is when I curse my PC. I can’t tell you how many articles I have lost that way. So, I had to go and get the cursed UPS. Now, ASUS All in One PC ET2040 takes care of it by providing power backup. How wonderful is that! Now, no more lost data especially in the erratic Indian power situations.

Better multi-media performance: This is such a fantastic feature for a family like mine that loves to plug in the laptop and watch movies on the large HD TV screen. You can use gestures to control player settings, videos, audios and even browse the net. This is so wonderful especially for those times when we nudge each other to rewind or forward something without wanting to get up from our cushy chairs.

Faster performance: This PC is lightning fast, as it is powered by the latest Intel processors. So, I don’t have to limit my actions. I can watch a movie, play a video, edit pictures and play songs all together without compromising on speeds. This is just so perfect for my typical usage.

Excellent connectivity: My PC or laptop is often used to charge my multiple gadgets. Here the PC scores, as it charges your smartphones, tablets etc. in half the time than other devices. This is because it has 3 USB 3.0 ports. Yippee especially because the forgetful me always realizes just a few minutes before stepping out of my home that my smartphone is almost out of charge. The kids would love this feature too as they can play their games effortlessly. And, my husband who is a software developer would completely love its connectivity with another screen as is often needed in his line of work.

In short, I love this ASUS All in One PC ET2040. It has so many extraordinary features at a competitive price.

If you haven’t seen already, there is also the nifty, sleek and ultra beautiful ASUS EeeBook X205TA that is a tablet on hormones. It is just perfect for those times on the move when inspiration strikes and I want to pen a post. I would love to own both these wonderful products from ASUS.

Pic courtesy:

Truth triumphs all!

Truth triumphs all!

Lies, they are everywhere. We all lie for various reasons and sometimes without reason. Many times it is done so that the other person does not feel bad or to avoid strenuous consequences. Even though we are told since childhood about the value of speaking the truth, we slowly lose this trait and start taking the easy way out by lying. All of us have lied at some point in our life. But, I have also experienced the sheer joy of being truthful. In close relationships, I do not lie and encourage others to be truthful too. I think that builds trust.

When I recently saw this Kinley ad, I absolutely loved it. A daughter feeling the prick of conscience and calling her father at night to tell him the truth is so endearing and so real.

It also took me back to so many such memories of my own. Sometimes you are pleasantly surprised when someone you know to be extremely strict actually rewards you for speaking the truth. I remember way back in college there was an important assignment that had to be submitted to one of the strictest Professors. He taught Accounting and Finance. This was during my MBA days. I had Sunday to do it. But on Saturday morning, there was an impromptu plan to head to Lonavla. A bunch of us decided to take the short train journey and enjoy our time together at a friend’s farm house. The time, as it always does, flies when we are with friends. In between jokes and banter and eating out, the assignment which was going to be graded completely slipped our minds. Happy and relaxed, we came back to Mumbai in the early hours of Monday. On reaching the college, it suddenly dawned upon all of us that we were in deep trouble. My friends were discussing all the excuses that could be told to the Professor to get out of trouble. We all were supposed to stick to the story of a minor car accident that had incapacitated us to handle the assignment. It was a feeble attempt to avoid punishment. But, we all decided to stick to this story.

The Professor called all 5 of us one by one, and we repeated the same tale including me. I felt really uneasy lying in this manner but did not want to pull my friends down. The Professor let us off with a warning and gave us some extra time to finish the Assignment. We all heaved a sigh of relief. But the day did not go so well. I was constantly plagued with a conscience prick for making up this pathetic lie. So much so that by evening, I was a complete wreck.

I walked into his cabin in the evening and blurted the truth out. I was extremely apologetic and almost in tears aware that I was letting my friends down as well. The strict Professor, to my surprise, gave me a warm smile. He said, he had easily gauged that we were lying and was pleasantly surprised when I plucked the courage to speak the truth. He even mentioned the incident in class while exhorting the students to speak the truth. I saw him loosen up and become a great mentor subsequently. I could see that just a mere act of being truthful had made him like me and respect me. My own fears laid to rest, I knew that the path of truth though difficult was the right one!

Kyunki chain hota hai na sachchai mein

SmartEats Healthy Snacks – A review!

SmartEats Healthy Snacks – A review!

You know that time around 11 am or 4 pm is when I am most tempted to pick up some sinfully oily snack. Though, I am generally looking for a light meal at those times. And something tasty and healthy is on my mind, but the choices are really restricted. Mostly, I make do with cereal, fruit, or nuts. But there are times, when all of us crave our namkeens and mithais. So, when I first heard about SmartEats’ initiative about healthy snacks, I was raring to try them out. It is not as if I have not seen ’healthy’ snacks in the market before. But reading their nutritional labels reveals the real truth. I would rather snack on cream biscuits knowingly than eat those ‘healthy’ biscuits with hidden fats and maida.

And what tipped the scales for me is the fact that they have a nutritionist on board to help. Their philosophy about cooking with natural ingredients is what I wholeheartedly endorse. Hence, this range ought to be healthy and tasty for sure. So, I signed up to review SmartEats. Glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed!


The package arrived in a nice cardboard box, neatly labeled. Inside were 6 packs that comprised:


Fruity Granola bars: These are individually wrapped which are great for convenience. I loved the taste and so did the kids. These are definitely less sweeter and taste fresher than the other bars that I have tasted in the market. They have a nice taste of coconut as well as dates.

Honey cinnamon almonds: There were the yummiest of the lot. Very difficult to stop at 5-6 nuts, the taste of honey and cinnamon really works for almonds. A fabulous snack anytime. The only problem; what is one serving here?

Walnut brownie biscotti: These were again delicious though a bit hard and crumbly. But then biscotti are supposed to be that way. Go great with tea or coffee.

Baked namkeen mix of lentils and groundnuts: As I love namkeen more than sweet snacks, this was my favorite of the lot. It is quite filling and tastes  good too. You can instantly notice that it is not fried, as it leaves no oil in your hands. Have it by itself or with chopped veggies.

Fruity cashew Carribean cookies:  These were rich in taste with a lovely vanilla flavor and whole cashews that are delightfully chewy. Kids really enjoyed this one. Way better than any cookies that I’ve tasted. Is it because they used whole wheat flour instead of maida?

A small packed of Infusion tea: This looks nice but I haven’t tried it as yet.

The pluses:

  • Each pack comes with detailed nutritional information which is really good, as you know exactly what you are consuming.
  • All these snacks are made with natural ingredients with no additives. They are fresh, and that reflects in the taste too.
  • The individual wrappings and ziplocks make the snacks easy to store as well as carry along.
  • Each snack is tasty. It can be seen that in the quest for keeping them healthy, the taste has not been compromised.
  • You can order online and they ship it free of cost to your home!

What can be made better?

  • In my opinion, each serving must be individually packed. This is because it is very easy to go overboard when eating nuts or namkeen. How does one know where to stop? Also the nutritional information at the back of the pack must be for one serving. So that the consumer knows exactly what is going in with each serving.
  • The website says that a pre-determined box of snacks will be sent to you. I think, customization as per individual preferences must be allowed because not everyone may like everything in the pack.
  • There must be an option to try out small sample packs as well.

Final verdict!

Did I like the box? I Loved it! Will I buy it again? Yes, most definitely! It helped that everyone in the family enjoyed it. I think it would make for a good gift as well. I think, it is a lovely concept and something that is much needed in the Indian market with our unhealthy packaged snacks and junk foods. Each box with 20-25 servings spread over 5 packs is priced at an affordable Rs. 399 with free shipping!

Find out more about their extensive range of snacks and healthy eats on their website.

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